If you are a private or introverted person, it can be difficult to discuss personal or embarrassing issues even with your doctor, much less with family members. However, if you find yourself having to talk about incontinence to these individuals, then, first of all, you need to understand just what incontinence is. The simplest definition for this is that incontinence is an inability for someone to control their excretory functions.
Of course, it’s also important to understand that there are several different kinds of incontinence. For some, incontinence simply means that for whatever reason they cannot make it to the bathroom because of an underlying physical or mental condition. For others, incontinence might mean that their bladders are full and have a tendency to leak. For others, it means that they have to use the restroom constantly. Whatever incontinence means to you, it can be a difficult thing to cope with. However, there are several physical and mental steps you can take to deal with this issue:
Realize that the incontinence isn’t your fault.
The first step to dealing with your incontinence is a mental one. It is easy to have an immense amount of shame and feel like it is your fault. However, incontinence is often the result of a medical condition, and it could hinder your chances of recovery if you beat yourself up over it. Incontinence is especially true with stroke victims, but if you or a family member are dealing with incontinence, it is up to you to stay as positive as possible.
Consider doing pelvic floor exercises.
Your pelvic floor is a sheet of muscles that control your bladder or bowel. If either of these internal organs is in a weakened condition, even so much as a laugh or a sneeze could either cause embarrassing leakage or an urgent need to go to the bathroom. However, if you do pelvic floor exercises you can potentially strengthen these muscles and improve your chances of becoming continent.
Keep extra protection with you.
When it comes to incontinence, it’s important to stay organized. You should stay prepared for this wherever you go. One of the best ways to do this is to keep pads, underwear, and other undergarments with you. Having a change of clothes with you will give you much more peace of mind and help you enjoy your life, keeping embarrassment and depression at bay.
Think about different items of equipment to use.
Although it’s difficult to think about, considering some of the extra equipment you can use can be a great asset to you in getting your life back. Indeed, dealing with incontinence will be much easier if you have such things as portable commodes, adult diapers, and underwear liners. All of these items can help you go about your life without the accompanying anxiety of whether you will have an accident. You also can work with an occupational therapist to help you find ways to deal with your condition. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Maintaining your dignity and independence is of the utmost importance!