In this episode, sports chiropractor, certified strength and conditioning specialist, pregnancy and postpartum athleticism coach, and level 2 Crossfit coach, Dr Karlie Causey, talks about exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Today, Dr. Karlie talks about planning home exercise programs and preparing athletic women for the postpartum exercise phase, and the idea that every mom is an athlete. What are some postpartum conditions or barriers to getting back to fitness?
Hear about setting expectations about postpartum conditions, the story behind Jen & Keri, and get Dr Karlie’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Dr. Karlie
Dr. Karlie is a sports chiropractor, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, pregnancy and postpartum athleticism coach, and a level 2 Crossfit coach.
More importantly, she is a mom to two, who is ridiculously passionate about helping postpartum athletes and moms-to-be restore their bodies and move with confidence. This obsession led her to establish Jen & Keri, a postpartum activewear brand for athletes, and create her wildly successful Postpartum Restoration Plan.
Beyond being a mom and a competitive fitness lover, she has spent the last 17 years of her life studying the human body and learning how it moves. Earning her doctorate of chiropractic and a master's in human biology were just a start; she doesn't plan to stop learning any time soon! She is certified in the Webster technique and BirthFit, and has served as the team Chiropractor for the Seattle Seawolves and as the local medical director for AVP Seattle.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, Pregnancy, Postpartum, Motherhood, Exercise, Rehabilitation, Athletics, Training, Empowerment,
To learn more, follow Dr. Karlie at:
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hey, Dr. Carly, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on and excited to talk about exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. longtime listeners of this podcast will know that that this is a topic we talk about a lot here. So I'm really great to have you on to get a fresh perspective of things. So welcome.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited for for our chat.
So before we get into the nuts and bolts, can you give the listeners a little bit more insight into you and as to why you chose this sort of subset or niche of folks to see?
Sure, yeah, well, I've been a sports chiropractor now for Gwent, this is a will be my 12th year. So I've been doing that for a while. And I've always loved working with women in general, all walks of life, all stages of life. But when I became pregnant, I really as I feel like it happens for many, many healthcare providers, you really start to embrace the stage that you're in a little bit. So I really started to learn a lot about how how women progress through pregnancy, how they can continue working out how we can minimize, sort of, you know, things that can happen to that are detrimental after the baby comes. So I just really, really dove into that area of expertise. And it just hasn't stopped since then. So I found it very helpful to to have someone walk alongside me during my pregnancy, pelvic floor pt. And so now I try to be that person for a lot of my patients, too.
That's great. And listen, the more help we can give to women pregnant, and especially in that postpartum period, or that fourth trimester is, as it is called, I think the more people who can offer help, the better because it's not like people are not going to ever get pregnant again. So yeah, have that help. It's really important, and a lot of women just don't know. Right? They don't, I don't know what you don't know. And so if you're not in the healthcare field, there are so many questions, the body changes so much you're feeling maybe Weird Things You Didn't feel before. So getting back to exercise can be a little nerve racking. So
Oh, go ahead. No, go ahead. I think that, um, you know, it's becoming much more common to talk about this, and that women are wanting to work out more. And what's one of the benefits of social media, you know, is that we're seeing some of this stuff and able to get more info, you know, I talked to friends who had kids 10 years ago, and it just, it doesn't exist at all really, you know, and as far as like, information that was readily available. So I'm happy that, that we're trending in that direction, at least.
Yeah, absolutely. And now, let's get let's get into the nuts and bolts here now. So can you give us some practical ways to introduce rehab, introduce exercise, after giving birth, and I love the that were practical, right? Because we're talking about women who maybe don't have a whole heck of a lot of time, because they have a newborn to take care of. So I'll hand the mic over to you.
Yeah, exactly. Um, I think one of the things that I really liked to stress is that we don't need to wait until the six week mark, to start doing what we consider, you know, rehabilitative exercises. So if with an uncomplicated birth, I often have women starting, you know, day two, day three, especially with just breathing exercises. And what what I see very often is, as women are pregnant as their belly is growing, what happens a lot of times is that diaphragm really gets crammed up there. And so we start to see that they're not breathing as deeply, they're not able to belly breathe. And that diaphragm, we have to remember is the top of the quote unquote, core, right? So their pelvic floor is the bottom, we have our diaphragm on the top, and then all the muscles surrounding but I just like to remind women of that, because that muscle getting so kind of constricted throughout pregnancy is really a big deal. And really, starting on the breath work early on can be really, really helpful. So that's one thing that I really like to emphasize is, you know, at day two, day three, even if you had a C section, you can be laying in your hospital bed, doing some deep belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and you're actually doing a lot more than than you think you are, you know, you're actually starting your rehab journey right there. So that's my first tip that I always like to give. I'm sure you as a PT would would agree with that, right? Like there's just so much we can start with so. So yeah, that's number one. And then the other thing that I really like to emphasize is time small rehab activities. into your daily life. So getting away from the mindset that we have to like set aside 3045 minutes an hour, whatever you used to do, or whatever you think you need to do, and say, Okay, I'm going to do 10, diaphragmatic breaths, and 10, air squats. And every time I set the baby down, or every time I change the baby's diaper, or whatever it is, you know, you can kind of pick what works for you. But I like to do that. Because then it's, it's adding in movement throughout your day, it's giving you a sense of control of like, having these pieces of rehab that you can add into your day and feel like you're working towards a goal. And it's taking away the stress of like, okay, you have to have this time set aside, everything has to go perfect, you have to have the perfect workout outfit on and your water bottle ready and the right tunes and like it just doesn't happen with a newborn baby, you know. So I think taking that stress off is another helpful tip.
Yeah, it's funny, I just did a social media post about this subject when it comes to a home exercise program that, you know, ask your patient in front of you, I because I have a woman who said, you know, I can squeeze in a couple of five to 10 minutes a day. So if you give me two exercises that I can do in between patients, she's a psychologist in between patients, I'll do it. Right. She's like, but if you say, Oh, you have to set aside, like you said, half an hour, 40 minutes to do that. She's like, it's just not gonna get done. Yeah.
Yeah, it depends on the person, right? Because then you also have people who want that 30 minutes, like, give me, I am used to working out an hour every day, whatever it is, I want my 30 minutes of things to do. And so it's yeah, it's just knowing your patient and like taking the time to ask them those questions of what's going to make them more successful. And the other thing I like is, if you've read the book, habit stacking, that's basically what I'm recommending to is, you know, tying an exercise to something else that you're already doing. So you don't have to think about when am I going to do this when you know, it's like, I always tell new moms don't tie it to brushing your teeth. Because sometimes that doesn't happen, you know, if we're being honest, sometimes doesn't happen on a on a day, but, you know, tie it to something like, okay, when you pick up the baby, change the baby's diaper or hand the baby to your partner, those kinds of things that you're you know, you're going to be doing, then that seems to be a recipe for
success, too. Yeah. And like you said, most importantly, just ask the patient what works best for them. Right? We're not them, we're not in their shoes. Maybe this woman gave birth, and she's got a ton of help at home. Right? We don't know. Or maybe it's a single mom who gave birth who doesn't have a ton of help. So always just ask, that is the easiest way to come up with a realistic and like you said, practical home exercise program. Okay, anything else, any other practical tips to introduce exercise in rehab after in those first couple of weeks or months, let's say after giving birth?
Yeah, I think another one is, you know, include the baby is always a good one, right? We tend to forget after we have a baby, depending on the activity level of the person beforehand, we tend to forget that walking is actually exercise, especially in the postpartum period. So I like to remind my patients of that I have a lot of patients who are pretty active, pretty high level of athletics prior to being pregnant. And so I have to remind them that walking in a postpartum phase is exercise, and it does count. And you should be finding time for it. Whatever that looks like with a stroller with a front pack, you know, even if you can get out for a little bit on your own is always nice, too, but not often as doable. But so I like to I like to remind people that and also that we don't necessarily need to jump into walking right away. So it's not something that you know, day 234, walking, probably still doesn't feel very comfortable, whether you have a vaginal birth or a C section. And so remembering that that's just like anything else, you want to work into that slowly, just like any other exercise program, you wouldn't jump right into lifting super heavy weights or, you know, join a competitive athletic league of some kind. So, starting slowly there, too, I think is important. Yeah. And
you hit on something that I want to kind of circle back to is, you said a lot of the women that you work with tend to be really high level athletes. I know you're also a crossfit coach, right. So you're seeing a lot of these high level, athletic women. So how do you kind of prepare them for this postpartum phase where they're not really going to be able to go back to that heavy lifting right away? Because from a psychological standpoint, I would think that would be can be quite difficult.
Yeah, it is yes, good question, I think what I tried to do is really lean into what I sort of call the negative side of it. And I try to stress to them that the things that are going to get them back to where they want to be, are really boring. And they're really slow. And they're going to be annoyed by them. But if they do them, in the short term, it's going to pay off in the long term. So starting off slow to get back to where you want to go is always always the right choice in postpartum with postpartum women. So yeah, that's, that's what I start with. And I really explained the breath work because again, that sounds like boring and sort of silly to a lot of people. And before I had a baby, I think I was less, I was less into the breath work, because I just found it so boring. And I would listen, you know, to pts and chiropractors, and, you know, ortho, all kinds of Doc's talking about how important breathwork was. And I was always like, gosh, it's so lame. But then once you feel how that diaphragm really doesn't expand like it used to, and you can't connect your breath with your body, like you use, do you realize, okay, this is actually where we have to start. And once we get this down and get this kind of Mind, Body breath connection down again, then we can start to progress from there. So yeah, I always start off people really slow. I developed a postpartum restoration plan. That's eight weeks. And it's more developed for the type of person that needs like, you know, they need their 20 to 30 minutes of like, here's my rehab, here's my, this is going to substitute for my workout for the day, you know, since I'm not doing a cross a workout or, or hit workout, or whatever they do. But I think that's been helpful to have those exercises, have kind of a game plan. And then, and then I can kind of shift those things around for people that want to like, you know, kind of fit things in here and there. So,
yeah, yeah, great advice. So really setting those expectations even before the baby comes so that they know what to do. So they know what's coming. And that's huge expectations are everything. Okay, so how about any conditions or barriers to getting back to fitness that maybe some postpartum women may experience?
Yeah, I always like to talk about this. Because there's, there's some things that people aren't really anticipating, you know, I think a lot of women during pregnancy, they sort of anticipate, okay, maybe a little bit of low back pain, maybe some pelvic pain. Even if they're thinking ahead, some upper back and neck and shoulder pain from being sort of hunched forward and nursing and that sort of thing. One thing that people don't anticipate that obviously isn't like a, you know, life ending condition or anything, but I'm sure you've heard of it, and seeing patients with it is the mommy thumb, you know, mommy wrist, however, we want to call it but that's when it really catches people by surprise. And basically what it is, is, can be pretty severe pain and either the wrist or the thumb and it comes from the forearm extensor muscles, and just from holding that baby and kind of that flexed position. So often, women are generally carrying a lot on the on the same side, if you bet shear, they end up sleeping kind of with the arm curled around the baby often, so then they can kind of get stuck in that position. And those muscles get really, really tight. So I like to tell my patients sort of warn them about that prior to giving birth and have them start on some wrist roller, you know, some eccentric, concentric strengthening of both the flexors and the extensors. And nothing crazy, you know, couple of minutes a day, four or five days a week will make a huge difference in that area. So that's one thing that I like to warn about. And if they with new moms that they're starting to feel that right away, I have them try to start some of those loading exercises, because that will, you know, if we catch it early enough, it can nip it right in the bud. But if we let it go, it can be pretty severe, you know, and people end up getting cortisone shots to take care of it and and there's a time and a place for that. But if we can take care of it beforehand, then let's do that.
