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Topics - Gagamama

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All things bladder related / WHEN ONE'S BRAIN IS UNDULY ANXIOUS
« on: February 05, 2013, 11:07:58 AM »

It's a long time since I visited and I thought I would quickly check back here to see how you are all doing.
 Post TVT I have been getting on with my life but I have discovered that one's brain can play tricks  and make all one's anxieties worse.

Last year (2012 that is) was one of the worst of my life with five deaths of people who mattered to me (my Dad, two friends and both parents-in-law - with whom I was very close)....

During the periods of acute stress, those weeks immediately after the deaths when one is occupied with administrative requirements, I completely forgot about the urge incontinence bit...that had remained slightly there, in the background sort of thing ....BUT, as soon as the worst of each was over, I seemed to have a relapse with acute anxiety about dribbling. My intellect told me that the dribbles were so tiny (hardly dampening the pantliner and then only in the teeniest of drops), but the emotional part of my brain (perhaps the bit that was most stressed by the other events in my life) just threw me into a panic over these obsessions. Not only did I fear that the TVT was losing its effect after only a couple of years, I found myself doing the old - go to the loo at the last minute before leaving the house just in case - thing.

To cut a long story short: telling myself that it was my brain playing tricks, means I have forced myself to go back to the bladder retraining tips that I have spoken about earlier. Don't respond to the signals right away, try to get busy doing something else, repeat "it's my brain playing tricks" or "I won't give in" to myself over and over for a moment or two.

And it has worked - though I am still prone, at times of other anxiety, to get the old fears back.

So I want to say that one really can re-programme the brain to help! It takes effort and attention and cannot replace proper medical assistance be it TVT or oestrogen cream or any one of the new devices on the market to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
It just seems to me that we are afraid of admitting any emotional/psychological aspects in case some person in authority says "it's all in your head"....
We know our bodies and should trust ourselves to be brave and admit that brains are funny things; they can make us happy or sad, positive or negative and yes, they can make our symptoms physically worse if we obsess about them.  If you are somebody currently struggling with the anxieties and fears, or the disappointment that some treatment has not been the cure one hoped, be brave, stand up to your brain because my own experience suggests that it can be a tyrant.

BTW, this is NOT suggesting that you are not touch enough if the anxieties run away with you. It is really HARD. I just want to encourage you to keep trying. Good luck.

Forum and Website News / A NOTE FOR GUEST VIEWERS
« on: May 30, 2010, 03:44:35 PM »
I have noticed that we are getting quite a lot of "reads" of the posts but few new members joining. 'Course it's early days yet but I would like to say to all those who read what we are talking about, please don't be shy with us. The sister site Menopause Matters has been of fantastic help to lots of women precisely because there are so many threads of discussion going on. I thought, when I first joined that forum that I would never find anyone who was experiencing what I was experiencing: then I discovered dozens of posts that had all the same problems. realising you are not the only one is so empowering. It gave me the courage to keep persisting with my GP.
It would be great if Bladder Matters developed in the same way.

All things bladder related / COMPLEXITIES OF MANAGEMENT
« on: May 17, 2010, 06:37:53 AM »


I note we are, as yet, few so I thought I would post some thoughts:

It would appear (I have sought professional help - at last!") that I have stress incontinence and over-active bladder problems.  The former have been developing slowly over many years but started - so it seemed - after I had a hysterectomy. I put it down to the fact that the other organs in my abdomen shifted about a bit now there was a big empty space and this put pressure on the muscles. Otherwise it was just the usual post childbirth stretching that comes home to roost many years later.
The over-active bit started only with  the menopause and did improve a little bit at first with  HRT, when I was on a high dose. Unfortunately the higher dose HRT triggered more migraines and after a decade I came off it and later went back at a much smaller level.
Not even my gynaecologist is entirely sure about how much of each problem is contributing to the overall one which is very frustrating as it means we have to do a trial and error thing.
We tried the medication (Regurin - Trospium Chloride) but that gave me SUCH a dry mouth I could hardly speak - not ideal for a singer! My Gynae' - who is otherwise quite sensitive for a man - felt it was okay to tell me that he had heard a FEMALE gynae' tell a conference that women have a hobson's choice: wet mouth or wet knickers. Not very helpful or encouraging.
I have some faith that bladder retraining through the measuring and timing  (there's information in the links elsewhere I notice) method may eventually show some improvement, though it does seem obsessive to have a jug in the bathroom and be recording everything: some of my friends think this is counter productive because it makes me more aware of my bladder, obsessing about it and thus creating anxiety. But those friends are lucky enough not to have bladder problems!
If anyone  has any additional thoughts they'll be very welcome.

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