Remember when you thought 30 was old? I do. Anyone 30 or over knows now that 30 is not nearly as old as we imagined. At 53, I felt very old.
I don’t appear old. I have been told I look and act much younger than my age. Nevertheless, I felt very old, due to incontinence. I thought incontinence only happened to “old ladies”. Not so. I have been struggling with the embarrassing, humiliating, confidence-stealing incontinence monster for almost ten years. I finally saw a urologist in 2006, after my bladder emptied completely during a fit of laughter in a parking garage. After much thought, I chose to have an outpatient surgery during which the surgeon injected collagen into my urethra to close it just enough to prevent unexpected leaking. It worked! For about three years. Then, the monster returned. I had the collagen injection surgery a second time. It worked for about two years…then, back to sneezing leaks, coughing leaks, laughing leaks.
For most of 2013, I was leaking two, three, four times a day, and it was more than a little. Sometimes, my bladder would completely empty when I did not even have the urge as a warning. It happened at home, while shopping, at work, sitting, standing, and walking. Just from a sneeze, a cough, a laugh. It truly sapped my confidence. To wonder if people could smell that little old lady’s wet underpants as she walked by…ugh.
I went back to my urologist, Dr. Tomas Griebling, in June 2013. He told me collagen injections are no longer used as a remedy and suggested surgery would be my best bet. He also recommended I try physical therapy and gave me a list of local providers. On his recommendation, I called Sarah Dominguez at Foundational Concepts. Sarah’s Specialty is Pelvic Dysfunction.
She listened to my story and said she thought PT could help me. I was reluctant because of my high deductible – my health insurance would not cover any of the cost. In fact, I decided not to even try PT because of the cost. I just kept on leaking and feeling old. One Saturday, I had three glasses of wine and my bladder completely emptied as I was getting ready to have a romantic encounter with my husband. That was my breaking point.
I called Sarah and made an appointment. At my first session, Sarah gave me exercises to do at home and a special trick to teach my bladder to slow down and wait for me. The trick worked (and works!) so well, I made it through the rest of that Friday and through the entire weekend without one tiny leak! 10 years of leaking, and I went three days without so much as a drop! I am so grateful to Sarah for her confidence in the techniques she teaches. I feel confident, young and hopeful again. This program worked so well for me that Dr. Griebling and I agreed surgery is no longer necessary. I baked him a cake. I gave Sarah a big hug! I highly recommend Sarah Dominguez at Foundational Concepts for Pelvic Physical Therapy.
– Katherine V.