Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 14, 2009 SENSORed

My name is Brett Troia and I am a prostate cancer survivor and I am having difficulties regaining continence. This is the first step, admittance, of my latest program, “ The Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation/Bladder Program.” Not really but it makes me laugh out loud. For those of you that have been following the blog I am 52 days since surgery and progressing along quite well.

This program is run by a bladder control expert (Bea) at the PC Urological Center who has assured me that she can he assist me in regaining control if I just trust and follow her directions. So I fully committed myself into her wise counsel. She asked if I had any inclination into what the program entailed, I explained that I was told that it might be a bit embarrassing and that it would be really fun.

The session is a series of steps;
1. Conduct a measurement of post-voiding residual urine and/or bladder capacity by ultrasound, retraining the bladder to empty
2. Anorectal manometry; this measures the strength/weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, allows the patient to visually see the baseline and progress at each session. Used to prescribe the correct amount of Kegel exercise.

3. Electromyography (EMG) testing to measure the electrical system of the pelvic floor muscles, these muscles contract by the way of electricity, visually monitoring if the muscles are relaxing or spasming.

4. Application of electrical stimulation to the pelvic muscles to strengthen and relax the pelvic muscles.

5. Instructions for completing a one day log of all voiding activity; to include measurement of each and any leakage throughout the day.
6. Instructions for daily Kegel exercises; contract the muscle and hold for 6 seconds, then relax the muscle for 6 seconds (this is one cycle). Repeat this cycle 4 times and perform this rep 4 times a day at least 3 hours apart.

What I did not tell you was that a rectal sensor, which is inserted into your rectum, completes steps two thru four. This is an imperative detail for those of you men that may choose the added benefit of the bladder program. Note; “it should not cause pain or discomfort!” Hmmm...discomfort really is all relative. The initial consult prescribes four sessions, once a week for ~60 minutes and then reassessment.

I should add that the experience although a bit intrusive and intimate does provide a glimmer of hope. Understand that this program is optional and that you could probably progress through these stages of incontinence on your own. Butt I'm a believer in seeking and taking all the "wise counsel" you can get.

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