Yeah, absolutely. I once had a woman who she was like, I think in her early 50s. And she started experiencing you know what they call mommy thumb or deeper veins. And hers was from they just gotten a new puppy. So her kids were grown and she's like, it feels like it does. She's like my thumb feels like it did after I had my second child. And so I look at how she's carrying this dog around the whole time. That's why
Yeah, there you go happens to the best of them, I guess. Yep,
absolutely. So even even to the moms of new moms of our furry, furry children, our little fairy children, it can still happen. So be prepared. What else what other complications or errors have you seen?
Yeah, I think one that gets a lot of you know, buzzword right now gets kind of a lot of play is talking about diastasis recti time and I'm glad I'm glad that it becomes So much more common to talk about it talk about what it is how it happens. But I think there's also a lot of fear mongering that goes on with that. Again, on social media, there's, you know, whoever can post whatever, right, so I do see a lot of stuff about about diastasis recti, what not to do. And what I always like to remind people is that it's, it's a normal, natural thing that needs to happen for that baby to grow and for the abdomen to expand. So I think that's really important to tell our patients and make sure that they know that it's supposed to happen, it's going to happen, you know, some studies show up to 100% of women have diastasis, recti, I think, like, week 36. And so, so just reiterating that, like, it's okay, it's gonna happen, we're gonna, we're gonna rehab you out of it, you know, but I think, you know, learning about it is great, and then understanding, okay, it's the separation of those abdominal muscles, what's gonna cause more stress on those? Okay, well, any of the flexion exercises, of course, so sit ups, and across the world, toes, the bar, that kind of thing. Any sort of kipping motion, anything where you're losing control, right down that linea alba down the center of the core, so are dancenter the abs. Also with heavy weights, like that's another thing that a lot of people don't anticipate as heavyweight overhead. Can Can just overstrain that tissue. And so there, I usually recommend people switch to dumbbells, you know, that's a pretty common recommendation, switch to dumbbells from a barbell, if you're using a barbell, they're just more forgiving, and allow you to, you know, move a little bit more efficiently and keep your core a little bit more stable. And then talking about in the postpartum phase, what we're going to do to rehab that. And understanding that, you know, nothing you do during pregnancy is going to, it's not going to hurt, it's not gonna hurt the baby, it's not going to hurt you, it just potentially makes it harder to rehab it later. Right. And so, we're always talking about minimizing those activities, seeing what we can substitute in, so you can still keep moving and doing what you want to do. But, but, you know, kind of playing that game of like cost benefit analysis, like, is it worth it to be doing this exercise? Is there something I could do that's a little bit safer, and just sets me up for a little bit more success down the road? So yeah, I think it's important to really talk during the pregnancy about that. And then in the postpartum phase, talk about where do we start, you know, and again, it goes back to the breathing, I hate to harp on it, but it does. And then there's some really simple diastasis recti exercises, that sort of work on engaging the transverse abdominus, you know, that big flat abdominal muscle that kind of wraps around and, and then from there, kind of retraining your core that okay, we can stay stable. And we can keep, you know, a nice pressure throughout while we start to learn to move our extremities and move a little bit of weight. And just like anything going through kind of progressive overload. But with with the core.
Yeah. And would you mind giving the listeners maybe a quick example of an exercise that you might work with a patient postpartum? Like, let's say that now, like you said, like 99% of women will have a diastasis after pregnancy? So would you mind giving a quick example?
Yeah, of course. Yeah. So there, there's tons of them out there. And it really depends on what phase of postpartum she's in. Right. So if it's really early on, like I said, we're going to work on some breathing, and we're going to have her one of the cues I really like is, when we're thinking about kind of trying to, to create tension throughout the abdomen, I like to think of kind of pulling the hip bones together, that's one that seems to work well for a lot of people. So you have them take a breath, and let's say they're lying on their back on the ground with their knees bent, have them take a big breath in, feel right on the inside of their hip bones. And then as they breathe out, they're gonna think about trying to pull those hip bones together. And that can start to help engage that transverse abdominus. And of course, you want them in like a neutral spine, in this position. And from there, then we can progress obviously, you know, with some, like heal slides with the leg lifts. Those are pretty sort of traditional exercises. I also like to incorporate when we start talking about, you know, healing through the entire Corps, I like to incorporate some glute work because that's one thing that gets missed a lot. We, we forget that the glutes are connected to the pelvic floor. So when we're trying to heal this whole barrel that is our core, it's really important to, you know, start with some really basic just even if it's glute bridges, some hip thrusts, those sort of things. I think those need to go hand in hand as we work that posterior chain along with the anterior abdomen.
Perfect. Thank you so much for those examples. Just gives people a little taste. So let's talk about Jen and Carrie. I will throw it over to you. Why don't you talk a little bit about Jen and Carrie and your company's logo?
Yeah, thank you. So my company is called Jen and Carrie, and it's sort of funny. My name is Carly, obviously, my partner my business partners name is Jess. So Jess and Carly. But whenever people get our names wrong, which is a lot they call us, they call her Jen. And they call me Carrie. And so as we were talking about what we should name the company, we were like, Jen and Carrie, they sound like you're fun mom friends that like know all the deets and have all the advice. So that's, that's our company name. And unfortunately, it's only further that probably problem a little bit because now you know, email and correspond with people. And they just immediately cost Jen and Carrie, but that's fine. We started the company after my first son. And I was, I believe it was, it was a couple months two or three months postpartum. And I was just getting back into the gym and trying to go back to CrossFit class, I'd done all my rehab, and I was really slowly kind of reintegrating, and I was complaining to her that I just hated all the nursing sports bras out there, I hate the clips, I hate the zipper, the button, like all this stuff, I just hated it. And you know, and across the class, let's say you're doing you're working with a barbell you like kind of dig the barbell into those clips with a PowerClean or a front squat or something or you're running and they pop open. It's like, you know, everyone every mom's worst nightmare. And so we started kind of looking scouring the internet for a sports bra that didn't look like a nursing sports bra, we just didn't find one. So we started kind of toying around and, and playing with a bunch of sports bras, cutting them up and, and it grew into basically the sports bra that we developed, which looks just like a regular sports bra, it has a sort of different technology that you pull up the top layer, pull down the bottom layer, so there's no clips, no zippers, none of that stuff. And really, the reason was, I just wanted to be in my workout class and feel like everyone else, like I wanted to have that hour of time for myself, I love being a new mom, I love being a nursing mom, but I just didn't feel like I needed to be advertising it to the world and my like, one hour class, I just wanted it for me. So that sort of spawned our company. And our goal is basically to just empower women to get back to whatever activities they love. And this is just one way we're doing it, we just feel if if a sports bra is gonna make you feel more comfortable and more confident in your postpartum body, and that's gonna get you moving then that we're all for it. So that's sort of how we started.
And, and the logo, every mom is an athlete. So controversial take may be right, some people may think I totally get where you're coming from, but go ahead and kind of explain that.
Yeah, so we have a couple of different reasons for are a couple of different meanings behind our logo, every mom is an athlete, we, first of all, we want women to feel like they can be whatever they want to be. So they can continue being an athlete, if they were before having kids, they can become an athlete, if they want to, you know, whatever that means for them, you know, whether it's running or Jiu Jitsu, or strongman competitions or whatever, we don't care, we just want to support you in whatever you want to do. And we also the other thing that we think about that is that being a mom is a really athletic job. So when you think about the stuff that moms do, you know, you think about the mom, carrying the car seat on one side with the toddler on the other hip with the coffee and the hand with the backpack with the all the stuff and that takes a lot of athleticism, whether you consider yourself an athlete or not. Putting your baby down in a crib is a hip hinge, right? Picking your baby up to put them into the car and the car see is is a press and a lift. So everything that we're doing, we try to we try to think about okay, what, what our moms doing and how can we support them in active wear, you know, as just one of the many ways to support them. What can we do to help support them in in this really athletic endeavor? That is motherhood?
Yeah, I love it. I think it's great. And I agree I do. I do think every mom is an athlete as well. So not so controversial, although I could see where people are coming from on that. So currently, as we start to wrap things up, what would you like the audience to take away? What are your takeaways from our discussion?
Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I think I would love for them to take away just that. You can continue being who you who you were before motherhood in whatever context that means for you And, and, you know, an entirely different version of that maybe, but like you can continue all the athletic pursuits you had before. That I want women to feel to feel empowered in the postpartum phase. And I try to do that in a lot of different ways, right? Like in my clinic, with my postpartum plan, but doing things like these to just like, talk about, here's some simple things you can do to help reintegrate your core and start building your strength back and just feel stable and confident, comfortable in your new body. That's my goal, really. And so that's our goal, Jen and Carrie, that's my goal, personally, and I think that would be my takeaway.
And where can people find you? You can list social media websites, where can they find Jen and Carrie?
Yeah, so Jen and carrie.com, it's JdN and ke ri. We're also on Instagram at Jen and Carrie. And then I'm also on Instagram at Dr. Carly, it's KR, li e. Those are probably the best places. Perfect. And
we'll have links to all of those in the show notes for today's episode over at podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com. So if you forgot you didn't write it down. Don't worry, just hop on over. And we'll have direct links to everything. So, Carly, last question. And it's one I asked everyone knowing where you are now in your life in your career, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Yeah, I know, you asked that question. And I've been like really thinking hard about it. Um, I think I would give the sounds so cliche and sort of silly, but I think I would tell myself to have more fun, because the research shows when we're having fun is when we actually enter that flow state more right? We can talk about that for hours, I'm sure. But I think I would tell myself that because I look back and see the hard work of school, you know, education, but also in sports athletics, through high school college. I just think I if I would have had more fun, I probably would have been more successful. But also maybe, you know, maybe it would have been a little bit smoother ride. So that would be my advice.
Yeah. And, and as an entrepreneur as well, right? So sometimes, yeah, gets so wrapped up into the day to day that we're like, all stressed out and forget, like, wait a second, we got into this as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, to do things our own way. So why can't that involve having some fun every day as well?
Yeah, exactly like this. Right? We get to just sit and chat about stuff we love to chat about. This is a good time. This is fun. So yes, great point. Even in the entrepreneurial life, especially.
Yeah, especially anyway, and you're Listen, I'd love to have you come back on to talk about that aspect of, of your life as well. Because I love having successful female entrepreneurs and talk about their business and, and how they got things off the ground. Because I know people are always interested in that. So you'll have to come back. I love it. Yeah, I think you'll have to come back. And you'll have to talk about your sports Cairo business as well as the Jen and Carrie. So you know, being in that space of a retail space, which I know is not easy. So, so much to talk about. So we will put a pin in that and we will discuss that maybe in a couple of months. So Carly, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. This was great. I think you gave people a lot of practical easy tips that they can start integrating whether you're a postpartum mom or someone who cares for them. So thank you so much for coming on.
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. My pleasure. And everyone. Thanks
so much for listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
In this episode, Principal Research Fellow at Latrobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, Dr Joanne Kemp PhD, talks about hip pain treatment and research.
Today, Joanne talks about the common causes of hip pain, the difference between men’s and women’s hip pain, and the outcomes for patients that “wait and see”. How can PTs design and conduct evidence-based treatment programs?
Hear about treating overachievers, referring out and using other treatments, and the upcoming Fourth WCSPT, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Joanne Kemp
Associate Professor, Dr Joanne Kemp, is a Principal Research Fellow at Latrobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre and is a titled APA Sports Physiotherapist of 25+ years’ experience.
