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Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 - The Year I Changed My Life

A year ago, I had just had surgery to repair stress urinary incontinence (SUI). I wasn't going to mention this in my New Year's post, I was just going to refer to it as a "post-big-babies" issue. But a blog I read suggested that if you're not a little nervous to publish your blog post, it's probably not honest or interesting.

And I realized on a run a few days ago that I don't have to avoid the topic anymore, because it's gone.  It had really limited my life. I couldn't talk about it but it made it so hard for me to do almost everything.  Forget running. I couldn't do yoga, dancing, stand a long time, sled with my kids, shop for more than an hour. It was depressing.

Right before the surgery, a year ago, the basement and garage of my new house was flooded with six inches of water. My husband was in Oregon. He came back, I had the surgery. And I realized I hadn't written a word in several years.

This isn't a blog post about SUI. This is a blog post about how making some changes in your life can lead to even more, and better changes. 

After my six weeks of recovery, I started running. A few months later, I started writing again. Then I quit my job and decided to follow my dream.

In a few days, I'll start training for my second Cherry Blossom 10 mile race in April 2012.

I'm twenty pounds lighter than I was last year.

I've run my first half-marathon and can chase my kids until they collapse whenever I want.
I've started not one but two new companies. I write every day and a national magazine recently purchased one of my essays.

(And now my basement and garage have a flood proofing pump system).

Thanks 2011. I love the memories!!

Watch out 2012!

**For an update on life AFTER my SUI repair surgery, click here! 

**Since I use this blog for personal journaling, too, I wanted to record that my surgeon was urologist Dr. David Hepps. 


  1. I enjoyed your blog post this morning. Topic was right on the $$$$. I am glad 2011 had so many advancements for you. 2012 will be better.

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  3. Well done. Thanks for this enlightening post and I hope you will publish my comment as I think dealing with this issue rapidly, as you did, is extremely important. I wish I had acted sooner, although I did try to get help for my problem - the problem was misdiagnosed and I suffered for years.

    I'd like to urge anyone suffering from either urinary or fecal incontinence after childbirth not to leave this problem as it rarely gets better on its own and can lead to chronic incontinence. Don't be embarrassed about discussing this issue with your doctor. They deal with such issues from time to time and understand the social and emotional issues involved.

    Also pregnant women should never underestimate the importance of pelvic floor muscles, but make the effort to do them regularly. For further information about both fecal incontinence and urinary incontinence, please visit the website. This is not just a problem for older people - everybody needs to be concerned.

    1. So true Mary. When I was contemplating my surgery, I connected with several other young moms who just wanted to get back to normal living without all the hassles and limitations. Moms out there- or any woman dealing with SUI - make sure you check out all your options! There are ways to deal with SUI so that it doesn't limit your life anymore!

    2. Elizabeth... i had my son a little over 2 years ago and started having sui about a year after he was born and it's gotten progressively worse.. i've tried the medication and the electrical stimulation and they both helped somewhat.. i've been recommended for the tvt procedure... but am somewhat worried to proceed since i've heard so much about the mesh lawsuits out there! What procedure did you have to cure your sui? have you heard of any other non-surgical treatments that've worked? (It's good to hear a positive surgical experience.) Congratulations to you.

  4. Hi Anonymous, I heard & read about the lawsuits, too. I was scared, too. I can't speak specifically about any non-surgical treatments because none worked for me. I did not try medication (I'm not good with taking pills daily) and the electro-stim did really nothing. I had a mid-urethral sling, I guess it's also called a monarch sling. The anesthesia stayed in my system for awhile, that was something I did not expect. I was just grumpy and foggy for a good two-three weeks. But I had my surgery on a Friday, on Sunday I took the kids to see Santa Claus. And four months later I ran a 10 mile race (not a drop leaked) and 5 months later ran a 1/2 marathon. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in my life!! Please continue to pursue a solution that fits for you.

  5. Oooh - does this qualify for a "happy ending"? I love success stories like this one.

    1. Thanks Marie Nicole! I would say it's a "happy beginning!"