IN MY BLADDER
Who? What? WHERE?!?!?….. In your bladder?!?!?
(Jokes about a bad connection or needing glasses)
Seriously though, in my bladder (although some other areas could maybe use it to)
I have neurogenic bladder which is described as:
Neurogenic bladder is bladder dysfunction (flaccid or spastic) caused by neurologic damage. Symptoms can include overflow incontinence, frequency, urgency, urge incontinence, and retention. Risk of serious complications (eg, recurrent infection, vesicoureteral reflux, autonomic dysreflexia) is high.
FOR ME, personally, this means when I have to go I have to go. Get the hell out of my way it is coming NOW!!! Most times I can tell that I have to urinate before it happens, but not always, and just because my brain sometimes gets the message that I have to pee, it doesn’t mean it lets me know that I have to go more than 10 seconds before it starts to flow…… smh… yeah yeah “it sucks to be me” I know.
Just to keep it interesting though, my body seems to have forgotten HOW to pee. So my brain gets the message (most times) “Hey you should probably RUN”, and I attempt to move as quickly as possible toward the nearest “facility”. I get there, and then NOTHING! Not even a drop sometimes!….ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME?!?!? How do you live with that?
Learning how to Self-catheterize
For starters, I self- cath. I have included this link not only to show a “carton image” of how the whole thing is done, but because it cracks me up that even a medical site doesn’t really “get it”. One hand to spread your labia, your second hand to insert the catheter, and your THIRD hand to hold a mirror?!?!?…lol yeah good luck with that. Either way I have figured it out, and it helps.
I try to pee on a “schedule”, and before I leave the house, or before I have sex, or go to the store and and and. I’ve also learned which drinks aggravate my urgency (surprisingly water is worse than coffee) but more on this at another time.
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimuation (PTNS)
I’m not even going to try to explain how this works, but it does help with the urgency. Here is a link that does explain the science behind it, if you are interested. I’ve also copied a portion of the site here:
Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimuation (PTNS) is a low-risk, non-surgical treatment. PTNS works by indirectly providing electrical stimulation to the nerves responsible for bladder and pelvic floor function. During PTNS treatment, the patient’s foot is comfortably elevated and supported. Also during treatment, a slim needle electrode is placed near the nerve at the ankle known as the tibial nerve. A device known as the Urgent PC Stimulator is connected to the electrode and sends mild electrical pulses to the tibial nerve. These impulses travel to the sacral nerve plexus, the group of nerves at the base of the spine responsible for bladder function.
By stimulating these nerves through gentle electrical impulses (called neuromodulation), bladder activity can be changed. Because this change happens gradually, patients receive a series of 12-weekly, 30-minute treatments. After the 12 treatments, when the patient’s response to therapy is assessed, occasional treatments may be needed to sustain symptom improvement.
The last time, I went for my “maintenance treatment”, (which is every 4 weeks) the nurse let me take a short video showing how the procedure is done. I have posted it to my Youtube channel if you want to see.
Botox Injections for Urinary Incontinence
Okay FINALLY to the point of this post. I am having surgery next week for Botox injections in my bladder. Yes fricking surgery….AGAIN!!! The Botox website SAYS that the procedure can be done in the office, and it can, but for me it has to be surgery. 😦 I can’t really explain why. I used to drive to Chicago (2 hours away) to have the procedure done at the University of Chicago, and then drive (albeit uncomfortably) the 2 hours home, but I had a “falling out” with one of the doctors there about the frequency I felt I needed it and the frequency she was willing to perform the procedure so I have been having it done locally for the last 2 years.
Why does it have to be surgery?
The doctor who performs the procedure locally does not have the equipment or permission or something to do it in his office, so I have to go to the hospital. To use the operating room at the hospital, they have to call it surgery? I have to go through the whole sedation game and get a driver because of that. I have asked them not to sedate me when I go, hell they can even skip the numbing part if they have to, just do it and be done, but that hasn’t worked so far :(. So next week, I am having surgery, if I can find a ride. ( weather permitting) What a lousy day!
Surgery will be in the middle of the day. They will require me to get there with only one cup of coffee in my body. (They finally agreed to this after dealing with me with NO COFFEE, it wasn’t pretty…. people got hurt ) The check in, vital taking, meeting with the anesthesiologist, (countless nurses), and some doctors too will take approximately 4 hours, and then I will come home and sleep….smh…what a waste of a day. Oh well, it is what it is, and for me the Botox injections have been the most helpful treatment for my bladder issues.
If you want more information about the procedure ( how it’s done, what bladder conditions that it treats etc) here is their website. If you have any questions about Botox, or PTNS, self cathing or any other bladder treatments, feel free to send me a message. Again, I am NOT a doctor, but I have a lot of experience with testing and treatments. ( I was part of the FDA drug trial for Botox too). I have lots of bladder stories, including my diagnosis which I will write about later.
If you are having symptoms of bladder urgency or incontinence TALK TO YOUR doctor. I know it’s not a “fun” topic, but there are many things you can try to not have to suffer in silence.