It's been a few years since my multiple sclerosis attack which markedly changed my bladder and bowel functionings. I think this was the point where I started to consider coping techniques to get beyond the stress and unpredictability of my situation. Before this time, I wasn't sure if was definitely the MS or maybe other issues, including natural aging. But then it was apparent that my condition was making both my bladder and bowel systems weak and incontinent. Knowing the cause helped me to focus on telling close family and friends and giving myself some slack.
In the past several years I've still found myself in some precarious situations, including needing to run to the bathroom in fast food restaurants or rest stops, blindly searching for the bathrooms at family or friends' gatherings, bailing out of gatherings or trips that involve long car rides or ambiguous restrooms, and panicking while waiting in long bathroom lines. A couple of my most troubling moments to date have been when a bathroom wasn't in sight and I took to "roughing it." I suppose I must tell you about my MOST troubling time in the past year. Although I haven't had a multiple sclerosis attack in nearly two summers, I have continued to find myself frantically getting to a bathroom in time. So a few months back when my husband was in our one bathroom, I pounded on the door and let him know that this time I hadn't a moment to spare (funny how people with bladder and bowel incontinence can go from fine to urgently needy in a matter of moments. Especially MSers like myself.) My husband couldn't get out quick enough before my bowels let loose and that was that. My first experience with total bowel incontinence. In my own home.
I tell you all of this with candor and a lot of hope. I often worry throughout the day-- still--- about where I'm going to find the next bathroom, but I've told close family and friends about my situation and we all now know that it simply goes with the multiple sclerosis territory. Yes, I still find myself in mortifying situations and I'm still running to the bathroom, but I'm a bit more at ease with all the support I receive. And I've given myself a break because I'm twelve years into this disease of MS and I'm mobile and thriving and grateful for each day, whether eventful or quiet.
Published On: June 08, 2010