Joanne has presented extensively on the management of hip pain and hip pathology in Australia and internationally. Her research is focused on hip pain including early onset hip OA in younger adults, and its impact on activity, function, and quality of life. She is also focussed on the long-term consequence of sports injury on joint health. She has a particular focus on surgical and non-surgical interventions that can slow the progression and reduce the symptoms associated with hip pain, pathology, and hip OA. Joanne maintains clinical practice in Victoria.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Pain, Hip Pain, Pain Management, Injuries, Research, Osteoarthritis, Exercise, Physiotherapy, WCSPT,
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hey, Joe, welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy to have you on. I've been wanting to have you on this podcast for such a long time. So thank you so much.
Thanks, Karen. It's great to be here, finally.
And of course, today we're going to be talking about hip pain, hip pathology, that is your zone of genius. So let's just dive right in. So let's talk about some common causes of hip pain in adults. And does this differ between women and men?
Yeah, look, it's a great question. And I think probably, we, I think we're starting to change our perspective on that difference between men and women and the causes of hip pain. I think that previously, we've sort of been very aware of the burden of hip pain in men and particularly young male athletes that there's been, you know, a growing body of research that's looked at at the prevalence and burden and causes of hip pain in young men. And probably that's led to a misconception that it affects men more than women. But it's only really that the research has been done in men, less and less so in women, like we see across, you know, the whole medical space. So if we think about the common causes of hip pain across the lifespan, when we're looking in sort of the adolescent and young adult population, you know, typical causes can be things like hip dysplasia, and that's actually is more common in women or young girls and women than boys and men so probably affects three times as many girls and women as it does men. And I think the prevalent when we're you know, the prevalence is perhaps higher than we previously thought. So, some studies are suggesting that up to 20% of adults have some form of hip dysplasia are shallow, hip socket shallow, so turbulent, and, and that that does lead to an increased risk of developing hip osteoarthritis in later life in later life. And even as young adults, sometimes we see patients with hip dysplasia, presenting with arthritis who need to go to hip replacement at a really young age in their 20s and 30s. So, hip dysplasia is a really common one. Another one that we've heard a lot about in the last 10 years is femoral acetabular, impingement syndrome, or FAI syndrome. So that's traditionally thought to be where there's impingement between the ball and the socket, either due to extra bone on the ballpark of the hip, which is can morphology or deep or retroverted socket, which has pencil morphology. And that's probably where a lot of the studies have been done, particularly in that young male adult adult population. But what we're now seeing when we look at the big cohorts, particularly of patients that end up presenting to hip arthroscopy is that it's about 5050. It's about 50% men and 50% women. So that burden is pretty equal across men and women. And that's another thing that does lead to an increased risk of hip osteoarthritis in later life. But the risk is not quite as high in FAI syndrome as it is in hip dysplasia. And it certainly is, it tends to be a slower burn. So these patients present for their hip replacements probably in their 50s and 60s, whereas hip dysplasia, we're seeing these patients in their 20s and 30s, with hip osteoarthritis. So that's probably the second most, the you know, the second cause in that younger age group. Then as we move into older adults, so sort of, you know, people 35 Plus sort of middle aged and older adults, that's where we really see hip osteoarthritis presenting itself, and it can be due to dysplasia or FAI syndrome. But it can also just sort of be that idiopathic arthritis that might be due to occupation, lots of different things. And again, that's reasonably equal men and women, but we do see women probably having a little bit more arthritis than men and more women going to hip replacement than men. And the outcomes for hip replacement are not as good in women as they are in men. So that burden is still probably skewed towards being higher in women than men. And then the other cause of hip pain that we see particularly in the middle age and older women is other gluteal pathologies or lateral hip pain, sometimes called you know, TRAQ, enteric, besides gluteal, tendinopathy, gluteal tendinitis, it has lots of different names. But that's a burden that definitely disproportionately affects women, over men. And particularly, once women get into that perimenopause, or menopause or post menopausal age group, there seems to be a relationship with with with hormones and with estrogen levels and the likelihood of gluteal tendinopathy becoming symptomatic as women sort of transition through that change. And so that's another really common cause. And we're now starting to be aware that often these women will present with combined hip osteoarthritis and gluteal tendinopathy. And that's where it can get really, really, really tricky as well. So yeah, look, it does. There's different, you know, different things that you see across the lifespan, but the burden is definitely I think, disproportionately higher in women than in men in a number of those conditions.
Yes, and I am firmly In the last group that you mentioned, I am just getting over, if you will, getting over gluteal tendinopathy, where I have to tell you it that is some serious pain. And, you know, when you're a physical therapist and you have people coming in, and they're explaining their pain to you, and you try and sympathize or empathize now I'm like, it is painful. Like I couldn't walk, I couldn't stand for more than like, four minutes. Yeah,
at least I've had the same thing. And, and I've been lucky that mine, I was sort of able to get on to it, knowing what it was and what to do fairly quickly. But it's very, and I think this is the thing with hip pain until you've had hip pain, whether it's glute tendinopathy, or intra articular, hip pain, it's really disabling. And it really affects everything you do in life, you can't sit without hurting, you can't walk without it hurting, you can't stand without it hurting, you can't lie on your side, without it hurting, you're getting in and out of the car, getting dressed, you know, trying to put your shoes on, it just affects every aspect of your life. And you know, and the pain can be quite intense and severe. So it does. You know, for people who are affected by hip pain, the burden is huge. And we see it reflected in the studies as well, where if you look at outcome scores for quality of life, young people with things like displays your FAI syndrome, their quality of life scores are as bad as people who have hip arthritis who are waiting for hip replacement. So it does, it's very, when you've got it, it's very, very impactful. And I think people until you've experienced it, perhaps people underestimate how bad it can be.
Yeah, and it can be really, like you said, it's very, very disabling. And it also can can make you very nervous. So you know, when these patients come in to see you. So as the physio, when these patients come in to see you, it really behooves you to sit and listen and really get that whole story so that you can make that differential diagnosis as best you can, if you don't have the diagnostic test to back it up, which often happens. Yeah, absolutely.
And I think that's the thing when the patient's present to you, and they're complaining of pain in that hip area, you can't just go to one test or one scan and say, Oh, it's definitely these, it's actually there's lots of pieces of the puzzle puzzle that you've got to put together, it can be really complex, and you absolutely have to listen to the patient. And I think fear, like you just said, is a huge thing. And we've seen this in our some of our qualitative work that's currently under review, but others as well that these patients are terrified to move, or to do exercise because they think it's going to hurt more. And they're really scared that it's going to cause more damage. And, and the irony is that exercise is the thing that we know is like is going to make them better. And once they get moving, they do feel better, but they're so scared to move because they're scared, they're gonna break something or make it worse or end up needing a hip replacement that they they don't they don't move. And it fear is a huge problem, you know, with these people.
Yeah, I mean, even myself as a physio I knew I needed to exercise, I sort of outsource my physio exercises to a friend of mine, Ellie summers, who's on the, on the west coast here in the United States, and she sent me exercises and even doing them, like it's not super comfortable. But within a month, I felt so much better. And now, you know, I'm back to running on the treadmill and doing all the things. But oftentimes, these patients and I may be wrong, but they're not sort of picking up on this within the first month of pain, you know, they might say, Oh, um, it'll go away. Let me give it another couple of weeks and have a couple of weeks. Whereas I was like, Okay, this is really painful. I'm getting to a doctor asap and starting these exercises ASAP. So what have you seen, even through the literature about when patients start to seek out care for this? And how can that affect their outcomes?
I think it's one of the things with hip pain that patients often will just leave it and they'll wait and see. And so we do know that in the younger age group, like if you think about FAI syndrome, for example, people will often not present for two or three years, they will pull up with the pain because it kind of comes and goes so they'll have a flare up, they'll be bad for a few weeks, it'll go away for a few weeks and have another flare up. And so because it's coming and going, they, I guess remain optimistic. It's human nature to be optimistic that it's going to get better by itself. And so it can often be a couple of years. We see this in the literature, you know, two or three years, but I see that in my clinical practice. And I'm sure you do, too, Karen, that patients, they'll come to you and they'll say, oh look, I've had this for two or three years, I was waiting for it to go away and now it's you know, suddenly getting worse and that's when they seek out care. And I think too, you know if we think coming back to what we were talking about with women is that these problems affect women who are really busy so they are often have busy careers. They're looking after families often, they they might be studying as well. They're juggling lots of things. So for them to try and fit in the medical care or, you know, physio care or whatever they need. It's really hard for them to find to make the time to do that. And I think that that's probably why they potentially delay seeking, seeking treatment as well.
Yeah, so many factors go into it. But bottom line is it hurts. Now, how let's talk about the physio side of things. So how can PTS design and conduct an evidence based treatment program? For, we'll say, for adults with hip pain? Yep.
So I think we probably the first thing is to set really good expectations for the patient. So often patients will come potentially looking for the quick fix. And so I think it's important that right up front, we say to our patients, that it does take a while for things to work, you should be starting to improve over that time, but they need to be committed to an exercise program that we know needs to be now at least three months long. So I think both the therapist and the patient need to be prepared for that longer term commitment as well. So I think that's the first thing is setting expectations, right. And then around those expectations, it's also really important that patients understand that exercise is good for them and is not going to cause damage. So you're really trying to get the confident to be able to exercise part of that is an understanding that it will like you just said like when you did your exercises, it's not super comfortable. But that's okay, they need to they don't want to be in a lot of pain, but they will probably have some pain and that that's actually okay and normal to have that. And it doesn't mean that they're causing more damage. That's just a normal part of the body adapting to the exercise process. Sometimes I find with patients to you in order to convince them of that, because sometimes they're a bit skeptical, they don't quite believe you that they give you know, they will do exercises for a week, just look, just have a week off the exercise and see what happens to your pain. And what they find is pain is no better when they're not exercising. But sometimes it's worse, it's usually worse or the same. And so then they're like, Oh yeah, now I understand the exercises and actually making my pain any worse. And so sometimes you might need to do that to get them to buy in. So I think getting them to buy into the timeframe the commitment that they're going to need to do and the fact that they will have a bit of pain, that's probably the biggest thing, then once you've done that, then you can start to develop your exercise program and the foundations of our exercise program. I like to think of it as being sort of two pronged. So the first one is the local exercise that we're doing for the hip joints. So that's where we do a lot of our strengthening exercises. So strengthening up the muscles around the hip. So the hip abductors, and the adductors flexes in the extensors. But then also really focusing on the core and the trunk is important because that controls the acetabulum, which controls the socket. So putting that in and then you know functional exercises as well. So teaching them how to do things like squats and lunges and going up and down stair. So our local rehab exercises should have primarily a strength focus, they might also need to have a range of motion focus as well. But we need to be careful with ranges of motion because sometimes those ranges of motion might be provocative for patients. So going into a lot of rotation or a lot of flexion could provoke pain. So strength is probably our big biggest focus. But then the second prong of our rehab program should be around general fitness in general activity. So you know, we know that the physical activity guidelines say that everybody should be doing 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, then that's just to be a healthy person, regardless of whether you've got a sore hip or not. So I think trying to get them to do general fitness, cardio, whatever you want to call it alongside their hip specific rehab is, is the thing that you need to do. And then what I try and do is I try and make that hip specific rehab, sort of normalize it as fitness training, rather than rehab. Because people get, they're going to be like, don't want to do rehab, everyone gets bored of rehab, you know, at home with your little bands. So trying to get them to do things like you know, incorporated as part of their twice a week strength training, where they go to the gym, for example, is really important. And with any strengthening program, you only need to do it two or three times a week to be effective. So people don't have to do it every day. So I think that's important too to for them to know, they'll get they'll have days off where they don't have to do it. But to find two or three days a week where they can commit to this the strengthening component of the program, the cardio fitness component of their program can fit in around their schedule. And something that I really like to do with patients is to sit down and actually look at their weekly schedule and help them schedule it into their diary. So don't just say to them, you go do this, you know, five times a week, you actually have to fight help them find those chunks of time where they can do it and they can find 30 minutes in their day to be able to commit to that exercise program.
