I would like to share a brief version of my story and how, in the truest sense, Dr. DuFlo changed my life. I know my story is not unique and that many women attribute their positive outcomes to her work.
I started seeing Dr. DuFlo for pelvic floor physical therapy in the Fall of 2015. It was suggested to me on a whim as a last resort. I suffer from two chronic conditions – Crohn’s disease and Endometriosis – which cause chronic, recurring pelvic/abdominal pai n. Despite five surgeries over five yearsand many medications to manage these conditions, my pain was not resolved and started to get worse. Pain clouded my days and worst of all, it began to creep into my relationship with my husband. Crohn’s and Endometriosis are both associated with infertility, and while I was always told to at least try to start a family on my own, it was difficult to do so when even being touched by my husband caused pain. My life was on hold. My work, my love life, my future family were all on a backburner as I dealt with the pain. I was not a candidate for any further surgeries and was faced with being on narcotic pain medications regularly – not an appealing solution for a 29-year-old woman. I had lost hope.
In my first appointment with Dr. DuFlo, I was filled with low expectations, skepticism and tears as I told her of my history with pain. Dr. DuFlo was caring and understanding, but never made me feel pitied. She approached my case as a challenge, but one she had confidence in overcoming, with a combination of clinical practice and holistic, individualized care. She told me to be hopeful. I vividly remember responding to this by saying “Why?” I didn’t know if I could be let down again. Dr. DuFlo, however, maintained hope and optimism on my behalf from the second we met.
We worked together in a true partnership, something I have never felt with any medical professional. She empowered me by not only believing my pain and the impact of my pain where others hadn’t, but in helping me trust my body and believe there was a way to feel better. Beyond empowerment, she proved herself through results. Her technical skills in pelvic physical therapy are unrivaled. She treated me as an individual, not simply a person for whom to follow a strict set of exercises. Each session was perfectly catered to progress me along and to teach me how to continue our progress outside of our appointments. She made me feel comfortable talking about things – pain during sex, bowel movements and bodily functions- that had always made me feel ashamed. After a mere six months, the scar tissue from so many surgeries started to dissolve and my pain was becoming progressively minimal. I couldn’t believe it, but I was going through days with no pain, no pain medication. My relationship with my husband changed in the best ways imaginable. With her encouragement and guidance, we talked more openly about our sex life and got to point where intercourse was enjoyable. Despite the potential of infertility, I got pregnant after a mere month of trying to conceive. The moment of seeing that positive pregnancy test, as most women can attest too, comes with unbridled joy. On top of that, I felt my first true connection to my body in decades. This trust in my body would not have been possible without Dr. DuFlo.
Since we met, she has ventured out and stood up her own practice, Indigo Physiotherapy. Her intent to focus on a woman as a whole and giving each patient a voice is felt through everything she offers. Her business has changed the way women not only feel about their bodies, but also their ability to discuss openly and comfortably things that were once considered taboo. This is a cultural shift that I attribute to Dr. DuFlo, an incredibly difficult task for an individual to achieve. Dr. DuFlo created this change, developed a safe space for this conversation and continues to spread the message each and every day that women are powerful and that our bodies deserve specific care.
As I sit here, 39 weeks pregnant and preparing for the arrival of my baby girl any day now, I can’t help but tear up. It is not understatement that I would not be where I am today without the incredible influence of Dr. Samantha DuFlo. I sincerely hope you can feel the passion from which I write this.