Tag Archives: Women’s Health

My weak bladder was filled with gas on purpose

A list of options for urinary incontinence

After three kids, and old age creeping up on me, my bladder has become, let us say weaker. It doesn’t hold as much as it used to, or if it does, then trouble ensues. Most women can relate to this, you go to get up and oh, surprise, surprise, we have leakage, or one of your young adult children scares the bejeebers out of you, and oh surprise, surprise more leakage, only this time you have to run upstairs for a change of clothes. Damn kids making you laugh.

Now I realize most men don’t want to hear about their wives/girlfriends/partners having a bladder problem. Well guys, sorry in this case, I blame 50% of the problem on you. Why? You got us pregnant, and no matter how many of those darn Keagle exercises I did, the bladder still would not cooperate.

So a couple of weeks ago, I went to see a Doctor that specializes in Urinary Incontinence, god how freaking embarrassing is that? By the sound of it, I should be wearing a diaper, you know those ones that are now advertised on television, like your period pads, like it’s no big deal that you need to wear a diaper at age 54! Just for the record, I do not wear a diaper! Okay, back to my doctor visit, she was, alright is a lovely woman (with an odd desire to help women who pee themselves). First there is the obligatory medical history with the nurse, meaning did I bring along my list of medication, because I can never remember the names of the pills I take every morning & night (for the last god knows how many years) so I can have a maybe less painful day. Oh “you must be constipated with those meds” she says, gee thanks for the reminder that I can’t poo on a regular basis, but heck I can pee if you make me laugh.

With the history completed, the nurse explains that I am going to go behind that curtain over there, remove my lower half of clothing, but you may keep your socks on, because peeing has nothing to do with your feet, unless of course you dribble down your leg, and voila you have now peed on your feet. Then lay down on the bed, put your feet in the stirrups, like you are riding that imaginary horse with your true love…that might be another story. Then the doctor will come in the room, and the fun will be begin!

So there I am with my feet in the stirrups, riding the imaginary horse when the doctor bursts that bubble and tells me she is going to fill my bladder up with gas, and no matter how much I want to pee, I have to hold in the gas because it isn’t pee, while she watches the monitor (yeah there is a camera on the tube she inserted into my urinary tract, up into my bladder which fucking hurts but hey only for a minute).

Then she starts to fill my bladder with gas. At first no big deal, I can handle this, I feel like I want to pee, but it’s not pee as I try to remember. Then oh my fucking god!!! The pain!!! I am holding the nurse’s hand, which I am pretty sure is near bone breakage. I’m crying, and swearing while the nurse is telling me to breathe like I’m having a baby. Well let me tell you ladies, this is nowhere near like you are having a baby, why? Because you don’t get the baby.

What seems like an eternity (but in actuality is only a few minutes), the doctor gets the images she wants, and the gas in my bladder, which I was 100% positive was going to be sent flying into the stars is released. I am saved, I know longer want to harm the doctor, but now I want water, I’m dehydrated. Go figure.

She has me grab the sheet, come on over here, and we will have a chat, for some odd reason I can’t take a few minutes to get dressed. First she says I have stress urinary incontinence, and a week bladder neck. Okay, I’m pretty sure I knew that. My options. This is where I laugh (no peeing though). Keagle exercises (honestly do they work, no, even my own family doctor agreed with that, and he’s not female). Next option: medication, but I’m already on quite a bit, they cost a lot, and are not covered by OHIP (our government plan). Thirdly, a Pessary Device can be inserted into the bladder neck, but it apparently only has a 50% success rate, and requires changing every few months, it can fall out, and costs $75 each time. Lastly surgery – a TVT which is a tension free mesh device is sewn into the bladder neck. This has a 90% success rate and a 1% chance of erosion, it is an outpatient surgery procedure with a two week recovery.

This is a lot to take in, I tell her I want to chat with my husband, when really I just want to get dressed because now I’m cold. I get home, and tell hubby all about my bladder being filled up with gas. Apparently though my bladder leakage problem is not something he really wants to hear about? Fine, but he reluctantly listens, where it takes him a minute to say, go for the surgery, end the peeing.

I most likely will go have the surgery done, but I will have to wait till the young man moves back home for the summer. This way there is someone else to help around the house when hubby is at work. (Oh I did share this information with the young man, but like his dad, he really didn’t want to hear about my peeing).

I cut the wires – short term memory loss

Last week was a bad week for me. My brain was not working at all. It was all due to fibro fog and perimenopause fog. What happened – the fire alarm happened.

Image of fire alarm on the ceiling.

Beeping fire alarm on the ceiling.

The day before I turned 54, April 9th to be exact, the fire alarm in our son’s room starting beeping, reminding me that it was time to change the battery. This sounds easy, right? Well when your brain is not functioning  properly, this task becomes insanely difficult. First problem, it wouldn’t stop beeping! Do you have any idea how terribly irritating this is, and then you have to remove it from the ceiling, and the damn thing just beeps louder. Alright, it actually doesn’t beep louder, but now your ear is right up there while you are trying to get if off the ceiling which is no easy task.

Image of Twitter conversation on how to remove the fire alarm from the ceiling.

How to remove the fire alarm from the ceiling.

