Community Magazine

Coping Strategies with a Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel

By Trudytriumph

Having coping strategies in place is more than important and necessary for a healthy productive life. The goal for us is to go out and live our  lives. Often there is pain involved for us, concern for embarrassment if we have an accident, and an isolation factor because we have a great fear of others knowing that we have  toileting issues. Often we have bladder infections that render us helpless until we get what we need.  Our goal is to live life to the fullest.  Here are some coping strategies that help me.

  1. A good doctor is key.   Before I found the urologist I have now, I thought I was going crazy. 
    When you select an urologist, ask what their system is with bladder infections.  We don’t plan on getting infections on weekends and holidays but let’s face it,  we just do.  If the urologist you have now does not test your urine every time you have an infection, why not?  I have become resistant to a certain antibiotic.  If my uroligist did not take the time to test my urine I would never know.  If you get the same antibiotic all the time,  why?  We need proactive doctors,  not lazy ones.  Some antibiotics that are used to treat bladder infections are hard on other parts of your body.  Are you doing your research to know what they are?
  2. Supportive family and friends are good to have.  I know I value my husband so much.  Before my diagnosis we went to remote areas to do medical missions.  That part of our life is over for us because of my issues.  He is understanding and can easily go without me for a short time.  I get no pressure from him to do something I am simply unable to do.
  3.  People to be real with.  Let’s face it.  Our friends and family know we have these
    medical issues but enough can be enough,  in getting too graphic with them.  They cannot feel our isolation and pain and quite frankly on many levels it might make them uncomfortable.  I have a group on face book that you might like to check out.  It is called Neurogenic Bladder/Bowel and Incontinence.  An urologist started the group, so he does a great job keeping us on track.   It is a place where we can let it all hang out and there is no fear of making someone uncomfortable. Another place I have found to be real is a website called Team Inspire.  I am in the bladder support group.  Again, hand picking your audience is important.  Sometimes we might get too comfortable talking about bladder and bowel issues because we live it every day.  We need to be sensitive to others as well.
  4. Having devices when you need them is lifesaving. I keep my catheters in the glove compartment in my car and in a pouch I wear a pouch  around my waist.  I don’t use a
    purse too much anymore so I know I will always have what I need.  I also have a plan for getting devices if I run out of devices.  It is too bad they are not sold in drug stores that would be perfect.   My plan is to go to the nearest hospital to get what I need, in case of an emergency.  
  5. I know that the diagnosis can be shocking and disappointing.  We have nerve damage that is irreversible.  I know for myself I just need to get over it.  A pity party has no place in a productive  life.  Others around us will take their cues as to the attitude we have,  regarding our illness.  If we stay positive, others will be positive.  Trust me, it is not fun to hang out with a sourpuss.  We need to stay upbeat and positive.
  6. I keep a change of clothes at work.  I have not needed them thank goodness but that are there in case.

Hope this helps, More Later...

Love, Trudy


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