Did you or your mother used to say 'tinkle' when you were little? Do you still use it now with children? Do you still run the water in the bathroom sink so no one will hear the sound of you urinating? Well, CUT THE CRAP. I hope this story makes you a mad, militant pisser, unashamed to take a whiz.
Every woman has either waited in line or seen the lines at the women's bathrooms. The buildings were designed and built by men. Of course, they can stand up, whip it out and pee. Not so for us females. Besides, we do wash our hands afterwards.
I've had what's delicately known as "over active bladder" to some degree for the past ten years. But in the past three years it's become severe and I've taken to wearing two paper pants at all times and I've destroyed three mattresses. I live in a sea of piss. My crotch is never completely dry because I'm leaking all the time. I'm obsessed that it smells. I constantly poll my long-suffering friends. (They deny it, but I really don't believe them because the smell is so strong.) If I can't find a bathroom to change, I swear it smells like pungent baby urine.
And what about life? No life, my life revolves around the toilet and now around blogging. I get up at least twice in the night, more often three times, stumble to the bathroom and change diapers. Sometimes, I've leaked heavily, or simply urinated on the way to the bathroom. Then I sit on the toilet, pull down my 'pull-ups' and the urine cascades on to the bathroom floor at 2AM. I live in a sea of piss.
I go through two pullup pants at the rate of at least 12 a day, wearing 6 pair, 2 at a time. If I had to buy them, I wouldn't have rent money. Medicare does pay for them. One of my dearest hopes is to wear big girl pants again some day.
But wait, there's more. You see, I'm not just a bladder, much as it's easy to lapse into that. I have arthritis in my feet and knees. I've had numerous operations on my feet and two knee replacements. These have been a piece of cake compare to my bladder problems, but they do slow me down.
I can't walk or jog, so my exercise is swimming. But no pool will allow me in with a leaky bladder. In my isolation, I have made new friends with Ben & Jerry. I've. gained 15 pounds in the last year. And gaining weight is the worst thing for arthritis. (more)
When the urge to piss strikes in the night, I can't just jump up out out bed and charge into the bathroom, trying to beat the urge. I use a cane and it's a balancing act(pardon the pun) between falling or dripping piss on the carpet. I live in a sea of piss. My sleep deprivation has lead me to some goofy decisions that I won't elaborate on here.
About the same time my bladder shifted into high gear, the ads started appearing to help this 'condition.' All pink with perky, soft female announcers I wanted to, well, piss on all of them.
My (male) doctors seemed sympathetic but bemused. They informed me that medications right now are mostly only marginally effective. However, the side effects are horrendous. In my case, Mybetric gives me a severe rash; the research continues. Meanwhile, they told me to 'live with it.'
Until recently, surgeons performed the 'sling' operation. The bladder was sort of hoisted and tucked into the pelvic wall and the results were instant and gratifying. But then the slings became infected and came loose. Some women even died. The reseachers pulled back and we were doomed to suffer even longer. 'Live with it' was again the verdict.
Enter Botox - it's injected into strategic places directly into the bladder. It freezes up the flabby muscles. Again, the results are instant and gratifying. And don't freak out - there's some discomfort, but no worse than severe menstrual cramps.(although 'pain' is subjective, some women require a general anesthetic.) It's over in 20 minutes, but it only lasts six months..
I've had it done once and I swear by it. So why am I still swimming in a sea of piss? The medical delivery system. I'm on disability and Medicare and MediCal, California's version of Medicaid. The procedure isn't covered and the Botox itself costs $700.00 per injection. The cost is to be borne by the patient. I have $700.00 like I have a hole in the head. Besides, 'overactive bladder' is not life threatening. I have a hunch the powers that be consider it as one of those 'female lifestyle' problems. I'd be interested to know how they cover men with the same condition.
I've found a group of dedicated -female - urologists who are filing appeals for me. But they take time - weeks, maybe months. I hope I can eventually have the procedure. Meanwhile, I live in a sea of piss.
More from health