My name is Trevor and I am 27. I enjoy fishing, working on my car and watching movies on Netflix. Fleetwood Mac and Drake are some of my favorite artists to listen to on drives on my days off to clear my mind. I’m adapting to a new normal with the epidemic that has been going on and I can’t help but think of another new normal that recently came into my life the summer of 2019.
The summer my nocturnal enuresis came back.
It was sporadic at best to begin with; however with the onset of PTSD in my case, it became worse in February of this year. At first, I was a bitter person about my bladder issues. But due to stress, severe depression, and life going down the drain, it only seemed to make the situation worse. It got to the point where the stress and anxiety from my PTSD caused my bladder to become overactive where I would go religiously – I would go almost every half hour to the hour. At its worse, I remember a few evenings where I would try to go and I couldn’t, but when I would wash my hands the urge to go would come back. I hated myself for it. I felt confined to my apartment.
Bedwetting was an issue I struggled with growing up. Going to the urologist are moments I’ll never forget. Having to endure painful and humiliating tests for something deep down I knew wasn’t my fault. But we grew up in a culture where it was just not talked about. It was like having to go through it all a second time. I just wanted to avoid it.
Nocturnal enuresis as a young adult feels like your body is waging an all out war against you. It’s the utter feeling of helplessness, and due to the stigma I had feelings that I was back to being that scared boy who was afraid to go camping or on sleepovers with friends. It was because of that, I didn’t want to manage it. I didn’t want to talk about it, and in my case, when it first started, I was uninsured for a brief period of time.
Eventually I did end up going through the process of seeking treatment options with my urologist, however due to the condition itself, there isn’t much out there. I am still suffering with the condition and unfortunately am not dry yet. I currently wear disposable underpants – and yeah, it’s not cool. To say the least, when I first started managing the condition it brought me back to when I had pull ups in my dresser when I was growing up. I didn’t feel myself because I felt 11 years old again. If you feel that way, you’re not alone.
My perspective on the condition and myself changed however when I received a nice phone call from an individual by the name of Michael. He called me that day to treat me as a person. A young adult. I had opened up to him prior about what was going on.
“Bedwetting is not your fault.” were his words. The words rang in my head because it wasn’t something I had ever heard from another person before. Not my parents or even my urologist. I didn’t feel 11 anymore, I felt 27.
Don’t be afraid to talk about it to a urologist or to someone you can confide in. I know I had to write everything I wanted to say on a notepad because I was so humiliated I couldn’t find the words the first time. Don’t be afraid to manage it until you find the treatment option that works for you. I wasted so much money and time sitting in my local laundromat when I could have just grit my teeth and put my memories in the past and separated my childhood to the life I live now. You will live better because of it.
If you are reading this and you are suffering from Nocturnal Enuresis – you are still you. And whether you are a teen, young adult, adult, whomever – you are doing the steps to research into the condition just like I did to try to seek help. Nobody can fault you for that and you should be recognized for doing so. I implore more young adults to open up more about this condition as when I started doing research there wasn’t much out there. Nocturnal Enuresis is something that is the last thing I think about before I go to sleep, and it’s the first thing I have to think about when I wake up. But because I know that it is not my fault, I am not alone, and because I am seeking treatment options – I spend less time thinking about it during those moments.
Lastly, bedwetting is not your fault.