Most of what I do every day relies on restoring trust to our patients’ bodies.
Trust that their bladder will hold and not let them down at the back door or in the (extremely) long queue at the checkout (these crazy COVID19 days).
Trust that they can hold their gas when they get into a crowded lift on the way up to their hotel room.
Trust that as another period approaches their pelvic floor muscles won’t revert back to their usual overprotective ways that causes pain and magnifies anxiety.
Trust that the newly fitted pessary will hold their prolapse up.
Trust in our bodies is important because it promotes stability and confidence, happiness and joyfulness with life. It enhances freedom to move and exercise, to have pain-free sex and to concentrate on the fun things in life. But what happens when you have a spanner thrown in the works by something like the novel coronavirus called COVID19?
You hear increasingly worrying news about illness rates in other countries and then you realise we are about a week behind those countries. A little bit of anxiety creeps into your thinking. You see a social media post about a shortage of toilet paper and then you remember a story your mother told you about the job given to her by her father during the Great Depression (cutting the newspaper into squares and popping a small hole in the corner for some string to tie it together- yes this is a real story). A bit more panic sets in, which further accelerates your anxiety. Then you head to Coles, Woolies, Aldi and IGA and there is no toilet paper to be found anywhere.
Definitely not my toilet
You have faecal urgency and have been known to have accidents so the fear is real for this patient. This fear generates more cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn causes the bowel to be very reactive and makes the urgency even worse.
Before we know it there is a full scale calamity unfolding both in the whole world and in this lady’s life. Her body is letting her down and she no longer trusts it to behave safely.
Trust extends further in our lives. We need trust in the mechanisms that keep our society running smoothly. We need trust in all levels of government. We need trust that the health system will be able to withstand the pressure of the tsunami of patients if COVID19 takes off. We need trust that the financial system is robust and can bounce back after this is all over.
Most importantly we need trust that basically humans will behave in a humane and kind way.
But what can you do?
Individually try and use this strange time to your advantage. Over the years everyone at different times has felt the pressure of too much work, too much socialising, too much lecture preparation, too much Committee-ing and no absolutely no down-time. Not a minute. And certainly if you take a minute – you are usually plagued with guilt that you should be doing something, anything on your To Do List. so why not write a bucket list of #jobstodoinlockdown
Here is my #Coronalifebucketlist:
- Tidy desk (I did this today and I am very pleased with the before and after).
Achieved prior to #lockdown #impressive
- Delete the 21,989 emails in my inbox (you think I am exaggerating……..I promise you I am not. I am definitely an email hoarder)
- While on my computer – try and learn how to save a Powerpoint without saving it 40 times thereby completely choking the storage on my computer. Then delete all unnecessary Powerpoints. (Similarly with Word documents)
- Tidy up my many ‘desks’ that I have ‘home offices’ set up at.
- Delete the photos from my Iphone that I do not need on there (I have even more trouble deleting photos from my iPhone, than emails).
This is truly embarrassing
- Clothes culling (some may call it #MarieKondo-ing but I’m going to run with #Coronakondo-ing). As each child has left I have spread my clothes amongst all the wardrobes in their bedrooms. In my #preCoronalife, when I was trying to be a good #climatechangewarrior I was embracing the #recyle #reuse #reduce and not buying any new clothes. So I couldn’t possibly contemplate throwing any clothes out just in case my size changed from my current-sized wardrobe, back to a previous weight (ranging from size 8 – such as my wedding dress to size 16 at the height of my #chocolateasastressreducer phase). But with some #lockdowntime on my hands possibly it’s time to let go of some oldies!
- Clean out the children’s belongings (this is actually a test to see if they ever read my blogs – I couldn’t possibly ever let go of their numerous trophies, china dolls, cricket bats)
- Read some (not pelvic floor related)books. I read a lot. I read journel articles, new pelvic floor-related books, pain and anxiety management books, Facebook stories, Twitter trending stories. Alot of reading. At Christmas time I read fiction and non-fiction (but non-pelvic floor related non-fiction) books and I love it. Give me a good book and I lose track of time and meal preparation and can knock a good book over in a day. But that happens but once a year – at Christmas time. I also have been known to buy a lot of books hoping I will read at other times of the year, so I have plenty of great books ready and waiting once all the chores above are ticked.
- Get plenty of exercise. We will walk the streets while we are allowed to. We have a treadmill at work and a stationary bike at home which we will utilise if we get to the stage that Italy is at (please no). We are also in the process of setting up some exercise classes which we will be live streaming into your homes should you subscribe to keep everyone sane and healthy. We know that we need a tip-top immune system to not fall in a heap if we get Coronavirus. I too will love doing the classes my staff will be doing for us.
But seriously I am truly hoping I get no time to do these #Coronalifebucketlist things because I am hoping Jane, Martine, Megan, Amanda and myself will be absolutely flat out with appointments via our new treating medium called #Telehealth to restore everyones’ trust in their bodies.
What more perfect time to get control of your bladder, bowel, pelvic pain or prolapse, but when you are in #lockdown and can truly give time and attention to your body – to fine-tune it and problem-solve why it has been letting you down? We are so savvy with computers these days. We spend an inordinate amount of time on them – why shouldn’t we treat your pelvic floor dysfunction ‘virtually’?
For many years now we have been doing phone consults for regional patients who can’t make it back to Brisbane for their follow-ups. This will be better because we will have video capability. So much of what we do is education. We teach you about what is normal for your bladder, bowel, pelvic floor and what goes wrong. Or if it is a pain condition, we teach you what is persistent pain and how to treat it, and beat it. How to get back to living the fullest life you can.
Now many may ask about the important internal examination. There are lots of ways to teach you about the state of your pelvic floor. Of course it’s not ideal to not be able to examine you, but SO MUCH can be learned via good, thorough education and that is what we pride ourselves on at Sue Croft Physiotherapy. Much can be also taught to Mums and Dads to help their children who may have a pelvic health condition. Men’s health problems can be successfully treated with a #Telehealth consultation.
So if you would like a phone consultation or a video appointment with us ring one of my secretaries on (07) 3848 9601 or 0407659357 and book one in. Being able to book Telehealth (or phone) consults online yourself will also be available very soon.
Now finally, what about #trust in our public institutions?
I think we trust our medical profession and our scientists. They are doing a stellar job.
Our teachers at the warfront with no possibility of social distancing and in the firing (spray) line of every sneeze and cough deserve a medal.
Our state leaders seem to be stepping up. South Australia have incredible testing procedures for COVID19. Tassie and NT are plain old shutting the borders. Victoria, WA and Queensland have consisitent messaging and their numbers appear to be stabilising. NSW? Well who doesn’t love a #Bonditan?
At a National level? The messaging is confusing, disjointed and at times I feel despair. I have 10 employees and if we are going into #lockdown – what is going to happen to us all? Boris Johnson (United Kingdom PM) has offered all citizens 80% of their pay if their employer can’t keep paying them when there is no income. Seriously, I would cry if we had that offer from our Government. The relief would be enormous for me and my staff.
But I am not waiting for such an offer. I am encouraging you all to embrace your #newCoronalife and attend to your pelvic health deficiencies via a #Telehealth appointment with one of my girls or myself. Let’s hope we talk soon. Stay healthy. Keep moving and exercising. Don’t despair. And most importantly, keep on the lookout for funny #Coronalifememes