Living with incontinence

Chrispy Community Member October 01, 2010
  • 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.

     

1 Comments
  • Hiker
    Feb. 19, 2011

    My situation is much like that of Crispy. I've been coping and living with this disability for nearly 40 years. However; I am otherwise blessed with good health, family, and work environment. As with Crispy, one learns to live with the problem, and not let it put so much stress in your life that it overrides all the good.

     

    Today, incontinence management...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    My situation is much like that of Crispy. I've been coping and living with this disability for nearly 40 years. However; I am otherwise blessed with good health, family, and work environment. As with Crispy, one learns to live with the problem, and not let it put so much stress in your life that it overrides all the good.

     

    Today, incontinence management is much easier than years ago. There are so many good products on the market now that make dealing with the problem relatively easy. When I first became incontinent, there were no disposable products available. Pure and simple, the principal choice of management was to wear cloth diapers and a waterproof panty. With total urinary incontinence, I needed 40 - 50 diapers per week, Fortunately, I had a diaper service, so avoided the huge laundry issue. Still, one had to deal with carrying wet diapers with you during the day, and having a diaper hamper in the bathroom. I do remember that the diaper service delivery person told us that about 25% of her customers were incontinent adults. So, the problem was then as it is now.

     

    Today, I use disposable diapers. There are many good brands. You have to try several to find the one best suited to your needs. Most likely, you will use a different diaper for the heavy overnight absorbency needs that you might use during the day, when you are aware of the need to change and can use a less absorbent, but more form fitting diaper to be unnoticeable under your clothes.

     

    One suggestion: many manufacturers today are offering diapers suggesting only 3 changes per day. This, in my opinion, is a big mistake. While the absorbency may be there, the risk to your skin, plus the idea of walking around for hours with a wet diaper is not appealing. I advocate a super absorbent diaper for overnight so that you can get a full night sleep, but during the day changing on the average of every 4 hours is highly suggested.

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