New line of work

Body: 

In my job as a housekeeper, it is hard to avoid lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, etc... My goal at this point is to move ahead and find a new line of work. There is a lot of pressure at work when we are busy and short-handed. For me staying hopeful is hardest at the end of a busy work day.
I cancelled my scheduled prolapse surgery.

Forum:

Hi Housekeeper and welcome,
I could tell you to try to keep posture as best you can during these activities, but I know from doing this kind of work, it is not always possible. If you think going back to office work would help, then that is up to you how you want to proceed. There have been many threads on different types of office chairs that some of the ladies find helpful, so put some key words in the search to find out more.
Can you tell us what you have been doing with the whole woman work? With this work, no matter what you are doing, you can still greatly relieve your symptoms of prolapse as well as all over body symptoms associated with improper alignment. This also could be the solution to your sciatic pain. Just by getting your body back into the proper posture it was always meant to be in.

I have made progress by paying attention to my posture, breathing, bowel movements, sleeping, and how intra-abdominal pressure can build up. Swimming has been helpful in counteracting my job-related tension build-up. I am sleeping much better, after getting advise from a PT on how to release pelvic floor tension.
I now have more good days, than bad, rather than the other way around. I might start using some of my earned time-off days, to shorten my work week, because as the work week goes on, I start feeling worse & resenting my job, particularly when I'm pressured into rushing.

It's great that you have cancelled your surgery. Prolapse "repairs" are generally only temporary and might leave you worse off than before. I suspect this would be even more the case if you are in a physically demanding job.

But a word of caution about changing jobs. If you are in a bad employment situation building up to a great deal of resentment, you certainly should try to get out if you can. But changing your line of work is not necessarily going to alleviate your prolapse symptoms unless you do some other things as well. Furthermore, getting a desk job where you mostly sit all day is not the answer.

It sounds like you are getting your posture advice from a PT. We wish that you would look into the Whole Woman work, because there is an important perspective on prolapse that you are missing out on, and the advice you're getting may be doing more harm than good.

Bending, lifting, most housekeeping tasks can be modified to be more prolapse-friendly. Gravity and being on your feet are not the enemy. Stress, of course, never helps anything.

Please take a look into the principles that we teach at WW. - Surviving

Thank you for your comments. Your comments resonate with me.

I purchased the ist aid for prolapse dvd online and watched the first module and then clicked download to go and do cooking and the dvd disappeared is there a way of downloading it to watch it again or have a just lost $99- sorry about this- it is such a hopeful website
Best Wishes

Hi Happy - I don't believe you can download the video - you are only streaming it when you watch. Just sign back into your account and everything you purchased will be there. You may need to arrow back to your Dashboard to get your bearings. If you click on "resume course" and you are not where you want to be, there is a little menu icon at the top left that will get you back to the main menu of the course. If you have any other problems you can contact Lanny in Customer Service (see the Contact Us tab up above). - Surviving

Thanks Surviving 60 - sorry about that - that was helpful advice

When paying attention to what makes me feel worse at work, I realized that it's not just the nature of the work itself that's bothering me, it's stress when being harassed to do too much, in too little time, due to staff shortage.
Thank you for the reminder to pay attention to WW posture! As I pay attention to what works for me it is definitely falling more in line with Christine's wisdom, than the advise from PT. At the same time, finding out from the PT that my "resting" pelvic floor tension was way to high ("highest" that she had ever seen....measured after a full day of work), was a huge step for my recovery from insomnia.
I am continuing to find WW advise to be of great help.

Hi Housekeeper,
Yes, stress can be a huge contributor, so finding a good balance in our lives is so important. Keep studying the whole woman work as it has so much to help you through this. The more we understand Christine's concepts and engage in her work, the better we feel, and this work has the added benefit of empowering us to make better decisions for ourselves.

Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement. Christine's perspective continues to be a welcome relief. A friend keeps referring to surgery as the only "fix". Initially, I thought my body was broken, after being diagnosed with cystocele, and meeting with the surgeon who reinforced that belief, which was then further reinforced by the description of the lengthy recommended surgery. Somewhere along the line, some of Christine's advice planted the seed in my thoughts that maybe there's better way to look at this.

While still trying to figure out the best line of work in the long run, I am quite pleased with my progress I’ve made with the WW way. I finally seem to be winning out over gravity, which I didn’t think was possible before. My initial goal was to be able to make it through a work day without feeling like I was going to pass out by the end of the day. Have managed to make more progress than that.