Yeah, I really love that you said to emphasize that the strength thing has to be done two to three times a week, because oftentimes Well, I mean, I'm in New York City where you have a lot of is like very driven, sort of type A folks. And they think if you're not doing it every day, then it's not working. Yeah, you know, so to be able to reframe that for them and say, Hey, listen two to three times a week is what our goal is, and be very forceful on almost holding them back. Do you have any tips on how to hold people back? For those folks? Who are the overachievers?
It's hard. Yeah, it's really tricky, isn't it? I think sometimes I think people have to learn for themselves. So you kind of have to let them find out the hard way, maybe, and be prepared with some painkillers to settle things down. But ideally, you don't want to do that, if you can help it, I think, I find that presenting the evidence can be really, really helpful. So you know, talking about the strengthening guidelines that that show that two to three times a week is where you're going to get the maximum effect of strength. And if you do more than that, it's not going to really add to that you'll have already sort of hit that ceiling, and potentially give them something different to do on those other days, if you don't want them doing strength training two to three times a week. If there's someone who wants to do something every day, helping them find other things on those other days, so perhaps, you know, mixing it up with some cycling, walking or jogging, if they are able to do that some swimming, you know, sometimes, you know, it might be appropriate or safe for these patients, if they enjoy things like yoga or pilates, they can do that if it if it doesn't hurt in addition to their other things. So I think those type A personalities, you might need to fill the space on those other days. Give me something else to do.
Yeah, I think that's great advice. And now, sometimes, as physiotherapist we have to refer out. So when is it appropriate to refer out or to use other treatments such as surgery? How do we navigate that as a physio?
It's tricky. And I think the most important thing is that that has to be a shared decision that we make with our patients. And at the end of the day, they will have their beliefs and their priorities that will probably take them in certain directions. Having that three month rule is a good rule, I think that we know it's probably going to take three months for our rehabilitation programs to reach their full effect. But but it doesn't mean to say you keep doing things for three months, if you're not getting any improvement, we really want to see them starting to head in the right direction, probably within around about four weeks. Within, you know, two or three treatments, you should be starting to see some change even though we know it's gonna take longer than that to get the full effect. I think that if you're not seeing change within that first month or so, you have to start asking yourself questions about well, why why why aren't I getting changed? Do I need to look at this and red flags here? Do I need to potentially refer the patient to their GP? For some imaging, we know that, you know, people have a history of cancer, that breast cancer and the gynecological cancers and prostate cancer really caught the hip joint is a really common point from you know, where the cancer metastasizes. So, I think bearing in mind our red flags, you know, women with guide other gynecologic non cancer, but other gynecological issues, you often get pain in that same area. So, being open minded about some of the non musculoskeletal causes of pain and being prepared to refer on if someone's not improving in that time is important. Imaging, you know, we don't want to jump to imaging straightaway, it's not always necessary, but it is sometimes it is necessary. And I think don't be frightened to refer for imaging. If someone's not improving. The one thing that I and it's different in every country and our health systems are all different. But here in Australia as physios, we can refer for imaging, but I if I'm if I'm suspicious that there's a red flag, that's a medical thing that's outside my scope of practice, I will refer them to the GP for the GP to refer for imaging. And the reason for that is I if you refer for imaging, you need to be able and confident to tell the patient the results of their imaging and interpret them and then refer them on for appropriate care now, for those medical things. I think as physios that's way outside our scope of practice and we shouldn't be you know, if the scan comes back with cancer, like we can't that's way outside our scope and we shouldn't be having to to explain those results to patients, I think only refer for imaging yourself with your confidence of what you'll be able to interpret those findings. So don't be afraid to refer to the doctor. Some patients often need pain relief as well or anti inflammatory. So that's, you know, if you're not getting improvements in that four weeks, you may need to refer them to the doctor to get pain relief or anti inflammatory medication. Things like injectables again, we don't want to inject give people lots of injections but we know that the hip joint is often sign up at green flame. So you know a judiciously used cortisone injection can be helpful in in some cases. So I think it's been not afraid to refer on you know, when you just turn the video off, when you need when you need to, to, you know to those other things and then surgery is probably your last resort, but There are a small number of people who will potentially need surgery as well. So, but you wouldn't actually be looking at surgery until you really finish this full three months of rehab.
Yeah, that all makes perfect sense. And now as we kind of start to wrap things up, where there, is there anything that you know, we didn't cover, that you would really like the listeners to know, or to take away, whether that's from the literature or from your experience when it comes to hips?
Yeah, I think, look, I think we've covered most things. But I think what it is, is just being really confident to prescribe a good quality exercise program. And if you don't feel like you have the knowledge or skills to do that, don't be scared to either refer to a colleague who who might have more knowledge or skills, or to, you know, to look up the evidence with, you know, that the evidence is has really grown in the last couple of years. And we published a consensus paper in V jsme, 2020. That was a consensus paper on what physio treatment for hip pain in young and middle aged adults would be. So that's a really good resource, it's got some some good examples in that paper of the types of exercise that you should be doing. And then my colleague from the US might Raman also lead a consensus paper in that same series on the diagnosis and classification of hip pain. So that's another really good resource that you can go to that will help you clarify the different diagnosis in the hip and what what what sort of things you can do to confirm your clinical suspicion and your diagnosis.
Perfect. And now, you will also be speaking at the fourth World Congress of sports, physical therapy in Denmark, which is August 26th, to the 27th, you're doing to sort of 15 minute 15 minute talks repeated twice. So one talk repeated twice. On the second day of the conference, can you let the listeners know a little bit more about that. And if you have any sneak peak that you want to share?
Yeah, so I'm going to be doing that talk in combination with a with a great colleague of mine, a Danish colleague, Julie Jacobson. And so we're going to be talking about hip pain in women specifically. So looking at the common causes of hip pain in women and as as physios, or physical therapists, what we should be doing to manage to manage that, because it's a congress of sports, physio, or sports, physical therapy. It'll be slanted probably towards the younger, more athletic population. But I think there'll be some really great takeaways for anyone treating women in particular with hip pain. So we're going to be really, I think, trying to focus on what it is about women with hip pain that's unique and different to men, and really helping the therapist develop a rehab program that really targets the things that are important for women. So the impairments that women have the physical impairments, but also really targeting some of those, you know, we've got to think about the biopsychosocial model. So some of the psychological challenges that people with hip pain have that we've sort of touched on in terms of being fearful to move, but then the social challenges too, because we know that we do live in a gendered environment. And it's no different for women with hip pain, where they might face additional barriers to, you know, in this the way society is constructed to be able to access the best care. So it's also helping helping the clinician really become an help patients navigate some of those challenges as well.
I look forward to it. It sounds great. Now are what is there anything that you're looking forward to at the conference in Denmark? Have you looked through the program? Are there talks that you're looking forward to?
I look, there's there's going to be so many great talks there. Like it's such a I can't believe how many how much they've packed into two days, like for two day program, I'm actually really excited. by so many of the different tools, I think the thing I'm most excited about is after two years, it'll be nearly three years by then that we've actually been able to see each other face to face, just to have the opportunity to catch up face to face with so many great colleagues that I've worked with before, but also meet new colleagues as well, and have the chance to travel to beautiful Denmark. You know, I haven't been to the conference venue, but it looks amazing being on the coast. In summer, it's going to be beautiful. I know the conference Organizing Committee has got a great social program as well organized and the Danish conference dinners are always a highlight, I think of any program. So I'm really excited about that as well. Yeah, I just I just can't wait.
Yeah, it's it. You have the same answer that so far everyone has said as they just can't wait to be in person and to network and to hang out with people and to meet new people. So you're right along with everyone else that I think a lot of the other speakers that are going to the conference, and now where can people find you if they have questions, they want to see more of your research, where can they go?
So, um, so I'm on Twitter, so my Twitter account is at Joanne L. him. So L is my middle initial. And you're welcome to send me a message via Twitter. But you can also contact me via email. So my email address is the letter firstname.lastname@example.org. And then our sports medicine allotropes sports and exercise Medicine Research Center has a has a webpage and a blog page where a lot of our research is highlighted there as well. So if you just Google up Latrobe, Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Center, that's the first thing that will pop up as well. And we have a lot of, you know, a lot of really good information. We've got a really our Research Center has a really strong knowledge translation arm and so a lot of my colleagues, which credit to all my colleagues who work in this space, have developed a lot of really great resources to infographics, videos of exercises, lots and lots of different things that can be found on our on our research, our centers, webpage and blog page as well. So lots of good resources there.
Excellent. And we'll have links to all of that in the show notes for this episode at podcast at healthy, wealthy smart.com. So one click will take you to all of the resources that that Joe just mentioned. And last question that I ask everyone is knowing where you are now in your life and in your career? What advice would you give to your younger self? So maybe straight out of physio I pick pick a year, any year you'd like?
It's great question. And it's funny because I was actually talking to my son's girlfriend the other night, who's at university, and she's finding it stressful and hard. And I actually shared with her something that I'm not afraid to share that I actually nearly failed my first year of university, because I was too busy enjoying the social aspect of uni life. And I think what I would say to my young, and that stressed me out and really upset me at the time. And I think what I would say to my younger self is if you don't get it right the first time. And if it takes you a little while to find your space, that that's actually okay, because it's about the long journey, and you'll get there eventually. And so if you hit hurdles and bumps and you don't, you're not always successful every time, it actually doesn't matter. Because as long as you keep on trying, you'll you'll get there in the end. So don't don't stress about failure. It's about what you learn from that failure and how you adapt and change what you do.
What excellent advice. Thank you so much. And thank you for coming on to the podcast. This was great. And I think the audience now has a better idea of what to do with their patients when they have hip pain. And if they don't, they can head over to Latrobe, they can go over to the website and get a lot of great resources from from you all and also look up a lot of your research. And if we can also put your Research Gate. Yeah, we can put that up in the show notes as well if that's okay, so that way people can kind of get a one stop shop on all of your research because it's extensive. So we'll have that up there as well. Thanks, Karen. Thank you so much. And everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in listening and we hope to see you in August in Denmark at the fourth World Congress Sports Physical Therapy again, that's August 26 and 27th. If you haven't registered, I highly suggest you get on it and hopefully we'll be able to see you in Denmark. So I look forward to seeing you then. And everyone have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.
In this episode, 39th Governor of Wisconsin and Advocate for Alzheimer’s Caregivers, Martin Schreiber, talks about the importance of advocating for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Today, Martin talks about his book, My Two Elaines, and his experience as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. What can the community do to support Alzheimer’s caregivers?
Hear about therapeutic fibbing, Elaine’s own journals, and get Martin’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about Martin Schreiber
Martin J. Schreiber grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Inspired by his father’s example as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Milwaukee Common Council, Martin ran for public office even before he had completed law school. In 1962, he was elected as the youngest-ever member of the Wisconsin State Senate. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1970 and, in 1977, became the 39th governor of Wisconsin. He recently retired from his public affairs firm in Milwaukee and now is an advocate for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
In addition to caring for Elaine, Martin is passionately committed to speaking out to help caregivers and their loved ones live their best lives possible. He and his wife, Elaine, have four children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hi, Governor Schreiber, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and taking the time out today to come on and talk about Alzheimer's disease, which we are in the month of June. It is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. So I thank you for coming on and sharing your story and experience.
Well, thanks, Karen, I want you to know that I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be with you. Because there's so much important information that people should be aware of relative to Alzheimer's disease, both for the person who was ill, and also for the caregiver.
