Embarrassing incident happened today and I don't know who to ask for advice

I had tummy ache last night, I knew I needed to empty my bowels but couldn’t so, I went to bed to sleep hoping it’d be ok to wait till morning or if I needed to I’d wake up and go to the toilet. This morning I woke up knowing I had to go to the toilet fast but unfortunately, my bowels had other ideas and started to empty as I was walking! I wear incontinence pads just in case and unfortunately both the pad and my pants were soiled. Does anyone have any advice about how to avoid it happening again, should I contact the nurse in my MS team who deals with this sort of thing?
Thank you for any advice I receive.


I’ve done that a time or two. I know; it doesn’t make you feel any better to know you’re not alone in this! I’d mention it to the MS nurse, but mostly just keep track of how often it happens. I went through a spell a few months ago and was afraid it was going to be my new normal, but then it stopped after a few weeks. If it’s just an intermittent issue, I wouldn’t worry too much.

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Sorry to hear about your problem but I’m sure it’s happened to most of us—-no consolation I suppose. I think you should have a word with your MS nurse who may have some answers. But don’t feel bad or embarrassed. Hope you feel better. Sorry, I’m not very coherent at times.
Best wishes.


I too understand how this feels. Sorry you had a tough time. I would speak to your MS nurse as they will understand and also know what resources are available. I now use the Peristeen system which enables me to be confident that I should not have any unfortunate problems. A good nurse or continence specialist will be able to suggest the best way forward for you. All the best Mick

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I’ll contact either my MS Nurse or continence specialist (or maybe them both on Monday). Thank you for replying.


You’re correct it doesn’t make me feel any better knowing I’m not alone, well maybe a bit better. It’s the fact our immediate next door neighbours know (I won’t go into details of why on here) so I’ll feel ashamed the next time I see them and I don’t know either of them well enough to talk about what happened and explain the reasons, although they do know I have MS.
I hope I won’t have to keep track of how often it happens and it was a one off. I have been feeling very hot and a slightly sick so I hope that may have something to do with why it happened time will tell.
Thank you for replying to my post.

As I said to NorasMom it does make me feel a bit better to know I’m not alone. I do feel embarrassed, it isn’t easy not to, but I will contact my MS Nurse on Monday. You made perfect sense to me by the way. Thank you for replying to my post and the best wishes.

I’ll contact either my MS Nurse or continence specialist (or maybe them both on Monday). Thank you for replying.


Sounds to me this had nothing to do with MS but you had a little tummy bug which seems to be doing the rounds at the moment. Changeable weather can trigger this. I have several people who i know have it at the moment.

Even without MS this event has turned a few people blushing sadly. If you cant make it you cant make it. I have a commode by my bed at night as i pee for England, but if it got the stage when i knew i was about to poop myself i would use that lol. Needs must.

Pooping oneself is nothing to be shamed of. Many people healthy have done this.

I also have leak incontinence. Every time i go to toilet to pee, I use a wet wipe on my botty and most times i have leaked the old bowel from perhaps a little wind release.

we should never feel embaressed about these things they are not exclusive to us. Noro virus has seen many lines of washed underwear and trousers and sheets.

It sounds like a one off to me. Last time i had a full on tummy like this i found sucking rennies 3 times a day calmed my tummy down and made the stool more solid.

Now if you have an issue with going to the toilet i.e. constipated, this can also happen occasionally if you havent had a poop for a time, then go, BUT, fecal matter is still up in the tubes and eventually works and becomes diarhea and will release very quickly.

so if that is what happened then yes keep an eye on that.

Once again I understand how you feel. However life is too short to feel ashamed.
1: would you feel ashamed if a broken leg prevented you from putting underwear on ? Probably not.
2: The Pope and the Queen also have to deal with biological reality.

I am not making light about how you feel, but try to think how you would reassure friends or family if they had similar issues.
All the best

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I know how you feel. This situation has occasionally happened to me, that i feel i need to go but cannot. I have found using glycerol suppositories to be the solution for me, as they are easy to insert and work very well for me within 5 -10 mins. You can then empty your bowel, and then sleep better. I hope this helps.

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It’s horrid, but it happens, although I must say yours sounds more like a tummy upset than MS. People are usually kind and sympathetic even if they don’t fully understand the MS aspect: everyone totally understands how miserable these accidents are for the other person and can imagine only too well how they would feel!

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Thank you for what you said about my embarrassing incident.

I’ll keep the glycerol suppositories in mind. Thank you.

What happened has never happened to me (apart from when I was a baby) so, it was new to me in my adult life. You’re right about thinking about how I would reassure friends or family if they had similar issues, it helps to lighten the issue.
Thank you

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I don’t know how to tell the difference between a tummy upset and MS, I asked on the MS forum as I didn’t know who else to tell.

I’ll probably tell my Mum next time I talk to her, it wasn’t something I wanted to 'phone just to tell her about though and yes she would be kind and sympathetic.

Thank you for what you said.

As I said to alison100 I don’t know how to tell the difference between a tummy upset and MS. In fact I didn’t know that MS could be part of the cause, I only asked on this forum because I didn’t know else to tell, it isn’t something I wanted to 'phone my mum or sister to tell them, although I know that either of them would have been kind and sympathetic had I told them.

Thank you for your kind words though.

Hi ok bowl and urine issues are way up on the top of the list for MS symptoms.

BOWEL incontinence and constipation 2 of the problems most of us face.

Urine incontinence is the other thing.

The difference is you state "I HAD A TUMMY ACHE LAST NIGHT…I knew i needed to empty my bowels but couldnt.

This honestly sounds like a tummy upset to me. I have had this. about six months ago almost identical. I had a very low grade fever with it too.

Anyway i felt a bit off as well. So i sat on the toilet and suddenly had a bit of wind and well I put picasso to shame lol…

it went everywhere my toilet looked like a piece of art. I thought to myself hell thank god i didnt do that sat down lol.

THEN last week i have been suffering with constipation driving me nuts. My MS nurse suggested glycerin suppositories. BLISS empty bowel WITH minimum effort.

Sat on my recliner watching something on Amazon. Again wind so hell i gave a little parp and pooped myself. not a lot. My cleaner of 14 years was here, she is used to my windy bottom, (remind me not to eat prunes again lol).

So i shouted and she came in and we got sorted out, it wasnt too bad just a wet smudge but yes it was embarressing but she just made light of it, and i was sorted out.

Now this same person faces a bowel cancer op on wednesday and will have to wear a stoma bag. She said she has got used to bowel issues working with me lol, (not the bag only me as i am a right old bag), and we have been talking about it all open and honestly. She will have to talk to her familiy about her fears and her daughter is going to be there for her to help.

Pooping ourselves is a natural thing i can virtually guarantee there wont be many adults living who havent done it down to viruses.

Its knowing the diffrence MS = bowel is a nightmare.
Tummy upset = you feel a tummy ache or out of sorts. Some people suffer with IBS.

There is a ton of stuff about bowel and bladder in MS on the internet and the MS society.

Talk to your family openely and honestly and explain sometimes you may have an issue etc, the more you talk the easier it is. there is nothing to be ashamed of.

You were prepared with the pads. You cant avoid it happening sadly but if its down to constipation you can get that under control so left over fecal matter is expelled. This is where incontinence nurses can help and advise you.

If its a tummy bug its usually preceded by a tummy ache, feeling a bit out of sorts.

BIG HUGS but gentle ones. xxxx

Thank you for helping me understand the difference. I’m used to urine incontinence but bowl incontinence is new to me (if that’s what it was).

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