It’s not often talked about, but a ton of people with MS have bladder problems. I haven’t talked a lot about mine here, only once before. So I hope you’ll pardon me if I talk about them again.
I have a lot of issues as a result of the MS, but one of the most annoying for me, aside from the memory issues, speech problems, lack of energy, intense fatigue, body pain, spasms, tremors, temporary problems with eye sight, etc, is the bladder problems.
I’ve always had an over active bladder. However, now it’s very active with an added hitch: sometimes, even though I know I have to urinate, I am unable to. Other times when I feel like I don’t have to go, I have to. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of discomfort and some difficulties.
I was told by my MS doctor that a personal catheter had to be used. My MS nurse told me that there was medication I could take for it. Though I’m loathe to take another medication on top of the ones I already take, by this point, I was willing.
I can’t remember the last time I slept through a whole night. Sometimes when I get up in the middle of the night, urinating can take up to half an hour. I’ll go once and then have to go again soon after, so I just stay on the toilet. This leads to a disrupted sleep pattern and brain and body fatigue the next day. I take Dex4 glucose tablets for that.
Thus, I was happy to go to my appointment with the urologist. I figured I would get my results from the sonogram and be prescribed a treatment and that would be that. However, that wasn’t how things went down.
The urologist was super awesome and a pleasure to speak with. He informed me of a few things:
– People with Cerebral Palsy have an over active bladder. I never knew this, but it would explain why I had to pee so much more than the average person. Why did I never know this?
– The Cerebral Palsy has it’s own bladder issues, but so does the Multiple Sclerosis. So in effect, the MS is making the bladder issues worse.
– The sonogram was done incorrectly. The start results weren’t recorded so it gave the urologist no baseline. On top of that, it’s really only indicative of having a really full bladder.
– Which means that the sonogram is, essentially, useless.
I was pissed, really quite upset. It wasn’t the urologist’s fault, but it was the most uncomfortable procedures I’ve been through. The MRI’s are mildly claustrophobic, I didn’t feel the Lumbar Puncture (otherwise known as a Spinal Tap); thank goodness for Novocaine, but the sonogram? Torture. That and highly embarrassing when I pissed myself.
To find out that the whole ordeal could have been avoided if I had just been referred to a urologist? Maddening. However, medical practices are getting better and my urologist is awesome.
I have two more appointments with him. The fist is the actual testing to determine which kind of treatment will work for me. It involves a catheter. I’ve never had one done and am not looking forward to it, but if it’s part of the road that will help me get better, I’ll welcome it. Then I have the follow up appointment when I find out what treatment I can pursue.
The only piece of bad news? I have to wait until September. That means I’ll have my one year follow up appointment with the MS Clinic and two appointments with the urologist to look forward to in one month. You can’t say I don’t know how to have fun. I just wish I didn’t have to wait so long for the appointments with the urologist. It means having to deal with bladder issues for longer than I was hoping to.
There is one good side to all this: It’s another two steps forward on reclaiming my body and living in as healthy a way as possible.
And that is something to be truly thankful for.