My name’s Em, I am a continence clinical nurse specialist working in the NHS. I would love to hear from anyone experiencing MS symptoms associated with continence (urinary or faecal).
BIO: Continence is my passion, I have been a qualified, registered nurse for over 10 years, previously working in A&E, then as a District Nurse and for the last two years as a specialist. My interest (aka passion/obsession) for continence sparked as a student nurse when I overheard a nurse saying “it’s ok love you can pee in your pad” and I thought… NO it’s not ok!
It pains me to say that many of the wonderful people I meet in my clinic have not had good experiences when trying to access help and support for continence issues. There is a still (it’s 2018!!!) a stigma associated with incontinence symptoms (I call it symptoms as incontinence is NOT an illness) in that we “don’t like to talk about it”…Well, I do like to talk about it, continence is as important as eating or drinking to me, it can affect all aspects of our everyday lives. Continence can have a profound effect on social interaction, sexuality, sleep, work, self esteem (body image) etc (to name but a few)
My other gripe about continence care is that many specialists focus on bladder issues, the amount of people I’ve assessed who have NEVER been asked about their bowel habits is shocking!
Thankfully, I have a brilliant working relationship with my local MS Clinical Nurse Specialists/consultants and they refer quickly and appropriately so that I can provide advice and support if needed. I am not here to sully or disparage your own continence service as each health board operates via different guidelines, however if I can ‘anonymously’ help one person or encourage them to seek advice or support then my job is done
I would also love to learn from YOU… any hints, suggestions, advice so that I may better help my clients in the future would be gratefully received.
One thing I would love to discuss is my use of the word ‘client’ as opposed to ‘patient’. I hate using the word patient as it denotes (to me) illness, suffering…please give me your thoughts
Disclaimer: I am not a world renowned expert on continence (yet…watch this space) , I have a wicked sense of humour and might inject the odd swear word here and there (I can’t help it, I love when my clients look shocked when I say FART or FANNY). As a CNS I pride myself on giving honest and practical advice that might (in some small way) help someone.
Oh and another thing…I’ve tried ISC it doesn’t hurt it just feels oooooh
Look forward to hearing from you, Em