Archive for January, 2012

Part Machine

Since the placement of my Interstim, I have come to grow and love the fact that part of me operates on a machine that is implanted into the fleshy part of my backside.  It is so unbelievably awesome that the technology exists that allows me the ability to regain rectal function.  This surgery and the surgical device that sustains my fecal continence is truly life altering and creates a life sustained by predictability and goodness in an area that, prior to the surgery, was unpredictable and depressing.

People often say, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”  To that sentiment I add, if you have never had a problem with fecal incontinence, allow yourself to think about the excellence of your brain, nerves, and sphincter function that just sort of know what to do for you to effectively control your bowels.  And if you had, or have, fecal incontinence, allow yourself the thought that there IS hope.  There IS a surgery that you can undergo in order to regain function for fecal incontinence.  Interstim has been an amazing part of my life and I urge you to look into it if you suffer from fecal incontinence.  http://www.medtronic.com/patients/bowel-incontinence/about-therapy/index.htm

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

Advocacy is the Key

I’ve found that advocacy, ME being an advocate, is the key to my healing.  Believe me, I am not discounting the endless hours of therapy, medical surgical advances, tears, and strife that I have gone through by wrapping it up in a neat little package of being an advocate.  It is because of those things that I can be an advocate.  It is because I recognize the pain, both physical and emotional, that I can relate to, empathize with, and educate those in similar situations. 

Being in my own little corner of the blogging world, I can begin to reach out to others in a way that I was not able to before.  I appreciate all of the connections that I am making with my statements, and urge the followers of my blog to reach out and the name of my blog to others that may be needing support.  The thing about fecal incontinence and PTSD as a result of childbirth is that it is mainly a hidden, almost taboo, subject so you never really know who needs to be reached and when!  It is my hope that my blog can erase the taboo nature of birth trauma and educate the medical community and our peers about a very real problem in our society.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

The Dance of Life

“And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance”

The Dance-Garth Brooks

 I believe that everything happens for a reason.  This thought pattern has been particularly hard to reconcile whilst experiencing this hardship.  Someone once asked me, “If you could go back, change how things were done, would you?”  My answer in the beginning of this trial in my life was “absolutely, of course!”  With careful reflection, intense therapy, and lots of support, my answer now is a firm “no.”  Why?  Because I believe in a higher purpose.  This was my trial to bear; this experience has made me into a strong advocate, has strengthened my ties with my family, and has allowed me to feel grateful for all of the “goodness” in my life.  I hope that my story can influence the medical community, and more importantly, anyone who has gone through, or will go through this process.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren


Elective Cesarean

One of the links that I recently posted was to a website that supports and promotes elective cesarean procedures.  This website is a critical one for me to visit, since I will be engaging in an elective cesarean if and when I have another child.  Sometimes, people think that a cesarean procedure in general is one of major medical intervention and more medical risk as compared to a “natural” birth.  To those people, I say, try giving birth the way I did, and then compare the interventions and risks between the two. (For really great information on elective cesarean-visit the website! http://www.electivecesarean.com)

Although I am not pregnant now, I am anticipating friends and families confusion as to why I feel a cesarean birth would be better for me, especially those who do not fully understand the trauma experience I am drawing from to make my decision. Our society works to promote the strong, natural woman-a woman who can do it all, a woman who can pop out a baby, unmedicated, and be back at work in 6 weeks.  A woman who needs to only resort to procedures such as cesarean in times of birthing emergency.

The idea of an elective cesarean brings me great joy.  To actually have the ability to plan and execute a childbirth is exactly the kind of birthing plan that appeals to me and makes having a future child possible. I have been told that I cannot give birth naturally again, because of all of the physical damage.  In addition, regardless of the physical damage, I have had enough emotional upheaval to never feel the need to push a baby out between my legs again.  Elective Cesarean is the right choice for me, and one, thankfully, my OBGYN agrees with.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

What an Honor

Today I received the following comment on my blog post:

“Hi Lauren,

I have put a link to your blog from the Birth Trauma Canada website and I would like to say how amazing and courageous you are for speaking out. You are a hero to me.

Penny”

It truly is an honor to be “linked” to such a helpful website like Birth Trauma Canada. http://birthtraumacanada.org THANK YOU Penny, for helping me to get my voice heard in an effort to advocate for all dealing with Birth Trauma.

Feel free to check out the website as well as the other websites I have listed on the Helpful Links page.

Thanks for Reading,

Lauren

 

Familar Routines

One thing that people need to know about PTSD is that is paralyzes you.  With me, this paralysis was evident in my lack of spontaneity, my loss of freedom, and the limited choices and locations that were “safe” for me to engage in or visit.  One of PTSD’s major hallmarks is avoidance.  I avoided my many triggers and essentially guarded my mind against potential triggers by avoiding many people and locations.

Some people with PTSD develop agoraphobia and will not leave their house, their safe area.  Although never diagnosed with full-blown agoraphobia, I definitely experienced the panic that new areas, or areas with known triggers had on me.  For three years, there were a lot of things I did not do, experiences I did not engage in, people I did not meet, and places I did not see-all because of PTSD.

When I did venture out, it was never on my own at first. I always had a person with me, an advocate, who could steer me away from potential triggers, or help to calm my panic ridden self if a trigger was unavoidable.  After time and through therapy, I was able to safely navigate these areas as long as I had an “escape” plan at my disposal if the panic set in.  The places that I personally deemed “safe” were a trip to the library (children’s section only-adult books may prove to much of a trigger), a once a week extended family dinner, and certain classes at the gym (where the average age was 65-less likelihood of running into a pregnant woman in class). Today, I have come to the realization that these familiar routines that I developed were truly a lifesaver to me during those times of crisis.  Thank you to all those who made those experiences possible, I am forever grateful.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to ALL!  As I think about this past year, I reflect where I was last New Year’s Eve.  Hoping and praying for something to feel “normal” again.  Not even knowing or imagining that something like Interstim would happen for me 8 months later.  Not realizing that my therapy (all of it) would end within the year.  It is truly amazing that a year can bring so much closure.  But, I would like to point out, it is not merely the passage of time that one needs to get over PTSD and physical problems.  It is through lots of therapy, hard work, medical interventions, and patience that one can overcome life’s obstacles.

With that perspective, I must keep in mind that my resolutions for 2012 won’t just happen.  I will need lots of hard work, and patience, to meet my goals.  Thank you, 2011, for showing me that medical interventions are amazing, therapy really works, and hard work can pay off.  Looking forward to a great and productive 2012!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Next entries »