Bladder problems and MS
Nearly everyone has the misfortune to suffer from bladder problems and MS. Sadly I am one of them.
Bladder problems and MS
If you do have MS and a good bladder then count yourself very lucky. It is thought that as many as 90% of people with MS will have bladder problems at one time or another. This will affect your quality of life.
It affects quality of life
The fear that you are suddenly going to get the urge to have a pee, you cannot hold on and what might happen is ghastly.
Imagine that you need to get to the loo within the next couple of minutes or else ….
Imagine that you are in a car, stuck in a traffic jam and you suddenly need to have a pee and you need to do it now….
It’s happened to all of us at some point or another. Problems with your bladder can ruin your quality of life.
This is a simple explanation of the two problems
- The bladder contracts but the sphincter remains closed, this is urgency and hesitancy.
- The bladder relaxes and the sphincter opens, this is incontinence.
I have an unreliable bladder. It was in the noughties, going for a walk made me want to go to the loo. I would go to the loo before I went out but after walking a few yards I had to rush back to the house and have another pee. I would be out shopping and suddenly I got the urge to go to the loo and I had to find a loo pronto. Alcohol and coffee only made it worse.
My bladder controlled my life.
Believe it or not there is some good news
The last thing I wanted to do was talk to an MS nurse or anyone else about my waterworks.
Whatever you do, don’t soldier on trying to pretend the problem does not exist. There is help out there just ‘man-up’ to it.
It was a big jump for me to admit my bladder had a mind of its own and I needed help. Intermittent Self Catheterisation now gives me a quality of life that I enjoy. I no longer live in fear of not being able to find a loo.
The good news
There are a variety of solutions but do get advice through a Continence Advisor or local MS Nurse.
- Intermittent Self Catheterisation. You insert a tube into your bladder and empty it completely. I’m a bloke so my problems are different from those of a woman. It isn’t difficult.
- Queen’s Square Bladder Stimulator. This is a hand held device applied to the lower part of the abdomen. With gentle pressure the stimulator vibrates, triggering the bladder to empty. This can be effective with some people.
- Advice can be sought through the Continence Advisor or local MS Nurse.
- Botox injections directly into the bladder wall and are effective for bladder spasm. For more information get a referral to a neuro urologist. See the blog.
- Think about absorption pads; there is a big selection available these days.
Do talk to someone about this. Doing an ostrich-job and pretending the problem does not exist is foolhardy and ruins your quality of life.