It was hard to stay positive. Part of me really wanted to stick to the idea of keeping my head high and power through whilst hoping for improvement, but the rest of me was falling apart.. it was as if my symptoms got worse and worse with time.
Four months postpartum I saw the women’s health physio – at last. And I saw her regularly for some time where she helped me to find my pelvic floor strength back and to reduce my severe prolapse symptoms. She got me to try electrical stimulation for the pelvic floor muscles….this was an extremely strange thing where a little device gave electrical impulses to my pelvic floor muscles, helping them to contract. The reason was that they were at the time pretty much useless. It was as if the muscles had forgotten how to contract. They may have been injured/torn? Nobody really knew. But what were they supposed to be doing? The electrical impulses would help them along… I tried this method for some months. If normal pelvic floor exercises are quite easy to get done any time and anywhere (as long as you are determined about it!) this was very different. I had to hook myself up with this little machine and lay down somewhere quiet and be relaxed (and undisturbed) for a good 20 minuted or more. This state of mind and the logistics around it all with two kids to care for was quite difficult to find. Evenings were sometimes an option but the problem for me often comes back to that my pelvic floor is always much more tired in the evening. Ideally I wanted to work on it first thing in the morning when they would be more rested and ready to work. Anyway I gave this all a shot and tried my best for a period of time. And it helped me in the beginning I have to say. And once the muscles had ‘woken up’ a bit and learnt to contract properly again without stimulation I went back to doing my normal pelvic floor exercises.
Another tool was ‘the wand’…. this was also a type of device but a manual one to reduce pelvic floor muscle tension. I have a working background with treating sports injuries and I know too well how that tend to work… it all made so much sense. The muscles strengthening and lengthening relationship and how the muscle can be stretched/massaged out for progressive benefit, and I was partly amazed over the anatomy and physiology of it all. But at the same time I cried inside every time I used any of these pelvic floor tools in my training regime. How did I get to this point???
After a few months of hard work the physio said it might be a good idea for me to see a consultant and discuss my options going forward. She meant that we had tried everything we could in terms of physio work, and all I can do now is to continue with my pelvic floor exercises. She was by now confident I knew what I was doing and that I wouldn’t really need her anymore. It was in a way positive to know that I did things correctly and didn’t need her supervision anymore in my pelvic floor training, definitely. But on the other hand it was comforting seeing her on a regular basis. Not that the sessions themselves were comfortable – (not at all!) – but I liked the idea of working with this actively and together with someone professional that I felt I could trust. And I guess it kept my hopes up that the physio and my determination would help and improve the condition – much more than it actually did this time around. It was now nearly a year postpartum and I still experienced major symptoms and discomfort from my prolapses – even after all the manual physio work, pelvic floor training (with and without devices) and the cube pessary….. So it was a bit disheartening when she discharged me – well of course it was: She didn’t discharge me because I was problem-free and ready to move on with my life. She did it because my problem was too severe and she couldn’t help me anymore….
So the next step was to see the consultant, to discuss surgery….