Well, that's embarrassing

I know this title is confusing, but what can I say... it can relate to a lot.

We all know that MS can cause some not so pleasant symptoms that are embarrassing to discuss, or even want to deal with.

While I haven’t had the pleasure (heavy sarcasm) in dealing with all of the ‘embarrassing symptoms’... I have had to deal with some.

So as many of you know – I was diagnosed when I was 22, I’m now 27. So, I had never expected that I would be dealing with **GASP** bladder dysfunction, due to my MS... Yeah I know, I wanted to hide under my blanket when I first started dealing with it.

But then as I just ignored the issue like it wasn’t happening, it seemed to get worse. So, I finally went to my neuro about it. Now, I’m not gonna lie... it wasn’t easy. I think my face must have been beet red from my face being on fire discussing it. But I got a referral to see a urologist close by.

So, this is just... great. I just discussed a very... embarrassing thing with my neuro, and now I have to do it ALL over again. Couldn’t I have just like, recorded myself explaining it, so I didn’t have to voice it again?? But that would be kind of awkward, listening to myself on a recording stumbling over the word “leaking” and “close-calls”.

Now, let me just say that I don’t embarrass easy anymore, but this was just after being diagnosed, not even a year after. I wasn’t seeing my MS Specialist that I do now, whom I’m comfortable speaking with about these things.

So, I read some things online, about items that can help with urinary issues. I go up to my local grocery store, and I’m in the ‘pad’ area, just trying to look in detail about what each product has to offer. And I then have a woman stand next to me, letting me know that it was sweet shopping for these particular items, she then pointed out full on adult-diapers that her mother uses, and that my grandmother would benefit from most likely. Can you imagine how red my face was by this time?

I wasn’t having full-blown accidents, but I needed SOMETHING to help me out in case I had a coughing/sneezing fit, or laughed too much. I was going for something discreet, that I could also carry with me in my purse, if needed.

Now, I know that this is an embarrassing subject, and many people don’t really open up about it like I am, but it’s something that we have to deal with at times. For the men who deal with this, I’m sorry that you don’t have as many products available as women do.

So anyways, when I went to see the urologist, they scheduled for me to take some tests, that I don’t even want to explain here... but lets just say it wasn’t always the easiest things to go through. Now, please don’t let that keep you from seeing a urologist, if you need to.

Once I went through all the testing and spoke with my urologist about the results, I was put on a medication to help with my ‘leaking’ problem. After being on the medication for a while, I didn’t have anymore issues with leaking, so I decided that maybe I don’t need the medication anymore... I mean we already take A LOT of meds having MS; so trying to cut down on the amount we take in a day is something that we all want.

Let me just say that, taking the medication out of my daily routine didn’t seem to change my daily life too much, or have the urinary symptom flare up, but after a little bit of time being off of it, I realized that it WAS working, in the worst way possible to find out. So, now I need to go back to my urologist and talk to him about what he thinks I should do. Continue on the medication I’ve taken for so long, or discuss other options.

I mean... did you know that you could get BOTOX done for these embarrassing symptoms? Yeah! It’s not just for Hollywood stars wanting bigger lips and fewer wrinkles.

I remember after going through the whole thing about talking to my neurologist, I had gone to a MS Conference (ECTRIMS 2011) and found many resources available for people dealing with urinary issues and MS.

Did you know that there is a ‘discussion guide’ to help you answer those embarrassing questions I answered, without having to have the full-blown conversation first thing? If you want to check it out, you can do so here.

So, let me just end this on a more positive, less embarrassing note. If you are experiencing something that is annoying and/or embarrassing, odds are that it’s not just going to ‘go away’ with time. In fact, things can get worse if you don’t get certain health issues looked at. So, even though you might need to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone, that’s just taking a step towards getting better. I mean, c’mon, I’m in my late 20s and I am publicly speaking about urinary issues with MS!


Ashley Ringstaff

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