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Thread: When you can't get away.

  1. #1

    Default When you can't get away.

    Urge incontinence doesn't take-well to tapping the 'HOLD' button!
    Now, usually, if I feel the warning signs, I can take steps to heed them. Be that as it may, sometimes I find myself in social situations where I have to make a decision about seeming 'Rude' by suddenly departing/leaving, or even worse, having my situation realized as I 'Loose it', and (God forbid), the sounds/smell is detected by the people nearby.

    For that reason(s), I live a solitary life, and rarely socialize. When planning a trip into town for groceries, and stuff, I fast for twelve hours, and then take precautions with wearing, so that if I SHOULD have an accident, it'll be minor and easily contained.

    Such is the life of someone who is IC.

    However, for neighbors?

    I'm something of a hermit, even with them. Sure, I'll smile and wave, share cordial greets and comments, but I'm ever leery (Of my own situation), and don't linger. I have work to do, animals to feed, etc. Nice to see you, bye! That sort of thing.

    Just yesterday, I was invited to a BBQ. Eating. Food. Lots of food. Fasted, took the usual precautions (double-dosed on the Loparamide), etc.. Had fun, cooked, prepared stuff, interacted. Laughed and shared stories. Sat down and enjoyed a VERY wonderful meal. Ate my fill, and then some! (YOU fast for 16 hours, and see how well you restrict yourself to tiny portions!?).

    All was well, till I stood up to take plates to the kitchen.

    That blaring alarm in Star Trek (others), flashing red and echoing in your ears as it screams *Danger, Will Rodgers, Danger* (Arms flailing and everything).

    Yeah. THAT!

    I HAVE to leave, NOW!...

    Waving, muttering an incoherent jumble of words, last of which is- "Will call you soon! Thx, bye, g-night!" Making for the door!

    But no.

    Hostess steps in front, being 'Nice', telling me to sit down and relax, dessert still has to be served, after all!...

    How many have stood there, trembling, as they loose control and slowly evacuate into their diapers...

    Smiling, nodding, offering cordial replies, still edging for the door, 'ESCAPE' all I can think about!?

    I don't know if she/other folks, 'Knew', or not? My posture, intense expression of absolute terror/shame? Smell?


    Sometimes, now more-often, I think about just heading into the back country, forever.


  2. #2


    When I was first starting dealing with my incontinence I too was like you, staying at home, not getting out, always afraid but that isn't who I am. I didn't like not living a quality of life that I was use to. Through lots of trials and errors, I have finally gotten to the point that I wear good quality diapers 24/7 and now don't worry about leaks, smell, and what not. I know it's hard but believe me, others can't tell you are wearing a diaper and for the most part don't smell it either unless you are in it to long. I applaud you and praise you for this first big step you have taken here. Don't look at is as something bad, look at it as something good, a step forward to starting to live your life again.

    Some there may have noticed your posture or expressions depending on how you reacted but they don't know why or what it was all about. We are our worst enemies when it comes to dealing and living with incontinence. Because we are aware and know we are wearing diapers we think everyone else can tell but in 4yrs of wearing 24/7 no one has ever noticed or said anything. Many times by the time I leave work I am soaked and needing changed. If I have to stay at work longer, I will change at work but I try not to if I don't have to. When I go out shopping I just make sure I am not soaked before I go and if I do soak myself, I know of a few places that I can stop and have access to a private toilet to change.

    We must not live our lives as hermits because of our incontinence. So what our underwear is thicker, softer, and has to be changed more often than others, but changing a wet diaper is much easier than changing your pants all the time. We don't need to beat our self up, lock our self away, we must continue to enjoy life. I have just a very few friends that know I have to wear diapers and they at times have teased me in a good way when we are at long meetings and or long events, I don't have to leave the event to find a bathroom :-), I can keep on working through a problem and not stop, I can sit through a good movie and not miss anything, I can take long car trips and not have to stop all the time, just some of the great things that I find is a super plus for not allowing this to keep me down.

