The Accidental Sisterhood: Proof No One Has to Leak!
My name is Jeanette Geer. I’m a wife, mother and small business owner…and an expert on pelvic health education. This is the story of how my life took that last, unexpected turn.
At the age of 34, having just delivered my first baby boy, I landed in a urologist’s office. The sign on the front door read “CONTINENCE CENTER.” At first, I was mortified. Yet sitting in the waiting room, I noticed women of all ages, from 20 to 60, in the group around me. I certainly wasn’t alone. Maybe many of these women had shared similar embarrassing moments in life.
I was the girl at the slumber parties who’d laugh so hard, I’d pee my pants. I was the annoying friend on the road trip who’d insist on stopping at every rest area. The first time I realized I had a serious problem was at the gym, attempting a “post baby” workout, and finding that even the simplest exercises caused a leak. It only worsened from there…and suddenly I found myself wearing dark clothes and a pad for protection from certain embarrassment.
Finally, I confided in a friend, who referred me to Dr. Bologna. In the exam room, Dr. B. (as I now call him) said, “Jeanette, one in three women suffers from some form of pelvic floor health issue.” He asked me questions about my lifestyle and experience. He informed me that wine and ice tea (my two favorite beverages) were bladder irritants. He explained that incontinence could be hereditary. He asked about my son and the delivery. He made it clear - the deck was clearly stacked against me. Surgery was recommended unless I planned to have additional children (and I did).
I left the office with a prescription for pelvic floor physical therapy and a pessary. A pessary is a rubber ring that is inserted vaginally to support and lift the urethra and other prolapsed organs. It could easily be removed for intercourse and tampon use.
The pessary kept me dry and bought me the time I needed to await surgery after the birth of baby boy number two. This delivery was much easier, but my fate was sealed. The pessary no longer worked and surgery was scheduled.
Dr. B explained that he would use a mesh sling to lift my urethra. The surgery took less than 30 minutes. The recovery was a piece of cake. To this day, I have not leaked and road trips are not filled with multiple stops.
Shortly after surgery, I received a call from Dr. Bologna. He reminded me of my ambitions for renaming his practice while under anesthesia (!) He agreed with my drugged, (read: honest), opinions that The Continence Center was a terrible name. He wanted to discuss it further, along with another big idea – his goal to write an unbiased book that would educate women on pelvic floor health.
Having experienced it all firsthand, I couldn’t wait to get started. I assembled my marketing team and met with Dr. B. to learn more. He told us that he had helped thousands of women through his practice, but it wasn’t enough. He wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of millions by helping women understand how to prevent and treat incontinence-related issues.
The Accidental Sisterhood program was born. Not your typical “incontinence book,” The Accidental Sisterhood is fun, sassy, and, most importantly, informative. The Accidental Sisterhood book provides women with both prevention and treatment options. Couple that with a discreet journaling tool, a DVD and a supplementary exercise band…and it’s the perfect at-home resource for any woman who is seeking prevention or treatment to overactive bladder, incontinence or both.
To promote the program, Dr. B and our team took The Accidental Sisterhood on the road, conducting nationwide women’s health forums. Today, we’ve educated over 10,000 women with our health forums. I’m always amazed when I talk to a woman and she shares that she has been leaking or living in a bathroom for 20 years. It’s so sad. We don’t know what we don’t know, which is why I’ve dedicated a huge portion of my life to providing this education to women.
I’ve heard from so many how our work has made a difference in their lives. But I can’t help but think of the 35 million women in the United States who are suffering from these issues. We still have a lot of work to do. Leaking is not normal and, more often than not, it can be corrected, if not dramatically improved.
It is my goal to get women talking. It’s so important that women talk with their friends and physicians to get solutions.
I’m proof that leaking and frequent trips to the bathroom are not inconveniences that anyone should have to live with.
Jeanette Geer is the mother of three school-aged children, the owner of Wonderworks Advertising and director of development for The Accidental Sisterhood.
©ShareWIK Media Group, LLC 2010