Incontinence: one drip at a time

Posted: 29 July 2013 in Cancer
Tags: ,
They're big

They’re big

After having prostate removed to get rid of prostate cancer, one will be incontinent. After the catheter is removed, you wear incontinence pads. Here are 18 things to remember about living with incontinence – when it’s all over:

  1. When you open your first pack of incontinence pads. Arrgh, they are so BIG. Less a care of “putting them on” more a case of wearing them.
  2. Your spouse calling your pads “nappies “. Grrrh! Then seeing yourself in the mirror wearing nothing but those… Grrrrh, GRRRH!
  3. The terrors of tea, coffee, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and anything else worth quawffing. These go right through you and fill up your pads double quick.
  4. Being “heroic” and trying to get by. But then its squishy squishy, when you sit down. Yuck.
  5. Sitting on the bog: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Then i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x. They wonder what you are doing in there, but they daren’t ask. You are counting as you do your PFEs. Duh, Pelvic Floor Exercises dummy.
  6. “Great balls of fire, I’ve only 5 left!” Getting desperate for the next delivery of pads.
  7. The advantages of being deskbound in an office. There is always a toilet near you. And sitting “on it” kinda helps. But when you’ve got to go, you gotta  go – pronto.
  8. Cold weather can be your friend 1: Filling up your dustbin (and keeping your bin in the shade). Believe you me, when you are using 4 large pads a day, the bin fills up quick. And if you are in a neighbourhood where they remove general waste only once a fortnight, the bin gets FULL. Add a warm spell, and your neighbours will start worrying what bodies you’re burying in the garden!
  9. Cold weather can be your friend 2: Believe me, big pads aren’t a bundle of fun at +30°C.
  10. Friends or family ask “How was your visit to the [Continence] clinic”. Eh? “You want to ask me that while at dinner?”
  11. Contortionist 2: Changing pads in an airplane toilet. In that tiny space. When the plane hits turbulence. When your toenail catches your pad liner. With all the grunts and groans and bumps, the air steward will be thinking you and your Mrs are joining the Mile High Club.
  12. Contortionist 1: Changing pads on the beach. As all the beach lovelies and hunks regally glide up and down the beach, you wriggle and squirm to change your pad under a not-really-large-enough towel. You feel really decrepit.
  13. Thinking you are leaking (and sometimes you are)
  14. Thinking you are smelling (and sometimes you are)
  15. What you do when you’ve pads at work and the sani pad cleaner doesn’t come at all. The sani-bins fill up. The smell grows. You phone the landlord to get the sani-bin wallahs to come as per schedule. Then the sani-bin wallahs complain to the landlord that there are incontinence pads in there instead of sani-pads. Then you have an unpleasant conversation with the landlord. Lovely.
  16. Sharing your pad “minis” with your grandson.
  17. Sharing Pelvic Floor Exercise notes with new mum – your daughter.
  18. Always carrying one in a bag, in your bag

It gets better. Bill

  1. I hear you, Bill! I had HPV anal cancer in 2000 and therefore share many of the prostate cancer patients post treatment problems. I have worn pads now for 13 years! Ugh. I can’t say I’m comfortable with them but I can say they have saved me in many a social situation. It’s a brave new world, isn’t it? Loved your article! Thank you for being so brave and sharing!

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