Linda Michael's Pelvic Pain Case Study Transcript - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Linda Case Study Transcript

Pelvic Floor Therapy After Pregnancy Injury Helps Relieve Lifelong Pelvic Issues

Linda Michael's Video Story

I’m a 57-year-old woman, I’m a homemaker, I have two children. My son is going to be 29 the end of November and my daughter is 25. My husband and I live in Indiana where we are from. We were high school sweethearts. I was probably 27 the first time I got pregnant and had a miscarriage and then got pregnant with my first child, David.

I just, was thrilled, you know, I blossomed and I blossomed in more ways than one because I ballooned. I gained 75 pounds with that pregnancy, and I found out I had gestational diabetes.

He was a vaginal delivery, which he should not have been. My doctor wasn’t there. There was a resident who was overseeing the labor. When the doctor got there, she examined me and she said oh, he’s caught on your pelvic bone and she turned his head, to ease his way, and he literally shot out and I had degree 4 perineum lacerations from his birth.

Well they’re stitching and my epidural wore off during the stitching, I had 240 stitches. I asked (laughing). The baby was 10 lbs. 8 oz., 20 inches long and I was never quite right after that.

Urinating, having a bowel movement, standing, sitting, walking, lying down, going from a lying position to a sitting, to a standing, was excruciatingly painful. It took me weeks to heal but I love being a mom and I think that’s how I could get through my recovery. It was fun; it was fun having baby number two.

So again, I wasn’t too concerned with these problems I was having and I just thought well, eventually, they’ll fix themselves. And I just got caught up in motherhood and learned to live with these problems. I was going to the bathroom constantly, intercourse was not as enjoyable as it had been in the past, there was pain.

And I would talk to these doctors that I was seeing and most of them would sort of just kind of pat me on the head and say well, you have large babies and that’s what happens when you have large babies.

Some of them would say why did you let yourself get so fat while you were pregnant? You still could lose some weight. Probably, your weight is a factor in this.

Others would say well, you know, that’s just to be expected, after you have a baby, these things happen, I mean they just sort of blew it off and I let them.

As I got older and the symptoms increased, the older I got, I would still ask my doctors from time to time, you know, well isn’t there something wrong? And I wouldn’t get any definitive answer. I wanted a cure. I wanted an answer. I wanted at least not to feel responsible, even if they couldn’t fix anything, just somebody tell me I didn’t do this to myself.

So I got on my computer and I decided I’m going to find a urologist who is a woman, who knows what I am feeling, who knows what it would feel like to have this done and I found Dr. Kielb over at Northwestern.

She is the one that suggested I should try pelvic floor therapy and she gave me an extensive list of therapists in the Chicago area.

And I saw Dr. Fitzgerald’s name on this list and RIC. She prescribed 13 weeks of pelvic floor therapy with Cindy Neville and it was life changing.

Dr. Fitzgerald found that my pelvic bones don’t meet evenly; one side is a little higher than the other. When I saw Cindy, one of the first things we did was Cindy showed me how to roll a towel up to a three-inch level and place it under my left hip.

And I would lie like that for maybe 10, 15 minutes at home, once or twice a day, and I could feel the difference in my pubic bone, you know, they would meet. They would be crooked when I started and they would be almost together when I was finished and that felt good.

Probably three or four sessions, I started really noticing a difference and I was just tickled.

I feel like what I have been able to accomplish in 13 weeks of pelvic floor therapy, which I had never heard of before, before I came here, I feel like that has made up for what I have suffered over the last 28, 29 years of having these problems of incontinence, problems with having bowel movements, painful intercourse, feeling pelvic pain and pelvic fullness, seeing doctor after doctor, after doctor, and having to shoulder a lot of the blame for my symptoms. I just think that it’s changed my life.