When Depends became too baggy after my weight loss causing leaks and the pads would slide to the side, I switched to GoodNites brand children’s diapers. Immediately, my confidence was boosted with the cute designs and panty like fit. Even though I have my bladder well managed, I still wear them daily. With my active lifestyle I like the piece of mind that if I have an accident my wheelchair cushion and clothes will still be dry. I simply rip the diaper off, clean my downstairs “area” with a baby wipe, put a new diaper on and wheel on my way.
Often times SCI survivors suggest Botox Injections and pharmaceuticals to help with my incontinence. I used both up until April 2017 when they quit working. I searched high and low for natural alternatives after realizing how well my body felt after getting off of the pharmaceuticals. The uncomfortable constipation and dry mouth ceased within days!
Early summer 2018 I had a bladder study done. The nurse who perform the study shamed me for refusing to take the prescribed medicines. She put me in tears saying due to the amount of spasms my bladder has shrunk significantly. She continued on with a shame train because I refused pharmaceuticals after explaining they didn’t work and made me feel funny. She placed fear deep within my soul threatening that I would need a permanent catheter in my stomach with a bag or bladder augmentation (surgery where they take a piece of your bowel to make you bladder bigger) before I knew it.
After calming myself down, reading the materials she gave me I realized I caused these issues. When I was first injured I didn’t take cathing seriously. I would let my bladder fill and fill sometimes filling and entire cath bag (1200mL), extremely distending my bladder. The urologist was not available that day and I was leaving to my hometown for the summer. I had an appointment in August but after waiting an hour I was informed it would be another hour and half before the urologist could see me. He was booked out until November. Worried about my future bladder health, his scheduler reassured me if there were serious issue he would have seen me sooner. I didn’t appreciate the way the nurse had made me feel.
Since then, I have had the opportunity to speak with my urologist, he suggested a low side-effect pharmaceutical (Myrbetriq) and in-office Botox injections. My bladder has shrunk significantly due to the amount of spasms causing me to leak rather than letting it fill. Cutting out sugar, drinking plenty of water and switching to the Lofric catheter (get your sample here) significantly reduced my risk of UTI. (Which I found a natural cure to here.)
If you take anything from this blog post, please please please take your bladder health seriously. Cath according to the schedule your urologist suggests, take the medicine that works for you, and live your best life!