Thursday, 21 July 2016

The One With The Pelvic Floor and INNOVO

Mumsnet Sponsored Post

So here's the thing. Since having the boy 6 and a half years ago I haven't dare laugh, cough, sneeze or go to a fireworks display.

Having a baby does terrible things to your pelvic floor. After giving birth they give you exercises to do and I promise I did them. For a bit. But having a small child kind of takes over your life.  

I've been wearing some kind of pad for years. As I've got older he situation has got worse. I know I mess about a lot but stress incontinence is no laughing matter - well you daren't. You'll wee yourself.

Then the opportunity to product test INNOVO came along and I grabbed it with both hands. Well both thighs as it turns out.

INNOVO is a non invasive treatment for stress incontinence. There's also a programme for urgency incontinence, which I'm going to try next but that's a whole other story. 

With the tagline 'restore the floor' INNOVO uses pulses through sticky pads that you strap to your things and bum to lift and tighten the pelvic floor. The pads are attached to cycling short type garments that wrap around the top of your legs and are hooked up to a central control panel where you regulate how strong you want the pulses to be. 

You do this for 30 minutes a day 5 days out of 7 every week for 12 weeks. Bingo your floor is restored, sensitivity returns and you have a better feeling for doing the pelvic floor exercises you need to maintain the strength you've build up.

Well that's plan.

The box arrived with all the kit and I got e-mail instructions to watch a video and read some blurb before my phone consultation to get me started.

Then 12 weeks ago a very nice Irish lady called me and talked me through how to put the garments on, plug it all in, the best position to lay in and then stayed on the line for my first half an hour strapped in for action as it were. She talked me through every stage and discussed the sensations I was feeling and where they were to make sure I was going to get the best out of the product. 

I mention she was Irish because her beautiful accent put me at ease. So much so that after chatting to her for only 15 minutes or so when she asked if I could feel the sensations between my legs  I said 'Oh yes I can feel it up me bum too - does it help for that kind of incontinence as well?' 

Apparently it does. I have IBS. I was on to a winner here. 

I started slowly with the pulses. They come (stop laughing at the back.... ) every 5 seconds, then subside for 5 and then back again. I pressed the button on the control panel up to 28. 

'Ohhhhh that tickles. It's quite intense. What number am I aiming for eventually?' I enquired.

'70' came back the lilting Irish brogue.

70!!!!! I'll spontaneously combust. I never thought I'd get there. Last night after my 12 weeks I was on 73 and I could've taken more. Not sure if I should've shared that with you?

So what you want to know is does it work?

It's a serious piece of kit and quite an investment (£249 currently on their website although you can pay in 6 interest free instalments - it's got a 2 year warranty and free delivery) but for me yes it has worked. I now feel confident to go out without pads on for protection. I'm going less frequently and by frequently I mean every five minutes ( ask Lemon Cake Lady she'll tell you what a nightmare I am to go out with 'Can we stop? I need a wee" ) and most importantly I'm not leaking when I sneeze, laugh, cough, get surprised suddenly or bounce on the boys trampoline. 

I feel like I need to keep it up and have been advised to continue with three times a week for a while as I'm still not feeling the correct sensation when I try to do the kegels (posh for pelvic floor exercises) myself but hey I have the machine now I might as well keep using it. 

One of the beauty's of it is because it is non invasive you can lend it out (replacement sticky pads are available to buy as they do lose their gumption after a while) to someone you know and trust so even though it's a lot of money to pay out you can share the love, although that person won't get the phone call and after sales support you receive, which is excellent. 

I have to say also I've enjoyed the discipline of knowing I need to lie back for half an hour while the machine does it's work and read, watch TV, muck about on my phone or do nothing. It's been a bit of me time each day I could justify because I knew I had this blog post to write. It's also done amazing things to my bum and upper thighs. You can see and feel them being lifted with each pulse as well as feeling the pelvic floor lifting too. My bottom is firmer and tighter, which has been an unexpected bonus by product.

I'm going to carry on using INNOVO and have a go at programme 2 for urgency incontinence as well, which as far as I can see is a ringing endorsement of the product because it could quite easily be resigned to the loft now as yet another gadget but I genuinely like using it too much to stop.

And no that isn't just because strange things happen when you go above 70.......

