Posts Tagged ‘Third Degree Tear’

A Proud Message

Almost a year ago, I published a post called, My “Adult” Movie.  In this post I discussed the event of Medtronic producing a video about me in an effort to educate people about, and put a real face to, fecal incontinence.  Although it’s hard to watch myself, I am proud of the message I am able to portray in parts 1, 2, and 3 of my story.  I am linking the videos to this blog to allow others to easily access this information.  In addition to my videos, there are many other helpful videos that were made at the same time, talking about different facets of Interstim. These can be found once you view the videos I’ve linked below.  They will be in the sidebar.   I encourage anyone who wants further information about my personal story, or further information about Interstim, to take a look.

Thanks for reading, (and watching),

Lauren

Lauren’s Story, Part 1 of 3

Lauren’s Story, Part 2 of 3

Lauren’s Story, Part 3 of 3

 

 

 

 

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My “Adult” Movie

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of engaging in a video shoot for Medtronic Interstim device for fecal incontinence.  This video will serve to bolster Medtronic’s website for fecal incontinence by providing a real face, and story, to the issue.  In coming to my hometown, Medtronic was able to interview me, my doctor, and my family, and capture the impacts on all of our lives from this phenomenal device.

After giving authorization, my family was included in the taping of this promotional video.  In basing this video in reality, I thought it important to give the go ahead for my family to be portrayed.  When trying to explain to my 6 year old daughter what the purpose of this video was, I found myself stumbling over concepts she may be too young to understand.  When asked the question by my daughter, “Will this video be on TV for us to see?”  I was able to give the easy answer of “No, it will be on the computer, on a website.”  When asked the question by my daughter, “Will my friends be able to watch me?”  I was able to answer, “Well it’s like an adult movie.”  In summation, my daughter concluded, “Oh, OK, so we are making an adult movie for the computer website…cool, can’t wait to tell my teacher.”

UH Oh.  Adult movie, computer website.  I am seeing here that she requires more clarification.  I show her my scar and proceed to tell her that the video is about “mommy’s surgery” and we will help tell others that need the surgery that they can get it and be happy and healthy families.  Phew, bullet dodged.  Although, frankly, sometimes talking about incontinence does have the same stigma as talking about “adult” movies.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

It’s just not funny

Recently, I came across an article about a woman who lost her job due to incontinence.  The headline reads: Opera Singer Can’t Stop Farting After Surgery, Loses Job.  The woman, who suffered a botched episiotomy at childbirth, now endures incontinence issues such as uncontrollable loss of gas and feces.  She is suing the hospital due to loss of control, and subsequently, the inability to perform as an opera singer, her occupation.  As someone who also, ultimately, had to leave her chosen profession due to incontinence and birth trauma issues, I relate to this woman on a very personal level.  I applaud her ability to pursue legal action, and I admire her for going public with this very real, and very embarrassing issue.  I was initially introduced to this story via my Facebook feed, but then dug around for other news outlets carrying the story.  Largely listed under, “weird news,” and on the news feed “gawker,”  I now find this story to be listed in the media as a joke. Well, guess what, it’s just not funny.  Nor, is it “weird news.”  The fact that the media needs to portray an article like this under “weird” eliminates it’s ability to become a mainstream health issue.  Furthermore, the comments listed as a response to these articles are largely littered with middle school level jokes and puns about poop, farting, and loss of control.  So, congratulations media, for making a mockery of a very real problem for a lot of women, and also, creating an outlet for those wishing to relive their middle school years with crude wisecracks.  I’m not laughing.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

A Surprise while Sneezing

Last week, while reclining in a nice comfortable chair, I sneezed.  Not only did I sneeze, I simultaneously sneezed, passed gas, and forcefully pushed parts of my rectum out through my sphincter.  Was I surprised? yes. Embarrassed? yes.  Realizing that this is just another thing I get to deal with as a result of my previous birth trauma? yes.  Just another simple joy that has come along with this pregnancy.  Although initially surprised at the unwanted protrusion that now permanently makes itself known, I was not at all caught unaware that this would most likely happen.

The birth trauma that I sustained during the birth of my first child is permanent.  My sphincter was and IS damaged.  As you well know, if you have been following my blog, the physical therapy, diet modifications, constant supervision by medical professionals including my OBGYN, physical therapist, and rectal surgeon, helped me “cope” with this reality during the initial few years of my recovery.  A little over three years postpartum, Medtronic Interstim helped to CORRECT this reality, allowing me function, clenching ability, and the shot at a “normal” sphincter.  So it really is no big surprise that now that the Interstim is off, as per pregnancy safety regulations, that my symptoms of fecal incontinence, saggy rectal tissue, and pain have returned full force.

