It’s been a little over a month since my post about my first clinical assessment appointment with the Nurse Practitioner at the Pelvic Floor Pathway. I’m now 13.5 weeks postpartum and very little yet so much has changed since then. Let’s recap.
After my clinical assessment with the Nurse Practitioner I was totally down in the dumps about the overall integrity of my lady parts and any future with fitness and weightlifting. If you’re not a gym rat or you don’t really give two shits about exercising, particularly weightlifting, you’re probably like nbd. But it is a big deal. A big fat fucking deal for me, as is anything for those of us who have our insides a dangling at the opening of our vaginas. LUCKY US, amirite ladies?
After the Nurse Practitioner crushed my spirit, I was referred by my trainer to a non-Pelvic Floor Pathway physiotherapist for a second opinion – I’ll call her Sharlene at Nomad Therapies in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada (in case, y’know, you’d like to see her too.) I hadn’t yet seen the Pelvic Floor Pathway physiotherapist and I set up my appointment with “Sharlene” before my appointment with the Pelvic Floor Pathway physiotherapist, I’ll call that one Bree with True Potential Health Services in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada.
Sharlene is a pelvic floor physiotherapist who looks at your outsides as well as your lady parts when coming up with a game plan to fix your broken vagina. Sharlene decided to stick to core rehab because my lady parts were/are already being physiotherapied by Bree at the Pelvic Floor Pathway. What core rehab means is a buttload of physiotherapy homework on the outside of my body in the places that contribute to – or aggravate – a prolapse. So things like alignment and posture, breathing, tight muscles . . . basically all the shit that goes to hell when you have a new baby.
I barely kept my shit together when I first saw Sharlene. It was basically an emotional dump of what I had been told and where I felt my life was at. Sharlene took it in stride – because she sees this all the time – and made me feel like there was hope. Hope is a big deal in the world of prolapses, diastasis recti, and pants shitting.
This is what Sharlene set in motion:
- I was checked for diastasis recti – don’t have it, whew.
- My transverse abs weren’t activating so my balance was wonky and my pelvic floor not properly supported. My hips were taped – and I felt immediately lighter and supported the second the tape was in place – in order to help my transverse abs activate.
- My upper back was tight and knotted so I was given a racquetball and told to roll out the knots on my upper back once a day.
- I was shown a chest-opening exercise and instructed to do for five minutes each day
- Continue with all pelvic floor exercises that my other Pelvic Floor Pathway physiotherapist was giving me.
- Focus each day on breathing into my rib cage – I have a tendency to hold my breath and not fully inflate my lungs.
Sharlene’s goal for this session was to help lift and support my pelvic floor and ease some of the downward pressure that may be contributing to my prolapse bulginess.
And then I saw Pelvic Floor Pathway physiotherapist, Bree. Bree took one look at the Nurse Practitioner’s report and said something like “and I see ‘no heavy lifting’ is recommended. Yep, stay-at-home-mom, kids, toddler, that’s not going to happen.” And I was so relieved.
It’s one thing to have a prolapse (or other assorted pelvic floor dysfunction awfulness) but it’s a whole other ballgame when the health professional across from you says to stop doing the things you need to in order to live your life. Like, lifting heavy bags of groceries, putting a baby in an infant car seat into your vehicle, picking up your toddler when he’s in the having a massive meltdown in the middle of the store and you need to gtfo asap.
Anyway, so Bree checked things out and, sure enough, mostly everything was weak and sad face down there. Bree assigned the homework of a back to front zip with a hold 5-7 times a day to start, and we’d have a chat by phone in two weeks to discuss a follow up appointment or schedule another call.
All-in-all, good news. Sorta. My perineum is still a non-existent trainwreck that will need to be repaired surgically. My prolapse is still prolapsey But I have hope. And if I’ve gathered anything from the prolapse support group of which I am a part on Facebook, hope is hard to come by when you’re living with a prolapse.