When accidents happen

Sometimes I laugh at myself, like yesterday when I accidentally dropped a cup of flour all over myself and the kitchen floor. Laughing about it was so much better than crying. Besides, tears mixed with flour would have created a sticky mess.

I have accidents all the time. I trip, fall, misplace things, forget appointments, and have lots and lots of mishaps. Accidents seem to be synonymous with Multiple Sclerosis. Some of us have more than others, but they seem to just be a part our life now.

There is one accident though that I hate more than any other. I hate when my bladder malfunctions and causes me to leak all over myself. I know people don’t like to talk about bathroom stuff. It seems to be a topic many avoid, but it’s a real problem with MS and something more people need to know about.

Thankfully two years ago the doctor recommended I get a suprapubic catheter surgically inserted. I am glad I had the surgery. It’s not maintenance free like some people may think though. Now I live with a tube coming out of my belly that has to be changed every month and I deal with a urinary bag attached to it.

No more accidents in the middle of the night or even during the day for that matter, but now I have the job of lugging a bag around with me and keeping it clean so it doesn’t smell over time. Since I’m in a wheelchair it’s easy for me to conceal a bag, but you have to think about where you will keep it. Will you wear it around your waist using a belly bag, on your leg with a leg bag, or in a pocket on the side of your wheelchair with an extension tube attached to a bag?

Since the muscles that control my bladder do not function properly and I have completely lost feeling in that are of my body, a suprapubic catheter was the best solution for me. I tried self catheters and I know many people who are successful using them, but my hand weakness and tremors make it impossible to manage. There are also some mechanical devices available that can help people control their bladder with meters, wires and button, but for me they wouldn’t have worked.

One good thing about me having the catheter is that I don’t have to rush to the bathroom every couple of hours, no more accidents in the middle of the store when I’m out and about, and no more sleepless nights because of multiple bathroom trips. Well, at least no more puddles on the floor.

Accidents are going to happen no matter what I do. Let’s see if I can make it through the day today without one, but if I do have one I will make sure to laugh about it. I hope you are able to do the same thing. Find something funny in the moment.

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author

Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

46 replies
  1. Roland Clarke
    Roland Clarke says:

    Initially, I had the problem of getting caught short – as my MS nurse called it, ‘a latch-key bladder’. Then I had to start using pads, but I could never find good enough ones to cope with the dam breaks. So, I now use a condom catheter and bags. The only problem is when they come off at the wrong moment – I was in the hospital last week with pneumonia and the nurses kept having to clean me, poor guys. They had to use a tube catheter to get a urine sample and that was so painful that I don’t fancy doing it myself. Better to have accidents or change a condom in time.

  2. Ed Bowes
    Ed Bowes says:

    I used to be able to walk about 1 mile back at night. I still can but it is a race to get home before the bladder goes. I JUST make it……..

  3. Randa Boerner Feamster
    Randa Boerner Feamster says:

    Exact same thing happens to me. I forget things. Can’t walk far wihout hurting. Can’t do house wrk all in one day. Can’t take a hot shower without getting vertigo so I have to sit. I have to wear depends because if accidents ( imbarresing). Life has changed me alot.

  4. debbie
    debbie says:

    I’ve tried several different pills for over active bladder issues with little success. Practiced different exercises that didn’t help much. Now my new urologist wants to try a botox injection of the bladder. Has had good results with that. I;m willing, so in three weeks, we do it! Debbie

  5. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Isn’t fun talking about bladder and bowel problems. I thought many years ago it was not cool to discuss bodily discharges with people. But now, as you write, it’s part of our lives and shouldn’t be ‘hidden’. I have had a few accidents and survived them all with no extra problems. But I have also learned from them to keep me going with more knowledge of what bodily feelings mean and how to deal with them early. It’s working but the MS finds different ways to stuff me up and present other ways to mess me up, but it’s a challenge that I will beat.

  6. Doug Wineburner
    Doug Wineburner says:

    you are strong I have ms and myasthenia gravis disease together so its hard for me when legs go weak and I don’t make it


  7. Susan Werner
    Susan Werner says:

    Thank you for sharing the bladder story..I thought it was just me. In fact 2 yrs ago prior to more symptoms & my diagnosis I asked family if it was normal for ur bladder to leak cuz I’m approaching menopause & they just looked at me & laughed. They don’t understand. I literally go to the bathroom & right when I get up boom I leak all over my leg without warning. Sorry if tmi. Does anyone suffer from yeast infections?

    • Ms.Body
      Ms.Body says:

      All the time that’s why it’s BEST to keep as dry as possible. In the event of a unfortunate mishap you should get dry clothes ASAP to avoid them as much as possible!!! I have transitioned to depends full time. Also as an extra means of protection I lace the depend with a always discreet pad.

  8. Brendan Ricca
    Brendan Ricca says:

    Strongest person I know and love has this bs disease i can relate to the comments and posts not physically but i see it every day you guys are the strongest of strong i commend you all especially the one I love stay strong #curems

    • Susan Werner
      Susan Werner says:

      Thanks for supporting your love one..Sadly it’s a misunderstood disease only my fiance sees what I go threw everyday but my family just doesn’t get it.

  9. Beatrix Huber
    Beatrix Huber says:

    With me it’s not my bladder but my bowels. I just can’t hold it. Last summer I pooped all over myself in a public park. Age 50, just lovely. No, I don’t wear adult diapers… :'(

  10. Clive Whiteside
    Clive Whiteside says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us all and you are right when you say that bladder issues are not something we want to talk about.
    However we need to get rid of this taboo so people are aware of the range of different types of help available,

  11. Jo Ann Maxwell
    Jo Ann Maxwell says:

    Thank you for this information! I’m not there yet, but it’s good to know there are variety of solutions out there! Thank you for sharing! You are not alone in this battle!

  12. Jenny Wordley
    Jenny Wordley says:

    I have this every day but also bowel mishaps, swimming the worst I call it swimmers trots luckily I know the warning signs and I just make it to the toilet

    • Ron Nugent
      Ron Nugent says:

      Snap, keep wondering what I’ve done to upset Boris (my pet name for Mr Bladder ) he really hates me at the moment. Yesterday was a prime example, just made it with seconds to spare. Lol !!! Hugs for you too darling 😘❤

    • Ms.Body
      Ms.Body says:

      Perhaps try depends. When you mess those up at least they are disposable. Also consider laceing the depends with a incotece pad!!! Works like a charm for me!!!

  13. Aileen Brown
    Aileen Brown says:

    I have to wear pads 24/7 – took a long time to get used to them but like most things we learn to cope and it becomes the norm but you are a brave person if you stand between me and a toilet lol

  14. Lola Hale
    Lola Hale says:

    I understand the bladder issue. It is embarrassing but often unavoidable. Every time I go out, leave a building I always check to I need to “go”…… Xxxxx

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