Another Kind of Inspiration

National Health Blog Post Month, Day 2 – Friday, Nov. 2, Find a quote and use it as inspiration 

Well, here’s my “inspiration” quote; from Poise.com: “1 in 3 women has LBL – what is it? It stands for Light Bladder Leakage, and it affects about 40 million women. That means you can expect a third of your friends to know what you’re going through. Sometimes little leaks just happen. But Poise® can help you manage leaks easily and discreetly, so those little leaks are no big deal.”

As a physical therapist who treats women everyday who have suffered with symptoms because even their doctors weren’t taking their pelvic health concerns seriously, I’m calling BS. How’s that for an acronym? Yes, incontinence–light or otherwise–among women is common. But it’s NOT normal, and IS a big deal. And most importantly, it’s treatable.

It takes a lot of self-assurance for a celebrity to admit to having urinary incontinence and be willing to be the face for protective garments. But why, Kirstie Alley and Poise, does it need to be laughed off in the process? And why should it end there? Can we get a celebrity to talk about perineal trauma during childbirth, and the long-term effects if rehabilitation is not carried out postpartum? Or dealing with painful sex? Or how they had urinary incontinence and sought treatment to eliminate the leakage, not just a short-term solution to keep their clothes dry? Or instead, can we give all the credit and praise afforded to celebrities in our country to the “everyday” women who are pursuing this level of openness and striving for better care for themselves? These are the women who inspired me to add this new adventure to my already teeming aspirations and schedule. The women who come into our clinics wondering where this information was when they had their injury/symptoms/baby—wondering what can be done to change things for their friends, their daughters, for every other woman. Wondering why they spent months or years (decades) thinking it was their fault, that it was a normal consequence of aging or childbirth, or that there was nothing to help them.

Women are masters at prioritizing others before themselves—especially when it comes to health. As Poise so nonchalantly points out, 1 in 3 women experience incontinence. We need to open dialogue among women and healthcare providers alike that issues long-accepted as normal consequences of childbirth, for instance, are again, NOT normal, and can and should be treated. 

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