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The One With Bing Bunny And The Bit Of Inspiration

You know me. I'm never going to win any 'Mother of the Year' awards but the other day I surpassed myself. 

I was getting the boy ready for school and he was quite reluctant to clean his teeth, wash his face, have a wee, get dressed, generally do anything he was being told to do. You know the usual morning drill. 

He just stood there in the bathroom looking grumpy.

'Don't be angry honey.' I said in soothing tones 'You need to blow the angry away' 

I must explain that 'blowing the angry away' is a concept in a cartoon on CBeebies called 'Bing'. 

Bing is a large and annoying bunny who seems to have no gasp of basic grammar and who I once told the boy I'd like to put in a pie because he annoys me so much. This of course amused the boy greatly and now he insists on watching Bing Bunny on the I-Player just to wind me up.

'You want to put him in a pie don't you mummy?'

'Yes I do darling.'

'With the Chipmunks, don't you Mummy?'

Oh don't get me started on the Chipmunks.

So anyway back to the story.... I suggested to the boy he blow his angry away and let it all out.

'I don't want to blow my angry away. I want to stay angry forever' the boy declared with a red face and a stamp of the foot.

Time was ticking by, we were both still in our PJ's and nowhere near ready to leave for school. In desperation I came up with the following bit of inspired nonsense,

'You can't stay angry forever. If you don't let the angry out it's got nowhere to go and..... poo shoots out of your nose.'

Yep ladies and gentlemen, I was that desperate I went with a poo gag. 

The boy started laughing,

'It doesn't.'

He was smiling and starting to get ready so I ran with it.

'Yeah it does. If you don't blow the angry away then poo will definitely come out of your nose.'


'Oh yeah that's well known that. And you can't have poo shooting out of your nose all over the place.'

The boy was really giggling now. He'd laughed his angry away and was getting ready for school quite happily.

It might not be orthodox but it worked for us. We were chuckling all the way to the school gates and as the boy walked down the corridor I could see him shaking his head and muttering 'Poo. Out of your nose. Outrageous.' 

Job done. Now if I could just get some pastry round that bloody rabbit I'd be laughing too. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The One With the Power of the Positive

I've written a story for Mode again, this time all about saying yes to yourself and the power of the positive. 

Saying yes to ourselves and our children just isn't something we do enough of in my view. 

The whole article was inspired by the first link in the story, all about a lady who decided to say yes to her children all day. It's not as mad as it first sounds and she ended up really enjoying herself too.

I'm thinking about having a yes day with the boy soon. If I am brave and do it I'll let you know how it goes. 

Check out The Power of Positive – Saying yes all day.
by Georgy Jamieson at Mode

Friday, 18 March 2016

The One With The Non Uniform Day

Today is Sports Relief, which means the boy had a non uniform day at school.

Normally this isn't a problem but currently the boy has an obsession with being very smart and wearing certain clothes. Hubby is at a loss because he quite clearly doesn't take after his 'fashion sense' (and I use that expression loosely). 

Of course todays theme meant you had to wear sports gear, football strip, trainers, tracky bottoms that kind of thing. This isn't in keeping with the boys current garb. For his birthday he wanted a tuxedo suit complete with waistcoat and bow tie from myself and hubby. Seriously.

This morning I made the rookie mistake of completely underestimating how much you have to prepare an autistic child for any kind of change in their week. 

Even though I'd said he didn't have to wear uniform on Friday I hadn't specified the boundaries of what he had to wear.  This morning the boy was determined to wear a smart white shirt and black jeans. It took a lot of persuasion, tears and will power to talk him into black joggers, a white T-Shirt and a hoodie. 

'I just want to be like the headmaster and wear a suit.' he bemoaned. 

'But it's Sport's Relief darling. Everyone will be in sporty stuff, including the headmaster.' I said hopefully with my fingers crossed behind my back.

The major stumbling block was the jeans. I know it was a non uniform day but I thought jeans was pushing the 'sports clothes' brief that bit too far, so I'd picked out joggers but it was a battle I can tell you. 

When hubby arrived at school with the boy the headmaster was indeed in casual attire, no suit, just a t-shirt and... wait for it... black jeans.

Luckily the boy didn't seem to pick up on this and a crisis was averted.

It just goes to show even if you think you've done something loads of times before and it'll be ok, you can't assume it will be. 

