On my last post I promised y’all further details on my ongoing vagina adventures. Today, you lucky sumbitches get to hear about what my first visit to a pelvic floor physical therapist was like.
After making my appointment, the physical therapy center sent me a “patient packet” containing a bunch of forms to fill out. Mostly they wanted to know the standard shit about medical history/medications/ability to pay, but there was also a bladder log where I was supposed to write down details of every piss I took. (When did I pee? How long did it take? Did it hurt? What color was it? Was the toilet clean? Did it contain any scorpions? Were they from outer space? Did they abduct you? Were you probed? Which orifice? Etc., etc.)
This confused me, so I called to ask if I really needed to fill out the bladder log, as I wasn’t being referred for anything relating to urination. Answer: Nope! (Nor did I have to sign the sloppily-worded form that technically said I was consenting in advance to ANYTHING they felt like doing to me, up to and including dissection. I knew what they meant, but I still wasn’t about to put my name on it.)
**Side note: When I met my physical therapist, she was surprised I had filled out ANY of the forms. Apparently most people don’t. This is part of an ongoing theme in my life where rules apply only to me because I assume they’re supposed to be followed. If you tell me I absolutely must or there will be problems oh my gawd do something to access services I need, I do it. Finding out later those “requirements” were actually optional just pisses me off and destroys your credibility. Enforce your rules equally, people! /end rant
On the same call, I grilled the poor receptionist on what EXACTLY was going to happen at my first appointment. (I’ve had a few different gynecologists over the years, and 100% of the time I showed up at my first appointment expecting a consultation while the doctor was planning to give me a pap smear. That’s not a nice surprise.) I had no idea what to expect. “Pelvic floor therapy,” for all I knew, could mean they were going to make me lift barbells with my kegels or something. The nice lady agreed to put a note on my file saying I only intended to talk during the initial appointment, and that I would bolt at the first sign of stirrups. I was reassured enough by her humoring me to actually show up on the day in question.
Turns out I was freaking out over nothing. The doctor was very nice and was willing to accommodate my raging terror of medical settings. She assured me that we would go at my own pace, and she would treat me even if I didn’t let her give me an exam. (For the record, I don’t object to the exam itself so much as having it sprung on me unexpectedly.) We discussed some tests she wanted to give me later, she gave me some breathing exercises to do in the meantime, and I went on my merry way with an appointment for a follow-up in a few weeks.
The exercises are pretty easy. I’m to do something called “belly breaths” every three hours and a yoga-style pose every morning and evening. Technically it’s named “happy baby” pose, but I call it “dead frog.” (The version the therapist taught me is slightly different than shown in the link, I assume because it’s easier to do. The general idea is the same, though.) I essentially just lie on my back and grab my ankles, bringing them more-or-less to chest level. We could also call it the “please look at my butt” position.
The night after my appointment I got undressed for bed before I remembered about the dead frog thing. So I lay down on the bed, grasped my feet, closed my eyes, and started concentrating on breathing with my diaphragm. It was actually pretty soothing.
So there I was, lying on the bed naked with my vajayjay waving hi to the world. Also on the bed was a cat. A cat with a cold nose. A cat with tickly whiskers. A very curious cat. Imma just let you imagine what happened next. (Hint: There’s now a dent in the ceiling over the bed where my head hit it.)
Once he stopped laughing, my husband had to come over to haul her away, because she is also a very determined cat once something catches her interest. Now I make sure to wear pants or hide under the blankets while doing dead frog pose. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
Next appointment the physical therapist is going to stick an electrode to my taint to measure just how taut my pelvic floor muscles are. Maybe I’ll bring party hats! That’ll make it less awkward, right? Right.
Seriously, ladies, if you’re having difficulty using tampons or having sex, see your doctor. Don’t let my griping scare you off. All in all, this whole process is turning out to be a relatively easy fix. It’s mostly just stressful for me because I’m so woefully ignorant about my own genitalia, and because I’ve got a plateful of anxiety disorders. You’ll be fine! Just be aware of your pet’s proximity to your crotch when undergoing treatment.