Flange Physio – Anticipation

incontinence / Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Here’s the thing. The previous post about a happy memory being created was true. Truer however is that my propensity for stalling is second only to Spiderboy’s steadfast refusal to go to bed. As I wrote in my first ever post I wanted to try and be brave in this blog, and to explore some of the unmentionables relating to childbirth and motherhood. Tomorrow I have an appointment which will test my mettle because I have to return to the fanny physiotherapists’ to talk about incontinence and damage.

This means if I blog it, I have to get down to the knicker nitty gritty. Do I dare? It is the blogging that is more upsetting for me than the actual appointment however much fidgeting and fanny gagetry it is likely to involve. Flange physiotherapists, you see, are great at talking about wee and poo and urges and pushing and straining and all forms of indignity. They have charts, I kid you not, of different sorts of poo from which you have to identify your most normal kind. (They have prosaic names too like ‘log’ and ‘pebbles’ to choose from). And when I am with them, things are strangely okay. What isn’t okay is having to think about and engage with incontinence all the rest of the time.
I am actually blushing thinking about it.

On my ‘To Do’ list for today (alongside buying batteries, going to the dentist, washing up etc) is writing a list of all the different things that make me wee. Not just the things which sometimes catch women of a certain age, pregnant women and mothers out eg sneezing, jumping up and down, coughing, but other things too. Here are some:

carrying or picking up a baby (useful)
walking up stairs
walking down stairs
climbing in or out of a car
sitting or standing (sometimes)
These all relate to stress incontinence, and have been caused both by giving birth and by being pregnant. I can also add that it appears I have also reacquired urge incontinence too. So I also can’t tell if I even need a wee and sometimes perform if I can hear running water, if I’m tired, if I am on my way to the loo, if I’m upset, if I’m scared or nervous (especially when my baby cries), when I get up in the morning. Other times I just start weeing. I can’t really express how humiliating it feels.
Needless to say I couldn’t stop a urine stream, even if I really concentrated (and I have really concentrated). This isn’t the first time I’ve had to get down to the knicker nitty gritty, but it still feels quite rank and annoying to have to. I would stamp my foot, but you can imagine what would happen then.
I have no idea what they are going to say. The midwife who saw me at home was quite aghast by my lack of control, but I always have a nagging suspicion I am making a fuss. This fear comes partly from the cultural acceptance that women, especially Mums and older women, get caught short. As if it is okay to be a bit incontinent and therefore my only moan is joining this group a bit early (I was 30 the first time I had flange physio, am now 33). When I’m feel brave and bolshy I bloody well do not think it is okay to be incontinent, even if it is ‘only’ when you sneeze really hard. When I’m not feeling brave I just want to shrink into the background, or better still wake up as someone else. Let’s hope I’m feeling brave tomorrow.

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