Yeah, absolutely. And now many people listening to this podcast may know you for your service to the people of Wisconsin in the state senate, then you were lieutenant governor, and ultimately, the 39th, governor of Wisconsin. So like I said, Today, you're here to talk about Alzheimer's. So can you tell us a little bit more about the work you're doing as an advocate for Alzheimer's caregivers, and kind of how and why this is personal for you, and how you found yourself here?
Well, very soon. It I tell you, if if I go, my wife humane is now in our 18th year since diagnosis. And if we you and I go back 18 years, at that time, this disease could not be cured, delayed or prevented. 18 years have gone by and this disease still cannot be cured, delayed or prevented. So what happened was, because I didn't understand this disease, I made my life more miserable. For my dear wife, who was losing her memory, I made my life more difficult for myself, as well as for many other people, because I didn't understand this disease. And so I conclude now, that if Alzheimer's is bad, ignorance of the diseases worse, and when I say ignorance of the disease, I don't mean ignorance of the disease just simply by lay people, but I'm talking even the medical profession, I'm talking even caregivers themselves. I'm talking about churches and congregations and temples and so on, there is just not an awareness of this disease, as it relates to how it should be dealt with. Because you can't fight it, you can't beat it. And so if we can learn a little bit more about it, we have a better chance of having our loved one with the disease, living their best life possible. But also we had the chance of having the caregiver also receive their best opportunity of living their best life possible.
Yeah. And you wrote about this in a new book that is published this month in June, called my two lanes. So you depict your wife your wife's battle was with Alzheimer's. And you know, like you said, This disease is progressive. And the person definitely transforms from probably the person you knew into, into maybe someone else. So can you talk about how you dealt with that as, as her husband and as the main caregiver?
Well, first I dealt with it very badly, X extremely poorly. And because of that, we missed out on many moments of joy. What I tried to do in the beginning, because I didn't understand this disease, what I tried to do was to keep her in my world, knowing Lena, it didn't happen on a Wednesday, it happened on a Thursday, it wasn't the Joneses, it was finally, I got the understanding that it is important for me to join the world of the person who now is. And one of the most difficult, difficult challenges that any caregiver has, but which has to happen is what I would call the pivot. And the pivot is when the caregiver gets to the point where you let go of this person who once was. So you can now embrace and help the person who now is because if we don't, first of all, because this disease is incurable at this time, you cannot fight it. There is nothing you can do. And I found out that all of the navies, saline, and all of the armies marching and all of the liquor that's that's distilled and all of the beer that's brewed is not going to stop this disease. And so rather than how do we fight this disease, the question is how can we fight to give our loved one their best life possible? And so within that framework, then there's A number of things that is important for for us to understand about this disease and for us to understand about the challenge of, of caregivers. So as I said, one of the things I learned was to join Elaine's world. Then another thing that I learned was the importance of what I call therapeutic fitting. And again, look here, let me let me just back up before we go into therapeutic fitting, if we can envision a funnel, and if we put the small part of our funnel by your eye, and of course, because the funnel expands, as you look up, you can see the blueness of the sky in the hope of tomorrow. But what happens is, as the disease takes its course that funnel becomes inverted. And now the large part will be by your eye, and you look out and all you see is a little bit that then becomes the world and the life of the person who now is they are not aware of what happened five minutes ago, five hours ago, maybe five years ago, nor are they concerned or aware of what can happen five minutes from now, five hours from now or five years. So it's it's a different world. Now. When I wrote this book, I felt really proud of myself, that I had finally put some of this into perspective. And lo and behold, before we're ready to go on for print, I find a series of notes and diaries that Elaine had been keeping since her diagnosis. Well, I want you to know that we had prayed together. And we had cried together. But Never did I understand the courage that it takes to be diagnosed with this illness, and then that can continue forward. So as Elaine is going through this transition, and now we're here we get to therapeutic phibian. As Elaine is going through this this transition this journey, she asked me once, how are my parents? Oh, I said, Elaine, your parents are both dead. The shock on her face when she realized maybe she didn't say goodbye. The shock on her face, maybe even not attend the funeral. I promised myself I would never put her through that again. So then when she asked me the next time, she said, How are my parents? Oh, I said Elaine, I said your mom is just really doing well. She likes working at church and volunteering. Your dad likes sports. He likes it that makes me feel so happy. Well, that's therapeutic fitting, therapeutic fibbing joining the world of the person who now is now I want you to know that I tried this therapeutic good in the first year of my marriage, but it didn't work so good then, but certainly at this moment in time. But then another experience to give me a sense of this all
the feet, when he lanes still was able to be mobile. We were having lunch at the assisted living memory care. And we're talking and then she starts to cry. I said, Elaine, why are you crying? Well, she said, I am beginning to love you more than your husband. Well, I didn't ask her what's wrong with your jerky husband. I didn't do that. But I tell you what I learned. I learned that it is not necessary for her to know my name in order for our hearts to touch. And so many times, as I talked with caregivers, they become initially so distraught about the fact that their loved one may be married for 5060 years, children so forth. That person with Alzheimer's does not remember their knees. I would tell them understand that your loved ones mine is broken. And sometimes there's no more of a chance to have our loved one remember our names and a person with a broken leg winning an Olympic championship, a gold medal. And so we we just simply have to understand the importance of joining the world of this person who now is one one of the challenges of caregiving, and there are a number of them. But one of the challenges of caregiving is that you work so hard to try and help your loved one but here let me let me just back up a little bit here. So we go back 18 years. The First Tee lane. That was the girl I met when I was a freshman in high school. School, I fell in love right away. We dated and we went steady and we got engaged, and we got married and four children, and 13 grandchildren, now seven great grandchildren. That was the first Delaine, I would run for public office, you will be the hardest working campaigner. If I would lose, she would never let me feel defeated. She was everything in the world. To me as it relates to any good thing that happened. The second lane began to appear. As I said, some 1819 years ago, when she would get lost driving to and from places she had been going to and from for the past 10 years, the second Elaine began to appear when as a great cook, she messed up her recipe so bad that she would cry, she would be so embarrassed. So that was the beginning of the second lane. So now we get this diagnosis. And I took a marriage route to death to as part I'm going to do all these things. And when Elaine was first diagnosed, she was given the mental mini test. And basically the mantium. The mental mini tests is a simple test asking for example, what day it is. When is your birthday? so forth? Very simple questions. And if you scored 30 or above you would be considered Okay, pretty normal. If you scored 30 or below, what the situation would be is that maybe at signs of early onset, well, Elaine's test score at that point was 28. They say that the average person loses four to five points going down almost every year. And it doesn't happen, you know, arithmetic Li from 20 820-726-2524, it may stay at 28 for a while, then maybe drop down to a 25 and then stay at that point, then maybe jump down to 21 and so forth. Well, what is important here is that you then test it out first at one year, you lose four to five points every year 18 years ago, it gives you a sense of where Elaine's life now is. But with that understanding with the understanding that the mentee meant a mental mini test
goes down. What what happens to the caregiver is you devote your time and your talent and your energy and your love to this person. And you just step out thank you have this answer. And then what happens is you wake up the next morning, and it's a new challenge. Well, what am I doing wrong? So what happens then is you devote more time and more talent and more energy. And you Okay, flow and all of a sudden, no. So what am I doing wrong? And so I have seen many instances where caregivers develop this so significant guilt, that they're not able to to help their loved one no matter how hard they work, what are they doing wrong? But here's the other aspect that comes along with it not only the self questioning about what am I doing wrong, but the caregiver is also going through a type of depression, and also what I would call an unacknowledged meeting. So I had a dear friend who retired and enjoying retirement, had dinner one night, laid down on the couch to watch the baseball game. Tragically, he died massive heart attack, just gone. Well, there was a funeral. And friends stopped by to express their sympathy to acknowledge the passing of this of this wonderful person. And there was closure. So what happens in the life of care giver is that there never is closure. You see your loved one dying a little bit every day. You begin to feel just so horrible about your guilt not being able to do anything but you're also getting to the point where you're saying, My my my loved one is is leaving me and then that that grieving, you know, just does it's not acknowledged and that's really one of the challenges that caregivers have to face. And that is to face up to the fact that yes, you are going to be grieving. And you should acknowledge the fact that you're going through this grieving at this moment in time, then there's also the depression that comes with it. And knowing what is the future and worrying about that also breeds anxiety. And so you take the guilt, you're not doing enough, you're not maybe getting enough sleep, you're not necessarily going for the walk, you're not getting any visit with friends, because you're focusing and focusing and focusing? Well, I try and have caregivers understand one of the most important facts about this disease, and that is you cannot do it alone. I do not believe, well, first of all, we men are sometimes really stupid. You know, we're not going to ask for directions, because we know it all, you know, I was going to take care of Elaine and so forth. And I let my ego, my own self centered. passion to do Z to defeat this disease, I let that take control over what was really best for Elaine. Because I did that we really missed out some, some great moments of joy. And
at the time of diagnosis, the doctor said there were four things that we should be doing one of the two drugs, drugs called the Menda and erysiphe. They do not stop the disease, they just simply delay the symptoms. So that was point number one, point number two socialization, you do show to socialization continuing, and then also getting exercise going for a walk, for example, and then also a glass of red wine every evening. Well, you then got three weeks ahead and the glass of red wine every evening and four weeks behind and in the walking. But here, here's the the situation about not joining the life and the world of this person who now is. So I knew we should go for a walk. So in my mind, half an hour walk is sufficient. So we started walking the lane with say, all look at that flower Kimani lane, you gotta get this throw, you know, our look at the bird, no, come on Elaine. And so my focus was not on the here. And the now my focus was getting this work done. So I could go about some other type of, of activity, whether it's trying to work with my business at the same time, and so forth. And the lesson here is Alzheimer's is a tragic disease. We can't cure it. But we certainly can learn to live better with it. And so had I known, then what I know now, I would have stopped with the lane. And we would, we would have admired that flower, watch the bird, we would have even maybe even just stood in the sunshine for a while and felt the warmth of the day. So the life of a caregiver is extremely challenging. We have to know that we can't do it alone. We have to understand that if we if you want to show real courage and real manliness that is shown by asking for help. So gosh, I think you asked a question a while back and I think that that was about maybe three days ago and I still?
Well, I think I think what you have done is your as you were speaking I said okay, I was gonna ask that I was I wanted to talk about that. But I think what you did you do is you really clearly laid out some real big challenges that caregivers have to face and some really great lessons that you've learned that you've passed along and I know that those lessons are some practical takeaways in the book in sections called kind of what you said what I wish I'd known or what I would have done differently. But it sounds to me like if you're a caregiver, you need to check your ego at the door. You need to be present with the person you need to join their world. And and it may perhaps be a more pleasant or at ties would be a happier existence for not only the caregiver, but for the person living with Alzheimer's as well. And, you know, as someone who like we'd spoken before went on the air Mike grandmother had Alzheimer's. And I can only assume my parents feel the same way that you're feeling now that we used to always Correct, correct, correct her, when in fact, we just should have said, Where's where's your grandfather? Oh, he'll be home in a little while, instead of saying no, he died 15 years ago. And then, like you said, it just can make the patient agitated and confused. And if you want to continue to have those happy times, it's best to be in their world. So I think you really outline that very, very well. And I do want to go back to something that you touched upon, but didn't go into great detail, and that is Elaine's journal. Now you, you put this into the book, some of her excerpts where she detailed her feelings and emotions as she was struggling with this diagnosis. So why was that important to include those? And were there anything in those journals that surprised you?
