Maegan is a 35-year-old mother of two who faced a tough return to normalcy after the experiences of giving birth. Urinary incontinence and abdominal pain were constant companions prior to her physical therapy experience at KCP that finally helped her to resolve those issues.
She says that her first child, born in 2017, was “sunny side up,” meaning that the face was facing up. Her labor was difficult, and she pushed for three and a half hours. She was left extremely swollen and on bed rest for two weeks. Moving was painful, and she was unable to hold urine at all, going through several pads per day.
In addition to her desire to move past those problems, Maegan also wanted to work out again. She had gained 60 pounds during the pregnancy and was eager to return to fitness. Her obstetrician referred her to a pelvic floor therapist, who she saw three times a week for five months.
Although she made progress with the pain, she was still leaking several cups of urine per day. She began low impact exercises but wore heavy pads all the time. “I didn’t know when I was going to lose control, “she says.
She went to a new OB who conducted an ultrasound and found nothing wrong. The doctor told her this was completely normal and that women suffer from these symptoms all the time. Maegan said she accepted she would simply have to “just deal with it.”
Moving forward with family planning, she became pregnant again and delivered her second child in 2020. She gained less weight with this pregnancy and had an easier delivery and recovery. However, she still lacked bladder control and decided to resume pelvic floor therapy again. She also resumed her workouts.
After a year, she began having extreme pain in the abdomen every time she worked out. She also began to experience a discharge of blood and tissue. She returned to the OB, and they performed an ultrasound and exam. This time, Maegan received guidance to move to swimming instead of her usual workouts and to follow-up with a urogynecologist.
After five months of waiting, she finally saw the new doctor, who performed an MRI and found internal inflammation. Meagan was presented with options that included medications, Botox, and physical therapy.
She chose the PT route as it was the least invasive and accepted a referral to KCP Physical Therapy.
During her first exam at KCP, Maegan learned that she had very tight hip flexors and a “massive amount of scar tissue” in her abdominal area. She shared with physical therapist Joyce Kight that she was hoping to run a marathon (a bucket list item for her) that year. Based on her symptoms and her goals, Joyce put together a treatment plan that consisted of exercise, manual therapy, ultrasound, ice, and electrical stimulation.
Within the first two weeks of PT, Maegan says that she was feeling no pain on her 9-10 mile runs. “It seemed miraculous,” she says. “No longer peeing my pants when I ran and not feeling any pain? It was amazing!”
She continued with her physical therapy and did run the marathon. Now, she considers herself to be in “maintenance mode” and works out with the group exercise classes at KCP.
“I’m so glad they referred me here,” she says. “There’s so much experience among the staff in dealing with women’s challenges. They don’t make you feel like you have to deal with these issues alone. And they were so concerned about me and what was important to me. They are 100% behind whatever goal you have. I was sure they would say, ‘Don’t run this marathon,’ but they didn’t.”
Joy Pfuhl, who works with Maegan in the personal training classes, says, “Maegan has had such an arduous journey. I’m so proud of her accomplishment in completing the marathon. I know she feels her path in the healthcare system has been a marathon, too, but, we got to the finish line on that as well!”