Monday, September 15, 2008

Serious topic--it all Depends?

Urinary Incontinence---If this subject embarrasses you or doesn’t apply or you don’t really care, stop reading now and come back tomorrow and I will try my best to have an amusing post then. But I really want to tell my story to any woman who has urinary incontinence and is not doing anything about it.
I originally posted this on April 29, 2008 but I wanted to bring this forward in case there are any women who have not read it.
For almost seven years I suffered with Urinary Incontinence. I began wearing Poise pads starting with the Panti-liner gradually going to the Ultra Thin then the Regular, Extra, Extra Plus and finally graduating to the Ultra Plus pad. The next step up would be the Depends diaper.
I hated it, was embarrassed and ashamed but never once mentioned this to anyone including my doctor. Of course, my husband knew about all this but we never once talked about my "problem” together. I guess we both thought it was just part of the natural aging process and we would just have to deal with it.
I kept postponing a Pap smear and pelvic exam until three years ago when my doctor insisted that I was way overdue and insisted that I have these procedures.
During the pelvic exam the doctor discovered I had a cystocele.
After the examination was finished, he sat down with me and explained and discussed what my options were. In his opinion, we should set up an appointment with a local Urologist who was highly recommended.
After the initial examination by the Urologist he set up an appointment in one of the local hospitals for a cystoscopy. On that day, the prep staff at the urology department had my husband and I watch a film about a new procedure for women with urinary incontinence.
This was called a trans-vaginal taping; TVT.
The cystoscopy was not too uncomfortable and the staff in the operating room were very kind and gentle and very professional. A follow-up appointment was set up to see the Urologist in his office to discuss his recommendation of the TVT.
After many days of on-line research at home, I decided that I would have this procedure and an appointment was made for the operation.
I arrived at the out-patient area of the hospital a little apprehensive but also excited that maybe I would be “normal” again.
The operation didn’t take too long and I was soon back in the urology recovery area where they monitored my catheter.
They then did a test to check my urine output by filling my bladder with a sterile solution that I would void. If I could not void a certain amount, I would be sent home with the catheter still inserted. Let me tell you I was determined that I was going home catheter free. I passed the test with flying colours and went home that afternoon.
I spent the next four weeks at home doing nothing and did not lift anything heavier than a paper back book. I was still leaking a bit of urine but not anything like the volume that I was used to.
After the month was finished I saw my Urologist who rescheduled another follow up appointment twelve weeks later. The three months flew by and I was semi-happy because I only had to wear Ultra-Thin pads instead of the bulky Ultra-Plus.
The Urologist rescheduled another cystoscopy and found that the taping was too loose so rescheduled another Trans Vaginal Taping for me.
I had this operation done ten months after the original one and spent another four weeks doing nothing and lifting nothing again.
No leakage, but I was in a lot of pain and after some urine tests my Urologist diagnosed a bladder and kidney infection.
The next week I had another cystoscopy where it was discovered that the taping was too tight.
So back I went for my third time to have the taping loosened a little.
By this time the staff in the Urology department and operating room at the hospital were on a first name basis with me and thought that I should be eligible for frequent flier miles or something like that.
After the loosening of the tape I can now say that I am 100 percent dry at all times for the past year.
You are all probably wondering if I had to do it all over again, would I?
I no longer have the embarrassment of wearing incontinence pads and the worry that other people would detect an odour from me.
I had my life given back to me.
I guess I feel like Goldilocks and the three bears; the first time was too loose, the second time was too tight but the third time was just right.
Bear((( )))


JeanMac said...

I love your candor and good description - will help many ladies, I'm sure.

desert dirt diva said...

so glad to hear all is well and i'm gonna pass this little peice on to my boss, at work as she is having some problems.. thanks for the input!

Judi~Gmj said...

Good information, thank you for sharing.

Baino said...

Well that was a nice wee post! I'm lucky, my aversion to using public toilets has given me exceptional bladder control! Now you really wanted to know that didn't you?

Rinkly Rimes said...

How brave and sensible of you to discuss something so private and yet so in need of becoming public. Blogging serves many useful purposes.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I had no idea about any of this stuff. Well, sure, some of it. A wee bit (pun intended).