I think it's a very defining moment, and so empowering, when we first come to realize that we can manage this, and that our prolapse does not have to dictate what we can or cannot do. We control our symptoms, they don't control us. Housekeeper, maybe you will end up in a different line of work, or maybe a similar type of work in an environment that is less stressful for you. Whatever you do, you will do it mindfully but fearlessly! I'm proud of your progress - keep us posted! - Surviving

Thank you for your encouraging words, Surviving60. Your encouraging words mean a lot to me.

I no longer have that downward pressure, that was so evident back in February when my bladder prolapse became visible. Getting IAP to work with me, instead of against me, helps me realize that my body is not broken. Before, it actually felt like my lower body wanted to eject everything. Now particularly on my days off, my lower body can find peace. Seems that along the way, I have gained a new way of creating internal pelvic strength, that works with me, instead of against me.

Absolutely Housekeeper,
That is exactly how I felt when things started moving into the right direction.
If you haven't been doing it already, I would suggest plenty of firebreathing on your work days to help balance you out. That was and still has been a life saver for me with this work.
And for everyone, Christine's module 5 in her First Aid program has so many simple and practical tips that are so important for our daily living.

Thank you for suggesting firebreathing, and reminding me where to find it in the videos.
Sometimes, I find it challenging to do, and sometimes I find it easy to do.
This process sometimes reminds of untying a kite string with lots of knots Sometimes frustrating.. Sometimes rewarding..sometimes I feel patient, sometimes not.

My initial reaction to having difficulty with fire-breathing, due to lower back tension, was to be frustrated. I felt like my body was being hijacked, despite my many efforts to reduce muscular tension. I'm hoping to change my mindset to something more useful.

If the standing version is hard for you, try it on hands and knees. A slightly different position might make a big difference. - Surviving

I am continuing to make progress with reducing tension and improving prolapse. I think I’ve been carrying chronic tension in my body for years. And this habit of ignoring chronic tension seemed to have also gotten me in the habit of ignoring signals from my body, in general....not a good thing. I am determined to turn this all around. I feel that I am successfully improving the quality of my life by paying attention to what works...so I'm 'all ears" to WW suggestions. To Surviving60: Thank you for suggesting to try different positions for Firebreathing.

I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to be fitted for a pessary, but as I'm reading WW advice, I'm starting to question the benefits vs. the possible issues. I was initially diagnosed with cystocele, back in February. Then later diagnosed with diagnosed with rectocele and uterine prolapse, by a uro-gynocologiest, who wanted to surgically remove my uterus, and "fix" the anterior and posterior vaginal prolapse. Well, I have very gradually come a very long way from that dismal assessment. Now it seems as long as I avoid repetitive heavy lifting, and strive to keep my bowels moving & soft, and remain aware of my body mechanics (WW breathing, WW posture, etc) that my uterus stay up and I don't have constant pressure pushing down on my bladder. I do agree with Christine's assessment that a flattened vaginal space is a safeguard, so I'm second guessing my decision to make that appointment, if pessaries prop open the vaginal space.

Housekeeper,
You will find with the pessary a possible short term solution, if it stays in, but that the long term usage can be detrimental to the health of your vagina and prolapses.
Can you tell us which of Christine's materials you have and what you are finding most helpful? We will be able to further assist you if we know what your routine with whole woman is.
I found by doing Christine's exercise routines that I was able to get the stretching I needed and the strength building into posture, and ww walking was a great help in getting those posture principles down.

I find myself a little confused as to what your goals are here. Urogynecology is a surgical practice; you wouldn't take yourself to a surgeon unless you were seeking surgery. - Surviving

Initially I was gathering Christine's wisdom through a rather piecemeal approach.... from the WW website...reading the WW forum and following some links posted in the forum. I was at a crossroad when my physical therapist told me that my chronic pelvic muscle tension had subsided enough, to start working on strengthening those muscles, because I knew that the suggested Kegels never felt right...particularly not while lifting. Then I purchased & downloaded the Prolapse First Aid Videos. And I am glad that I signed up and joined this forum when I did. I have absorbed each suggestion and appreciated the encouragement. Luckily I have gone back to streaming the videos, because I had overlooked Module 5. Until I was reminded of Module 5 in a post, I was still relying on piecing together information from various forum posts, regarding WW techniques, like Fire-breathing.
When not distracted, I try to make WW breathing and WW posture as much apart of my day as I can. Even though I am using the WW posture while moving from room to room down the hallway during my work day, I can't say it's the WW walk, because I am hampered by pushing a housekeeping cart, while pulling a rolling trash bin.
I started the WW Fire-breathing, when it was suggested recently. It definitely feels like the right stuff for me to emphasize, at the right time. Getting WW advice is making a tremendous positive difference. That's why I keep saying "Thank you". Thank you!!!

