The Curious Case of Multiple Sclerosis Part 3

Can’t Stop Going

Last night happened to be one of the worst MS bad bladder nights I’ve had in a long time.  As such, I feel wicked crappy today. Or, I guess I should say, wicked pissy.  

This is getting old, very old.  I’m so frustrated that I thought I should write a blog about it.  Then I remembered I already did.  

So for those of you who can relate to MS really pissing you off, this old post is for you.

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One would think that a subtitle called “can’t stop going,” would refer to a good thing, something you would find on an inspirational poster, or in a pop song geared towards the tween set; an affirmation if you will. But when it comes to this week’s blog, you would be wrong.

Very wrong. So wrong that I may just want to get violent and punch something wrong. When something makes me want to become violent, what can I do but write about it? At least writing keeps me out of jail and protects my already tingly fingers from more aches.

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When I say “can’t stop going,” I am actually referring to one of my insidious MS symptoms, bladder issues. In my case, I have to use the bathroom constantly and for normal people, that is the end of the story. You go, you’re done; at least for a few hours.

Not for me. No, my bathroom going trips have become so constant they are hard to believe. Which is why they are part of my series on The Curious Case of Multiple Sclerosis, blog posts that explore the particularly cruel irony of some aspect of living with MS.

(If you are bored, see prior posts Part 1 that discusses aging and Part 2 that discusses the difficulty of maintaining a healthy diet.)

But back to my current problem. If this rant sounds familiar it is likely because I have ranted about it before, a lot. I have even used the line, “these bladder issues are really starting to piss me off.” (Pun totally intended.)

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The line is not mine but my sister Laurie’s and before I used it as I thought while accurate, it was also funny. That was when my bladder issues happened at night and while it made trying to sleep frustrating and difficult, it was manageable; as long as there was something good on TV at 3 AM.

But lately, the frequency of having to go relentlessly and of then not going completely when I do go, is happening throughout the day as well. My bathroom trips are turning into revolving doors. In the time it takes me to wash my hands and leave the bathroom I have to go again and repeat the process.

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Really, what is the point of going at all?

The irony of this is water. Lately, in fact just as this issue started acting up, all I hear is how good water is for you.

I know this. I have given up diet coke and am drinking a lot more water. I have also learned to drink it earlier in the day to avoid the night problem so I can sleep. Now I just need to spend the day in the bathroom.

The medication I take for this problem does help but only a little bit. And it causes wicked dry mouth which means more water. Seems everywhere I look I am reading articles on how dehydrated people are and how crucial water is to your diet. Most people can handle this added H2O intake.

Me, I can handle it great. As long as I don’t need a life outside of the bathroom.

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I should discuss this with my neurologist but as I have mentioned before, he is kind of cute. How can I possibly talk to him about this? And even if I did, I am afraid the next step in treating this issue will involve tools that I don’t even want to think about. (Private message me if you have questions about this.)

But I know that I should bring it up and I probably will at my next appointment. (Maybe by then it will have gone away?) Until then, how do I deal?

One MS professional told me to do Kegel exercises. In case you aren’t aware, Kegel’s are pelvic muscle exercises Cosmopolitan recommended in the 80’s for a more exciting benefit. In a Kegel irony of their own, they were developed by a scientist, which likely makes you unlikely to be interested in the exciting benefits.

(Again, private message me- I am trying to keep this blog at a PG rating.)

The thing about Kegel’s is that they are super easy to do and can be done anywhere. Even in the bathroom.

The MS irony here? I forget to do them! Even when I write myself a note, I forget to read the note! Easy exercise- rare and good. Forgetting the exercises-very, very bad.

I heard that this particular bladder problem can lead to UTI’s which are also very, very bad. One way to prevent that is by drinking more water. (No, I am not kidding. According to the internet, that is a legitimate way to deal with this problem.)

Another way is to eat cranberries. I am a New England girl and so cranberries are my world. I can even tell you how they are harvested. Oatmeal raisin cookies? No way. Oatmeal cranberry cookies- awesome.

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But I am on a health kick so I decided I would get my cranberries in an organic, non processed, no sugar way. Raw cranberries are a little bitter and so I poured a glass of super healthy juice. And then I immediately spit it out as it was disgusting.

Apparently, even for people born and bred in cran country, you still need a little sugar to appreciate them.

So what’s a girl to do? I added cranberry tablets to my daily meds list which meant more water to get them down and then headed to the busiest room in my house. If you are looking for me or my TV, we have permanently moved into the porcelain and tile room.

And if that pisses you off, well, you likely have a bathroom of your own…

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14 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Multiple Sclerosis Part 3

  1. You’re awesome Yvonne! Yes, I can relate to you’re frequent state of being “pissed off.” However, my issues in this regard are not quite as advanced as yours are, so do not mistake my being able to relate as an attempt to “one up” you. That is a pet peeve of mine, especially when a non-MS’er tries to compare themselves to us…it isn’t possible! I’m just a fellow MS’er that wants to say, “I understand dear one.”
    I did go to a urologist last year that performed some tests that showed what he called a “classic MS bladder.” We are classics!! Yay!! 😉 What that means is when we press down to try to force that last remaining urine out, our bladder muscles actually relax…due to all the mixed messages with MS; and when we relax our bladder, the urine wants to then flow…which kind-of explains why we feel like we need to go all the time, I guess. Even being an RN & having a good knowledge of anatomy & such, this all sounds confusing to me. If I try to really process it in my brain, my brain becomes tired & it changes not the fact that I am a frequent bathroom dweller that takes reading material to the potty, whether it’s #1 or #2!! LOL He did tell me that as time goes by I will probably be faced with the decision of intermittent, self-catheterization. BUT, in the infamous words of Scarlett O’Hara- I will worry about that tomorrow! (My paraphrase) And as I often tell people that have worry-wart tendencies (I am a former one)…JESUS may come back before then, so let it go. It helps the psyche, as you know. You have this same healthy attitude of no worry & your humor to boot. In the meantime, keep squeezin’ that Charmin Sister! 😉

