This is not a subject for everyone, and I'm somewhat reluctant to post it. But it is the purpose of this blog to reach out to other persons who would otherwise feel quite alone in their struggles with losing control of their bodies.
I do not yet use a catheter. In the early years after my diagnosis, my dear Dr. Bhat suggested it because I work and was constantly in the bathroom. I simply went all the time, and I was still wetting myself on a regular basis. In spite of spending a fortune on pads, guards, everything.
Well, I finally began using incontinence drugs. Detrol, and Ditrophan, I think. And they worked. A lot of the time. But the side effects were striking. Never having been constipated in my life, I was amazed to find myself dealing not only with painful-looking, bleeding bowel movements (with no feeling, I could force it as much as I was able--and you should see my abs under the middle age spread), but also regular bladder accidents.
Finally I'd had enough and gave up the drugs. But they actually had helped some. And now, some twelve years after initial diagnosis, I am still not getting much accomodation at work. The bathroom is adjacent to my workspace, but I still must go all the way around the building to use it! Talk about needing a clue. I can practically hear them flushing the toilets, but I have to race around the other side of the floor to get there. And I don't often make it, these days. Any added stress makes it worse, and we are in the middle of a traumatic transition.
So when I came across my baby BlogSister Pearlie's post, I began to feel that a cusp was approaching. She also was coping with the concept. I wept at her reaction; it was my reaction, too. And I read the comments to see who else was facing this decision. Cathy, wonderful and caring, detailed her own experiences. We emailed a bit, and I began to read her blog, Cathy's Rants and Ramblings.
Cathy recently emailed to tell me she's posting on Self Catheterization. If you are thinking that you could never do this, if you are thinking the whole thing sounds insane, it is not. Cathy is proof otherwise.
I remember being catheterized during a medical test. Everything in the post rings true. Unfortunately, so does the nightmare scenario at the hands of an incompetent nurse. In two weeks I will once again broach the subject with my neurologist; this time I will be more amenable to the whole thing. I am long overdue for some relief.
It would be nice to stay out of the ladies room for more than one hour at a time. And make it through a day without an accident, protection or no.