I can't jump on a trampoline and laugh at the same time without, well, you know. And who can actually jump on a trampoline without laughing? Mine is due to childbirth. Kids.

bobbie said...

I'm glad you're so happy with the results. If I needed a 3rd after having two, I think I'd be tearing my hair out. I hate hospitals so much! But all is well now.
Good information. Thank you.

Mental P Mama said...

I had that test done where they fill up your bladder. Luckily, my stress incontinence is not bad, but I know many who have had that sling operation, and rave about the results. I am so glad you are 100%. It is a terrible problem. Oh, and those bear pants are too cute;)

kenju said...

It's great to be able to read a candid post like this, should I ever have the same problem. Thanks!

Tabor said...

Beary brave of you to post this, and I am sure it will assure many others who have this problem, that persistence can insure a solution!

Daryl said...

SO glad this turned out 100% perfect ... its got to be a great relief to laugh all you like and never worry about side effects!

Adorable diaper cover ... glad you wont ever need it!


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

OK I stopt reedin this cos it waz gettin too yukky for a small Boy Bear (!) so I left Mummy to reed it alone! ...but i do like thoze pants at the top ov the post! WA-HEYYY!!!!

Dianne said...

I love how open you are!! I forwarded this to my neighbor - she never wants to talk about this and is miserable.

I bet you'll help a lot of women today. You're the Beary Best!!

Midlife Slices said...

I don't have that problem but I think it's fabulous that you were willing to share it so those that do have incountinence will know they aren't alone and there is something that can be done to fix it. Way to go, Bear. High Five!

Wendy said...

Wow - what an eye opener! I can imagine how frustrated you must have felt having to go back twice more to get it right!

I had never heard of "taping" as a surgical cure for cystocele. In the old days, they used to "tighten up" the muscles. An operation to be sure, but a much more painful one.
Good post - a lot of women will be happy to have this info.

Gramma Jo said...

Well you may have helped me today. I will be making an appt to talk to my doctor. Thank you so much.

Shimmy Mom said...

I think it is wonderful that you are willing to share your story with others I am sure that you will help someone out there.

I have been here before and you comment on my blog, but today I ended up here from the Black Box! Great minds must think alike. How fun is that.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Oh Bear...this was so informative...thank you. So many women have this problem in one form or another and are ashamed to talk about it. Its just been in the last few years that I have found out its quite common. I have stress incontinence and never go anywhere without a Poise pad cause one never knows when one is going to cough, sneeze or laugh!! When this first started about 15 years ago, my doctor said he could do surgery on me if I would lose about 70 lbs. but it wasn't the same thing you're talking about. Needless to say, I never lost the weight and since I was in the throes of menopause, I was too moody at the time to care. I hate wearing that dang pad and if I weren't so deathly afraid of doctors I would consider getting this (what you did) done. If it gets worse, I may think about it. Thank you so much for the info. Big hugs, Bear!

photowannabe said...

Thanksfor your bold and frank post. I don't have that problem but being informed never hurts.
I'm so glad it has gone so well for you.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

This not a problem for me right now but you never know. Thanks for sharing the information. I will be sure to file it away for future reference should the need arise. and Bear, only you could come up w/a cute little teddy bear to match this topic. LOL

Blue said...

Found this interesting, as my bladder control is not that great.
Am glad the operation worked for you.


i beati said...

new education for me - great stuff sandy

i beati said...

new education for me - great stuff sandy

carol stanley said...

there is hope and that is a good thing for everyone..carol stanley author of For Kids 59.99 and Over

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm sure this post was very helpful to a lot of women with the same problem Bear....these things are rarely discussed, even among friends. So glad they finally got it right for you and I know it has to be a big relief to not have to worry about it anymore. Cheers!

Ashley Ladd said...

I'm glad you got that fixed. I also had that problem and finally had surgery to fix my bladder. I hear the surgery may have to be redone after ten years - I'm hoping not but will do it again if I have to. I never want to go back to the way it was.

Anny Cook said...

Heh. I had that surgery way back when I had a hysterectomy. You're absolutely correct. Go get it fixed!

femail doc said...

I definitely could see that Goldilocks analogy coming. Your post is such a great reminder of the power of the right surgery at the right time (with the right amount of tension to the tape!). And you padded your story with just enough dry humor to bring a smile to even the worst wet blanket!