    Again, keep trying to get out, enjoy life, we are the ones that stop us not others. If someone does notice and as a problem, that is their problem, not yours. Please keep us posted on how you are doing and keep living!!!!

  3. #3


    I agree with checkingoutall, butIi also know how devastating the early stages of dealing with IC can be. I look on it like this - I want to be able to live a normal life (in doctor parlance be "socially continent") and I don't want to let dodgy bladder/bowel control control me! It takes a little while, practice and experimentation to find a make of diaper and a way of coping that suits you best, but it is possible. I regard my diapers as a external form of pee/ocasional mess control that replaces the internal systems that have failed. There is no shame in that and as long as I am careful not to give other people visual clues to my condition I don't much mind if they put two and two together and realise I am wearing protection.

    I hope this does not sound too "preachy" and reckon that letting yourself be driven into solitude by IC tends to make things worse. In a lot of places there are quite informal support groups which can be a challenge to join, but when you realise you are among people sharing the same problem you can speak freely and naturally - or failing that keep on using groups like this where the risk of criticism or "flaming" is low and where no one would mind a post saying "I had a good day today" or "Today was the pits".

    Bucephalus - your barbecue description seems to indicate that you don't have confidence in the protection you wear. Do try out different brands and don't be put off higher absorbancy diapers becasue you think people will notice them under your clothes - believe me they probably won't. I wear black trousers in case of minor leaks that would be very noticeable if i was wearing lighter colours but don't show on black. One thing I did when trying out a different brand of diaper was to test it at home in the worst conditions possible - if it held up i would wear it out with caution and after a while make my mind up if i could trust it - if I could I would use that brand all the time and still have clean up supplies and spares with me as added insurance. This does not mean I've got all the problems solved - and I don't sit on peoples white cloth furniture unless there is no alternative- not because I think I will leave a wet mark, but because I know how obvious it would be if I did!

    Good luck - you are bigger than the problem!

  4. #4


    One of the hardest things to do with incontinence is to remember that it is something you have, not something that has you. Do not let it rule your life.

    Some of us have better skills coping with it since we have lived with it for pretty much our entire life. When you grow up with it, you don't see it so much as a hindrance because you never let it get in the way before.

    I've felt like some of the doctors (almost always urologists) have helped feed the stereotype of being a shut-in as the standard way of dealing with the problem. I know when I went in to a urologist for severe testicular pain that was keeping me from being a functional person, he dismissed the pain as 'insignificant' and instead wanted to focus on my lifelong incontinence because that was going to "ruin my life". Wait a minute, the pain is ruining my life, I've lived with the incontinence for almost 40 years, which is insignificant?

    Honestly, please do not let your problem keep you from enjoying things. Those people who you enjoy being around (and who enjoy being around you) are not going to care about this. Honestly, I bet the hostess could care less if you had an accident in your pants in front of her or not, she was more likely worried that something else happened that was driving you away. I've found that those people who actually like me, as a person, don't give a damn if I tell them I need diapers as part of my daily life. It really doesn't affect them, and I'm still the same person they enjoy being around. Friends and co-workers alike know about my incontinence even though I do try to keep it as discreet as possible.

    They don't really care. You beat yourself up worse than anyone else ever will.

  5. #5


    Bucephalus, I'm very sorry to hear about the extent to which your incontinence restricts your activities. I gather that you are dealing with faecal incontinence. In contrast, most of the rest of us who are living with incontinence have to deal only with urinary problems, which are much, much easier to handle You make reference to fasting as a way of avoiding accidents. I'm certainly not an expert on the subject since I only deal with urinary urge incontinence, but I have heard of other faecally incontinent people who use various strategies to arrange to have bowel movements at planned times and that these strategies are for the most part successful in avoiding unplanned voids. Web sites for people with spina bifida discuss some of these techniques. I wonder whether you have had expert advice from a gastroenterologist or other medical expert about haw to manage your faecal incontinence in ways that would enable you to live a more socially active life.

