<![CDATA[Sacral Healing - Journal]]>Thu, 31 Dec 2015 14:16:50 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[So I Think I Can Dance]]>Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:10:47 GMThttp://www.livingwithprolapse.com/journal/so-i-think-i-can-danceAbout three years ago as I uncomfortably existed in what I all my “new” body…the body that has pelvic organ prolapse, I would sit with my two and four-year old daughters and watch “So You Think You Can Dance.”  A very long time ago I was a dancer and it seems my little girls are innately interested.  Not only do they take dancing lessons but they love to watch the show.  I must admit I do as well.  The show speaks to my very personal dreams and aspirations.  As a little girl my fantasy was to be a student at the National Ballet of Canada and I relished each June when our costumes arrived at my neighbourhood dance studio and I was closer to being on stage performing.  I was by no means a “star” student destined for a future in dance, but I did have a natural rhythm and a love of dance.,
I have to admit that a few times when I was watching So You Think You Can Dance I would close my eyes and imagine that feeling that I used to have…the feeling that I was soaring…the feeling I used to get when I knew the dance routine so well that I lost myself in the music and I felt free.  My body did almost everything I needed it to do and I was invincible.  A few years have passed and we haven’t watched the show in a while because we are a little too busy between school and all of the dance classes the girls take.  Just recently, one of my “dance mom” friends reminded me that there was an adult dance class.  It definitely peaked my interest and this in itself is monumental.  There was a time that I would have cringed at the very thought.  There was a time that I needed to be in self-preservation mode.   I considered this opportunity with a grew deal of thought and discovered I was thinking about the many reasons why it would be a good idea.  Time has been on my side.  I also have been doing my kegels and the “Pfilates” program.  So I thought why not and I went!  Guess what?  It was so much fun!  I giggled at the joy of doing a “step ball change.”  I loved stretching and learning some new dance steps.  I decided to opt out of a jump and a kick…no big deal!  I came home feeling pretty great.  The best part is that I feel much more motivated to continue strengthening my pelvic floor.  I need it to be as strong as it can be…so I can dance!!!
<![CDATA[Times Are Changing]]>Sun, 02 Sep 2012 16:05:19 GMThttp://www.livingwithprolapse.com/journal/times-are-changingFour years ago as I sat at the computer in the wee hours if the morning trying to learn any information that I could about pelvic organ prolapse but there was not a lot to go on.  I gathered some definitions from a few medical websites ad stumbled across a few graphic images that left me in tears and terrified about my future.  When I came across Sherrie J. Palm and her book POP The Silent Epidemic I was so very thankful to find her.  I felt compelled to reach out to her in my desperation to feel connected with another woman living with this condition.  For much too long I had felt like I was the only one living with POP and that nobody understood.  I continue to view Sherrie Palm as a Guru.  Her advocacy, knowledge of POP, and vision have paved the way for women such as myself to garner the courage to share our stories.
My personal experience is that of being a thirty-eight-year-old mother of two baby daughters who was diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse.  After a year of waiting to see a specialist I was encouraged to stave off surgery and get as far along in my life as possible.  This fuelled my passion to share my story and advocate awareness for this health issue I had not heard about until I was diagnosed.  The heart of my story lies in the time it took to rebuild my life through a very unexpected wellness journey.  My quest to live in a body I described as literally falling apart included seeing multiple doctors, trying to find a pain management support group, speaking with a psychologist, finding a life coach, visiting a naturopath, regular pelvic floor physiotherapy and Chinese acupuncture appointments, and learning to meditate all while raising my 14 month old and 3 year old daughters and working full time.  While not every pathway supported my journey and wellness I can honestly say I don’t regret trying many avenues to support my health.  I learned a lot along the way and if it weren’t for trying I never would have known what worked for me and what did not.

The amazing news is that in the 6 years since I have been living with pelvic organ prolapse there have been significant changes.  I mean really significant!  I am so happy that through my personal advocacy and networking I have met an amazing group of women who have felt a strong calling to support pelvic floor wellness in various capacities including fitness experts and pelvic floor physiotherapists.  There are an increasing array of products that support the dignity and lifestyle of women living with POP.  There is also an amazing exercise program called “Pfilates” that I believe every woman should do for prevention and maintenance.  So while I can have my own setbacks from time to time I ultimately have an increasing amount of hope for women living with pelvic organ prolapse.  Sherrie Palm states, “POP is seldom life threatening, but always life changing.” The impacts are huge and are not only physical but also emotional.  Healing is a complex journey yet as more knowledge and options become available women will no longer suffer alone and for as long.
<![CDATA[Why I’m Afraid to Tell My Daughters I Have Pelvic Organ Prolapse]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:53:06 GMThttp://www.livingwithprolapse.com/journal/why-im-afraid-to-tell-my-daughters-i-have-pelvic-organ-prolapseMy daughters, aged four and five, do not know yet that their Mommy lives with a health condition called pelvic organ prolapse or POP.  Often referred to as “the silent epidemic” of women, pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the uterus, bladder, rectum, or vagina or a combination of these organs herniate into the vaginal canal.  A woman who shares her symptoms with a physician, family member or friend must describe intimate physical details that relate to her anatomy, sexuality, and excretion habits.  Not fun yet a devastating reality for millions of women worldwide in varying degrees.
I am not afraid to tell my daughters that they should eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients to stay regular.  Chronic constipation is one of the causes of pelvic organ prolapse.  I know now that a diet rich in nutrients and proper hydration may have prevented me from developing pelvic organ prolapse or delayed the onset of the condition.

