You’ve heard it, and probably even said, “I have to pee every two seconds!” It’s an exaggeration for most, myself included — but not that far from the truth either. For the last two years I’ve felt like I need to pee constantly. When I told people about it, they giggled and told me that’s what happens when you have a baby. For a while I thought the giggle crowd was right. My son had been a behemoth of a boy and weighed almost 10 pounds, but it couldn’t be that. I was 15 months postpartum and so far everything has been ace postpartum.

Something else had to happen.

I made an appointment to see my GP and between her MD and WebMD we theorized that it was a UTI. Two doses of antibiotics later, it wasn’t a urinary tract infection. Then we thought it might be the run-of-the-mill kidney stone. A CAT scan shattered that theory. Then we got into the really scary area of ​​ovarian and bladder cancer. After a series of tests, two urologists, and a series of tubes in all my tube sites, modern medicine’s answer for me was, “You’re fine. Make a cone.”

I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t need a cone. A bagel maybe, but not a cone. Carbs aside, I needed someone to listen to me, hear my words, and not write me off as a Kegel case. After months of whining, crying, peeing, Zolofts and feeling fired by almost all of my doctors, finally someone heard me and answered me.

This person wasn’t my gynecologist or my urologist; It was my chiropractor.

After hearing about my symptoms and the various procedures I’ve had, Dr. Abigail F. Eaton, a Webster-certified chiropractor specializing in women’s health, said it was probably pelvic floor dysfunction.

Up to this point, NO ONE had said the words pelvis and bottom to me. As far as I knew, the pool floor could have been some sort of Italian marble. There is not only the pelvic floor, but also physiotherapists who specialize in its dysfunction and problems like mine. Specialists like MS Nancy Anderson, founder of Ab Rehab and the Birth Recovery Center, who told me she hears from women with my symptoms on a daily basis.

They have had experiences of being fired, unseen, untreated, or at worst, abused.

“This old-school ‘just do kegels’ protocol as a one-size-fits-all pelvic floor solution has stuck around for too long,” says Anderson. “Many women are misinformed and cause MORE dysfunction as a result,” she adds.

According to Anderson, a hypertonic pelvic floor is one of the most common and overlooked pelvic floor problems.

“A hypertonic pelvic floor simply means increased pelvic floor tone or tension,” says Anderson. “Because this muscle is tight, it often has a hard time contracting,” she adds.

Symptoms of a hypertonic pelvic floor can include pain during intercourse, leakage, difficulty inhaling into the pelvic floor, pelvic pain, constipation, and last but not least, urgency.

Every doctor in the Indianapolis area told me to strengthen myself, but what I had to do was let go.

I was the victim of a false pelvic floor identity. People looked at me and saw hypotonic cone-needing bottom when they should have noticed hypotonic bottom with a cold pill. This happens all the time, but doesn’t have to, say the experts.

“I think women sometimes feel dismissed by their providers for raising concerns about their bodies,” says Dr. eaton “I wanted to be a doctor who listens, shows compassion and offers solutions to women who are looking for answers about their health.”

For me dr. Eaton didn’t just listen; she acted. She arranged for me to attend chiropractic and massage therapy classes and referred me to a pelvic floor physical therapist. I still have flare ups from time to time but I’m much, much better.

Once I get my floor to relax, it’s time to talk about rebuilding and strengthening.

“When you’re dealing with a hypertonic pelvic floor, it’s really important to release the tension FIRST,” says Anderson. “This will almost always reveal that you also have major pelvic floor weakness, but we cannot strengthen the pelvic floor until we can fully access the pelvic floor, and we cannot access it until we can achieve complete release and relaxation of contraction” , she adds.

When I’m ready to build mass, I’ll look into programs like Anderson’s Ab Rehab that help patients like me safely build a strong and functioning pelvic floor.

“It’s never too late to do Ab Rehab and heal your core and pelvic floor,” Anderson says.

My advice to women like me is ad-vo-cate. Keep pressing until you find an expert who sees you and listens to you. Do your due diligence and run after the traps, but if the answers are empty, keep asking the questions.

“Listen to your body and trust your instincts,” says Eaton. “Remember, pelvic floor problems aren’t ‘normal’, they’re ‘common,’ and you don’t have to live with them,” adds Anderson.

Being a miss doesn’t mean you’ll get fired. Remember it, live it, embroider it on a pillow. You deserve to be heard, and you deserve to be able to take a two-hour drive without having to make ten potty stops. keep talking. You will find the right person to listen, just like I did.

Angela Hatem likes piña coladas, being surprised by the rain and obviously soft rock. Born and raised in Homestead, FL and adopted from Indianapolis, IN, Angela enjoys her single life with her son, along with all of her not-so-single friends and family. She tries to find the funny thing when possible when she doesn’t find herself looking for money under sofa cushions.