There were a number of things. First of all, I wanted to put Elaine's words into the book. I wanted to do that. So. So caregivers and their families would understand this. Great in internal turmoil, being diagnosed with it, but still knowing your mind, then having my your mind sort of slip as I said, you go from a 28 score, maybe down to a 26 score, but you still think you're sort of all right. But then some days, you're not all right. But with her journals. As I said, I learned the courage that it takes to be diagnosed with this disease and continue forward. But I also learned, we talked about the pivot, where the caregiver gets to the point of letting go of this person who wants was to join the world with a person who now is the person with Alzheimer's also has a pivot. And it's almost by the grace of God. And that pivot is when the person with Alzheimer's finally leaves the real world and enters their own world. And I've got, well, let me just read one or one or two of her of her excerpts, of course, in the book, but I wanted to make sure that the reader would understand that the challenge is that that a person has with Alzheimer's, but also how important I was in her life as her lifeline. And I really didn't know that. And I think that if a caregiver understands how important they are as a lifeline to their loved one, they will take better care of themselves. I was lacking sleep, I was lacking exercise. I wasn't eating well, I was like, My daughter, Christine, gave me an article on moderate drinking. And it wasn't because she thought I was drinking too little. That's for sure. So but anyway, so with her excerpts, I want to give you just just a few examples of, of what what she's going on. So she starts off at when she was sort of diagnosed, she wrote a letter to her to your loved ones. And she writes, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I really had to say, Yes, I do have Alzheimer's, I read up signs that indicate Alzheimer's, like getting overly upset for no reason, and having trouble with names and directions. But I still didn't think it was a problem for me. But in hindsight, for too long, I've been getting lost driving, having trouble keeping days straight, and difficulties with names and schedules. Still, I still felt like I could handle it, it won't get worse. But this morning, I started reading about the mid stage of Alzheimer's, in hopes of preparing myself better and realize I'm not very far away, that is most scary, but I have to accept it. And so also in some of these pages, she talks about how important I was to her life. She said, Please take care of yourself, for me as well as for you. So then, you know and again she is in a process of, of of losing her memory. And she's in the process of getting to this pivot where she loses the reality of life and goes into her world. But to give you a sense of, of the tugging that's going on within in her she writes this, she writes, I am not enjoying my role anymore as Marty's wife because of his Hammond concerns about My Alzheimer's, he doesn't let me be me. He doesn't let me go for a walk if I want to, or the other store loans, I used to appreciate him what I thought was concerned, but he holds me captive much too much, I'm going to try to have a second opinion because I really don't think I have any problem. I know how to drive or walk anyplace I want to, but he doesn't believe me. And I hate the control he has placed on me, I don't even think I have Alzheimer's, per se. And so we see that, and again, my my, we see a human being going through that kind of turmoil. And we think we could have done a better job, or I think I know I could have done a better job. And because of that I wanted to write the book, so that I could help caregivers learn, cope, and survive. Just I want to just read one, one more here than
that. I don't have the exact date on this one here. But she writes, I wish my Alzheimer's would dissipate. I'd like to be the smart wife and mother I used to be. Now I have to waste so much time just trying to figure out what I should be doing. without seeming as smart as I used to be. I need to rely on Marty for everything. And I'm very lucky, he continues to keep me life gets more difficult every day. So it's it's a bummer of a disease. And again, we can't beat it, we can't fight it. It's not curable at this moment in time, it can be delayed can be prevented. And so what we want to do is fight was our best weapons possible and that is to better understand the disease and better understand the world to which our loved one is passing into. So we can help them on their journey as much as possible.
And you know, According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer's or dementia. And more than 11 people are their unpaid caregivers. So how can people listening right now support those who are caring for Alzheimer's patients and support the patients as well.
One of the best things and most important things I think a friend or family member or neighbor can do for a caregiver. Number one, simply acknowledge what they're going through. And that acknowledgement in and of itself is so important. Because people really don't understand one. And because people don't understand Alzheimer's, they they shy away from it. Now. I call Alzheimer's, not a chicken casserole disease. So hypothetically, I get an operation of my, you know, maybe a higher operation. And so I come home, and I'm laid up people will bring me a chicken casserole, I've fallen I break a hip, I'm recovering, they'll bring me a chicken casserole. Alzheimer's, people don't bring chicken casserole, we a person, a caregiver and their spouse may have had friends that they did many things over a period of 3040 years together as the children would grow up. And let's just assume hypothetically, that it would be camping and canoeing. So for 3040 years, they, the families did this together and the children grew up and so forth. And that was the bind holding them. That was the binding thing for them. So what happens is now the spouse gets Alzheimer's. And because the friends don't know about the disease, they don't know how to handle it, and they withdraw as they withdraw. The caregiver not only is trying to deal with this depression, this anxiety, they are grieving the guilt. Now, the caregiver is also feeling abandoned, abandoned by friends at one of the most challenging times. So if you want to help any caregiver, or even work on creating a dementia friendly community, we have to understand this disease and have to understand how we can best deal with the disease. But then, rather than saying, call me if you need help, because we caregivers won't do that. What we will do however is respond by someone saying oh maybe I could pick up medicines from the drugstore. Maybe I could go shopping for you or maybe in other words specific kinds kinds of things, or maybe even taking the person who was ill for a walk so that the caregiver can get some, some respite. But as I said, if Alzheimer's is bad ignorance of the diseases worse and ignorance of the disease by the medical profession, caregivers, as well as family, friends and neighbors, and if people can just simply, hopefully better understand this disease, I think at that point, they can be more helpful in people living their best lives possible.
Yeah, and thank you for that advice. I think that's wonderful advice for people that are, you know, in the community and in this fear of people living with Alzheimer's. And I also want to mention that there is support email@example.com, and that's provided to the Alzheimer's Association, or by phone at 800-272-3900. So if people are looking for more resources, they can find them there as well. And of course, your book. Let's talk about that. My two Elaine's, learning, coping and surviving as an Alzheimer's caregiver release is June 13. So we're perfectly within that Alzheimer's Awareness Month and people can get the book, I'm assuming wherever books are sold. That's my understanding. I would assume that wherever books are sold, it's printed through Harper horizon, which is an imprint within HarperCollins. And one last question regarding the book. And this is a more personal question for you. Is it upon writing the book? Did it give you time to reflect? And did it feel cathartic for you? Did it give you any sense of closure around your living with a person living with the disease?
It certainly was cathartic with without a question. But I think that one, one of the main things I got from this book is much I wanted to do something to help other people not both through what I as ignorant caregiver went through, and also what I might be able to do to help caregivers help their loved one with with dementia live their best lives possible. And the because I think back again, on our past 18 years, and I think how it could have been easier, as difficult as it was, it could have been easier. And it's not a matter of getting enough money to fly to the moon and back. It's it's a matter of just simply understand some some some basic factors and, and dealing with some unknown quantities, but no, it was it was quite an experience to write that book. And I'm glad that we were able to do it. And I want to tell you that I'm grateful for for being able to talk about this. And and also grateful that I think, hopefully we're going to be able to help some more caregivers learn cope and survive.
Perfect. And where can people find you? Let's say they have questions they want to talk to you they want to get in touch with with you, what is the best way to do that?
We have a website. That's right, my two Elaine's all one word.com And guys should anything and I have been up until COVID giving talks around the country learning and really everything that I shared with you about what caregivers go through, I can tell you, whether it's it's Newmark, Minnesota, Florida. St. Louis, I don't care where it is, that is simply an overlay of almost every single caregiver as how they're trying to cope with this disease. So but I also wanted to mention you gave the 800 number for the Alzheimer's Association. That's a 24/7 number. And so there are going to be some moments where you're just not going to be able to figure out how am I going to cope with this? Well, if you give them a number, I mean, give them a call, they will be able to help either give you an answer or point you in the right direction.
Perfect. And before we wrap things up. I have one last question. It's a question I asked everyone who comes on the show. And that is knowing where you are now in your life and given your illustrious career. What advice would you give to your younger self, and that may be that younger self was that freshman in high school when you met your wife or maybe it was in the midst of your being the governor? What advice knowing where you are in Now would you give to yourself as a younger man?
Live in the moment. And we, you know, it's not only the fact that I didn't enjoy looking at the bird with the lane, it's probably the fact that I was too busy to take time to enjoy playing ball with my sons are too busy to take time to go to the museum with my daughters, and, you know, just, you know, being with them. But really my mind is someplace else worried about some other kind of thing over which I probably had no control over anyway. But I think to, to, to live in and understand and grasp and appreciate, and be thankful for the moment.
I think that was wonderful advice. Well, Marty, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing, sharing this book with us. And so everyone, again, the book is called my two lanes, it is sold everywhere where books are sold. So I highly encourage you, especially and I'm gonna say this, especially for people in the health care profession. I'm a physical therapist, a lot of physical therapists listening to this, I think, especially for those people, because oftentimes we're with the patient, but we're not with the caregiver. And I think it's really important to get a full view of what the what life is like for everyone surrounding this patient. So I highly encourage you to go out and get this book and read this book. So Marty, thank you so much for coming on.
There. And I'm very grateful. One one thing, as as we, as we sort of parted company here, when I talk about joining the world of this person who now is to make sure that caregivers as well as healthcare professionals know and understand truly that you cannot argue with this disease. If when I took Elaine to daycare, and we would drive up to the door, and she said that she's not going in, there was no way that I would be able to with wild horses drag her out of that car so she could go into, you know, the daycare. And so it's a matter of redirection. So we would drive around a little bit. Some of the neighborhoods come back, here we are, and she would do that. Sometimes we would be at dinner, and she would reach across the table and grab someone else's wineglass. That's not yours. Put it down. No, it's Elaine. Thanks for finding that wineglass. If you wouldn't have grabbed it, it would have fallen off. And now we're able to give you Lena good feeling about being helpful, but at the same time, not creating an awkward situation. No, you can have that scarf. It's not yours. Well, thanks for finding the scarf, and so on. So, anyway, carry on. I'm grateful to you for what you do. I know that you help out people and that's really special and an honor for me to be with you. Thank you.
Well, thank you and everyone. Thanks so much for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart
In this episode, Founder of Focus.CEO, David Wood, talks about his new book, Mouse in the Room: Because the Elephant isn't Alone.
Today, David talks about the importance of naming your mice, the hurdle of instant gratification and being unapologetically authentic. What does it mean to have 30% more courage?
Hear about the art of dealing with rejection, when not to follow your courage, and get David’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
More about David Wood
David is a former consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies. He built the world’s largest coaching business, becoming #1 on Google for life coaching and coaching thousands of hours in 12 countries around the globe.
As well as helping others, David is no stranger to overcoming challenges himself, having survived a full collapse of his paraglider and a fractured spine, witnessing the death of his sister at age seven, anxiety and depression, and a national Gong Show! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgKwAJieQes).
He helps business owners and leaders become the badass leaders people want to follow, creating more authenticity, connection, confidence, and revenue.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Courage, Challenges, Confidence, Discomfort, Authenticity, Rejection, Persistence, Commitment, Awareness,
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hey, David, welcome to the podcast, I am happy to have you on to talk about, amongst other things, a new book release that's coming out today, which is for people not listening. Today is June 13. So we will definitely get to the book, and we'll get to a lot of other things. But thank you so much for coming on.
My pleasure. And it's nice to meet you.
Yeah, it's great to meet you as well. So I guess I let the cat out of the bag a little too quickly. We're gonna get to the book towards the end. But let's get to the book in the beginning. And at the end, how's that sound? Yeah, so tell us the name of the book. And I will hand the mic over to you to give us a little snippet.
