I remind myself daily about maintenance; POP is no exception. As I brush my teeth, I remember halfway through to draw my pc muscle up and in. When I put my makeup on, a little voice nags at me to “pull it up, pull it in”. As I blow-dry my hair and analyze my form in the mirror (oh come on now, you know we all do it) I think to myself am I contracting my abdominals but forgetting to contract my pelvic floor? As a grassroots women’s pelvic floor health advocate, shouldn’t I be doing all the right pelvic floor stuff all the time?
I recognize that I am an average, typical, normal, woman; a woman with many jobs to handle in a single day, a woman with more chores than can be addressed, a woman too tired to think about doing one more thing. But I also recognize that I can’t ask other women to consider changing their pelvic floor health and habits if I can’t address my own.
ALL THE TIME I catch myself engaged in an activity where I should be contracting my pelvic floor to support it. ALL THE TIME I pick up heavy or awkward boxes to shift them around my house and after I am halfway to where I am taking them realize that I have not been ‘”holding it in and up”. ALL THE TIME I notice while doing simple every day things that I feel “loose” on the bottom end. To say my pelvic floor awareness is a work in progress is putting it mildly.
It is important for women to recognize that none of us are perfect. We all do the best we can when we can. We each have unique physical baggage to figure out. My personal baggage is MS; I have days when the muscle fatigue is pronounced and I recognize a distinct drop in muscle strength. But I still try to remember to do the right stuff. I still try to be aware of my pelvic floor and do what I can to contract it as well as I can as often as I can. For each of us it is an individual work in progress. And it will always be a work in progress. And that’s ok.
On the days I need to preach to myself about “doing the right stuff” I try to remember that I am human and that I will sometimes slip up; the most important thing is that I quickly get back on track. Each of us does the best we can.
NO ONE CAN HELP US AS MUCH AS WE CAN HELP OURSELVES
Sherrie Palm is a Wisconsin native who happened upon her life path in her 50's. After Sherrie was diagnosed with the very common female health condition pelvic organ prolapse, and discovered upon research that despite being on record since Egyptian times that it was still pretty much "in the closet", it became her life mission to educate women about all aspects of POP and to create awareness not only in the US, but throughout all developed and third world countries. Sherrie's book Pelvic Organ Prolapse: The Silent Epidemic explores the condition as well as the symptoms it displays, the causes, the treatment options, how it impacts a woman's sexuality and more. The educational seminars she hosts are meant to create an open dialogue among women to help bring this topic out of the closet.
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