    • I LOVE this Susan- thank you! I didn’t quite get the mechanics of the situation before but now I do! And you’re right, when I get really “pissed off” about it, I try to beat up on it by making fun of it and turning to my faith. It works most of the time but then there are those times when you know, uuurrrgghhhh! I understand what you mean about the comparisons too. But mostly I giggled about the Charmin comment! Likely I will think about that a lot during my frequent trips and will have a new giggle each time!

    • I enjoy reading your blog posts, not only because I am able to learn so much about the experience of MS, but also because you write with such fluidity and an added sense of humor. When most people hear MS, they do not know much about it or how it affects an individual personally. There is so much more to the condition than the medical aspect. You get right to the heart of it and tell it as it is. You express the troubles, frustrations, and even the things you are grateful for. The fact that you decided to laugh whenever MS was trying to make you cry helps put life in perspective. Even though this disease has completely changed your life, you are able to stay positive.

      • Thank you so much Rosey! I really appreciate it! If not for my sense of humor I would have gone insane a long time ago!! I’m very fortunate to be able to share that with others and hopefully help them have a giggle or two!

  2. Hi. From this guys point of view, its not the number of visits (though the false alarms are annoying) its the length of time I’m in there! That has to be all the water in my body! Wait, I was just in here. That’s my book on the floor from the last time. And now I’m standing at the throne again. Oooops, false alarm again. Might as well get some reading done while I’m waiting for the next one.

    My blog deals with being both bipolar and having MS, being over 50, and having to leave work and find a new vocation.

    Best of luck with yours! I’ll be reading. Thanks. Tom M.

    • Thank you so much for checking out my blog Tom! And I never really thought of it from a guys point of view- at least I get to sit down so I am resting a bit as I am spending all those hours in there! I checked out your blog too and really enjoy it. Especially the post about the Red Sox since I am a MA girl. I know what you mean about having to change all plans, even the fun ones that are designed to relax you and make you happy. For some reason, I am not able to comment on BlogSpot blogs- BlogSpot won’t accept whatever ID I give them. I think BlogSpot thinks I am not real! But I will keep reading yours too and thank you!

  3. Awesome blog! Just got around to reading this one. Laughed at almost every part of this, cause I can relate just about 100%! I constantly laugh when people tell me to put reminders in my phone or write notes to remember things..I ask them if they have any good ideas on how to give my reminders , reminders so that I can remember I have them! What a catch 22. At 21 , not many people hold my symptoms as credible but it’s so nice to hear familiar stories to know I’m not nuts or making things up! Thank you for these great blogs , they help with my sanity! Haha

    • Thank you so much Cory! It really means a lot to me that these blogs are helping you though I am sorry that you can relate to them! Catch 22 is right. But I love your line about how to remember to check your reminders. We just can’t explain this stuff to other people-good thing we can explain it to each other and laugh while we do it!

  4. Me just turn away and let it run ! Might I even have to squeeze the hose till ready hose something down, hopefully not the feet . It does happen ha
    But when it’s time that means now not later ! So the show is XRATED now and then ms life hmmm!!

  5. Hi! Up at 4am, yeah, frequency at it’s finest! Made the mistake of drin
    king a Sprite, caffeine makes it much worse! I drink enough water to float a battleship!! I am an RN, know the anatomy, blah blah! Doesn’t keep me from wanting to. reach in and pull my bladder out!!! My Dr asked me to explain my symptoms, I said you will laugh. No I won’t he replied. I feel like a squirrel is scratching around in my bladder. He burst out laughing!! Had the Urodynamics, fun test! Not! But no interstitial cystitis. Found a kidney stone just hanging out! Decided to do Lithotripsy to break it up. General anesthesia. Woke up a little sore, some bruising, but no general problems. Well..until my first trip to the bathroom!! Peeing needles is the only way to describe passing flecks of the stone! Strained my urine for about a week, stopped seeing the pepper like flakes. Went back to Dr, another xray to check for the stone. Now the fragments are settled in my kidney, not passing. Thank you very much!! So continue with the UTI since June. Put me on Myrbetriq which stopped frequency, urgency. Still feel the scratching occasionally. Azo, or the generic of Pyridium, is my best friend! Thank you Amazon for carring it in packs of 180 tablets!! But also on Macrobid daily for the continuing UTI. So the use of the Azo has decreased. Peeing neon yellow is my norm!!! Back in Dec for follow up. Not thrilled about daily abx, but that is better than a constant uti!! I also have Fibromyalgia, which people also experience UTI issues!! But, thank goodness, my trips to the bathroom hourly or more, have decreased. But still stop frequently when on a road trip. So I get being “PISSED OFF”!!! Thanks for your great blog! A friend posted the link on FB. Will definitely save you!!! Well..back to the potty!!! Take care, God Bless!!!!

    • Thank you so much new friend!! So glad my blog made you smile! Thank you for the fabulous info too. MS and Firbomyalgia-wow. So sorry to hear this but it sends like you you have a kind nature and a very positive spirit. I bet they are helping you kick some major chronic illness butt!

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