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We Need to Start Talking About Incontinence

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Hi, nice to meet you. I’ll be back… I just have to run to the restroom real quick!

For me, that’s a normal interaction. Anxiety, new places, new people and new faces trigger my, what some companies call, “shy” or “sensitive” bladder. I really wish they would just call it what it is: incontinence. I have problems controlling my bladder and sometimes bowels. The ironic thing is that this condition is co-morbid with so many other disabilities (spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, anxiety, age-related disabilities and so on…), and we never talk about it! Never! Why not?


I have been using bladder support products most of my adult and teen life. I don’t feel bad about it. Most Americans don’t realize that adult diapers will soon outsell baby diapers. It’s a fact of life: our bodies get weak, old, tired, used. We lose our abilities over time. Yet in our minds we think we will still be shopping at Victoria’s Secret into our 60s!

I at a young age experienced bladder problems. I had nowhere to turn and no one to talk to. It was awful. Now, as an adult, I can adapt my own bladder issues to my needs. Pads, pull-ups and diapers have allowed me to live a full life. Medication and surgery are also options.

However,I cannot tell you how many late night, wine-fueled confessions I’ve heard from my friends about their own issues related to bladder control. Sometimes, if a friend needs convincing he/she is not alone, I’ll say, hey, go downstairs and pull open the top two dresser drawers and look.

They come back laughing with a hug – always! On the left side is day pull-ups and on the right are night bed sheets and adult diapers for at night.

I love telling people they aren’t alone. It makes for one hell of a funny conversation…

…and a great midnight Wal-Mart run for those Poise pads, Depends pull-ups and assurance diapers you were too afraid to buy!

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Thinkstock photo via Digital Vision.

Originally published: June 23, 2017
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