Why Am I leaking?
A brief look into Urinary Incontinence
Think about it…It’s been a long day on the job and you have finally made it home just in time for your favourite show. You have two things on your mind: Dinner plans and what your future holds now that Level 3 is here. You place your keys into the door and just as you turn them, a sudden feeling of pressure starts creeping in. *Knock Knock*, it’s your bladder and it feels the need to let go, NOW! All that’s going on in your mind is how many obstacles you will need to overcome just to reach your toilet. First obstacle is your beloved chocolate lab, Coco. Just as you head in, you can hear the pitter-patter of her clumsy feet rushing towards you and as soon as she intercepts your path, you manage to out run her. Confused by the lack of attention, she continues to make her way to the couch. Next is the distance: It feels like you are travelling from Cape Point to Cairo at the moment…You keep running for what feels like forever and just as you make it to the door, you find that your bladder may have already just let itself go in the process. You fall to the ground as you begin to realise that it has just happened again. As the urine continues to trickle between your legs you think back to more moments where you may have had the same fate.
Let’s think about it for a bit. Somewhere within the frame of your life, a moment like this had to have taken place, right? Maybe not in the same manner as the situation above, but possibly whilst laughing your bum off at the latest Facebook post or coughing to clear your throat. Possibly even during the flu or a serious workout during lockdown? You could also have given birth recently or you may be going through menopause and feel as if whatever was going on ‘down there’, just doesn’t feel the same. Did you feel embarrassed or scared or maybe just a little #AwkwardAF?
Have you ever thought about urinary incontinence? It’s been defined as a loss of bladder control that could vary from minute urine loss to total loss of control based on the type and extent of the condition you have. When it comes to urinary incontinence, I take it quite personally because I know what it’s like to ‘go’ before I reach the toilet. I remember my community service year as the year where my understanding for Women’s Health Physiotherapy felt a little more…personal. Having been on my feet the whole day, I ignored every sign and need of going to the bathroom. Eight excruciating hours later, I started shimmying to my door, placed the key in and attempted to twist my legs into each other just to keep it in for the rest of the way to my bathroom. The urge was extremely hard to ignore and too difficult to hold in. Just as I reached my door, it all just gushed out of me. I would be lying if I said it didn’t continue to happen even if I took toilet breaks during the day… I felt too young to have it and embarrassed to talk about it. I had to reset…
I took matters into my own hands and started looking into the type of incontinence I had. It seemed that when I reopened all my books, I had a mixed version of incontinence: A cross between Stress (Associated with leakage whilst coughing, sneezing and exercise) and Urge Incontinence (A sudden need to urinate that cannot be delayed). I realised that there were multiple forms of it and different reasons/factors one would have it. I had to attempt treating myself by assessing my diet and fluid intake to trying the knack and everything in between…I started creating better habits that allowed me to live a more “normal” life but didn’t realise that the difference would be made when I actually saw a specialist physiotherapist for it as well. There was so much context I was missing but feel so glad to have understood. There was a guiding hand that allowed me to embrace my circumstance and change it for the better because this kind of condition is the kind that can come at any stage in life. It can occupy your mind and alter your quality of life with those around you and with that said, allow someone to possibly walk you through your version of incontinence and guide you towards a space where you feel confident and unashamed about it using a holistic approach.
Allow us to guide you through this journey at Christiaan Moolman Physiotherapy Inc. today!