Preparation is the key... that and checking in advance what the headmaster will be wearing..... 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The One With the A Word

So here's the thing. I haven't blogged properly for a long time because although there's been loads to talk about I haven't known exactly how to say it.

So I just need to plunge in and say it. 

The boy has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. High functioning means he's the lower end of the autistic spectrum and more able to function in everyday society. It's sometimes called Aspergers - but to be honest when I read about Aspergers I don't recognise a lot of the characteristics in the boy at all - and apparently the modern day thinking is to use the term 'high functioning' anyway as that's more positive. 

So there you go.

Even though we were kind of expecting it after all the appointments, observations, reports and analysis it still came as a bit of a shock to hear someone say it out loud.

It felt a bit final, even though this is an initial diagnosis and there's more tests going on, but to be honest with you I don't expect it to change greatly. 

Part of me was relieved to be getting somewhere at last and part of me was heart broken that it wasn't all a massive mistake and they'd got it wrong. 

Several weeks have now passed since we saw the paediatrician and life has settled into a normal pattern again. The boy is still the boy. He hasn't changed. His world is still as it always was and we're very keen to keep as much stability and normality in his life as possible. The school are being brilliant and so supportive. We have an additional homework schedule in place to assist with his phonics, letters, numbers and handwriting and as a result they are all improving.

Which begs the question is it just that the boy can't be arsed but when he does turn it on it's all there?

I'm not denying he's 'quirky' and doesn't fit the boxes and he does display some autistic traits but there's always this feeling in my heart that sometimes, just sometimes, he's playing us all. 

Time will tell I guess, but after the initial shock, the 'why us?' and upset I've actually cried less and felt more positive since the diagnosis. We're no longer in 'limbo' waiting for something to happen and feeling lost somewhere in the system. 

Don't get me wrong there are days when I look at the big blue box file I keep all the reports and observation notes and appointment details documented in and I want to take the bastard thing outside and burn it. But on the whole things are good.

The boy is as funny as ever. His manners are beautiful. He's caring, getting more sociable each time I see him with school friends, he has the growing maturity to deal with his rages and think about making the 'right choices' as they say at school. I see progression as a person, academically (when he can be bothered) and socially every day. He's my pride and joy, he's my life, my love and we all adore him.

We're very lucky and things are ok.

On several occasions we've been told 'the trouble is he doesn't live in the real world', to which I've replied 'who the hell wants to live in the real world? I'd rather live in his world thanks' - and drawn worried looks from doctors, therapists, SEN co-ordinators and health professionals.

But you know what, the boys world is safe, warm, full of love and support. And I for one am more than happy to live in it with him. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

The One Where We Ask Is It Ok To...?

Alright I know, it's feast or famine with me isn't it. Well I said I was back and I realise twice in one night is going a little two far, but I have another one of those 'Stories' for you and it was inspired by this. 

I've grown my hair long. Longer than it's ever been. Longer than it ever was when I was a little girl and mum lopped it all off the day before school started. She thought it would be easier to manage for PE and swimming but then I got to school to see all these girls in my class that could sit on their hair and I cried. 

Why I've grown it I have no idea. Maybe that little girl who cried on the first day of school has never got over it; although I'm a long way off my being able to sit on it. Maybe it's just because I can. After all it's growing better and stronger than it ever has and hasn't got stuck at that awkward stage, so it could be my body having one last hurrah of hormones before the menopause sets in.

Or maybe I'm doing it to stick two fingers up at the people who always said you can't have long hair over 30, let alone 40. It used to be frowned upon in all the fashion magazines. The advice was have a nice short cut, or a bob if you must, but nothing longer than your chin. It'll look better when it goes grey and will be easier to shampoo and set. 

Well curlers to that. 

I'm such a rebel. 

Check out Is it ok to…?  Trends you can still follow over 40.
by Random Woman at Mode

The One with the Stories

Hello, it's me. I know, I know I've been gone for ages and I've got loads to tell you but right now I want to tell you about a new venture.

I'm writing stories for Mode. Now by stories what I mean is posts from the T'internet that illustrate a certain point of view or a theme.

I've published my first two tonight and I hope to do loads more. 

So yes I'm back blogging and I'll be with you all much more now but first off let me know what you think of this 

Check out Getting Away. Me time for when motherhood gets too much.
by Random Woman at Mode