Maybe this is the last time…..

Last week, I mentioned that I had surgery on my bladder, and that MAYBE it was the last time.  Not the last time I will need surgery, but MAYBE the last time I will need surgery for Botox injections in my bladder.  If you are interested in learning more about the how and why I have this done, please check out an earlier post, “You’re getting Botox where?”

The ‘short story’ is that I have both urge incontinence and urinary retention in my bladder, which makes my bladder have TOO much control in my life.  I currently self cath every day, have Botox surgery 2 times a year, AND receive PTNS treatment every 4 weeks to manage these issues.  Oh and I really try to laugh about it….smh

Some time ago (a couple of years ago), my urogynecologist talked to me about an device made by Medtronic called Interstim. (pictured above)

InterStim Therapy at a glance

The root cause of overactive bladder and urge incontinence are the sacral nerve roots, which control the muscle impulses that cause the bladder to expand and contract.

  • InterStim is an FDA-approved surgical implant device used to treat bladder incontinence and overactive bladder.
  • The device works by sending mild electric pulses to control symptoms such as leaks and urge incontinence.
  • InterStim can be reversed or discontinued at any time during therapy.

My first thought was SIGN ME UP!!!!  I immediately began researching this device.

The problem is, the device is not MRI safe.  ARGH!!!! (I HAVE to have MRI’s every year not only to stay on Tysabri, but to monitor my Multiple Sclerosis, and every other new injury I get.)  DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

My doctor told me that the company was working on making a device that would be MRI safe, and it was just a matter of time.  MAYBE that time is now?!?!??!

Medtronic announced it’s submission of an MRI safe Interstim device to the FDA

This device is already being used successfully in other countries!!!!  If you have any experience with the FDA approval process, you know that it’s not quick.  My doc says that it was approved and should be available in April.  I haven’t been able to find any other source to confirm that though, so I elected to have the Botox surgery once again.

Even if the device is improved and that is the route I take, there is still no ‘guarantee’ that it will work for me.  There is a two week test phase etc.  The Colorado Woman’s Health website, provides a great source of information about the procedures etc, if you would like to check it out.  (IMO even better than the manufacturer’s website)  If you want more information, both sites are worth visiting.

Another treatment that I use is PTNS. (Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation)  IMO, this works similar to the Interstim device, but is performed without surgery.  I’ve posted this video of it being performed on my Youtube Channel if you would like to see.

Talking about bladder issues is almost as uncomfortable as living with them.  I said ALMOST.  If you are experiencing issues, PLEASE talk to your doctor about them.  There is help!  I have been dealing with my issues for over 20 years.  In the beginning, less invasive treatments: kegel exercises, bladder retraining, and medications worked for me.  Maybe I developed a resistance or intolerance to them and had to move on to the treatments I currently use?  I’m not sure.  I do know that the isolation and self esteem issues can be overwhelming.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post here or message me.  You can also contact me on my Facebook page.  I’m not a doctor, but I’m open and honest.


14 thoughts on “Maybe this is the last time…..

    1. I should have mentioned that, thanks for asking! An MRI safe object is any object, device, implant, or equipment that poses no known hazards in the MRI environment., meaning they have no magnetic pull and are perfectly safe to enter the MRI scan room. If the leads or implant were magnetic in anyway the MRI machine would pull them out of my body (my spinal cord). check out this video….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can relate to having had multiple surgeries due to health issues. And I pray this maybe your last.
    I did want to ask. And I’m not sure if it’s just me, all in head. But I’ve been experiencing some incontinence and I think it all started after my last surgery, a csection. How can it all begin? When I have to go, I have to go! Like now. And go frequently.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would talk to your about it for sure! Don’t let them blow you off with a “well you have had multiple children, youre getting older thing” either! The first urologist I saw said, “well you have ms and have had a hysterectomy that’s normal”… maybe it IS normal, but It IS NOT something you have to live with! If people were honest, more than 50% of people in the world have some kind of issues with their bladder

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, you’re right! I have thought that too, like well, “there have been six pregnancies.”
        But, I will. To be honest, it’s so discouraging too when I feel something ‘else’ could be ‘wrong’ with my body. It can get to be frustrating. But it’s also reality and we need to be honest with ourselves when we feel something isn’t right and bring it up to our doctors. They can’t help us if they don’t know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have…umm… I can’t remember what it’s called now! There’s a fancy ass name for it but it’s not being able to go while also being desperate to go all.the.time, then sometimes going when I shouldn’t. Basically my nerves got messed up after my first 2015 surgery so I empathise with bladder-related bullshit. Sounds a little similar to your situation. Yeah, not easy to talk about, though admittedly I find pee-related stuff easier to discuss by making light of it than I to talking about poop and stoma-related stuff 😂 So it’s back to Botox for you and hopefully this new device will soon be made available to you that’s suitable for MRIs..? Keep us posted, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed!
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

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