Friday, 10 March 2017

Why I Started This Blog

Hello everyone and welcome to The Pelvic Health Lady.

My name is Madelaine “Maddy” Golec. I thought my first blog should be a little about me and why I am started this blog. I guess I will start off by telling you my personal journey with pelvic health and then discuss how that impacted my educational journey.

In 2008 upon routine checkup, abnormal cell activity was found on my cervix and I was referred to a specialist for further investigation. The specialist said I would require surgery to remove the abnormal cells and that if I didn’t have the surgery, the cells could move into my uterus. At 25 years old, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I may need a hysterectomy leaving me unable to ever have children.

At my next follow up I was told the cells had progressed from Grade 2 to Grade 3 and the specialist again urged me to have a LEEP procedure. LEEP stands for loop electrosurgical excision procedure, where they remove tissue the size of a dime from the cervix. Terrified that I may not be able to have children later in life, I opted for the surgery.

A week after the surgery I ended up back in emergency with an exposed artery. A few months later I started having painful intercourse. At the time I did not associate this pain with the surgery. I thought maybe it was my position or my partner’s size and tried to not worry about it. As time passed I noticed my muscles were becoming tighter making intercourse even more painful. Now it wasn’t just the surgery and pain impacting my sexuality, but emotionally I was affected as well. In my mind, I began feeling like less of a woman. They took away a part of my cervix, which felt like they took away a part of me too.

In 2009, the abnormal cells came back and my heart sank. Emotionally I cascaded down a dark rabbit role. It may not have been fair or rational, but I started feeling sorry for myself. In hindsight, it was absolutely necessary for me to re-focus towards my true purpose.

In 2010, I started my Master’s degree in Physiotherapy at McMaster University. While completing the program, I was exposed to Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. I had a project to research the current scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment on various conditions, one of which was painful intercourse. This is when it clicked for me and I started to understand why intercourse became painful after surgery.

From the research, I was able to start helping myself get better and thankfully, I did get better. I added exercise, meditation, healthy eating and pelvic floor relaxation into my routine. Sex stopped being painful and with that came a morale and self esteem boost. I knew then, that Pelvic Health was what I wanted to specialize in as I imagined my future physiotherapy career.

I graduated from McMaster in 2012 and started my education into Pelvic Health in 2014. In 2016, I became a mom. YAY! The greatest experience of my life, but it did come with a few new pelvic health challenges like stress incontinence. Thankfully, my educational background helped me to regain control of my bladder. Since returning to work, pelvic health is all I practice now.

This brings me to my why.

I want to share my experience with others, in hopes to educate, but also to continue to learn. I want to grow a community that can network and share their experiences with the goal of improving quality of life.

On a bi-weekly basis, I will be posting either a written or video blog discussing some aspect of health and well-being. One of my future goals is to interview other therapists to gain insight into other approaches to health.

There are also 2 sources of inspiration that I want to share with you. First, a TED talk by Brene Brown about vulnerability. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. She found out from years of research that those who are the most happy in life are those who despite being afraid, choose to be vulnerable. It is through vulnerability that we find love, make friends and heal. So I want to overcome my fear of vulnerability and take a risk by sharing this blog with you all.

The second inspiration came from a book that my spouse gave me called the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, not the Art of War. The subtitle is: Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles. It is a book about the different ways we get in our own way. The author calls it resistance or self-sabotage. For me, resistance takes the form of fear, insecurity and perfectionism. I fear being judged, misunderstood or saying something silly.

I realized that we all have these fears in varying degrees, and what really stood out to me and helped me was when the author spoke about the creative supportive energy that opposes resistance. I love to write, read, research and make videos, it makes me happy and if I can help just one person out there, that is a bonus for facing my fears. As soon as I finished reading this book and returned from vacation I started a YouTube channel for my company ECO Physiotherapy and now I am looking to expand with The Pelvic Health Lady.

Now that you know a bit about me and my WHY, I hope you will join me on this journey of self-discovery.

I want to create a safe learning environment for everyone. So please comment, ask questions, post your opinions, but please keep them constructive and respectful. This is about learning and helping each other.

Thank you,

The Pelvic Health Lady

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