Sure. And the I would have mentioned the book because it's going to fit in with the topics we want to talk about, like courage, and practicing deliberate discomfort. The books called the mouse in the room, because the elephant is not alone. And I'm writing this book, because we all know about that expression, the elephant in the room, you see it, I see it, no one's saying anything. Well, that's just weird. And I think we should all address the elephant in the room. But for most of us, many creatures in the room are much more subtle. They're not as huge as an elephant, maybe it's something that I see in you don't see it, or I don't know, if you see it. I think a lot of us are actually putting on unconsciously an act for the world, because we don't want to get in trouble. And we don't want to be uncomfortable. And we don't want to make the other person uncomfortable. So we say what's going to fit into a nice box. The problem is when we do that, we can feel disconnected from the world, we can feel more isolated, lonely. And people won't trust us as much, they won't know why. They'll just know something's off because this person isn't being real. So we're writing, we wrote mouse in the room, so that people can start to notice their mice and go all I'm actually upset about that. Or I have a desire I haven't mentioned or I have a confession mouse over here, or you know what, there's some appreciation I need to bring into this space here. When people identify their mice, and then artfully name them, so that they can come into more connection, more intimacy. And then through more trust, there's good business application to people are going to want to work with you and buy from you and, and follow you as a leader. They may not necessarily know why. But they'll be like, Oh, this person's real. This is someone I can count on. So there's the short version of mouse in the room.
Excellent. And maybe we'll get into a little bit of those mice later on. But before we get into that, as you were speaking, you had mentioned the word courage. And it I always think that it does take courage to speak your mind. And should we always be speaking our mind? And should we always be using our courage? So why don't you talk a little bit about how would you say 30% more courage? can double your happiness? We have a lot of people who are entrepreneurs who are listening, so we double your revenue. So what does that mean? Can you break it down?
Yeah. Something my co author said recently that stuck with me was, you can choose the discomfort of wearing a mask, or the discomfort of telling you truth. It's one or the other. And there's a lot more upside associated with one of those things. So I love the concept of courage I found as a kid, whenever I didn't do something that felt right be out of fear. I would like myself a little less. So if I didn't ask that girl out, or if I didn't confront that bully, or if I didn't stand up for myself, I would I just feel smaller. And it's an icky feeling. I don't want anyone to have that. Conversely, I discovered that when I am willing to take a risk and do something that's a little scary, even if I don't get the result that I wanted, I feel better about myself. It's like I went for it. An example of this I went to a conference where I was awestruck by the people that I was hanging out with there was like Jack Canfield from chicken soup and John Gray from Mars and Venus and Don Miguel Ruiz is a member and I'm like, Oh my God. And when I left the event, I look back on it and I realized I made four bold requests that terrified me. Like I asked Jack Canfield if you'd be interested in writing a book together. That was very scary. I figured he probably gets about 100 proposals a day for something like that. I asked someone if she wanted to go out with me and have our first date be a trip to Colombia. I asked an obstacle when Oscar winning producer if, like what it would take for me to do a ride along on his next film shoot. These were all scary things. Now. I didn't get a yes to Everything that I asked for, but I felt complete. I felt like yes, I went for it. They say if you I'm gonna butcher this quote it's, it's something about the trivial quote is, if you don't ask, you don't get you're already starting with a novel. That's the default answer. So I think it behooves us to find our edge like, what is our edge? Is it? If you're an entrepreneur? Is it asking a celebrity to endorse your product? Is it asking 10 people to be affiliate partners that that you think would never give you the time of day? Is it calling 10 people and asking them to become clients? Because you think you could serve them? I don't know where your edge is. But each listener needs to find their own edge, like what would feel uncomfortable and a little scary, but could have some great upside. And again, I'll say the main benefit is you get to feel better about yourself. And as a bonus, you may actually get some yeses, which might surprise you like, Oh, my God, someone said, yes. That's a bonus.
And do you feel like even if you fail, or even if you get these nose, or even if people don't give you the time of day? Does it help to boost your confidence? Because you're asking the question, and you're putting yourself out there?
I think it absolutely does. And this ties into the book really well. Because if you're going to name a mouse with someone, you're going to sit like that what I just mentioned at that conference with desire mice, I had like four desires. And so I named them, I felt better about myself, I felt more confident. And I actually got a yes, one of those four questions got me a yes. And was like, Oh, my God, that's really cool. So yeah, and what what we did have as a subtitle is, this is your pathway to connection, confidence, and becoming a badass leader that people want to follow. Because if you hide what you're tolerating, if you hide what you desire, if you hide what you're ashamed of, then those mice get to breed, and you get more and more of them. And that's where shame can really thrive. Whereas if you bring yourself to the world and say, Hey, this is who I am, every time you do that, every time you name a mouse, it gives you a chance to increase your confidence and belief in yourself. Because it's you. It's like, this is my desire. You don't want to grant that. Okay. Thanks. Hey, this is something that's bugging me. Can we change that? No. All right, gave it a shot. We want to get back to like that. That confidence of when we were five years old, for many of us, and we're able to just go for stuff and we hadn't been beaten down by life. And people get back in touch with what's going on inside and then artfully bring it. Now you brought up earlier on? Do we shall we name everything? No. If you go to someone's house, and it looks like a pigsty and you're uncomfortable there, maybe you suck it up for 20 minutes until you leave. And maybe they don't need to know that. Or maybe if you got a gift from someone, maybe you don't have to tell them. But hey, if they've given you that thing, three years in a row, it might be a kindness stood due to speak up. Well, in one of the chapters of the book, we give you a test to work out. Is this worth naming? Is this something that I should bring and could bring? And if yes, how will they artfully do it so that I'm unlikely to trigger a huge response in the other person? And they can be like, Oh, alright, I get where you're coming from. Yeah, let's, let's work that out.
And what do you say to people who may think well, okay, I can have the courage, I can ask all these questions. But I keep getting no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You know, is that going to kind of reinforce this? I don't want to say, lack of confidence, but maybe reinforce to people that oh, it's not worth it. I keep asking these questions. I keep getting nose and it reminds me of, let's say, actors or actresses who go out for parts because they get a lot of rejection. But they keep doing it. Right. So yeah, what do you say to those people who are like I've gotten enough nose and I don't want to get any more nose.
Did you know that eight months ago I started acting now and I started acting eight months ago and in three weeks I'm moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting so I know a bit about this by I have two answers two broad answers to this one is if you're getting it so you ask Katie says Byron, Katie says, you can have anything you want in life if you're willing to ask 1000 people. So I think there's real value in asking 1000 people. And if you ask 1000 people and get 1000 knows, there might be something wrong with the question. So that might be where some coaching can come in. It's like, how am I asking? And is there a way that I'm, am I selling the sizzle? And this am I like, you know, so there's two answers, and they're both true. You want to ask in a way that's enrolling. But be careful about getting attached to the outcome. This is what people collapse, and I got this from landmark education. A long time ago, people think it's one or the other, you can be committed to something, I am going to make this happen Martin Luther King, I'm going to free the slaves, Gandhi, I'm going to free India, you can be committed to something. Or you can be unattached, but you can't be both. And so as soon as they get committed to something, they think they have to get it. And if it's not coming straight away, or early on, there's a problem. And I'm going to collapse, I'm going to make it mean something about me. Landmark helped me distinguish the two is that there's commitment, and then there's attachment. And they're two separate things. What if you could be committed to something and how you show up every day is aligned with that? And yet you're unattached, or if the universe says yes. Now, that's a powerful place to stand.
Yeah. And that's something that, you know, I'm a physical therapist. So as a physical therapist, you know, I often tell younger therapists that you can't detach yourself to the outcomes of your patient. So you can't be judging your success as a therapist, wholly on the outcomes of your patients. Because sometimes people improve, and sometimes they don't, which may be wholly out of your control. But you have to show up and do the best you can based on the evidence that you have. So kind of the same line of thinking great.
It's a really good example. And I heard an expression recently that I decided to steal because it spoke so well to this. You know, a friend of mine said, Oh, well, it sounds like you're moving the ball further down the field. And I was like, I love that. Because that I can control. I can't control the goal. I can't control what other people say or do. I can't control if I make the sale. But I can move the ball further down the field, I can position it in the best possible way. And I can own Don't ask 500 or 1000 people. If, if, if they want to buy what I have. Recently, I decided to Oh, it's happening in acting all the time. Now, if I was attached to getting a yes to every audition, I'd have to give up after two days. Totally. But the way I'm reframing it for myself is those auditions are my performance that is my acting. And so I'm submitting to 100 plus things a week around the country, and most of them I know I'll never hear back from but I'm playing the long game. I'm playing the law of large numbers. And in the last eight months, I've had a yes to playing the lead in a local paid production of Dracula. I got a yes to doing two commercials that I got paid for six short films for them free to have them paid. Now I had to do a lot of auditioning and submitting because I don't have a lot of experience. And so some of its luck, is keep going until someone says oh, I like the look of you. Let's get that guy in. And when Jack Canfield came to my live event, he got up there and he spoke about the law of large numbers. You need to ask enough people now sure you ask 1000 people you get to know there's something about how you're asking. But don't give up after five or 10 or 50 100. Don't be like that kid in the playground. Say hey, do you want to ride on my tricycle? No. Okay. Hey, do you want to ride on my tricycle? No. Okay. Hey, do you want to ride on my tricycle? Be you that's what the books about like, express yourself. Express your desires. I think at some point someone's gonna be like, Oh, that sounds pretty cool. Yeah, I'll do it in you're like what? Really? I didn't think I get a yes. And then the next time you won't be as surprised and you are you'll hide the shock better.
Yeah, at some point that key fits the lock, right. And I also love kind of that concept of moving the ball down the field a little bit at a time. And I know for myself, I have always been like, well, it needs to happen. If it's not happening now, then it's never gonna happen. Or if it's not happening, the timeline, I perceive something to happen, then that means Oh, well, it's not going to happen. It's not for me, and I used to kind of tend to give up a little too easily. But now, I have come to the realization that, like you said, if you move the ball down the field a little bit at a time that it doesn't have to happen all at once. But as long as you're making forward progress, and you're working towards the goal, it'll happen. Because let's be honest, we're living in a now everything has to happen quickly, this social media, quick, quick, quick decisions. And if it doesn't, then we're losers.
And that's a problem for people who want to be successful. Because if there are any good rewards to doing something, let's suppose you're going to start a big business selling widgets. If there are any good rewards for their business, it's not going to be easy to do. Because if it's easy, then the first three people into the market are going to take all those rewards and, and it's going to be flooded by people doing the easy thing. And there'll be less rewards, the rewards are gone. Seth Godin wrote a wonderful book on this called the dip. And if you're not prepared for any kind of a dip, it might be hard to get any good rewards. Now, don't go overboard, you might not decide on brain surgery as a career. Because that's, that's a really big dip. But if you want to start a business, or go and get a better job, or switch careers, or find a life partner or something like that some of those things are going to have a dip to them. And it's good to just know that going in and say, All right, roughly, how long are we looking at? Like, if you're going to start any new business, if you do it well, and work hard, you're probably looking at at least three years to turn the corner and make a profit. Now, know that going in? And then have someone to remind you, when things look bleak, yeah, this is gonna take some time, you gotta keep going at it. I've been doing podcast interviews for three years now. I think I've done 300 interviews. And I think I might only just be starting to get some some traction and to get get known. And people like, oh, yeah, that guy from that, you know, from mouse in the room. And now I'm about to launch a book. And, you know, I'll do six months of beating the bushes, just Yes, a few days ago, I said, decided to reach out to my colleagues and thought leaders and influences. Some of those people are never going to get back to me. They're not even going to respond and give me the time of day because they're busy, or I'm not big enough on the totem pole. That takes something to reach out to all those people. I got to screw up my courage and be willing to be uncomfortable, and then put it out there. And then be surprised by who says yes. And who says no.
Yeah. And as we're talking about courage, are there times when maybe you shouldn't be following your courage? When are the times that that you say, hey, well, let's pull back for a second?
