The Misadventures Of My Bowel And Bladder

I am hesitant to write about this subject, but here goes anyway. Fingers crossed, I hope you can relate. At this point in my life, I’m 42 years old. Still age doesn’t exclude me from a good old healthy slap of embarrassment.

I made an appointment with my gynecologist. No big deal. I was going to get a new prescription for birth control pills. I can physically have children but my husband and I have chosen not to have any. I expected to sit down and discuss my options for different pills. Five minutes later we had picked a medication and the visit seemed to be over. So you can imagine how shocked I was when the doctor asked me to get on the exam table. I had forgot I was also due for an annual pelvic exam. I should have said no because I was not prepared. But I agreed to continue. The doctor stepped out of the room. The nurse stayed and asked me to disrobe. So I did with the help of my husband. Because of my limited mobility he goes with me everywhere. After he quickly undressed me, I was sitting in my wheelchair in my bra and Depends. Next, he helped me lay on the exam table. Then, the nurse left out of the room to get some supplies while my husband positioned himself beside me to hold my wobbly legs in place. When the nurse returned she covered me with a sheet and began to remove the rest of my clothes. After taking off my Depends, we all were shocked to discover I had pooped on myself.

Embarrassment

My husband immediately wanted to stop the entire exam. He wanted to leave. But I, not realizing how bad it was, wanted to continue. Until, the nurse looked at me and said, “It is coming out!” I was so embarrassed. But there was nothing I could do. I had lost control of my bowels. Bowel and bladder issues are one of the main symptoms of people with multiple sclerosis. And both have definitely affected me. The nurse exited the room to get some wipes. A few minutes later she reentered, looked under the sheet and began to clean me. She was very respectful. The whole situation was like a bad dream. I was thinking to myself, “Who does this happen to?”

After I was relatively clean, my husband and I began getting me dressed. I was moving quickly because I wanted to go home and wash up. As we were leaving the office, the nurse informed me the doctor wanted to see me again in about a month. Six weeks later, at the rescheduled appointment, my shame was still plastered across my face. The doctor even commented on my facial expression. When he first walked into the room, he asked me why I looked so sad. I told him I was humiliated from our previous encounter. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “At least you have an excuse. I’ve had people have the same accident and they didn’t have any neurological impairment. Plus, we have seen worse. My nurse and I deal with a lot of situations during exams and deliveries. And believe me, when women have babies everything just comes out.”

Relief

I went on to have a normal pelvic exam. I left the doctor’s office happier and relieved with my head held up. It was good to hear what happened to me wasn’t so terrible. Even people who don’t have MS have experienced this. On the drive home, my husband still looked a little shaken after his first gynecologist experience. So I said jokingly to him, “Maybe if I would have been having a baby, it would not have been so bad.”

And we both laughed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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