incontinence

DEFEATED

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So last week I told you a little bit about my journey and life of having pelvic floor dysfunction and being disrespected in the healthcare system. I also mentioned to you about my journey to becoming a pelvic floor physical therapist myself. 

I started my first job fresh out of Doctorate of Physical Therapy school in 2016. I was excited, nervous, but I was SO READY to change the lives of so many women who were suffering silently.  

I started to treat in Orthopedics (shoulder, knee, back, hip, foot, etc.) until I was able to go to my courses that would allow me to treat pelvic floor dysfunction.  

On my first day of my first course, I was so conflicted with the fact that I had not learned about these techniques, treatments, or methods until now! I was upset that I had no knowledge of these treatments all the way through my doctoral program. 

I became OBSESSED.  

Then I realized that the healthcare model is not equipped for my dreams and ambitions. 

I got my training and was seeing 2-3 patients per hour. 

I was not getting paid much money, I paid a lot for school and could not pay for my living expenses. 

But most importantly. My patients were being IGNORED in the healthcare system. The complaint of incontinence or peeing your pants was considered NORMAL. It was considered to be something that "just happens." My patients were being told their pain and their dysfunctions were in their head and they needed to remember it was normal. 

I was disgusted. I was working SO hard to see my 20+ patients a day, to help them, to make them feel loved, listened to, cared for....that.... 

I burnt out and got very sick. I ended up getting so sick that I was in and out of the hospital due to the stress of the job for about 3 months.  

It's amazing how things can change in an instance. My husband and I thought I was looking at my last days as a physical therapist and potentially my last days living... 

Now I realized I had to make a HUGE move and I'll tell you about it in the following blog..... 

Look out for my blog next week with the subject line, "Dr. Kaylee Makes a Move."  

Love, 

Dr. Kaylee 

The Beginning of the Journey!

I want to thank you for being a part of my community and family again and for the support you give by reading each of these for me. 

I want to let you in to my story because my story makes me who I am today... and if you're going to have a pelvic floor physical therapist as a provider, you want to have someone that you can relate with. 

I have a 20 year history of being a dancer. I always wanted to be a professional dancer. I dreamed of it, I could taste it. But at the age of 15 my dreams were crushed by the fact that I (please understand this is extremely difficult to be letting you know) was raped. This traumatic event led me to having urinary incontinence and I would pee my pants any time I danced or I was active. I also had pelvic pain, consistent urinary tract infections, and frequent constipation because I had so much pain.  

These symptoms caused me to be so embarrassed about my condition that I would skip dance practice, I would stop trying out for the harder roles, I was just not able to reach my personal best. I was so embarrassed, I was disgusted, I was overwhelmed, I felt guilty and was so full of shame, I had no positive feelings or things to say about myself. 

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I went until I was about 25 years old (that is 10 years) of dealing with these symptoms. At that point, I was in a doctorate program to become a physical therapist and had no idea pelvic floor physical therapy existed. I went to a clinician and watched how it worked and realized I had a MASSIVE desire to exercise without peeing myself and to have sex without pain, get rid of the pelvic pain all together. I also realized I have a desire to help other women suffering silently. 

I finally went to a healthcare provider, who told me to see a counselor for my "concerns" about pain and leakage. I was observing other pelvic floor physical therapists who would hook their patients up to some machine for 15 minutes. I was running into a road block for my dream of becoming symptoms free.  

Remember how I wanted to help women and help myself? Well, I was being told I'm crazy and it couldn't be done. I was told by other pelvic floor therapists that "this is just how it's done." I felt extremely defeated.  

Next week, I'll have another blog on how this led me finding my own answers and creating the business I have today. Be on the lookout for subject line, "DEFEATED." 

See you next week! 

Love, 

Dr. Kaylee 

KEY tips from the workshop yesterday...

If you missed out on the workshop, don’t worry! I’ve written this in order to give you some of the key tips from what we learned!

I feel like workshops are such a great way to introduce myself and get the information out there that no-one else is talking about. I’m so excited when I get an interactive group that asks questions.
Some of the questions asked:

What is another product to use other than tampons for my menstrual cycle?

We discussed menstrual cups and how to pick the proper size. Be sure you are looking at the labels and you may have to try a few different brands. Sometimes the “smallest size” is still too much. I use the smallest size of the diva cup and it took me a few tries to get it inserted properly!

What can I do to prevent having to pee before a workout, during, and leaking with double unders?

