Overactive Bladder

Gina Rollins* of Bowling Green, Kentucky has long been a sufferer of overactive bladder. "I knew I had a problem with frequent urination before I ever knew I had fibromyalgia. It took my doctors a long time to realize the connection and I think that's why it's so important to have a rheumatologist onboard. They can see the patient as a whole, rather than as this or that symptom. It was only after I saw a rheumatologist that the entire picture came together."

Quality of Life

"Anyway, it got to the point, my quality of life was affected. I was afraid to use public transportation or carpool to work in case I had a sudden urge to urinate. I had to think before every activity, 'Is there going to be a bathroom close by?'"

Myrna Hams* of Boise, Idaho talked about the indignity of having to invest in adult diapers, "I sure didn't like the idea of wearing adult diapers, but sanitary pads weren't absorbent enough to hold my 'accidents.' And at a certain point, I found that I couldn't keep up my duties at the office. There was no way I could chair a board meeting without needing to pee and there was no way I could run out of the room every 15 minutes to do that. I hate to say it, but the diaper gave me the freedom to stay on my career track.

The hardest part was allowing myself to actually pee in the adult diaper. Not only that, but to keep talking and doing whatever I was doing without letting on that I was, to put it indelicately, taking a leak. That was truly a weird feeling, but there was no choice. It was that, or early retirement, and at 42, I wasn't ready to throw in the towel, just yet."

A Bearable Condition

Gwendolyn Peters* of St. Paul, Minnesota found that a bit of preparation went a long way toward making her frequent urination a bearable condition. "I always carry spare panties and pads. I use the kind of heavy sanitary pads that women use after giving birth. I just can't bear the idea of adult diapers, and so far, I'm doing okay with the pads.

The internet is a big help, since I can often find a map of a concert hall, for instance, to see where all the bathrooms are in relation to where I'm going to be sitting. I made a decision, long ago, that I wasn't going to let fibromyalgia symptoms keep me from leading as normal a life as possible. So, I go to concerts, and have lunch with friends, I shop. All the normal stuff, but I prepare as much as I can, taking into account my limitations."

*Names have been changed


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