Another voice on incontinence

From Dana Jennings, writing about the incontinence he dealt with after prostate surgery: 

At age 51, I wouldn’t choose to be incontinent, to wear “male guards,” but in the end it’s just a biomechanical flaw. Same with impotence. Don’t get me wrong, I like the physical life. It’s important to me. I regularly walk five miles a day, and I’ve started running and lifting light weights again. But I decline to feel diminished by incontinence, to be defined by biological drizzle.

He also refers to several things I’m used to, such as sneezing and laughing, with a wry note that many women are probably thinking, “Welcome to our world”.   Kudos to him for being willing to write about a touchy issue with grace and humor.

10 thoughts on “Another voice on incontinence

  1. Story of my life ever since I was 11 or 12 years old that I can remember, due to the muscle weakness which goes with cerebral palsy, & it has only grown worse with the births of two children, aging, & menopause. Ah, yes…laughing, sneezing, coughing, bending down to reach something I have dropped on the floor, picking up my granddaughter…I too am usually slightly cloudy with considerable chance of drizzle.

  2. Thanks for the link!

    But I think you mean “prostate” surgery (though I imagine Dana was prostrate during it ;) ) This is one of my most-feared typos, along with “pubic library.”

  3. I have always spent a lot of time at the pubic library. :-) And, if I am not very careful, I can often find myself lying prostate without any notice. Yes, indeed, it is very easy to get those words mixed up when typing.

    And I am glad that my image of being cloudy with considerable chance of drizzle gave you a giggle. We may as well laugh about it as cry. I have kegeled until I couldn’t kegel anymore, but it doesn’t seem to help much.

  4. I live in hope that a good treatement will become more common. There have been studies that show good results in small groups of using stem cells from arm muscle and injected into the area around the urethra to regain control.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4051533.stm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515072735.htm

    Note that the researchers use adult stem cells from the people themselves, so there aren’t any ethical or transplant rejection problems.

    If it was available in my area, I’d sign up!

    • When I was first advised to do them, they did nothing. Years later I read a better description of them (practice it when you’re peeing – if you can cut off the flow, you’re doing it right). After I got that down, it did seem to help *some*. If I’m going to sneeze, I clench tight, and often that means no leak.

      But, if I have a cold? If I’m seriously coughing up gunk and my whole body seizes up? I leak, and that’s just how it is.

  5. Perhaps properly-done kegels can be helpful for those without disability, but I apparently have too much CP-influenced muscle weakness for it to work for me. I was taught to do kegels by a Lamaze instructor during my second pregnancy & have done them faithfully every day for months back then & since aging has made my issues worse, with little result. I am totally unable to stop urinating midstream.

    When my whole body seizes up for serious coughing, etc? I just plain pee, no leaking about it.

  6. There are physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor issues, including incontinence. If this is an issue for someone, it might be worth checking out, since they often have ideas and exercises that go beyond the basic Kegel.

    I am sure they can’t “cure” every case but if it bothers you, it’s certainly worth a try long before considering surgery etc.

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