An unreliable bladder
When my bladder suddenly decides to empty itself and I cannot get to the loo, there is severe embarrassment. What causes an unreliable bladder, otherwise known as urinary incontinence, and what can I do to make my life easier?
An unreliable bladder
I’m not giving a medical solution, This is about how I cope. I’ve have an unreliable bladder, its steadily getting worse and worse and accidents become more frequent. It only become a significant liability in about 2005.
Quick medical bit
For the bladder to operate effectively muscles, sphincters and nerves must work together. In other words, when I want to pee a sphincter opens and the bladder contracts. Its when these actions get out of sync that the problems start.
If there is damage to the nervous system then this can lead to problems with bladder control. Typically people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and damage to the spinal cord can have problems with bladder control.
For people with Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis the problems dealing with an unreliable bladder are difficult to cope with.
Its a bit like trying to hit a moving target.
I have MS and the bladder problem just gets worse and worse.
Now I’m unable to empty my bladder completely and must use a catheter.
Wetting myself shreds my dignity
When I want to have a pee I expect to get to the loo in time but accidents can happen.
Sometimes I get caught out for example when shopping. There is an irresistible desire to have a pee but I know I cannot get to a loo and there are no trees to hide behind so I wet my trousers. Its not intentional it just happens.
Exercise always makes me want to go to the loo, no one has ever told me why.
On other occasions there is something stopping me getting to the loo in time. For example going back home and suddenly i need to go to the loo. Now I am in a hurry and the key sticks in the front door lock. There is a slight leak but when I do get to the loo I can’t have a pee. The more I am held up by the front door key not working the more I panic and as a result the worse the leak.
Wetting myself shreds my dignity, destroys my quality of life and puts a big dent in my self confidence
So what do I do to maintain a good quality of life. Intermittent self catheterisation (ISC), this means that I can completely empty my bladder It has been life changing and enables me to lead a more normal life.
I take Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), it does not make my bladder reliable but it does make it easier for me to hold on if I suddenly need to go to the loo. Incidentally LDN seems to give me more energy and shortens the recovery time when I get fatigued.
I take Detrusitol, a drug that helps to stop the bladder going into spasm and causing it to empty itself. Finally if I’m going somewhere and it will be difficult to get to a loo, for example the theatre, then I wear a medical pad so if I do have an accident nothing will show.
I used to let myself down far too often, but I’m much better these days. Nowadays the problems are a lot more under control. I can now go out without always having to keep my eyes open for the nearest gents loo just in case I need a pee. I think its the combination of ISC and the LDN.