You've learned that you have a form of incontinence, but what do you do now? The initial doctors' visits, testing, diagnosis, and possible treatments are in motion, but there are steps you can take to help you deal effectively with the condition.
Follow up with doctors
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to follow up with your doctor. If you don’t get what you feel is an adequate response, consider changing doctors. And if you haven’t done so already, let any other doctors you have know about your diagnosis.
Find a support network
There are also many in-person groups for conditions such as incontinence. A great way to learn more about these is through a local hospital system or an organization such as the National Association for Continence.
Sometimes group support is not the right route. If you feel that you need individual time with a trained professional, perhaps you'd be wise to find a therapist. They can be located through hospital systems or insurance coverage plans.
Is there anything standing in your way? This is a not a time to have a lack of communication with others in your life. Make a point of talking about your condition with those close to you and see what they can do to support you.
Reevaluate your lifestyle
Do you need to change lifestyle to better handle your incontinence? Do you need to confide in your boss to have a better schedule or a desk with better access to a bathroom? Do you need any home adaptations?
A change in eating and drinking patterns may not always reduce incontinence issues, but it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about foods and drinks that can exacerbate incontinence. He or she may refer you to a nutritionist.
Consider physical therapy and/or an exercise plan
Consulting with a physical therapist can be beneficial. There are pelvic exercises that can strengthen bladder and sphincter muscles. This may not be an option for everyone, but it's worth finding out if it works for you. Physical therapists can be found through your primary care doctor, and can help you develop a personal exercise plan.
Find a place of peace and gratitude
Incontinence definitely isn't fun, but carving out a personal corner of happiness in life can greatly help you deal with the condition. Consider starting a gratitude journal or trying meditation. Therapists or support groups can often help.