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Hi having just returned from the bathroom here Goes bladder and Bowels I am interested in other’s, views and. Knowledge of catheterisation?, 54 year young menupausal woman who is still struggling despite the positives of the forum members

Hello. Bladder has been a big issue for me. Ultra sound scans showed it wasn’t emptying fully, and I’d gone from occasional episodes of urge incontinence to having to deal with soggy pads multiple times a day. I resisted learning to self catheterise until I suddenly realised I’d suffered enough. The continence nurse said she’d teach me at home on my bed. She gave me some leaflets, three different brands of catheter and three mirrors and said she’d return the following week. I gave this some thought and was positive I didn’t have sufficient mobility or hands to position myself and mirror to view my nether regions and insert a catheter, so I took a box of them into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and did it by touch. I was lucky I did it first time, although in the early days that wasn’t always the case. However I was still experiencing urgency and frequency problems, so I tried medication Solefenacin, then Tolterodine, then Oxybutenin and finally Betmiga but none of them helped much. I was referred to Urology and now have Botox injections in my bladder. The first couple of times were under general anaesthetic, but subsequently I just take painkillers before the procedure and only have a little discomfort, but the benefits outweigh that. I self catheterise each time I need to empty my bladder and have been doing so for about six years. It’s second nature now. The Botox wears off gradually and I’m having it for the eighth time next week. It has transformed my life, I no longer worry about having to be near accessible toilets, wondering if I’m smelly, or if I’m going to leave a damp patch wherever I sit! As for bowels I am sometimes afraid I won’t reach the toilet in time, but it’s not been a major issue. I’d suggest that in the first instance you ask for a referral to the continence team, if you have an MS nurse they can do that, or your GP will. I’m 65 years old and was diagnosed 15 years ago but had symptoms before then, including odd bladder leaks and I suspect my bladder hadn’t been emptying fully for some time before my diagnosis. Good luck, if you’ve any questions I’m happy to answer if I can.

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Thanks for the lovely reply, take care X