Hi, I'm from Canada and I've been incontinent since a spinal cord injury in 2004. I haven't really talked to other people who have dealt with issues concerning this (except for reading some SCI forums). I've been having some more "issues" lately and I thought it might be a good time to find a group where I can get some more information and get to know some other people.
I was born with CP, but I never had any issues with my bladder working because of the CP. I had a lot of issues with constipation though. I know a lot of other's with CP who have incontinence issue. I guess I was pretty lucky that way. The other condition I was born with also could have caused issues, but again I was very lucky it didn't. Parts of my brain are literally missing. I got all of the vision problems it could have caused and some Thyroid Issues, but not much else really.
In 2004 I had Transverse Myelitis. Within 4 hours I was left with a C6 complete spinal cord injury (funny how you can get one from sleeping on your couch... This things are dangerous lol!) This is when my bladder/incontinence issues all started.
At first I had a Foley catheter (which is pretty standard after a SCI) I also ended up with a blood clot the size of a soft ball in my bladder! I had a latex allergy that nobody (including myself) knew about. The best guess is that it developed during my time in the hospital (I was there for 8 months). It eventually went away. Once the Foley cath. came out we realized that my bladder would just fill until urine would back up into my kidneys. I can't feel when it's full, so the first sign it was when I got AD.
I started having intermittent caths done after that, and learned to do them myself. My bladder would just fill and everything would back up into my kidney's unless I had a UTI. Then I was constantly peeing! I went from one extreme to the other! It's still pretty much the same way. If I don't have a UTI I'm usually fine (but not always), but the second a UTI starts I'm constantly having accidents or peeing all the time without even stopping.
I have been making my way over to this end of the scale more and more lately. Not the peeing all the time, but having more accidents. My urologist said that it could be that my urethral sphincter is more relaxed now from years of cathing or it could have something to do with my ever increasing spasms.
Either way, it leaves me with a whole other situation to get use to. Whereas before all I had to worry about was my bladder over-filling now I also have to worry about it emptying! I never know at any given moment what it is intending to do...
So I've been left with a choice of sing foley catheters or other protection right now. I don't like having to worry about leg or overnight bags and pulling on the catheter so I thought for now diapers would be a better option. The more I've been wearing them the freer I feel because I can just get on with life without having to constantly worry about accidents or catheters or bags! It's been interesting...
My plan was to put my interests etc. on my profile because I realized this post was getting a bit long, but I realized there is no space on profiles specifically for that so I decided the best thing would be to add to this post. I hope that's ok.
I love to travel. I've lived in different areas of Canada, the US and the UK. I do like warm beaches, but I don't travel just to go to areas like that. I'm lucky because my business allows me to travel for a living.
I'm not really a lover of being outside, but I do like to go camping. I'm not afraid to grab a tent and minimal supplies and go far in the woods for 4 or 5 days. I like being away from everything every now and then. It helps clear my head and it's nice to relax sometimes.
I like to blog (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to add a link here, so if you are interested please feel free to ask me for it). I also like to read, although that usually consists of listening to books now because I can't feel my hands enough to read braille anymore since my SCI.
I'm also in the process of training my third guide/service dog. I trained the one before him and my first came from a guide dog school. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get knowing that you can ask your dog for help when you need it and the resulting action was because of the work both you and your dog put into training!
If everything goes well (I need to sort out my muscle spasms first) I will be able to start my training (for wheelchair racing) in the fall! I've always loved playing sports (although I didn't really like watching them). My favorite sports use to be basketball and soccer, but since my spinal cord injury I've moved more towards wheelchair racing and Quad Rugby. I also always did enjoy swimming and bowling and still do.
I hope this post wasn't too long... I have a tendency to get carried away when writing lol! I'm looking forward to getting to know the other members of this site!