On the day of the winter solstice I sat down with my colleague Gillian McCabe for our mini Christmas Party. It was meant to be a coffee and catch up, a moment to pause and reflect on an eventful year for us both. Maybe there really was magic in the air but we were still talking gone midnight with an audacious plan for 2018: how we’re going to shake up Pelvic Health for the women (and men!) of Wales. More for our patients, more for our clinicians. (And yes, you can read a sneaky preview below!)
We’ve known each other for years having worked concurrently in neighbouring NHS health boards and on the same national education and governance committees, we’ve been through the Bradford Masters together (the only Pelvic Health postgrad course in the UK currently) and began private practice at the same time. This last year has been extremely hard work and neither of us would change it one bit! It’s been a long learning curve and our meeting was a great moment to review what has been achieved. Working for yourself it’s so easy to be consumed by all the jobs to do, the lists, the emails, the plans. Seth puts it well, click here if you’re interested.
So, permit me a moment of reflection.
In 2017 I:
– Treated hundreds of awesome patients. I’m incredibly lucky to have a passion for what I do, I do it because I’m endlessly interested in the complexities of the body and mind, and awed by the people I work with meeting their own challenges day in day out.
– Launched JB Physiotherapy & Education, website and YouTube channel.. less than a year ago!
– Published my research on bladder pain syndrome treatment in women (the Wand)
– Published 3 other articles
– Officially graduated with an MSc (although a year later… I’d almost forgotten that I’d get to wear a hat with go-faster stripes)
– Wrote and held the first of The Happy Bladder Course weekends on it’s UK tour
– Secured an EPIC Scholarship and the Dame Josephine Barnes award to be able to attend the World Congress on Abdominal and Pelvic Pain in Washington, DC… then went to the US and had an incredible week, a pivotal moment in my professional life.. (read more in the next POGP Journal or check through the blog lists for WCAPP knowledge bombs)
– Met some of my international clinician and research heroes, talked pelvic pain in depth and developed some international mentoring.
– Spoke at 2 UK conferences
– Filmed dozens of videos for patients, with over 50,000 views on YouTube
Phew. It’s good to sit back and think over how much has been completed before looking ahead. At the start of 2018 I know I already have lined up:
– The Pelvic Health Podcast with Lori Forner – we talked about pelvic floor hypertonicity, the myth of trigger points and when/where/how/if to use a Wand just before Christmas and I’m excited to find out how it turned out! It should be up in the next few months. Also – I know she spoke to Dr Melissa Farmer and Sandy Hilton the week before, now That’s a podcast I can’t wait to hear.
– Another 2 podcasts – I’ll let you know when they happen. Let’s keep talking about what we do, how we do it and the evidence behind it – and be open to critique! It’s the only way we’ll move toward that pinnacle of effective medicine “treating the right patient, in the right way, at the right time”…
– Three more Happy Bladder courses all over the UK and three more conferences. Plus two patient events and some pre-conference training. It’s going to be a busy 6 months.
– Another case study ready to go with a CRPS style intervention for complex pelvic pain. Now just to see who’ll print it…
– Some exciting new steps forward in how we treat pelvic pain – spurred on by new research relationships made at WCAPP17 I’ll be spending more time talking to women and gathering data on non-invasive approaches to changing how our brain and pelvis communicate, to improve pain and suffering.
– And we’re building on our Pelvic Pain Centre of Excellence at St Joe’s… that may take up some of my time!
But my BIG announcement for 2018?
The Happy Bladder is going Global! After a flurry of emails from my international colleagues I’m really excited to tell you that in 2018 I’ll have a comprehensive and holistic online course series up for everything Bladder Pain Syndrome related. If you have a burning question you want answered just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure to add it in. If you want to keep in the loop subscribe to my list and you’ll receive a FREE infographic as well as all my latest vlogs, freebies, course information and catch up with what’s happening in the world of pelvic pain research. Feel free to print and use the infographic in your clinic or online marketing with clients. (Don’t worry, you won’t be bombarded with marketing, this is about sharing knowledge and working together to improve the treatment of those with chronic pelvic pain.)
And the BIG news from Gill and I?
This is what I’m most excited about clinically for 2018 – we’ve decided to work more closely together. From early next year I’ll also be holding a clinic at Ash Tree Medical Clinic (conveniently just off Junction 30 of the M4). You can expect to see more of us collaborating, using our collective voice to ensure women and men are provided with the best, most current, rigorously evidenced and effective treatment that we can. And I get to hang out with my clinical best buddy more. HOORAY!