I am not afraid to tell my daughters that they should prioritize their own health. Physical exercise helps you to be strong and vital.  I will tell my daughters that their bodies are a gift…the house that they will live in for their entire life.  I will tell them that their pelvic floor can be cared for by the way they do their exercises.  I know now hat there are special exercises that keep the pelvic floor strong.

I am not afraid to tell my daughters that they should listen to their bodies.  I will tell them that they have an amazing intuitive understanding of their own bodies and that they know their bodies best.  I know now that if something doesn’t feel right a woman should be empowered to find out why and get answers.

I am not afraid to tell my daughters that they themselves should be their biggest priority.  I will tell my daughters that they must care for their physical and emotional wellbeing.  I know now that life can get busy and priorities can be misconstrued.  I know now that it is not selfish for a woman to prioritize her own physical and emotional wellbeing.   The wellbeing of a woman’s future family ultimately depends on her commitment to self-care!

But I am afraid to tell my daughters that I have pelvic organ prolapse because POP still needs a lot of research.  There is a genetic component that is not yet understood. Once a woman is diagnosed with POP she may feel isolated and may be unaware of the different ways to begin self-care such as pelvic floor physiotherapy.  While many women have benefitted from successful surgical repair of their POP the surgery is not always recommended for every woman and it has not been perfected yet.

Here’s the good news! Gains have been made and women are speaking out about POP.  Through advocacy and research we will increase our understanding, awareness and find solutions.  I believe this for your daughters and mine!
<![CDATA[Bringing Home Baby and Prolapse]]>Sat, 22 Jan 2011 16:38:10 GMThttp://www.livingwithprolapse.com/journal/bringing-home-baby-and-prolapsePicture
Once upon a time I was an avid runner.  I was very confident in my health.  I felt strong and unstoppable.

I waited a long time to have a baby.  Life circumstances had put that dream on hold for a while.  I later found my wonderful husband and we both decided we wanted to begin having a family.  We were thirty-five at this time and we were excited to begin having children.

I had a healthy pregnancy and was very blessed to give birth to a beautiful baby girl.  My life was like a dream.  I was amazed at my new baby and was excited to bounce back from my pregnancy.  Even though my new role as a mother was all encompassing I remember planning my running comeback by placing a big star on the calendar six weeks after my daughters’ birth.  My goal was to get back to running as soon as I could.

After six weeks passed I knew something wasn’t quite right.  I considered the possibly that something had not healed properly.  Was it the stiches?  What else other than this could be causing such discomfort?

Months of asking questions led to a diagnosis of a minor form of pelvic organ prolapse called a cystocele.  My bladder had herniated.  I had never heard of this.  At least I wasn’t going crazy.  Although it was too minor of a prolapse for surgery I wanted it fixed at this time.  I wanted my old body back.  It was too uncomfortable to run.  I played the waiting game and hoped for the discomfort to go away.

Twenty months later I did feel better.  The pinching sensation was less frequent and I was due to have my second daughter.  I could never have been prepared for how much worse my prolapse became.  I was very aware of my healing during the traditional six week post pregnancy phase.  I eased my worry about the symptoms I was experiencing by cloaking the discomfort of my worsened pelvic organ prolapse within the tenderness mothers feel after the birthing process.
Yet, there was no escaping my deteriorating health.  Weeks had turned into tedious months as I tried to educate myself about pelvic organ prolapse and wait to visit a urogynocologist.  It became increasingly challenging to step away from my discomfort.  It was taking over my life.  I reached within myself to smile and play with my baby since holding her, walking, excreting, and almost every movement reminded me of the feeling that I was “shredded” inside, a sensation many women with POP can relate too.  I lived in fear that my bladder and rectum would fall down even more.  I felt betrayed by my body.  I felt too young to have this condition.
I was fighting against the reality of having pelvic organ prolapse.  The recommendation that I postpone surgery until I no longer needed to carry my children brought me to rock bottom.  The night I realized surgery was not going to save me I slowly began my healing journey.  I cried so hard I barely recognized my own voice.  There were identifiable stages of loss.  Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time this was my defining moment of acceptance.  I gained a new awareness that I needed to become empowered.  With determination and some help along the way I was beginning to create my magical formula of transformation.
My life did not change over night. In fact, it took a long time but change was coming.  I surrendered and began asking myself what I really needed on this journey.  I committed to myself in a very conscious way.  I filled the areas of my life that always called to me but I had put on the backburner.  I chose action instead of being stuck.  I chose listening to my body.  I became an empowered patient who knew how to care for my physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.  I am more open to new experiences and I have a passion for life.

No more running for me but riding a bike for the first time since I was eight years old.  My husband had to hold the seat and run behind me!   I am still afraid of being clipped in the clips but I know I can do it!   I will never forget this day.  My daughters’ cheered me on from the sidewalk, “Go, Mommy!”
If I could go back and talk to myself in the “darkest time” I would say, “Hold on.  You are on this journey and you can help yourself get past this and everything will be okay.”

And it is okay.  More than okay.  It’s better than ever!