My Experience

A Long Road That Ends With Surgery

I’m facing another surgery. This seems insane to me since I’ve already had two in the past six months. The reality is, my doctors have run out of options. I have struggled with urinary incontinence for eight months. It’s something I don’t talk about often because frankly, it’s difficult to admit. Such a basic human function is not working in my body. It’s not as simple as that. I don’t have a sense of my bladder. I don’t know when it’s empty or full. The only indication I have that my bladder is full is pelvic pressure which isn’t always there either.

This is a complicated and confusing problem. This is a result of messages getting lost between my nerves or my brain. My neurologist suspects that I am getting too many messages to my bladder. This is a result of my nervous system being hyperreactive. All we have is speculation because no one can definitively say one way or the other.

Where do we go from here? I’ve tried a lot of different therapies to fix this issue but none have been successful so far. Now, I will start nerve stimulation in my foot to try to better control the messages to my bladder. If in three weeks this therapy is successful, I’ll have a nerve stimulator implanted in my back. If in three weeks the therapy doesn’t work, surgery is still the end result. They’ve run out of therapies to try.

What does it mean to get a nerve stimulator? Great question. I’ve had it myself. It’s like a pacemaker. It’s a smaller wire that attaches to a part of the body internally and sends little signals all the time. At least that is how I understand it. They place this small wire surgically into your back. If in a week your symptoms improve, you then place a battery in the back as well. Either way, I will get the wire put into my back. Whether I have the surgery to get the battery placed for long term use is unknown. It’s completely dependent on if it works.

This is a lot for me to swallow and not an easy decision. I’ve had a lot of surgeries lately. There are risks to consider like there are with any invasive procedure. They were willing to schedule surgery last week but I wasn’t mentally prepared. I needed to step back and take a breath before making that choice.

No matter what, everything is going to be okay. I could have this problem for the rest of my life and although it’s inconvenient, it won’t affect my functionality. Nor do I intend to let it affect my happiness. We’re going to take it one step at a time.

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