Posts Tagged ‘Interstim’

Where’s the Cheese?

Before Interstim, before hope of recovery of the sphincter, I had become resigned, but not comfortable, with my new way of life.  Every day, I would wear an overnight pad (changing it of course when I had accidents).  I would often wear this pad backwards, placing the longer part towards the back.  Every day I would carry an underwear change, wipes, and extra pads in my purse.  Although I never explained the whole process to my daughter, she would realize that these things would need to go into my purse prior to us leaving the house.  She’d ask me if I had my underwear and my “cheese.”  I never corrected her on the “cheese” part, needing some sort of levity to the situation at hand.  But, now that you think about it, overnight pads wrapped in orange plastic do like surprisingly like slices of American cheese!  I am grateful that I can place real slices of American cheese in my purse (with an ice pack of course) and leave the pads at home now. 🙂

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The Passage of Time

So tomorrow I am going with my daughter to The Great New York State Fair.  As I sit hear thinking about going there tomorrow, I realize how “annual” events can help us remember where we were at that point in our life that we are reflecting upon.

August 2007-Pregnant with Daughter. Excited and happily awaiting my first child.

August 2008-Fair with 5 month old daughter.  I was just experiencing relief from dislocated left hip after having a series of cortisone shots.  This was the first time I really could “walk” around since having my daughter.  I carried my daughter’s diapers and my own.  Still unaware that my mental symptomology was more than just “new mother normal.”

August 2009-Fair with my 1 yr. 5 month old daughter.  I continue to carry my daughter’s diapers and my own. I am in full throws of PTSD and anxiety disorder but still trying to remain functional and preparing to teach the upcoming school year.

August 2010- Fair with 2 yr. 5 month old daughter.  I continue to carry my daughter’s diapers and my own.  I am out of work on medical leave at this point and in full throws of PTSD and anxiety disorder.

August 2011- Fair with my 3 yr. 5 month old daughter.  Neither my daughter or myself need diapers!  Treatment for PTSD is effective and efficient.

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So, as I’ve been alluding to in previous posts, I’ve undergone some major medical changes in the last month or so.  On July 22, I had a sacral nerve implant put in my body for a test run.  This sacral nerve implant, (Medtronic Interstim for Bowel Incontinence) was just approved by the FDA in April of 2011, so I need to believe that I am probably one of the first people to try this new therapy out!  This nerve stimulator has changed my life.

I heard about Medtronic from my rectal surgeon in June and was ready to try anything that could possibly increase my ability to control my bowel incontinence.  Medtronic Interstim has changed my life.  From the moment of implant, I recognized changes in my function.  I could feel again.  I could clench again.  I could CONTROL my bowel movements again.  It is truly a miraculous therapy.  I have very little issue with bowel incontinence since the first implant.

It’s really unbelievable!

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Physical Therapy

So, today I was “discharged” from Physical Therapy.  I have been in one form of physical therapy or another for a little over 3 years.  I have seen 2 very competent physical therapists with very different styles.  I have learned that in physical therapy, the sphincter muscle is treated just like any other muscle with an issue, and a great therapist can treat it as such.  I have done vaginal probe biofeedback, rectal probe biofeedback, ultrasound, scar reduction therapy, pressure point therapy, and too many keegals to count!  I know how many tiles are on the ceiling at my PT’s office because I have counted them as I try to zone out the pain I feel when stretching something that does not want to be stretched.  I have learned coping mechanisms and key exercises to help regain some of my bowel continence function.

I was discharged today because my PT determined, with my support, that the recent INTERSTIM medical intervention I underwent helped my muscle tone by increasing sacral nerve support.  I could squeeze her finger  with more pressure and with longer duration than I have ever done before.  I get to go to PT on an “as needed” basis.  This is such a relief.  What will I do with all of this extra time on my hands, now that I don’t need to go to PT on a regular basis?  More keegals, of course!

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