Saturday, October 10, 2009 Kim, Community Member, asks

Q: should I tell my boss that I'm incontinent?

I was diagnosed with ms in November of 2005 right before my 27th birthday. I have relapsing remitting ms. One of my symptoms is severe incontinence. I wear diapers, but sometimes they leak and humiliate me. I usually bring extra clothes to the lab where I work, but Thursday, I did not have any pants!!!!! just extra shirts!!!! I had to leave work early in a lab coat. My coworker who knows my condition tried covering for me. It did not work. Now my boss is mad at me. He gave me a lecture on giving the right amount of time to the lab (which I totally do in spite of severe fatique!). So, do I tell him why I really left 30 minutes early Thursday? He knows I have ms. He's 86 and hates women and basically everyone. I need this job for insurance!!!!! I hate myself for using diapers.
Answer This
Answers (5)
momdukes, Community Member
10/11/09 4:20pm

Kim I forgot to ask if you were taking medication to help out.  There is all kinds out there now.  I do not know what I would do without mine, oh yes I do, I would wet myself, honey it really helps out a lotWink.  I know, another pill, but this one is worth the trouble I promise you it is.  sherry/smomdukesKiss  ok I am finished now!

Shelly, Community Member
10/10/09 3:51pm

Hi Kim. I have been a slacker on this website, but read your dilemma and wow, did it hit home. I was diagnosed in August 2007, and have had the incontinence issue since April of that year. It is something that none of us really enjoys talking about, but yet we need answers. I get very sick of having to change my clothes and humiliate myself in public. Right now I am on my third med for this symptom, and I think that only helps a little. I spoke with a friend who just has bladder issues because of children, and she said she uses Poise pads all the time. I went with that idea and things at work have very much improved. They are the maxi size, but hold enough that I have only had one accident at work since using them. I probably go visit the restroom every 2 hours,  which isn't always possible. I have not told my boss about this, because she already knows I have MS and with that comes different obstacles. She does see me frequent the rr but hasn't said anything. Keep your chin up...I know this disease is the pits and we have to find support to get through life. Heck, maybe diapers are on your boss's shopping list and that contributes to his grumpinessUndecided It's nice to meet you!





momdukes, Community Member
10/10/09 4:18pm

Hi Kim this is smomdukes and yes MS sucks.  When I had my female plumbing removed I figured I was finished with pad, boy was I wrongSurprised  I think that you should let your boss know along with HR, this will give you some job protection.  This way old grumpy cannot say a word about nothing, and he has to make allowances, and HR will bend over backwards to do what they have to do to make work life better for you.  Nobody wants any problems out of the media or the people who look after us handicap folks I cannot think of the name right now my mind has gone blank.  But to cover yourself let them know.  I did and in my case, they cannot do enough.  Keep us posted.


MWMS, Community Member
10/10/09 8:48pm

Kim, Reading your question brought back memories of my episodes of urinary accidents. MSer since 2001, urinary problems since 2007. Before diagnosing neurogenic bladder I had three incontinence episodes, which fortunately did not cause much embarrassment. But, one day I had to spend all the time running to bath room and back, when I was in a cinema with my wife. Since then I am using diapers, which occassinally leaked with minimal wetness of my trousers, the leaks mainly due to change of position of the penis inside. But on one occassion, when I had an urinary infection, the diaper just could not bear the outflow. Since then I started taking care to position the penis in the diaper and checking it frequently.I also avoid colas and citrous drinks.

I use oxybutynin tablets 5mg twice daily with good success. With some modifications of life style and diapers, you can overcome this problem. I advise you discuss about your problem with your boss. I feel he won't be grumpy after knowing about this.

S-U-P-E-R, Community Member
7/20/13 1:41am

Hmm, I know it's a confusing decision to make, seeing what kind of "old grumpy" your boss is.  I'm not sure myself, in your shoes, whether I'd tell that kind of boss or what, but I suspect it might be better if you do tell him.  I don't really know of anything there is to lose if you tell him -- unless he fires anyone incontinent, purely for the sake of business profit.  Hopefully not, since I doubt it's legal to discriminate based on medical condition.  I'm thinking "Yes, tell him" but it's whatever you think is best.  I have not much to advise since I've never ever had a job in my life.  Been trying to get one!


Tena, Abena, Prevail, Invacare, FitRight, and Tranquility are some of the best brands of pads/adult diapers.  For fecal incontinence, also throw in Molicare.  I'm not an expert in this field, but I'll be as helpful as I can be.


I've seen it said that this is an embarrassing condition, and people get humiliated thereby.  But I personally don't believe it should be picketed around as some kind of disaster; I think society today is too uptight.  I give kudos to whetever good, helpful friends are supporting you.  That is a must (pun not intended... or was it?)!  I know you people say no one enjoys talking about incontinence, but my take is that those who talk about it with each other (as in, not poking fun at anyone) are those I'm sure I'd be proud to call my friends!  As a matter of fact, Kim, and the commentators, this discussion makes me want to meet y'all and become good friends already, just so I can be supportive!

Answer This

We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Kim, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/20/13, First Published: 10/10/09