For this very active woman, the daily struggle to manage a distressing
problem is alleviated with a life-changing treatment.
Lee Havens loves two things: sports and traveling. When not off hiking in the mountains of Canada or Iceland, her days are filled with one or more of her favorite activities: weightlifting, yoga, biking, kayaking, golf, swimming, tennis, hiking, and snow skiing.
“My choice of sport just depends on where I am,” Lee comments. “Golfing and swimming when in Florida, hiking and snow skiing when I’m back at my home in Montana, located in a town thirty miles from Glacier National Park.”
A triathlete until she reached 65, Lee now satisfies her adventurous spirit with tours organized by Road Scholar, an educational travel service.
“I’ve just returned from a ten-day hike in Iceland with a group of older people who were extremely fit and fun,” says Lee.
Despite an active and satisfying life, Lee has suffered with the problem of fecal incontinence. Her condition became progressively worse over a seven-year period before she sought help addressing the problem.
“Playing more than one set of tennis without a bathroom nearby became almost impossible,” recalls Lee. “Or going for a long bike ride or doing anything, I had to know at all times where the bathrooms were located.
“My personality is just to keep going, no matter what. I prefer to deal with problems myself. Although, now in hindsight, I realize I wasn’t dealing with this problem so well. It was really just awful.”
Lee consulted with Marja Sprock, MD, FACOG, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with fellowship training in urogynecology. Her practice is in Rockledge, in the Melbourne area.
“For many years, there wasn’t much we could do to treat fecal incontinence,” states Dr. Sprock, “and there are a lot of people who struggle with this condition.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint why a patient develops the disorder. There are neurological diseases that can contribute to it, trauma of any kind, cancers, strokes, lower back issues, multiple sclerosis, and childbirth, to name a few.”
Dr. Sprock says of her patient Lee, “She’s had any number of factors that could, in combination, create her condition. She’s had several lower back surgeries, a colon prolapse, and has given birth to three children.”
Hope is alive
“My first impression of Dr. Sprock,” recalls Lee, “is that she’s very direct and open. And she listens to you in a way that makes you feel like you are the only person in the world.
“At the end of a month-long series of tests, we agreed that I should try a twenty-one-day InterStim Therapy trial. I really liked that Dr. Sprock didn’t rush to a conclusion or recommend surgery.”
“I want people to know there is hope for effectively treating fecal incontinence,” confirms Dr. Sprock. “Now we have InterStim Therapy and it’s fabulously effective. Thanks to InterStim, I get a lot of cards from patients thanking me for helping them get their lives back.”
Lee is pleased with the results of the InterStim Therapy. “Immediately, I noticed a marked difference,” recalls Lee. “After just a few days of the trial period, I knew it was something I wanted. Before I left for my Iceland hiking trip in late June, Dr. Sprock replaced the trial with the permanent version of the InterStim.
“All during the process, she inspired a sense of hope and confidence that there would be an answer. And I found her extremely empathetic and knowledgeable. She’s not looking at her watch when she’s talking with you. There is no question in my mind that doing it was the right decision.”