Friday, March 25, 2011

My Bladder

My bladder has tried a couple times in my life to control me, and both times I have shown it who is boss! The first time was when I was oh-so-sick with CFS. I would sleep 10 hours a night and wake up exhausted. And during those 10 hours I would get up to pee 4-6 times. I think I was reading either From Fatigued To Fantastic or You On A Diet by Dr. Oz. In the section on sleep the doctor that wrote it stressed how important uninterrupted sleep was. He stated getting up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom was indulging brain signals that were prematurely going off as a matter of habit. The amount of urine actually produced overnight was not substantial enough to cause any problems if it was held until morning. It was the practice of indulging our brain signals that caused so many trips to the bathroom, disrupting that oh-so-precious sleep cycle. He suggested when one wakes up and feels the need to pee in the middle of the night, you must ignore it, not indulge it, reassure yourself you will not wet the bed, and go back to sleep. So I tried it. And amazingly enough, after plenty of opportunities to squelch my well indulged brain signals, I made it through the night without waking up ONCE to use the bathroom. I now sleep my solid 9-10 hours a night and when I wake up in the morning, boy do I have to go, but my sleep is deep and restorative, full of wild dreams and uninterrupted. Score 1.

A few years later I started developing a DAYTIME bladder problem. I would feel the urge to use the restroom, make my way there, and as I was laying out the seat protectors and pulling down my pants I would develop such an overwhelming urge to pee that I would nearly pee my pants with the toilet 1 foot away from me! I would literally jump up and down, do a little jig, a River Dance or two, as I was unzipping my pants to distract myself, to no avail. It became quite a problem, even at home. The time it would take to pull my pants down was enough to, once again, nearly cause me to pee my pants! I was horrified. Embarrassed. This was ridiculous! Here I was a 33 year old woman that could not control my bladder enough to make it to the restroom like an adult! So I talked to my doctor about it. She said that I was on some medications that shared this side effect, but it was a mind over matter issue. So when I felt that overwhelming urge that I was going to open the floodgates at the wrong time I had to completely ignore the impulse. I had to walk away from the bathroom, and once the urge had passed, then I could go use the restroom. What do we call it, Tough Love? It took a few weeks but sure enough I was back in control of my pesky bladder and no longer ran the risk of blowing a gasket at the wrong place, wrong time. Score 2.

I am very glad both times I have managed to overcome my bladder issues with behavior modification. I am not going to wrap this blog up with some correlation between these experiences and how it has improved my Fibro experience, shaped my expectations of life or grown me as a person. They are what they are, simply bladder issues. But these are the kind of things people don't really talk about so I figured I would do what I do best. Open up the deepest, craziest, silliest parts of me with pure transparency and share them with you, my readers, in the hopes that if you have shared similar struggles, you will take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and there is a solution. And if not, hopefully you at least giggled a little.

Thanks for joining,


  1. Thank heavens you posted this issue! I am going to begin this BMT tonight and not give up until my sleep is back =)

  2. Yes, i think I will be trying this as well. I wake so much to go to the bathroom. I want my sleep back as well!!