WARNING- If you don’t want to hear more about my incontinence problems…STOP READING…NO, REALLY…I’m going to pee on you!!…Alright, you’ve been warned. If you haven’t heard about my past issues I’ll sum it up by saying having three kids did my body in…I didn’t have migraines or osteoarthritis and I certainly wasn’t obese or incontinent until I had children. It’s all their fault…not buying it are you? Well, the incontinence IS probably from childbirth…that and genetics, Mom has had two incontinence surgeries (she’s had 5 kids), one of my sisters is on “urgency/bladder” pills (she’s had 4 kids), and DD, yes my 21 year old DD just started the same medication this year (no kids yet…she’s doomed…but that’s our secret…k? I want to be a Grammy someday!). Three and a half years ago I got fed up…it was just before I got diagnosed with adult-onset asthma…extreme coughing and incontinence together…it’s not a pretty thing.
So I swallowed my pride and brought it up at my annual OBGYN exam. Before I knew it I was tested, retested, scheduled, and in for surgeries…not one, but two…a hysterectomy and a bladder sling (both solely for incontinence) back to back with two different surgery crews. The surgeries worked!...I was even contemplating buying some cute underwear, maybe even a thong, now that I was sans mega-pad! Fail! Yep, starting just a few weeks out, and before the next year I was back in my mega pads…DS2 calls them ‘dia-pees’…lovely…and no, I’m not in diapers, yet…groan. My coughing/sneezing/laughing pee problem stayed cured, but getting to the potty in time…I’m like a 2 year old starting potty training (lots of running with clothes flying off...good thing I'm now at home and 10 steps from a bathroom at all times)! After another 2 years I got up the courage to go back to my Urologist for more fun testing (read "Urodynamics" and "Glamour Shots" blogs if you haven’t had enough already), let’s just say he was baffled as I’m the only patient he’s had that the surgery has failed…don’t I feel special…yep, I’m a mystery. So he sent me to another Urology Specialist.
I had to wait four months to get in (I took that as a good sign that she must be magical), but today was finally my day! Whoo-hoo…I was expecting more Urodynamics and maybe some new fun testing. The nurse brought me in and asked me about a million questions…some that got me thinking about what testing might be in store for me; things like… ‘Have you ever had your Urethra dilated?’ I have no clue what that means but it sure sounds painful and visuals of balloons up my hoo-ha were forming!! I, of course, divulged that I would be having Lap Band surgery next month (just in case they couldn’t get all their testing in by then). (*Side note here: After exclaiming ‘You don’t look like you would need WLS!’, she spent the next 5 min. asking me all about it). I gave my usual lemonade sample and waited on the table…in came the doc and I told her the same story/issues I’ve been having…she gives me a puzzled look…I’m thinking, here we go again…but then…wait for it… ‘Did your Urologist put you on medicines?’ Me ‘Nope. I know there’s stress and urgency incontinence, but he always said I only have the stress kind and meds wouldn’t help me.’ More frowning…I’m thinking the testing list is getting longer… ‘You DO realize the surgery doesn’t cure any of the urgency problems you’re still having?’ Say WHAT?!!! After that I believe there was some diagram drawing and discussion of the different causes of incontinence, but my head was spinning. Stirrups up and a quick exam and I was given some pills to try out…ARE YOU TELLING ME THE LAST THREE YEARS I COULD HAVE BEEN TAKING A SIMPLE PILL FOR THIS??!!
I’m on VESIcare (Yep, I'm now one of those annoying pipe people with leaky pipes, faulty internal plumbing, and drippy spigot- genitalia until I get my pill...maybe I need a gauge) and I ‘should notice results immediately, or there’s about 5 other pills we can try!’ (so I might be one of those 'gotta go, gotta go, gotta go RIGHT NOW' peeps). She wants me to go in for a bladder and kidney ultrasound, just because I’ve never had one, but that’s it….NO MORE TESTING! WOOT! Thongs may be in my future yet…maybe when I get a skinny ass.
If this works I'm so buying my new Fairy Godmother one of these lovely note holders (Vescare pipe person pic)...hey, I'm appreciative...and look...oooo shiny!
The rest of our time was spent chatting about the LAP-BAND®, obesity, my family history…yadda yadda…we got along famously. I got the obligatory “You don’t look like you need WLS!” about 3 times out of the doc…another nurse came in for my exam and the first thing the doc said was “She’s having Lap Band surgery!” Nurse “You don’t look like you need WLS!!” Other than DH the only people I’ve told (besides all the WLS docs and pre-op docs) are 4 other doctors and 5 nurses now…and I get the same initial words every time (I must be an expert fat camouflager).
They went on and on and I had to justify why I was doing it, my years of yo-yoing, my BMI, and my family history of terrible comorbidities I’m facing. The nurse even asked me how much I wanted to lose…I said I’d be really happy with 80-100 pounds, but I would be happy if I could lose 60-80 and KEEP IT OFF. Her reaction… ‘Well, you could diet and try to lose that!!’ Hadn’t she just heard my history?... ‘Well, I HAVE lost almost that much before, many times…I need something to help me KEEP it off and help me not feel like I’m starving.’ They just couldn’t get over that I would need WLS…it was a very friendly conversation but it got to the point after about 10 min. of this (as I was sitting with ‘the sheet’ over my lap) that I finally laughed and yelled ‘OK, I’m a lot skinnier on my top half than the bottom half…just take a look at my fat ass when I walk out!’…I was NOT getting my naked butt off the table to prove my point…interesting that they were gathered in the hall as I changed and walked out. My follow-up is in August…I’ll show them! I’ve got to say every time this happens, I’m not embarrassed, or upset, it’s just exhausting to try and justify why I need this and I don’t think I’ve convinced one person yet that I need this…and they’re all doctors and nurses who have heard my health issues and the family ones I’m facing…HOLY C*@P, if I can’t convince someone in the medical profession I need this, I’m SO glad I’m not telling others!!!