Above is an image of my Twitter conversation regarding the horrible life saving fire alarm, and I did indeed find the largest screwdriver my husband owns to rip it off the ceiling.

What happened next?

Image of fire alarm

I am going to throw the fire alarm outside because of the non-stop beeping.

So throwing it outside did not solve the problem, I could still hear the beep. I brought it back into the house, and tried to figure out what to do. Honestly I did look for batteries in the fire alarm, I turned it over and in plain sight was the opening for the batteries, but I didn’t see it (fibro fog – perimenopause fog).

I phoned my husband at work, who tried his damnest to convince me that there are batteries in this fire alarm, but I don’t believe him. For some reason I am convinced that it had its very own hard-wired mechanism making it beep. (I know now my logic was all wrong, but remember my brain was not working on all its cylinders).

So realizing my husband is no help because he won’t believe my logic, I am determined to stop the beeping anyway I can – and I figure cutting the wires is my only choice. (My husband is telling me not to cut the wires because I would be ruining a perfect almost brand-new fire alarm, I don’t listen to him).

Now I have a new problem, which wires do I cut? Yellow, blue, white? The Twitter conversation got pretty funny at this point, “don’t cut the blue!”

About to cut the wires on the fire alarm

About to cut the wires on the fire alarm

I ended up cutting three wires – the red, white, and blue. The beeping stopped. I was saved!

Note: Even though I ruined a perfectly good fire alarm, which we now have to replace, there are still four fire alarms on the second floor. A hard-wired one in the hallway, and three battery operated alarms in the other bedrooms.

He promised to Skype with me, instead he met me in the driveway

A picture of middle child showing off while canoeing..

Middle child showing off while canoeing.

The past week was quite trying for me, with a hospital visit for middle child, new medication for myself, hubby working different shifts plus overtime, I had pretty much met my limit by yesterday.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, middle child now attends college about four hours away. It is not a far distance but when she is off to the emergency department because she had passed a very large menstrual blood clot, she might as well be on another planet.

Numerous phone calls were made back and forth, money was transferred so a cab could be taken to the hospital (and back again). Tears were shed as she waited alone in a strange emergency department. The snow was coming down hard, our first storm of the season, as I debated whether or not to drive up there, knowing full well that I couldn’t make the drive myself, plans were thought out as to who could watch the dogs, so hubby could make the drive with me.

Middle child was seen by a doctor in record time for an emergency department, I believe she only waited about two hours, rather than four. Vitals were taken, blood work done. After determining she wasn’t anemic and all was stable they sent her home, telling her that the gynecologist would want to see her the next day.

Also during this week, sleeping for me was getting worse, with my one medication for chronic pain giving me insomnia. After seeing my physician, we decided that I would try a new prescription in hopes that I would start to get some sleep. So Friday, being alone, because hubby was working a twelve-hour day shift, I changed my meds. Usually if I start a new medication someone is always with me just in case I have a reaction. Well with the young man away at university, middle child away at college and having her own medical issues, the eldest living in another city now, I was alone. So, I wrote out my new list and emailed everyone, that way if something happened, phone calls could be made and correct information given. My best friend was also given the list, plus a text message was sent to her, being that she is only about twenty minutes away and happened to be on vacation. By evening, middle child would be home for the weekend, and hubby would also be home from work to watch over me.

Later that night around 1 a.m. I was woken up with extreme nausea, only to hear a beeping sound from the answering machine. Work had left a message for hubby, needing him to come in for a few hours because all the boilers are down. (This is considered an emergency since he works at a hospital, the boilers are a vital component, without them the hospital is in real trouble). Of course it didn’t seem to matter that he would have to be back at work Saturday morning for another twelve-hour shift.

Back to bed I go, and in the morning I read over the side affects of the new medication. Well lo and behold, nausea was one of them, but was I being woken up by a migraine? I phoned my pharmacist to ask her advice and to find out if I could take my migraine medication, would it react with the new script I just started? After discussing everything with her, we decided I would take my meds for a migraine since it would not interact negatively with the new painkillers. She reassured me all was good, her information was up-to-date so I didn’t have to worry.

Within an hour or two, the migraine medication started to relieve the nausea and headache, enabling me to make my Saturday morning market visit. The had day progressed pretty well, I was starting to feel normal, and the new pain medication seemed to be working, allowing me to function. By the afternoon I thought I would phone the young man since I hadn’t spoken to him in a few days, to explain my new medication, and what was going on with his sister.  As I started to tell him my stories, he cut me off, saying he was busy at the moment, but promised to Skype with me in about an hour and a half.

After waiting more than the hour and a half for the Skype phone call from the young man that didn’t seem to be coming, I went out again to finish grocery shopping. It was getting late in the day, I was tired, the trying week was starting to catch up with me, I was borderline as to whether or not I would fall apart.

Picture of the young man's cowboy bootsAs I started to remove the groceries from the van, I saw middle child, plus the young man’s ex-girlfriend (but still awesome friend) walking towards me to help. Then out of the blue the young man appeared. I was stunned, overcome with emotion, and cried in the driveway as he held me. Though I couldn’t stop crying, I asked question after question, how did he get here, when did he get here, and then told him he couldn’t go out this evening. He continued to hug me as he chuckled and said I know mom, I will stay in.