Restore Your Freedom

Disorders of the pelvic floor are common with sufferers experiencing a loss of freedom and control

Ambassador 2 – Beverley’s Story

Beverley"Unfortunately, I lost my entire large bowel to some form of degeneration, probably precipitated by an undiagnosed nerve problem that I had, apparently, since conception." 

"It wasn’t until a ‘routine’ hysterectomy in 1994 that the trouble really started, as I was going in for a ‘simple’ hysterectomy for fibroids that were giving me a bit of grief. In the gynae-surgeon’s words, on visiting post operatively, "you ruined my day!"...HIS Day!! From that day on, my poor little bowel never functioned at all. Liberated from its supportive cocoon of undiagnosed, gross endometriosis, the bowel walls collapsed, chronic, painful, obstructive defaecation ensued and colitis then set in, eventually requiring a total colectomy."

"To my surgeon’s dismay, and also to mine, the staples used in the colectomy procedure were undetectably faulty and on the second day post operatively, I was rushed back to theatre with progressed peritonitis. A routine colectomy had turned into a life and death battle for survival. A month later, weighing only 48 kg, I returned home to a changed and challenging life."

"The ileostomy bag, which had been fitted during the second operation, [filled] incredibly fast – so fast that I was often hospitalised in those first few months with dehydration. I just couldn’t keep up the fluids. Happily, I healed well, and around the fourth month, the [ileostomy] was closed. Now the battle began in earnest."

"Nine years of constant, intractable diarrhoea followed. It sounds almost impossible to believe, but [I would beat a path to the bathroom] forty or fifty times a day. Not only did I have gross diarrhoea, but I was often severely incontinent – my bottom so exhausted from holding on that it could retain nothing. Luckily, I retained my sense of humour, and made light of the situation."

"Time passed, and I adjusted my life around the incontinence, around the sleepless nights, and around trying to run a household – and a business while racing back and forth to the loo."

It was then that Beverley discovered she had breast cancer. Her treatment for that included a lumpectomy, highest grade chemotherapy, and radiation; which knocked her body – and what was left of her bowel – around even more. Having since survived five years with no recurrence, Beverley is delighted to share the fact that she is in remission.

As a result of all of these tribulations, by 2007 Beverley was very thin and often ill, catching any bug that was going around. At the end of her tether, Beverly found a vague reference to Sacral Nerve Stimulation when trawling the Net one day. Beverley was referred to a wonderful surgeon who had begun implanting the system at her local hospital. Since then Beverley has not looked back.

BeverleyDays after being implanted with the test system, Beverley recalled a most profound moment – going to the theatre, and sitting through a whole movie with her daughter and grand daughters:

"...it came home to me the very first time I went to the movies with my daughter and two grand children to see March of the Penguins. I sat there with tears in my eyes throughout the film. Yes, it was moving and amazing, but the most amazing thing was that I watched that whole movie from go to whoa without budging from my seat...when normally I would have been up four or five, or even more times."

The other, more lasting alteration to her life was discovered that night – when Beverley finally got some sleep. After nine years of having to go to the bathroom ten to twenty times per night, she is now able to sleep through most nights – making a complete difference to her health and state of mind.

With such an effect on her life, Beverley had no hesitation in getting the permanent implant; and since discovered more joys of living a "normal" life. Beverley is now able to complete the smallest tasks and relearn the normal processes of a healthy body, which two years ago were beyond her ability; she can empty and repack the dishwasher without having to dash to the toilet every couple of minutes, and now actually gets a full bladder. Beverley has even gone waterskiing – in a wetsuit – happy with the knowledge that she can get out of it in time. Even the simple pleasure of choosing outfits for looks, rather than ease of use. Pants with buttons and belts would never have been an option before the implant.

Having been through cancer and incontinence, Beverley made the comparison:

"You can have ‘little rests’ with [cancer], for instance, I am now in remission, and may well be ‘cured’. It may never come back again. But the battle with diarrhoea and incontinence rages on, dominating every facet of your life, awake or asleep. It affects your health to a frightening degree – both physically and mentally. I really believe in my heart that the fatigue and stress brought on by the condition set my body up for [illness]."

It is not a complete cure. Beverley still has to watch her diet, she is aware that if she eats food that is overly spicy or oily, or gets over tired, she will have to pay for it. "It isn’t perfect, but that’s OK. I am happy with my imperfections…The more sleep I get, the further away those awful times are and the stronger I get."

With her body – and so, her life – back on track, Beverley is looking forward to the coming years with joy, comfortable in the knowledge that she is now able to do all she may want; spend time with her family, focus on the little things that bring joy and peace, and sail off into the sunset with her husband and soul mate, Fred.

Just email Beverley

 

This patient testimonial relates an account of an individual’s response to the treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, the individual’s response does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. The response other persons have to the treatment could be different. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient. Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits, indications, precautions, clinical results, and other important medical information that pertains to the therapy or products discussed.

© 2018 Medtronic - This Web site and its content are provided by Medtronic Australasia for general information purposes only.