Patient Stories: Tina's Story


Tina's Story Active-duty officer U.S. Army
Age: 37

“I have a new lease on life; from living in fear to normal!”

In the Army, and especially in the special ops unit where Tina serves, there aren’t a lot of women around— including doctors who treat mostly men. For years she was misdiagnosed by her primary care physician with urinary tract infections. She “did about a million Kegels” in an effort to control her leakage and never found any relief for her pain.

In her active and extremely stressful job, there often wasn’t any way to hide her leakage. She would even go so far as to pretend to fall in a puddle to disguise her issue. Finally, when the pain was too much to bear she was referred to a specialist.

The specialist diagnosed Tina with Stress Urinary Incontinence. Tina was so relieved to find out that it was a medical condition that could be fixed. Because she had been misdiagnosed for so long, her bladder had deteriorated and surgery was recommended right away. She looked for a surgeon to perform her sling procedure.

The doctor walked her carefully through the procedure and answered all of her questions. Tina had some questions about what she had seen in the news, and the doctor very directly explained how those procedures might have gone wrong, and how the technique she used in surgery would be different. The fact that the doctor was so honest relieved her concerns. She scheduled her procedure.

Tina’s first sling disconnected, possibly because she didn’t comply with her postoperative orders. She was very careful in resting after her second surgery. It was a success and now Tina has a new lease on life. “Instead of living in fear, I feel normal.”

Tina hopes that other women understand that hope for recovery is real. “You are not alone,” she says, “and there is nothing to be ashamed about.”