This is typically the most common question I get. How do I stop leaking with double unders? You first have to understand that your pelvic floor muscles can be either too tight or they can be too weak. If they are too tight, then you are resisting the bladder from releasing all of the urine. If they are too tight you have to down train the pelvic floor musculature.

We started by finding our diaphragm and figuring out if we were breathing correctly. To do this, you want to be in sitting or laying down. You will wrap your hands around your lower rib cage. You will take a deep breathe in. You want to feel your breathe in the front of your core (belly), sides, and also your low back. The reason for this is because your diaphragm attaches to all angles and you will want to make sure you are working all angles of it.

Then we laid with our legs up and we used a balloon for resistance. We were breathing in through our nose, feeling relaxation in our pelvic floor, and feeling our entire core breathe and then we breathe out to blow the balloon up. We then breathe in again without sucking air back in! It’s not as easy as it sounds!

Once you are feeling as if you are totally able to relax your pelvic floor muscles, you want to work on coordination and performing kegels with your breathing out. Once you breathe in and relax the pelvic floor, you then breathe out and contract your pelvic floor. This helps to build coordination and get the signaling to and from the bladder and brain back to normal!

We also discussed bladder habits. 1/2 your body weight in ounces of PURE WATER, no hovering or squatting over a toilet, get a squatty potty, and making sure you are relaxing the pelvic floor completely when urinating.

What is diastasis recti? How do I check for it? Is it bad to do kegels with a diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti is when your core muscles seperate from midline of your body. This does not only occur with pregnancy. It can happen to men and even women who have not been and are not pregnant.

We learned to assess for diastasis by laying on our back with our knees bent, having our fingers follow the midline of the core, and have the person lift her head. You can perform this yourself, totally doable! You are looking for if you have doming or protrusion of things coming up from midline, you are looking for sinking into the belly further, or you are looking for the muscles on the sides to contract and squeeze your fingers as well as feeling for tissue to push you up gently.

What amazing questions! It was so valuable to hear from my audience with the things that THEY want to hear and now I want to hear from you!

Please click here to schedule a time to chat with me so we can get your questions answered!


Patient Testimonial Kathryn Swanson

I am SO PROUD of this lady! She came to me with feelings of frustration and not knowing if she was going to be able to run after her kids, or go to the park without leakage or worrying about whether there is a bathroom or not.

She stepped outside of her comfort zone, asked for help, and met her goals! We have also became such great friends since then!

You Do Not Have to Pee Yourself

You’ve seen it. You’ve heard about it. From CrossFit athletes to Tennis players to ballet dancers….leaking during activity is something I think we can all agree upon as being very common. I think it is unfortunately something we often find slipping into our mind as possibly being a “normal” thing.

If you go into a gym or to an exercise class, you are likely to hear of someone near you or around you that says they are leaking during a particular exercise. These exercises can include (but are not limited to):

  • Jumping rope (especially double unders)

    • There is an astounding percentage of women who leak with double unders…..over 70%!!!!!!!!!! That’s CRAZY!!!!

  • Box jumps

  • Deadlifts

  • Deep Squats

  • Running

And so many more. There are so many exercises that can potentially cause the leakage of urine. But I do want to say this:

LEAKAGE OF URINE IS NEVER NORMAL!

Never normal during exercise or not during exercise. Leaking urine is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. It can be caused by many things, one of which being impaired behavioral modifications.

Behavioral modifications are the things you do everyday that can improve or limit your bladder from functioning properly. Some things to consider:

  • Water intake.

    • You need to be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces every day!

  • Triggers.

    • Are you doing “just in case” pees. Are you going to the bathroom right before leaving the house? Are you noticing you have just in case pees when you get up to nurse your baby?

  • Irritants.

    • Are you filling your bladder with things that actually irritate the bladder and not things the bladder need?

There are many behavioral modifications that I have not listed here. But, I want you to consider what you drink, eat, and do to your bladder everyday. I want you to pay attention to what you could be doing potentially to your bladder…. leakage is no fun so do not let it continue. I’m telling you there are things you can start to do right now that can help you.

The next few things to consider are if you have increased tension in your pelvic or if you have a weak pelvic floor. You need to see a pelvic floor physical therapist in order to determine whether you have increased tension or not. This can cause your brain to get the wrong signaling and make it leak prematurely.

Bladder leakage is annoying and not worth the pain. I promise there is help. Take the few tips I’ve given you above and stick to it. You are worth it. You deserve not to pee yourself.

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