Adding to the difficulty of turning the Interstim off, my body has also been dealing with symphysis pubic dysfunction.  With both of these factors affecting my body on a constant, unrelenting basis, my ability to have any sort of normal function in regards to fecal regulation has ceased.  I am right back where I was prior to having the Interstim placed.  Incontinent and in pain.  However, by no means am I playing the pity card here.  This was my choice to carry another child, my choice to get pregnant, my choice to turn my Interstim off.  Unfortunately, it is also my reality for the next three months as I wait for my baby to be born.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

How To: Enema

*I’m adding a new category to my blog.  It’s “How To:”  Adding my personal insights into processes inherent in dealing with physical and emotional birth trauma may prove beneficial to my readers.

Since I have been diagnosed with fecal incontinence, I have become quite proficient in many areas related to the incontinence, from the practicalities of buying the right protective undergarments to the preparing for the invasive and uncomfortable testing that is often a necessity to check rectal function.

One thing I have become a “pro” at is giving myself an enema.  Something, quite frankly, I didn’t expect to do as much as I needed to do before I turned 30 years old.

Understandably, before undergoing medical tests and physical check-ups of your rectum, your rectal surgeon may request that you cleanse your colon in order to get an accurate read on your rectal function.  The following is a how to list  I created that I wish I had been able to peruse prior to giving myself my first enema, because, let’s face it, the scant directions on those enema bottles provide only the barest of directives.

-Giving Yourself an Enema-

compiled by Lauren at peaceoutofpieces.com 

It’s not pleasant, but almost always necessary, to give yourself an enema prior to any rectal exam or test. You’ll be advised of this request when setting up your appointment. Sometimes, two enemas are suggested. Here’s how to get through it—it’s a process that has worked for me:

  • Have someone else buy it if it is a trigger for you. They are cheap, and often come in two-packs.
  • Have someone else there that is available to watch your child while you are administering your enema. You need to be able to focus on you.
  • Find a quiet place—for me it’s my bed in my bedroom with the door closed.
  • Make sure that place is located by a bathroom.
  • Place a towel where you will be laying and have something to read close by.
  • Administer the enema according to the directions on the package.
  • While you are waiting, read whatever you have selected.
  • When you strongly feel the urge to defecate, use the towel to protect yourself from having an accident on the floor as you go to the bathroom.
  • Let it go in the toilet. It will come in waves so wait a while.
  • Put on some sort of protection because you will continue leaking while going to your appointment. If possible, have someone accompany you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Searching for….Interstim?

A really cool thing about WORDPRESS, the blogging site I use, is that it tracks your stats.  One stat that is particularly interesting to me is viewing the “search” words that individuals use that result in producing a link to my blog.

By far, the most used search term to reach my blog is “Interstim.”  I find this linkage very exhilarating and useful.  When I was first exploring the option of Interstim, I, like many people, turned to social media to get “the real scoop.”  Knowing how a person implanted with Interstim contemplates the surgery, experiences success, and lives with the implant is an immeasurable tool when deciding upon a life altering procedure.  

I’m happy to be that person to so many people.  I would encourage those searching my blog for information and/or with questions regarding my experiences with Interstim to either contact me directly at peace4Lauren@gmail.com, or leave a comment.  I would like to be able to relate my most positive experience with Interstim with you in a way that is meaningful to you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Biking-in the water?

My bike seat for land will be arriving at my house shortly, like, this week.  Glorious!  I can’t wait to strap my ham hocks onto the seat that is created to protect my tender pelvic floor.  I hope it works, fingers crossed! If you are so inclined, feel free to read my earlier post about biking.  I also hope that our weather cooperates.  I don’t know how it’s been where you live, but we have hit mid 70’s one day, snowstorm the next.  Wacky!

One place I do not need to worry about biking in the elements is the gym.  I’d like to be very clear, I’m not talking about “the spin class.”  I tried that, once, before I had my daughter.  I couldn’t walk, for days!  Hmmm, bikes at the gym, that aren’t in a land spin class?  Where are said bikes I speak of?  In the water of course!

Hydro-biking is an amazing workout for those with pelvic floor damage.  The hydro-bike allows you to “spin” and workout with limited pressure on your pelvic area.  It is an awesome resource that I am very lucky to be able to use at the weekly hydro-bike class at the gym.  Kudos to my gym for trying something new.

