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The Critical Sneeze

Sunday morning she poured her self another cup of coffee and made half an open-faced peanut butter sandwich for the dog. No, it’s not that the dog is spoiled at all; it’s just a trick. His pain pill was underneath the peanut butter. As she pads through the carpeted living room on to the bedroom, she feels a sneeze coming on. This would be a Lu-Lu. She pauses, crosses her right leg over the left one and braces herself for the explosion. It is indeed a big sneeze, but she is successful in maintaining the peanut butter and bread in one hand and the coffee cup in the other hand all without spilling a drop, or depositing the open-faced peanut butter sandwich onto the carpet. And, HAH No leak! She has become very good at this. Most women past child-bearing years are familiar with this type of scenario.

Another scenario would be when you are shopping at the local grocery store and you hear someone close by start to sneeze. You look up and see a woman close to your own age, (Baby Boomer age), and you know what’s going to happen. The woman has crossed one leg over the other and bends at the waist while holding on to the basket. AaaahhhhCHOOOOOOOO! A violent sneeze erupts. The woman straightens up and continues on. She is actually smiling as though nothing has happened or maybe that she’s fooled someone. Let the shopping continue.

First of all, she’s had at least one or two big babies. She’s probably in her 40’s or older, has worked at a desk for the past 20 or 30 years and the muscles in the floor of her abdomen have weakened significantly. Denial has taken its place in admitting that there could be a leaky bladder control problem due to prolapsed innards. This is not uncommon at all, but most women prefer to just say nothing about it. Who are we kidding anyway? This happens to men as well. I’ve just never seen a guy go through any contortions trying to keep from “loosing it”.

When we finally admit to our doctor that this could indeed be a problem, if not a down right embarrassment, he / she usually recommends that you “just do these simple Kegel exercises”. He says that these can be done anywhere, at any time. You just contract your PC (pelvis cavity) muscles until they get tired, and then repeat the exercise. The doctor suggests that these muscles are a ham hock-like muscles. Well, doesn’t that just gave the whole situation a whole lot more dignity, and makes it harder for one to keep a straight face, now that we have that image. When we do the exercises, we can just envision a ham hock down there. The doctor is quick to correct.

“It’s hammock-like, not ham hock-like.”

These exercises are easier said than done. First of all, these exercises require a certain amount of concentration, and if you’ve ever observed anyone thinking very hard about something they are trying to do physically (especially if you can’t see what they are doing), it’s a dead give away.

It is not a good idea to do these contractions while driving down the road. A person could get pulled over just making the faces of concentration while doing this. What a hoot! Didn’t know you could make such faces, did you. Actually, I decided not to them in public ever! Imagine magined getting pulled over.

Sorry officer. No, there’s no pain. It’s just that these Kegel exercises require some concentration … “Oh, there was a stop sign?”

They (doctors) say there is a very simple office procedure to remedy this. They can actually string it back up where it belongs. It would permanently fix this leaky problem. However, there are no office procedures any more. First you are sent to a urologist, who then sends you for a battery of tests, and more specialists. When they’ve finally exhausted all extra curricular examination, they will schedule you for out-patient surgery. All of this insures that they will all be paid a hefty share of the insurance money along with your co-pay. Enough about that part. I’ll expound on that at a later date.

Okay, back to the critical sneeze. Now that you know what’s going on when you see a woman standing in the middle of a room, one leg crossed over the other and doubled over; your jobis to turn your head and pretend that you just don’t see it. OR, you could just nod at her acknowledging that you’ve been there and done that. And, the word “depend” takes on a whole new meening.