Hi Housekeeper,
Thank you for expanding on your routine, that does help a lot. Physical therapy can be a contradiction to the ww work; that's why I think the practices we do here are so well thought out and effective, just because Christine has put the time into it, so we don't have to overthink anything, just do it! I love that aspect of this work.

I know you have to push those heavy carts around; I have seen them working in the nursing homes as an Aid, and they are pretty big. I can only say do the best you can maintaining posture while pushing them, and if you do get a moment of privacy, say in an empty room, bend over, do some jiggling followed by firebreathing. I used to do that when I went hiking, in front of my husband because he was with me! Ha! But nonetheless, it is doable.

Getting ourselves to fully embrace these concepts can be a challenge, but once you do, you will never look back.

No surgery. No surgeon. (In response to Surviving60's comment/ question). I initially saw a surgeon at my friends advise. I am primarily focused on improving the quality of my life, which I am accomplishing without surgery. I changed my mind only 2 weeks before the scheduled date. I would much rather give my time and attention to non-surgical ways, than undergoing surgery. I will continue to find ways to listen to my body, not to the surgeon. My body deserves it.
p.s. I actually joined this forum hoping to feel more encouraged in my way of getting better, because my close friends are pro-surgery. And I do feel encouraged and supported. Thank you!!!

Where does the pessary fit into this? You never mentioned it until today. Were you, or are you feeling that WW posture and tools are not enough? The pessary has many drawbacks. - Surviving

I set up the appointment to have a pessary fitted quite a while back, on the advise of the Physical Therapist. I'm questioning it at this point, after reading that a pessary can cause the vaginal space to be more open. I agree with Christine's advice, that a flat airless vaginal space is better.
Being fitted for a pessary was originally suggested to me by a Urologist back in March. I didn't follow through because the downward pressure on my vaginal space was so obvious to me at that time. A pessary would not have stayed in place, it would have popped out immediately. I no longer have that constant downward pressure, while standing. I felt quite awful then. So my current dilemma seems easy in comparison, I can try a pessary or not.
I was feeling the need to have a doctor say something positive about my improved prolapse situation, so that, in turn, I could tell my friends. I can let that go.

I think you can definitely let that go. Christine often points out, that those women who cannot separate themselves from the traditional medical model of prolapse management, and need the approval and validation of doctors and PTs for everything they do, are those who will have the least success with the WW work. And the same can be said about well-meaning but bad advice from family and friends. Avoid it! Don't bother to discuss your prolapse with them; you started the conversation and only you can end it.

If you decide to pursue the pessary fitting, there are a few things you need to know. Pessaries come in many sizes and types, and they are notoriously tricky to fit. You need a very patient doctor for this. A thin pessary such as a ring-with-support will allow the vagina to flatten almost completely, but most types will hold the vagina open and tend to worsen prolapse over time. This is especially true if you have rectocele (or if you don't have rectocele and want to keep it that way!). In that case you may not even be a candidate, for the reasons you have already discovered (they will get pushed out).

Doctors often want women to leave the pessary in for weeks or even months at a time, and come back to the office for removal and cleaning periodically. But the tissues need to breathe and the pessary should be removed every night. So be sure and learn how to do this. Personally, I think this would be hard for me (I couldn't even manage Today sponges back in the 80's!), which is one of a long list of reasons why I would never consider a pessary.

In your case....I believe you have come far enough on this journey, that the pessary only represents a detour in the path, and an unproductive one at that. The biggest gift of the WW work is that once we understand our symptoms and learn to exert some control over them, the fear subsides, and along with it, the need to simply mask those symptoms any way we can (which is no solution in the long run). If you prop up your wayward organs but take no steps to stabilize things, then you haven't accomplished anything.

