A big Welcome to You!
Hi there and welcome to Dry Swan!
I'm on a mission - you soon learn that about me - I'm in there boots 'n all! When I learnt that my bladder was behaving like a grumpy child, I began a journey of discovery to get to know why.
It's so good to see you today and to know that you're taking steps to investigate and control this very annoying problem called urinary incontinence.
My name is Tess Hansel and to a certain extent I understand what you're going through. I'm 62 years of age and have been married to my awesome man Bob for 38 years! Wow, it really does only seem like yesterday! Bob and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters - Bobbi and Nicky who are the most awesome people and make up our family team. We all live in Queensland Australia.
I've been a business owner and operator as well as TV presenter for our regional station in New Zealand way back when. I also had a career as a project manager and secretary with years of learning skills and experiencing many facets of business - from different levels of government to private enterprise. From working on mining and construction sites, to top level executive suites, TV production and broadcast, retail, legal and umpteen temp roles over the years. I've lost babies, house, business and friendships - yep, it's been a rocky road at times (not the chocolate type either - wouldn't have minded that!) and yet nothing really prepared me for my menopause chapter.
That one fateful day, when my life came to a crashing halt, is etched in my memory!
I was working preparing for a meeting, where I was going to be taking the minutes (it was rather stressful as minutes were typed onto a large screen for everyone to see). It was in preparation for a large union meeting, the first of its kind for the fledgling quango company I had transitioned into, coming over from a regional council role.
One minute, sitting at my desk, the next collapsed on it - unable to speak, move or communicate. I remember the sensation so clearly, like trying to start a car with a flat battery and you turn the key yet nothing happens. As I lay there I could hear voices around me coming and going and thought to myself - I've fainted. I kept waiting to come around as I very rarely fainted. You know that feeling of being in a dull meeting when you start to drop off to sleep, it was like that except there was this awful pain in my head.
The situation quickly grew worse and I recall someone saying..."My God, look at her colour - she's gone absolutely white...ring an ambulance!" I remember trying to say Bob's name but it was just babble. Very weird sensation indeed and one I unfortunately experienced another four times before realising what was causing it.
I should say who was causing it...and that would be me!
Yes, I was the culprit behind the ill health. Just did too much for too many for too long!
Does that sound familiar? I'm not surprised if it does and I hope by sharing a little about me you take steps to ensure you don't end up being whisked off to hospital with everyone thinking you have had a serious stroke.
As I lay in the ambulance, travelling at quite a speed to the hospital, I was annoyed with myself that I hadn't listened to my daughter Nicky that morning, when she told me I didn't look well and should take the day off. I'd been up half the night trying to work a piece of machinery to move soil and create a diversion for water threatening our home. It was 2011 and Lockyer Valley, where we live, was inundated with flood waters.
It's amazing the things you think of when you're lying in an ambulance - regrets are the first...that's why I always tell people I love them because you never know when your last opportunity to do so has been and gone. Hugs are another wonderful gift we can share, so I usually finish my messages with a big hug. Love is truly what matters on this earth, it's more powerful than any negative emotion, it's truly the most precious gift from God.
And so began my hellish journey into the world of hemiplegic migraines and resulting paralysis. I've had my fair share of health issues over the years but this was different. When your brain is affected, then you're pretty much stopped in your tracks and I will never forget, after the first migraine attack which the hospital thought was a warning stroke, being told to go home, get my affairs in order and prepare my family for the worst! Talk about your great bedside manner! Needless to say, I told no-one.
So, as a result of a series of hemiplegic migraines during menopause, and the ensuing varying degrees of paralysis, I found myself suffering from urge and stress incontinence. If you're suffering migraines then you need to reduce your stress levels and work/personal commitments. I learnt the hard way that menopause is a time when you need to listen to the signals your body is sending and seriously reduce the demands on your life.
The good news is, that through my journey of ill health, I was forced to stop and investigate why I was ill and, through my research on bladders, I found that it's possible to listen to your bladder and get to know the signals so you can control your bladder. In a way I became a bladder whisperer!
It was through that long, tough road back from illness that I discovered a natural way to restore my health through concentrating on the different aspects of my life, eg diet, commitments, relationships and discovering the Dry Swan exercise, giving me back my fully restored bladder control. Woohoo!
I wrote a small book titled 'Take Back Your Bladder Control' which is not just about taking back physical control of your bladder, but it's also about learning how you developed incontinence in the first place by putting a focus on your total health.
You see, I've learnt that bladder problems are a major signal that your general health is being compromised. Discovering organic food during my health crisis certainly turned my life around and I realised, through the tears and misery, that the ultimate responsibility for my health fell squarely at my feet, no-one else.
I researched for what seemed forever and came to the conclusion that I needed to start eating organic food - what a wonderfully delicious way to go! You can check out my eBook 'Organic Food Heals - 7 Awesome Ways to Good Health Naturally' and relevant site here www.organicfoodheals.com We truly are what we eat!
Just remember this - you're in control of your body and, no matter what type of incontinence you're experiencing, you can improve your bladder control.
I believe you can do yourself the biggest favour by researching and investigating what you're experiencing, what you've been told, and then make up your own mind about the direction you will take. If you're under medication then please don't do anything drastic about stopping it until you have discussed this with your medical professional. All prescribed medication requires a withdrawal protocol.
You can use our Dry Swan Bladder Trainer free app while you're deciding about your general health, including medications. Whatever direction you decide to take, I'm really thrilled that you've taken the time to spend with me right now and want to encourage you to investigate your own health. Investigate your medication. Investigate the processed foods you're consuming.
It's one of the most freeing things you can do - just check out what is going into and onto your body, then switch to as natural as possible.
You never know, your urinary incontinence problem could be caused by something in your current diet.
I had to stop trusting and start testing - best thing I ever did and I encourage you to do the same.
All my very best to you.
Menopause Guidance Coach
Founder Dry Swan Bladder Control