So, for someone who was told they would never ride a bike again, I say, I CAN and I AM bike riding! (with modifications).

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

My Daughter’s Egg Tooth

So, my daughter is hatching chicks at preschool.  She’s patiently been watching the eggs in the incubator for the last 21 days, waiting for the chick to emerge.  Last night, while brushing her teeth, she told me all about the chicks’ egg tooth.  Apparently, the egg tooth on the chick is really on the beak, and it is what the chick uses to crack the egg. This crack appeared in the egg while she was at school.  Once cracked, the chick takes time to slowly push out of the egg over the next day.  My daughter was looking forward to seeing the emerged chick and broken shell next time she entered the classroom.

I could see the wheels spinning in her head as she processed her next question. “Mom, did I have an egg tooth?”  Before I could answer, she followed up, “Mom, did I crack you?”  Quickly followed by, “Mom, did I BREAK you?” Quickly followed by, “How did I get out?”

Now, of course I would not tell a 4-year-old about the perils of birth trauma, the horrific birth experience I endured, or my battered and broken body. I’m not even ready to tell her about how babies are born without any trauma. So, instead I said, “I love you. Of course you didn’t break me like a chicken shell. It’s time for bed.”

Like most 4 year olds, this redirection of conversation worked just fine, for now.  Eventually, I’ll tell her how babies are born, and much, much, much later, about birth trauma.

Right now, it’s fine with me if her understanding is limited to her egg tooth.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Tears and Tears

Tears and Tears.  Words that sound the same, but mean very different things.  Tears (torn) and Tears (crying).  For me, there is a huge correlation between these two homophones.

When you have a baby vaginally, there is a risk that you will tear.  Recently, I came across a website that shows diagrams of vaginal tears in childbirth.  This slide show is an essential viewing point for anyone who wishes to understand visually the physical trauma of a tear.  Feel free to view here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143

Although vaginal tears are common during vaginal birth, the severity of the tear and the “how to” of the repair differ.  In her blog, Dr. Amy-The Skeptical OB, Dr. Amy Tuteur talks about the ability to midwives to repair tears during vaginal birth. You can read her take on tearing here http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2012/02/vaginal-tears.html.

As a recipient of a third degree tear in a hospital setting, I am curious about the ability of my doctor to repair my tear during my forceps assisted vaginal birth.  According to the mayo clinic slide show, the repair for my tear should have been a bit more extensive and done with a little more care.  Maybe it should have even been done in an operating room rather than at the foot of my delivery bed.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vaginal-tears/PR00143&slide=4

Tears often follow tearing.  For me, the physical pain of the initial tear as well as the physical and emotional consequences that follow such a trauma created lots of tears.  It is my hope that midwives and doctors understand the long-term ramifications of diagnosing and repairing a tear correctly.  My tear was not repaired correctly, nor was I given the postpartum support necessary for the tear I sustained.  Luckily, I managed, on my own, to get to a rectal surgeon, and ultimately, to Interstim, to treat the incontinence issues that began with my tear.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

My “Birth Position”

So, contrary to the name of this post, I’m not here to talk about the various positions in which you actually can GIVE birth, but I would like to talk about my position ON birth.

Even though MY personal experiences cause me to champion for an elective c-section birth in a hospital with lots of numbing drugs, I fully support others positions to have a non-medicated, home, vaginal birth-or something anywhere in between.

My birth position is that women should have the choice, prenatally, and during birth, to have their babies the way that they want to have their babies while preserving the mother’s health and the child’s health through a balance of the mother’s informed wishes and competent medical professional opinion.

My birth position is that women should have ALL of the information-risks/benefits on all aspects of birth prior to the actual birth of their child.  This information should be given freely and without judgement.  A mother’s birth plan should not be judged by the competent medical professional they are working with.

My birth position is that wherever the mother decides to give birth to her child, she is surrounded by competent professionals that both can support her position AND give her the medical information necessary if emergencies arise.

I recognize that birth trauma can arise from hospital births, home births, non-medicated births, medicated births,medically assisted births, and anything else that causes the mother to feel helpless and full of fear. (remember, it’s in the eye of the beholder.)  It is not up to me to tell another which birth would be less traumatizing, it’s only up to me to share MY story and help other mothers with birth trauma explore the options right for them.

So, there’s my position ON birth.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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