Overcoming Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
I first met my Athena doctor in the emergency room. The ER trip had been prompted by me waking up with the WORST pain of my life over the right kidney. It turns out I had a kidney stone and soon I was being wheeled back for urgent surgery to treat the stone.
When I woke up from surgery I was a bit disoriented and to be honest I don’t recall most of that hospitalization. I’m embarrassed to say when I followed up at Athena I truly did not even recall what my urologist looked like. When she walked into my clinic room I asked if she was the nurse. She laughed and said that it happens all the time and that kidney stone patients don’t remember too much of being in the hospital or who their doctor was because of all the pain medications. That put me at ease right away.
One of the things she recommended to prevent future kidney stones was that I consume about 2 liters of water each day. I kind of freaked out because I was already struggling with urinary incontinence with my daily activities. I was embarrassed to mention anything but then she asked me directly if I had any incontinence or urinary symptoms I was struggling with. It was like she had read my mind. It made it easier to confess the leakage I was having daily with simple activities.
To improve my chance of success I did a session with the nurse to try and learn Kegel exercises (pelvic floor strengthening). I was given lots of options ranging from observing and doing pelvic floor strengthening to a procedure like a mid-urethral sling or urethral bulking which are apparently the best treatments for stress incontinence. I ultimately decided on a sling and I have never looked back. I only wish I had done it sooner. Not only can I drink my 2 liters of fluid a day, I am completely dry now and no longer use pads! Thank you Athena Women’s Health for restoring my dignity.