Great question. When I was growing up, and I realized I didn't like feeling small. I started leaning into my fears, and is a name for it. Apparently, it's so counter phobic. So if you're afraid of something, you lean into it, and that's my style. And that produced a lot of benefits and rewards and a lot of growth. But I didn't know when to say when I didn't know how far was too far. And you can traumatize yourself, you can burn out, you can push yourself too far. I would go into paragliding and hang gliding because I was afraid of heights. And I've had a couple of accidents and even had a slight compression fracture in my spine. Doing a couple of things that were out there. I was afraid of abandonment. So I thought well, let me see what open relationships is like in dating more than one person at once and see if I can conquer this fear. I found that I have limits my nervous system or my psyche has limits that I need to respect and be humble about. So I think it's about finding your sweet spot. You don't want to stay in the comfort zone your whole life it gets very uncomfortable over time. You need to find your edge but don't go way past it to the point where you might be like, you know killing yourself in a motorcycle accident or doing something completely reckless are going on national TV to speak if you haven't even spoken yet, like find your edge. There's a sweet spot for each person. Here's a wonderful exercise It's very practical, you grab a piece of paper, and right at the top of it, if I was fearless, the big capital I f, if I was fearless, what would I do? And you're gonna have one page for business and work. This is what I do. This is who I asked, this is what I go for I do a TED talk, I get to blah, blah, blah, blah, and then another page for personal. This might be what I'd say to my partner. This is what I might say to my kids, this is what I might ask for. This is what I might do, I might move to Brazil, I might go cross country and move to Los Angeles to start acting like whatever it is for you. Start writing things down knowing that you don't have to do anything on those pieces of paper. That's important. Because otherwise your mind might hide these things from you. You just want to find out what would be edgy. And then you don't have to do any of it. But you might like to circle two or three things that would be in the right at that edge like yep, that would be uncomfortable. And I think I'd feel proud that I did it. Do those, you can start with those and work your way up to the biggest stuff. Or if you like me do the scariest one first. And everything else is easier after that.
Right? Oh, that's a great exercise. I have it written down here. So I am going to do it. And it's almost like a way to open up your mind to more possibilities. Maybe things that you you you didn't think that didn't think you could ever even imagine doing but I like that you said listen, you don't have to do it. But let's write some stuff down. Just see what comes out of your mind. Because you never know. We start
with awareness. And it's the same with mouse naming with mouse in the room. You want to become aware of your mice? What are what is going on in your body? What are the confessions that might be looking? What are the desires that haven't been named? The tolerations. The appreciations, you want to become aware of these? Now you have a choice? Am I gonna name it? Well, let me go through the paint by numbers system in the book and oh, okay, yeah, I could do that. And then you're gonna name that mouse, there might be another one. You, you weigh it up, and you're like, alright, I can see the upside. There's also a downside. Like, if you committed a crime, you might be prosecuted, you might be arrested, you could do jail time, your if you if you cheated on your partner, and you decide to go and name a confession mouse, it could be consequences. So it's not for the faint of heart to tell your truth. And you don't have to name all of them. But the book will help you weigh it up and go, Alright, here's the upside. Here's the downside. And here's the downside. If I never seen anything, that's often what we don't address. And so then you can factor it and go, Alright, I think I'm just going to call call this person, we're going to have a chat about it. And we'll see what comes out of it. Even if it doesn't go well. Does that mean it was the wrong move? Just because the first round didn't go well? No. Maybe they need to have their reaction. And then you felt uncomfortable, and you have a bit of space? And then you might say, Hey, can I have a round two? I feel like I could have listened better. And I'd really like to work this out with you. Let's have another one. And then maybe you surprise yourself and you're like, Wow, I feel really close to that person. Now, if you really connected now we've got a great working relationship. Now for closer to my kid. Now I feel lighter. Because I'm being me in the world. That's what I want for people.
And can you give an example of maybe a mouse or two that you've named for yourself? Just so people have a better idea of like, what is he talking about? When you say saying name name, these mice are named this mouse? So can you give an example or two of maybe a mouse that you've named for yourself?
I'll give you an example of one from last night that I wish I had named earlier. And I kept it to myself for too long. I had a poker game, had some friends over and at one stage someone else arrived to the game and there's so much commotion and people getting up and noise and whatever. I got anxious. I had a panic feeling. And so, but I didn't say anything. I just tried to deal with it. I went outside I calmed down a little bit on my own. And then I had the resources to say hey, yeah, I got really activated. And I think I'm okay now but I could have said that in the moment. I said wow, really activate I'm gonna go outside for a little bit with someone come out with me. I could have said that. But I was a little bit too triggered to do it. That's, that's um that's what I would call a maybe a medium sized mouse. was pretty big in the moment effect in the moment was huge. We call them rodents of unusual size. For any Princess Bride fan.
I was just gonna say the RT R O SS. R Us is yes,
yeah, I'm just gonna restart my video because it went all fuzzy for a second. Then there were, you know, bigger ones that might have stayed with you for years, you might have had them for a long time, I was asked by one of my coaches to make a list of anyone I wouldn't want to pass on the street. Anyone I'd feel uncomfortable seeing or anyone I, I still harbored resentment for. And initially, I'm like, oh, there's no one. But as we dug in, you know, over time, I came up with a few people, and one of them was a bully from high school, like 20 years earlier, who had just really not treated me well and made fun of me. And we used to be friends. And the coach said, All right, call him. You know, we didn't have the terminology, name that mouse. But the coach was like, call him and clear it up. And I said, Hell, no. I'm not gonna call this guy after 20 years, he's gonna think I'm an idiot. And she said, and I'm going to translate it to this language. He said, basically, well, that's another mouse. So start with that. And I was like, oh, okay, I could do that. So I tracked down his number, and I called him and I said, I'm so worried you're gonna think I'm a complete idiot for calling you about this after 20 years? And he got curious. He said, Oh, well, what is it? What do you got? What's going on? I said, you always pushed me around and one off to me, and I tried to one up you, but you were better at it. And I really resented you, and I'm letting it go. You don't have to do anything. I just thought I'd let you know. And he said, the most mind blowing thing. This was the jerk. Like for 20 years, I'd been treating him as a jerk in my head. He said, Well, what could I say or do now to help you or us move forward? It just blew my mind. And if I can call him and call the girl who dumped me twice in high school, and call the guy who ran the company that I sued, to see if there are any ill feelings, and cold the person that I committed a crime against when I was younger, and I could have been prosecuted by saying, hey, it was me. And I'm sorry, can I make it right? I've done that twice. Actually, if I can do that, then just consider what could you do? It might be uncomfortable. And you don't have to do it without the paint by number system we outlined in the book that'll make it so much easier for you. But there are really beautiful things on the other side of that discomfort.
Right, so So these, these mice are the mouse that you name is just sort of this discomfort or this uneasy feeling that you've been harboring about topic XYZ or person XYZ, you naming it so that you can confront it and move past it.
Yeah, that might be a there might be a healing for me involved. Maybe the other person's got something going on it that you don't even know. I had my my brother was getting coached. And they gave him homework to call somebody and name a mouse. And he couldn't think of anyone and the coach. And the coach said to him, it doesn't matter how small it is just trust in the homework, go and do it. So he called a girl that he broken up with a year earlier, and said, Look, I just I don't know if you made it mean anything about you. But I want you to know, that was everything about me. I was not in a space to be in a relationship. And I really think you're awesome. And just in case you were thinking anything else. I wanted to let you know. And he said the impact on her was unbelievable. She started crying. And she said she'd been thinking that she was a loser because of that whole thing. And he came back to me and said, Look, I got no money. But that call was worth $10,000 to me. This and he was like 22 at the time. He's like that call was just unbelievable. So the upside of sharing your truth in an artful, ideally blameless way can be extraordinary. Everyone wants to be human. They want to be human and they want to open their heart That's my belief. That's my story. Now it's not going to happen every time you talk with people but even that boss that I called where i i sent a letter of demand and was threatening a lawsuit. We got chatting and he said all look back at the time. It didn't feel very good. I didn't Like, depart with the money, but that's water under the bridge. And I said, Well, how you doing? He told me we never had a personal conversation. He told me about his divorce and what was going on, I felt so close to that guy, I hung up the phone feel like we're buds now, all of it because I just called to say, is there any hard feelings from them? I'm hoping, hoping not. So it's it's a gateway courage in general. And I think particularly courage about the things where we have a bit of charge can be a gateway to connection, confidence, and being the badass leader that people want to follow.
I love it. And where can people find the book gets out today, which is again, yeah, June 13. In case you're listening to this on the 14th, through the 15th, or whenever,
or whenever, whenever, yeah, go to mouse in the room.com. And there'll be a link there for you to go to Amazon and get your book, we've got a special going. Special going, we're going to do the Kindle for like something crazy, like 99 cents, because we want to just do a best seller campaign. And so you could get the book for almost nothing, or pay for the you know, pay the 1295 or whatever, whatever for the book. But we'd love you to support the best seller campaign. And the way you can do that is get the book posted on social media that you got the book because it's good idea to have your friends naming mice with you. It's hard to do in isolation. But if your friends and the people around you are like, oh, yeah, this is what can I name a mouse with you? Oh, you got a mouse to name with me? Yeah, shoot. That's what I want for the world. And if you think it deserves a five star review, please leave one because that's what will help us climb in the rankings and hit that lovely bestseller title, which is really just an excuse to bring people together for a party.
Absolutely. And if people want to get in touch with you, if they have questions, maybe they want to work with you. They want to know how you know where you are in life, where can they find you?
Yeah, there's a contact form on my website. So mouse in the room.com, might even redirect you to my other website. But then you'll be able to see contact form, you can request coaching from me, I usually get on the phone with people and we see if, if we're a fit. And if it makes sense. If you're interested in mouse naming for your team, or your company, I'm particularly interested in that because we can start shifting the culture and have people sharing their desires and actually not letting things fester. I think it's wonderful for team building. And so you can reach out through the contact form about corporate trainings, or team team trainings.
Perfect. And before we wrap things up, is there anything that maybe we missed or that you want to really leave the listeners with?
You're already doing things, right? You got this far, you don't need fixing. And there can be a lot more connection in the world for each of us. And I found if you can just go through some of those scary places of discomfort and just screw up some courage. There are some beautiful things waiting on the other side. And I will, I could almost promise you that on your deathbed. You're not going to go I should have stayed quiet. You're going to say I'm glad I read that book. And I'm glad I spoke up my truth more and more often. And I went in that direction. That's how to live. We don't want to watch movies about people hiding their truth and staying small. We want to watch movies about people being themselves in the world. And that's what I want for the world. I think this is what can really heal the planet is people being more of themselves.
Awesome. And last question I asked everyone and that's knowing where you are today in your life and in your career. What advice would you give to your younger self?
At times, it's gonna get very hard. It might get so hard that you don't know if you're gonna make it. But you do you know, even because it's even though it seems like you just can't make it. You're stronger than you think. And you will find something new, you will learn a new way to cope. And then you'll go on and the universe is going to bring you something else. But try to remember when you're in the middle of it. Okay, it feels like life and death, but usually it isn't.
I love it. That is great advice. David, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. I really appreciate it and again, everyone run out, get the book, get it on a Kindle, get it in and something in your hands if you can as well. The book is out today the mouse in the room. David, thank you so much for coming on.
Sure. I'd also say read it to your kids. You want your kids naming mice, you want to name mice with your kids. So, we didn't talk about parenting, but I think it's very as a chapter on on mouse naming for parents. So, thank you. I am excited and I appreciate the chance to talk about it.
Pleasure and everyone. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. Get out there, start naming your mice and have and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.