I have been living with incontinence since the age of 25 and delt with bedwetting prior to that age from toddler to age 14 so it's an understatement that I know how to cope with incontinence. On top of that, I have a son that delt with bedwetting until the age of 14 as well.
Incontinence does not have to be a lifestyle altering issue! I am a very active person, working as a professional firefighter, athletic coach and trainer, and past amateur and professional athlete. Although i cannot say incontinence has not affected my life, I have not allowed it to hold me back in any endeavor I pursue.
My incontinence is neurogenic in nature as I damaged the nerve that inervates the pelvic floor muscles and the uretheral sphincter. I can actually flex my pelvic floor muscles with concentration to hold back the flow of urine for a short time. What this means is when I have an incontinence episode, its a flood. If I'm asleep, there is no control. The type of incontinence I have has a urination pattern very similar to that of a toddler. I feel the need to go just prior to voiding, but the signals that usually keep the urinary sphincter closed don't actually automatically communicate with my muscles.
I have tried many different means of managing my incontinence, with mixed results. I've tried external catheters, diapers, pads, medications, emg therapy,biofeedback...the list goes on and on. The one thing I haven't done is undergo surgery for a manual valve, just because of the possible complications.
Living with incontinence for anyone can be difficult, but being a very active person with incontinence is even worse. Leaks from absorbent products, durable medical equipment malfunction(bag and condom cath), or accidents from not using any protection are all complications that are worsened by activity. It's frustrating at best! I ski, play soccer, scuba dive, hike and climb....lots of active and sometime extreme activities, so it poses extra challenges for me.
Recently I ran across a incontinent brief that changed my way of thinking for absorbent products. I've been using them now for about 2 weeks and have had no instances of leaks at all. This is a huge thing for me since I don't particularly like to share my disability in public. So for all of you frustrate active people out there with incontinence...try these!!!! They are called Providers Choice Active Ultra Plus diapers and I bought them at www.activewithincontinence.com. They are all white with a quiet poly outter cover, with 2 velcro fasteners on each side. I like the velcro because when you can make it to the bathroom, the tapes can be quickly unfastened to make it easy to use the toilet. They can then be refastened with no loss in holding power. It also makes it easy to readjust the fit. They advertise that you will use several less of these in a day than you would other diapers. I agree but even with the confidence I have gained with no leakage, I still prefer to change if I have an accident. I can't imagine anyone wants to sit (or stand) in a wet diaper, but in case you might have to, these briefs are the king. I'm imagining they would be great for teenagers with incontinence as well as they can be devistated socially by thediscovery of their problem by their peers.
Thanks for reading!!!! I'll post more about incontinence and other topics now that I've found Health Central.