I would like to introduce Sadie as a new writer for the Continence Connection Blog. Sadie called me, excited about finding Continence Connection where she felt safe to talk about her experiences as a person living with incontinence. Sadie is eager to share with others, her stories about the trials and tribulations about living with incontinence. Please join me in welcoming Sadie to our CC, LLC family. Check back frequently for Sadie's posts and please feel free to participate in our discussions. Welcome Sadie! :)
Hello! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sadie. I was born in a rural part of
aMy mother purchased a pack of size 6 pampers for me to wear to bed and I had accidents about once a week for a few months. I went in for my annual check-up and told the doctor about my bedwetting, he passed it off as normal and recommended a bathroom schedule and limiting my water intake, steps we took after the second or third accident. After two more months of more frequent wetting, my mom decided I needed to see a professional. The took X-rays, poked and prodded, the whole time I felt so helpless, I could imagine the doctors and nurses thinking “Bed wetter, Bed wetter, Bed wetter”
After weeks of doctor’s visits I was diagnosed with the beginnings of Spina Bifida. Even though I had no noticeable disabilities, my spine had fused to my hips, giving me the answer to why I couldn’t ever touch my toes in gym, but opened a window to a lifetime of continence issues. I started doing Kegel exercises but at 13 I still hadn’t had my period yet, so they were difficult and painful. I stopped using the baby diapers and usually wore either Goodnites or some of the cloth diapers I wore as a kid, modified to fit me (look for tips on how to do this in my future posts). After 6 months and endless training, restrictive dieting, and a strong will to NOT WET THE BED, I went one month dry. After that, diapers became an afterthought; I would wear them to sleepovers just in case but became an expert at hiding them under my pajamas. The diapers even helped me with my first periods, which were very heavy. I passed it off as a stage and moved on with the fear of Spina Bifida still in the back of my mind.
In sophomore year of High School, I got in a car accident that almost closed all the windows of life. On my way to the homecoming dance, my mom, my date and I spun out of control on the freeway and smashed into a tree. I woke up the next afternoon in traction…and in diapers. I broke my collar bone, my left wrist, and had severe damage to my hips. I had no control over my bladder and bowels, the catheterization and colostomy made lack of any control a new, scary part of my life. The worst part was the hospital staff changing my diapers. The diapers in the hospital we’re basically plastic bags with Kleenex stuffed inside and the nurses treated me like a baby. The Spina Bifida mixed with all the damage to my hips was enough to destroy any possibilities of continence.
After being in casts and traction my body was left a weak, tired shell. I cried myself to sleep for months, started home-schooling and had to be heavily diapered 24/7. I started getting Attends diapers from our medical provider, which were better than anything I had tried before. The bulkiness and institution style as well as the bed pads I had to sleep on were not helpful in making me feel like the confident, flowering young woman I was before the accident. The worst was my lack of any bowel control, It made me feel dirty all the time. I didn’t go out, I didn’t wear make-up, and I even threw out all my panties in an angry fit. I knew it was diapers for me from now on. I spent my sweet 16 in my room alone thinking there was no place in the world for someone who wet and messed the bed every night.
After 9 months of training, retention enemas, and about 800 soiled diapers I started being able to control my BM’s to a certain extent. I had to make it to the bathroom in a few minutes or I would use my diaper, which was always a demoralizing experience. I went back to school for my senior year. Nobody knew about my issues and I learned to cope with diapers in everyday life. I told the school counselor about my problem and was able to use the staff bathrooms and have a secret stash of diapers, wipes and powder there. I had trouble living like a normal girl again; I was in constant fear of leaking because there wasn’t a product made for a person young, active and incontinent.
I still wore the Attends to bed, but I couldn’t wear those big crinkly diapers to school. I could still fit into the 6T size pull-ups but they wouldn’t hold a full void, and neither would the Goodnites. I started wearing the pull-ups but would cut a line down the center and wear a Goodnites over that. I still had to change often, but I felt safer than I ever had before. The diapers would chaff together, and I would have a big bulge if I wore anything less than a size 6 pair of jeans (which is hard as a size 0). All through high school there were close-calls, emotional trials and embarrassing moments, stories I’ll tell in later posts.
The dorm experience was another challenge all together; I went to an all girl’s school so privacy was not really an option. I kept up the same diaper routine, except with girls Goodnites under a pair of poise panties (an awful product to use alone but works decent as a protective cover for the Goodnites), I hid my diapers from my roommate for months until she confronted me about my constant bathroom and nighttime secrecy. She became my best friend, and has been nothing but loving and supportive; she even got me a pair of footed pajamas for Christmas, her solution to me exposing my diapers accidentally in my sleep or around the house.
I feel like a real girl again, diapers are a part of me and still are to this day. I still have weak bowel control and no bladder continence and the doctors have made it clear that I’ll have to be diapered for the rest of my life. Through all my trials and tribulations, I’ve learned that no matter how hard the windows of life are closed for you, through confidence, support and staying positive you can open them and feel the fresh air again!