Wednesday, March 28, 2012
My Mission As Incontinence Advocate Makes a Difference
Two things happened in the last few weeks that reminded me of the purpose of my incontinence advocacy work. It is these two things that have definitely reaffirmed what I am doing is an awesome thing and that I need to keep on with it, despite any persecution I may receive as a result.
The first thing that happened was that a student from UNCC Carolina studying urology contacted me. He found my blog and was interested in interviewing me because he wanted a personal perspective. He conducted his interview through email. He asked me what a day was like living with incontinence and using adult diapers to manage Overactive Bladder. I told him what he wanted to know. I not only explained what a typical day with incontinence was like, I also told him what it was like to take vacations and how using adult diapers impacted those occasions.
I also talked about what life was like when using incontinence medications. I told him about my past experiences, as well as my current one.
He will more than likely be contacting me in the future, as he told me he would throughout his studies. I totally do not mind because I love educating people about this condition, especially if I can provide a new kind of insight.
The second thing that happened to me was that a woman in my incontinence support group that I run contacted me by phone and told me that the courage that I have taken to so openly discuss my condition and my willingness to help educate society and help others suffering from incontinence has helped to liberate her. She told me that rather than live in shame and lying to people about what her problems were, she was ready to stand up and face the facts. She told me that she felt she no longer had to allow Overactive Bladder to rule her life. Rather, she was going to rule it. She told me she was going to take the bull by the horns and face things head on.
I felt so touched by this woman that I almost cried when listening to her talk. I know that people before have told me countless times that they appreciated my work and what I do, but it was something about this woman that really touched me. I could tell she was so pained. I mean, she was so ashamed that she got rid of her boyfriend because she feared having accidents during intimacy, and she said it would be the death of her if her boyfriend found out. She told me her incontinence made her feel dirty. She told me that she went through several pairs of underwear a day and that she did not want to see the doctor because she was too embarrassed. She said that she was considering wearing diapers and just being done with it. I told her she really should get the courage to see the doctor, and I also told her what to say if her doctor ended up being the judgmental type, as some are when it comes to incontinence. I do not know, but I think some of these doctors get their degrees on their backs because the way they treat patients, when they know that incontinence effects people of all ages and has many causes, is absolutely crazy. I told her to ask about Enablex, the medication I take and see what the doctor said. I told her the meds were working for me and that if they worked for her, she could be free of the prospect of wearing diapers, at least until there was no way the meds would help anymore. I wished her well, and we will definitely be talking regularly, since she is also a part of the blind community. She really is one awesome lady.
Do you see, people, why it is so important that the view of society towards the condition of incontinence is changed? People fear being judged so bad that this condition actually imprisons them, forces them to isolate and give up doing the things they loved. It should not have to be this way. That is why I do what I do. It is my hope that through sharing my experiences, supporting those with incontinence, and doing my best to educate as many as I can that the walls of stigma are eventually torn down and that all people with incontinence can be liberated and freed from their prison of shame. I will not stop doing what I do until I either die or the stigma is gone, as God is my witness.