At the age of 33, bladder problems shouldn’t exist. Unfortunately for this 33 year old, it
was is a part of my everyday life. Everyone always says that when you have kids, everything down there changes. After I had Luke, I started experiencing problems with bladder control and frequency. I thought it was a normal post-pregnancy thing, and it was embarrassing so I never brought it up to any of my doctors……until recently.
I’m just gonna say it……peeing my pants was a multiple day occurrence. I’m not talking just a little leak, but full on I need to buy a new pair of pants kind of thing. Any time I laughed, sneezed, coughed, picked up the kids, ran/jogged, I would leak a little pee. A lot of my mommy friends did too so I thought it was okay. The big thing for me is when I would get a little bit of fluid in my bladder, I would go from not feeling like I had to go at all to full on if I don’t go now my bladder will explode, in less than 5 seconds. It sucked, and I always had a change of clothes with me just in case.
When I was pregnant with Logan, things got worse. I constantly felt like there was something bulging from my vagina when I would go to the bathroom and when I pooped, I would feel a pouch start to form inside of my vagina before the poop would come out. It is uncomfortable, embarrassing and super painful. After my tubal ligation procedure I mentioned my toilet difficulties with my OB, who told me to go see a urogynocologist. Thank god I went when I did!
After a physical examination I was diagnosed with grade 3 bladder and uterine prolapses and a second degree (non-straining) rectocele. I also underwent a bladder test where they gave me a pill to dye my pee blue, inserted a pressure sensitive catheter into my bladder, filled my bladder with saline and then measured what my bladder was doing. In a “normal” person, the feeling of needing to pee usually happens at around 150-200 ml, my result was 14 ml. My bladder was full at 86 ml, the normal bladder being full at 500 ml. They also noticed that my bladder would randomly spasm and contract, expelling whatever fluid was in there.
We discussed my options and determined that our best course of action was to place a device called Interstim in for a week and see if it helped. I underwent a procedure where the doctor placed little wire leads through my back, and into a section of my pelvic bone to send electric pulses to my sacral nerves.
The device acts as a pacemaker for my bladder, suppressing the feeling of having to pee until I actually had to pee.
This is what my back looked like.
So did it work? It worked really well! I went from using the bathroom (including leaks and accidents) 25+ times a day, down to 8 or 9. I only had a few accidents and that was because I wasn’t in a place where I could get to a bathroom.
So whats next? Tomorrow (October 30) I am going back to the doctor to have the leads removed. With the trial being completed, I do not need the fancy gear right now. On November 15th I’ll be going through a pretty big surgery to repair the prolapsed organs and to install the permanent interstim device.
Because we aren’t done having kids (probably), the doctor will be inserting permanent stitches to lift my uterus and bladder back up, rather than do a hysterectomy. She will be going through an incision made in my c-section scar and also through my vagina to pull everything up and secure it in place. She will also go in vaginally and reinforce the wall between my rectum and vagina so that the rectocele goes away. I’ll be in the hospital for at least a day, and come home with a catheter for at least a week while things heal up.
I have been told that this is going to be a long and painful recovery, but is so worth it for quality of life. And if life in the future can be anything like it was this week, I’ll take the torture.