  6. #6


    I refuse to let IC run my life. I just go about my day as if i had full continence. If have an accident oh well that why I wear diapers. I have gone in my diapers in big crowds doesn't upset me a bit. People cannot tell, it not like a neon sign goes on on top your head saying I've lost control of myself and gone in my pants. My advice is just to relax and go with the flow, pun intended,

  7. #7


    Inconmiss makes a good point about faecal incontinence - I am kicking myself for not picking this up when I read Bucephalus's first pos.t This is so very much harder to cope with than urinary leakage - but it can be done and again having a good diaper is the key to success. It happened to me recently that I was at a meeting followed by lunch in circumstances where I couldn't just get up and walk away. Towards the end of the session I lost control (not having had any clue I needed to poop) and filled my nappy. I had to be sociable and am pretty sure no one noticed even although (as murphy's law demands) the time when this happens is when the movement is soft and hardest co cope with. I left when I reasonably could and drove over 12 miles home before having a chance to change. Clean up took some time and I reckon the diaper was full to capacity and very wet - but it hadn't leaked even although I had expected it to as I moved about on the car seat driving home. Although this is not something that happens to me every day it is not uncommon and I usually manage to avoid embarassment. Looking back on the incident I described I am sure I would have attracted more unwelcome comments of the well intentioned "Are you OK?" or even worse "whats wrong?" variety if I had made excuses to leave early and they would have been hard to deal with. I am probably not alone in finding it harder to cope with sympathy than with the IC itself!

    I don't suppose anyone who is incontinent is ever completely free of the fears about leaks and possible embarassment - it goes with the territory and in a way is useful because it keeps you being careful.

    Depending on where you live there should be professional advice available from incontinence nurses or similar people who are real experts on managing the condition - often knowing much more about day to day managment than doctors.

  8. #8


    Hi Bucephalus,
    you don't actually say how long you have been IC for, but as you seem to have developed some coping strategies, I would think some time. Just about everyone before me has made all the relevant points. I very rarely have soiling incidents, and from my point of view when they happen they are shattering in their effect. Recently howeve my bladder IC has changed and I have had several very public floods and accidents, to the point where one of my local supermarkets would probably ban me if they could. But even though I havec oped with IC all my life, this particular change has really knocked my confidence, so I have basically stopped going out anywhere aas much as possible. If I can get a neighbour to shop for me, I do that rather than risk yet another puddle on the floor of the supermarket. So I do know what you are going through right now. Fortunately for me the NHS has sorted out better protection and I was also able to afford to buy some more terry nappies.

    You cannot let your IC control your life. I hjave heard that chlyrophill tablets will help with the smell, and any good quality nappy. cloth or dispsoable shoul dbe able to contain anything you produce. If you do change the type of nappy you are using, make sure you test them out at home before venturing out, it might not be comfortabale, but once you have used them, try things like walking up and down staris a few times, sitting (but put something on the seat, just in case, have a walk around the garden a few times, things that you would do normally, once you have found one that you are confident about then get out therer and meet some people and get on with your life. Someone already said it, but it's wotrth repeating, we have IC, it doesn't have us.

    Good luck ,ad whatever happens you have a world of support right here.

  9. #9


    I have been ic most of my life also but I always carry extra clothes and supplies at work and in my car.Yes Ive had plenty
    of accidents but they are part of life and life goes on.The funnies time I had an accident was at the supermarket and just
    went in the check out lane behind a lady with 3 little one's and was wondering witch one of her kids needed changing.
    You just can't let it rule your life.

  10. #10


    I hear waht PCbaby says about a supermarket maybe wanting to ban him - but recently I was in a big Tesco's and a woman peed all over the floor - the staff were efficient and kind and did all they could to reassure her - which made we realise they were not "fazed" by the incident which might be more common than we imagine.

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