That being said, if you feel you could use a hand during the work day when you are pushing and pulling those carts and bins around and simply cannot find a good body position to do all that without strain, maybe a pessary could help you there. Wearing it for a few hours at a time isn't going to sabotage your WW progress (I think you have come too far for that to happen). Though I hesitate to encourage this.....because they are so hard to fit and I don't want to set you up for disappointment. - Surviving

Ending the prolapse conversations with my friend is my best option at this time. Earlier on, conversations with my friend felt supportive, because we were encouraging each other to take good care of ourselves in prolapse-friendly ways. Now I think I'll do better stopping the prolapse conversations with her, and saving the friendship.

I cancelled my appointment to have a pessary fitted. I'm continuing to feel more confident in the improvements I've made with my prolapse.

i'm so glad to hear you're making progress! it's such a good feeling when we realize we have some control over this situation vs all the fear that comes along with the initial discovery.

Thanks. Yes. At first I wasn't feeling much hope at all. I was convinced that I had chosen the wrong employment (housekeeping), at the wrong time (menopause). And that I had ignored my body for too long, while caring for others. But in many ways, my job became my incentive to take control. I had to find a way to keep making it through each work day. There were so... many... work days, I felt defeated... by gravity, stress, and everything else. Now I feel that my mindful efforts are paying off.

I have started First Aid for Prolapse and I realise it is hard work and determination to get one's prolapse to become normal - I was told to try the estrogen cream but because of the health risks it is not the way for me - it seems we have to really work at this!

The hardest part of the WW work is "remembering to remember" to stay in Whole Woman posture throughout the day. The workouts strengthen your body to hold the posture (and you must remember posture WHILE you are exercising as well, and always follow the breathing instructions carefully). But the key is to stay in that posture as much as you can throughout your waking, upright hours. Standing, walking, sitting, driving, bending, lifting, toileting - that's what it all comes down to. The posture itself is natural and normal; but most of us have decades of ingrained bad habits to break, before we can return to our natural alignment. - Surviving

I started being more consistent with WW posture after seeing a sketch in Christine's blog article, "A New Model of Core Stability", that shows how WW posture manages pressure in a prolapse-friendly way.
https://wholewoman.com/blog/?p=1509

I'm currently finding it easier to stay motivated with using WW techniques because my improvements started going more smoothly after I started excluding other techniques that weren't helping. I initially thought gravity would always win, but now realize that's not true, as long as I continue to find ways to prevent pressure from building up.
I'm still trying out different ways to keep my bowels moving, because otherwise I do start feeling downward pressure. Currently relying on Slippery Elm Tea and being mindful of what I'm eating.
I'm finding it harder to stay motivated with my job search, but will find a way to persist. My job can be quite stressful due to frequent under-staffing. But I will persist in finding an employment solution that I'm more comfortable with.
I have stopped talking about any prolapse issues with my friend, because she is persistent with her belief that there is only one decision to be made - choosing the right surgeon, even when I stating "I'm not having surgery".

Last night, I was aggravated by UTI-like symptoms. Realized that laying in bed feeling "punished" for "doing something wrong" was just serving to aggravate me, I woke myself up enough to see if I could solve it. Decided that it was sort of like having a headache, not really solvable. Decided this morning to continue to look for ways to bring pelvic inflammation down. As I am paying rent this morning, I'm reminding myself that I need to move on to a place that is more conducive to enjoying healthy meal preparations. I have a make-shift kitchen here, and I can't continue to rely on my friends' kitchens. This was intended to be temporary place, near to work. In the future, I want to be able to look back at this time, and to see that it's purpose was to call myself to action to take better care of myself.
New job....new place. I just need to just keep at it, and it will all come together.

Trying to remind myself to keep in mind what I have learned regarding keeping myself safe in a prolapse friendly way.
It feels frustrating to acknowledge that my body has limitations. But the reality is that I feel so much better when I respect those limitations. And actually by respecting some limitations, I am allowing my body to heal and be stronger, in it's own way.
I try to think of this as being on Team-Prolapse. When I played sports, I enjoyed paying attention to how my body felt. Trying to see this process of paying attention to what my body feels is prolapse-friendly in a positive light. And to encourage myself, that when the expected avenue doesn't look appealing, to continue looking for another, for as long as it takes.

