Few things are as embarrassing to me as the times I’ve been out and about then had to rush home because of a bathroom accident. I’m not talking about a little wetness which can be easily remedied by carrying around a change of clothes. I’ve done that more times than I care to admit. I’m talking about a full on stink fest. Something that requires lots of wipes, nose plugs and a shower.
Yesterday was that day for me.
I’m normally pretty good at judging when I need to go to the bathroom but some days my judgment is all wrong. The muscles that control my bladder and bowels no longer work properly, that’s why a few years ago I had a urinary catheter surgically inserted into my belly to avoid such moments. It has definitely been a life saver for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work maintaining a urine bag. Once a month a nurse has to change out the catheter and I still have to be extra cautious of urinary infections, but at least I no longer have puddles on my floor because I couldn’t get to the bathroom in time. The only puddles I have now are the few times I’ve positioned the tube in such a way that it kinked thus stopping the flow to the bag or when I forgot to empty the bag and it could no longer hold anything more.
I change out the urine bag each night for a larger one that I hang on the side of my bed and then use a smaller leg bag throughout the day. I rinse the bags with water every day and put some vinegar in them when they are not in use to keep them from smelling. I have a kind of love-hate relationship with my catheter.
Thankfully, I don’t make a mess often (maybe once or twice a year), but it is still super embarrassing when it happens.
I hate not being in control. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time with multiple sclerosis. Control of just about everything has been taken from me. But you know, one thing I do have control over is my reaction to everything that happens.
I get to choose if I cry, get angry, laugh it off or give up. I am the choice maker of my reactions to everything that happens. Yesterday I chose to have a mini pity party, cry a little, then laugh. Everything worked out in the end. Maybe not the way I wanted them to, but all is well in my corner of the woods.
No matter what is going on in your life, no matter how bad or good, no matter the circumstance, remember that you get to choose your reaction to what’s happening. Multiple sclerosis may have taken a lot of things from you, but you are still in charge of you. That’s something I have to constantly remind myself of every single day.