I think we can all agree that the faster we can put 2020 in the review mirror and never look back, the better. This past year has us collectively putting all aspects of life in perspective. It has us being thankful for the things we took for granted. Most of all, health has had the greatest focus. These are strange and challenging times for all of us.
With strange and challenging times comes anxiety. Some of us are equipped with good coping skills. Exercise, spending time with family, meeting with friends in socially distanced settings, and mindfulness are all ways people are coping. It goes without saying that for some, the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing struggles. For others, the pandemic as affected us in ways we don’t even realize.
In June, I started to notice that one of my teeth was sore and irritated. Being that the curve was flattening during this time, I decided to take advantage and go to see my dentist. Convinced I must have a cavity, I was surprised when the dentist completed her assessment and assured me that everything was fine. “But what’s wrong with my tooth then?” I asked her, confused.
She pondered for a moment, then asked me to clamp my teeth together. “That’s it!” she said. “You’re grinding your teeth in your sleep.” Responding to my perplexed expression she added, “I have been seeing this a lot recently. Don’t worry, this will go away when the pandemic is over.”
Since being able to return to work in June of this year, I have had several repeat and new clients who have come in reporting that their symptoms either began or worsened right around March or April of 2020. It is not a coincidence that the pandemic became a permanent part of our lives right around this time too.
Stress and anxiety is the catalyst of many pelvic health complaints: pain, urinary urgency and frequency, incontinence, IBS, etc. It would stand to reason that in a time that anxiety is at an all time high, globally, that symptoms that are driven by this would rear their ugly heads.
If you have noticed that your symptoms have worsened this past year, or that new symptoms have developed, there is help available. During the pandemic, the delivery of health care has also evolved. Options include in person appointments, virtual care and phone appointments.