Slowly, slowly. I watched the mum with the large expectant belly rise from her seat in the waiting room. She held her breath while stepping from one foot to the next and tentatively waited each time for the sharp jolt she knew would come.
I look on with empathy while recalling 11 years ago this was me. Afraid to walk more than a few metre and heavily reliant on a walking stick. My pelvis felt like it would fall apart with each step. I had lots of treatment from a local therapist, who came recommended highly to me. I was never better afterwards, but what if I got worse if I didn’t go?
I worked part time at a nursing home at that time. It was one of those sprawling buildings, where new sections appeared over the years, and each section required a long walk to access. What a fool I felt hooning along in the wheelchair borrowed from the store room. Nor did I feel any more glamorous at the private physio clinic I worked at, rolling out to the hallway on my stool to call each next patient in. Getting up and down repeatedly for every single patient seemed far too excessive use of energy, and frankly wasn’t realistic.
Once the crazy years of young clingy children at home passed, I regained the presence of mind to pursue better treatment for the gestational mum unable to roll over without cries of pain. Many (and I mean many) courses and a lot of pregnant patients later, I felt I had tools enough to provide some valuable assistance to such ladies.
But then the next hurdle appeared. It turns out that these women came to me with all sorts of health issues – not just painful joints. Treating what I could, I referred many patients on to a pelvic health therapist. Stubborn as I am, I did this for quite a number of years.
Finally seeing the light, I’ve taken the plunge to train for a full women’s health qualification through the Australian Physiotherapy Association. It is ongoing. And certainly extended a number of times due to covid. But it has been really interesting and I look forward to being qualified to treat women at any life stage for all sorts of pelvic health issues. So stay tuned.