I started out as a fairly healthy person but had some light bladder leakage, as well as hesitancy issues. I was told by a doctor that I may need bladder surgery and was having bladder issues and pain. If you have bladder pain or incontinence issues, please reach out to your urologist.
After my surgery, my bladder control issues got significantly worse but I was at less risk for having a blocked off bladder, which is a plus. I became more severely incontinent following surgery and wasn’t fully warned about the risks. At first, I felt ashamed of my issues, my doctors did not take things seriously. I went from having moderate to good control of my bladder to less/poor control.
When I began having bladder leaks in public, I decided to only go to work or stay home for a while, but I missed out on a lot of enjoyable things. Over time I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis or OAB. They are not sure what causes my issues currently, but the lesson I began to take away from this is that bladder issues are more common than people realize.
When I started being open about my issues at work, I found a few friends going through similar things, and the shame began to go away. Incontinence is not our fault, and we did not choose to be so. Why should we feel ashamed? When I threw away the shame and accepted my issues, my life became easier. I took better care of myself.
To this day, I still have bladder issues and wear pullups daily, but I have found wearing more protection has been helpful. I am also on the NAFC forum and reaching out to others really does help you feel less alone. I am living a more productive life now, setting my shame aside, and working towards growing better in myself. Incontinence isn’t the end of your life, only the beginning of your journey. We put the shame on ourselves, and we can remove it ourselves as well.