Saw my primary care doctor yesterday. When I told her that I had cancelled my surgery, she seemed surprised when I referred to it as "Optional" Surgery. She told me how she remembered when she was 11, that the reason given for putting her grandmother into a nursing home, was that her grandmother had started bleeding from her prolapsed uterus. So this primary care doctor seemed confused by my choice to opt out surgery, despite me telling her that I am continuing to make progress. She even wants me to see a Gynocologist. I don't feel that she's on the same page, luckily it was a short conversation.

You can change doctors, or not......you're unlikely to find one who is not pushing surgery. Or steering you to a gyno, who of course IS a surgeon. What prompted you to make the visit? - surviving

What prompted me to make the visit was after having some upper body discomfort a couple of afternoons at work.....which I later figured out was due to cleaning a room filled with an overabundance of stargazer lilies.
I once had a very down to earth Doctor of Osteopathic medicine, so I expected the same of this one, I guess. I had only seen her one time in early May, and there wasn't any real discussions then. So I wasn't really feeling the need to start a prolapse discussion, now. I was a bit evasive, because I thought telling her about all my improvements with sleep and feeling better would be sufficient. Beyond that I was a bit evasive, and then when she brought it up a 2nd time, I said something like...since there was a possibility at the time, that my son, who has Crohn's, was going to need surgery, I cancelled my "optional" surgery. She pondered the word "optional" out-loud a few times.
I was also following up on the results of an EKG from back in mid-May. The EKG was part of a series of tests that were done mid-May, prior to my planned optional surgery, that I cancelled.

So the posture is very important always but will it get the prolapse (uterine) to go up - I am still having a battle with it after having watched the First Aid for Prolapse DVD
Any comments

That's a good question about whether posture alone can help move your uterus up. The answer might differ for each of us. For me, posture alone wouldn't have been enough to move my bladder up.
The WW posture has helped me, because it has enabled my body to manage inter-abdominal pressure, in a positive direction (forward), instead of all down (ugh). I had done my best to modify my lifestyle (less lifting & carrying) to reduce the inter-abdominal pressure. But I was starting to become discouraged because my progress felt unpredictability, and I couldn't figure what else to reasonably modify, without having a constricted life. When I began to focus my attention more on WW posture, breathing, and toiletry, it gave me hope again.
Initially, I was pushing my bladder up and over my pubic bone, and then relying on WW body mechanics (posture, breathing, bending, etc) to keep help keep it there. Now I use jiggling and fire-breathing as a convenient way to encourage upward movement.
My recovery has been a step-wise process.

It is encouraging to be able to share it anon - I really want to get this prolapse to go up and I know the kegels don't help some people but they do make my prolapse go upwards - mine was caused by straining after menopause - it goes up and then comes down unfortuneately at the wrong times but is healable

Trouble is I would get infections if I use the cotton balls or even a pessary and then they say I have to use the estrogen cream with the pessary which I would rather not use - where I live there is not much - I would have to go to a big city to get help probably - any comments

Good posture is always a good thing to do for everything

Does anyone have olive leaf as a natural cure for urinary tract infections - it is expensive but is meant to be a natural antibiotic - that is if the Doctor says it is ok - I suppose for minor infections- and of course honey

After making progress with my cystocele, then I became more aware that it seemed to be slow moving bowels that would put downward pressure on my uterus from above. It seemed for a while that my uterus had to compete for it's space back. And it sometimes felt that constipation was bothering my urinary system too....pinching it somewhere.
I didn't get a job offer after 2 interviews. It seems that everything is a step-wise process, that requires persistence.

Still need to get into a new line of work. Stress level is certainly up this time of year, with the workload at a peak. And the Linens are heavier this time of year, because more blankets are used, and more linens are stored in the rooms. So bagging the linens to remove them from the room takes me more time, because I use several linen bags to lighten the load, in other words, several smaller bags, instead of one huge one. So I'm viewed as a "Slower" worker....more stress....
I can do this. I can transition into another line of work. Why do I write this here...because I continue to get lots of good information from this Forum. And I am continuing to manage my prolapse issues well, despite my less than ideal job, thanks to all the Whole Women ideas and suggestions!! I will try not to give myself a hard time regarding my sluggish progress in 2 other key areas: job and living quarters. These changes are both necessary, and I feel are vital in my on-going process of "taking good care of myself". I finally understand that concept, but need to continue to take action on that increased understanding.
I did successfully complete an on-line course which should improve my job opportunities. Onward...and upward....