Last year `I had a nasty shock when I was diagnosed with pelvic floor and hip issues. `I went to a gynaecologist and several physiotherapists and was given the usual zip and tuck exercises without any real exploration of the actual problems I was suffering from. These exercises I carried out religiously for five months and there was some slow progress. I was recommended to Victoria Muir. Firstly Victoria made a full (but gentle) physical examination, the first real examination I had had at this point. Victoria carefully listened to my symptoms and linked my pelvic floor issues to my hip issues and she started very deep physio and also hooked my up to a screen with a probe so that I could carry out vaginal exercises and see what was happening on a screen. This helped me actually to discover that I hadn't been tightening completely correctly. Victoria then released a tightening in my hip very gently which then led to my neck and shoulder issues abating. So after only six sessions with Victoria I am able to walk for an hour in the morning and managed to play an hours tennis the other day. Thank you Victoria - you are a star x
Whoever knew that your pelvic floor could prolapse!
Whoever knew it goes from your front bone to the backbone and holds everything in place!!
Prolapse to me was a poor old sheep in the field having given birth to her lamb and her uterus hanging out.
At Pilates they make you do pelvic floor exercises, going up in the lift and down again. Who knew how important this actually is.
Who knew one could have physio on your pelvic floor!!
One Friday late morning having ridden the horse, heaved hay and buckets about, walked the dogs, then did 20 minutes on my cross trainer, I went to the loo. I felt a bit down in the lower region and on examination found a lump protruding. It felt most odd.
I booked an appointment for later that day at the local surgery where I was examined by a lady doctor. She confirmed that I had a prolapse (no mention of what type as I didn’t know there were different types). It was suggested that I had a ring fitted which I declined until I had done some further enquiries. This would have been the Doctors third ring fitting of the day (sounds like a vet with sheep again).
The ring is the size of a small donut, white and flexible and basically holds everything up and in place.
On refusing that day the donut, it was suggested I went to see a gynaecologist and was given a name. Unfortunately the one referred too was booked up and on holiday for several weeks. Again with a bit of research I found one more local to me. I must admit at this stage I do have private healthcare and therefore the process is quicker.
This very kind gentle man examined me and referred me to Victoria Muir a pelvic floor physiotherapist at the same hospital.
I went in trepidation thinking what on earth can be done to push things up again!! Sitting in reception with slightly sweaty palms, even though I ‘ve had 2 children, it still isn’t something to look forward too, someone poking about ‘up there’.
Victoria bounced in with a smile on her face and shook my hand firmly, showing me through to her surgery. We sat and chatted for a while and I answered the usual questionnaire, all the time she made me at ease. With the use of a diagram Victoria showed me the physics of the lower regions and it became a bit more clear on what can happen ‘down there’.
Then it came to the examination: gulp: but Victoria kept on chatting and making light of the whole situation. I usually look at the ceiling so like the dentist a few pictures could be of use to focus on. One of those buff fireman naked to the waist perhaps!!
Gloves are used as is a lot of lube so there is no pain and you really do just have to relax; ankles together and drop your knees out to the side.
On examination I was informed that I didn’t have piles but a rectocele and cystocele, which means part of my back passage had prolapsed (bulged) into my vagina (which is in the middle) and the same at the the front the bladder had bulged into the vagina. I liken it to a hernia.
How on earth can this be fixed I asked myself: Well with the right tools of know how that Victoria gave me I did manage to lighten the symptoms considerably. Exercises of lifting the muscle (Pelvic floor) and learning where it is and where it starts and finishes, I could lift and relax the muscle helping to support these parts of my body.
A pelvic floor machine was used, I can only explain this as a smaller version of a computer mouse being inserted and linked up to a computer where one has to squeeze the pelvic floor and hold and release over several types of exercises. It was all about strengthening the muscle.
With a rectocele, where the rectum falls into the vagina, sometimes an amount of poo gets stuck and isn’t released. Victoria suggested a small tool that one inserts into the vagina to align the rectum in a straight line, releasing ones bowels. Or one can insert a thumb to align the bowel to empty it fully.
In between appointments after sex with my husband one day I did experience a lot of bleeding, which is common at this age. Hormones are changing, things getting dry etc. The lovely consultant performed a small procedure using local anaesthetic in a surgery, legs in stirrups, which was basically a quarterisation at the neck of the womb. The bleeding has abated so this worked.
Back to my bubbly physio, it had become a natural thing to have a quick chat and throw my knickers off (actually slide them off and scrunch them up and put them in a shoe). The bulge was definitely not so prominent after about 10 treatments of 30 to 45 minutes. Victoria is most informative, passionate about her job and eager to educate ladies on how to help themselves.
Most impressively Victoria gives up a week every year to visit, with her surgeon partner, an area in Africa, where young ladies after childbirth are experiencing problems and are ostracised from their villages as a consequence. There Victoria educates the hospital nurses and her partner performs surgery. These young women can then go back to the families and new born babies, educated on what has happened to them and how to do their exercises for life.
I digress. My next stop was an appointment in January with the kind Consultant. On examination he felt that the physio had assisted greatly but the rectocele needed a little assistance. He referred me to another Consultant that performs this type of surgery several times a day.
This has been performed and although uncomfortable for the first few days, (going to the loo was the worst bit, I would advise taking laxatives a few days before to loosen everything up) all feels much tighter and aligned. Going to the loo felt like giving birth to a potato in the first instance, even with the help of two peccaries by the nurse. It seemed I was well and truly stuck and only they came out (almost too much information) but better to be informed.
Victoria paid me a couple of visits whilst in hospital. Showing me how to get in and out of bed without tearing anything. Taking me for a walk and explaining quite clearly what and what not I could do over the next 6 weeks.
The whole experience is somewhat indignant but we all have the same bits and many people suffer incontinence, weak bladder in general, prolapse, and possibly pooing problems, all unnecessarily. With kind words, encouragement and making things a normal every day occurrence. Victoria can guide any man or women through these sometimes embarrassing times in our lives.
Don’t suffer quietly, be seen, live life. Its not embarrassing, particularly if you have someone like Victoria who makes one feel at ease and normal. Don’t wear incontinence knickers they are not needed, if you get the right treatment.
- Sarah's Testimonial
Bedford Consulting Rooms, 4 Goldington Road, Bedford.
TEL: 07510 916900
BMI Physiotherapy Department, BMI Manor Hospital, Church End, Biddenham MK40 4AW
TEL: 01234 369095
EMAIL: CLICK HERE
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