Thursday, July 20

No Shame

Since I'm feeling brave, or could this be mad and controversial, I will mention the other subject that I've been thinking about in a second. First by way of a meander, I got today a bright blue A4 envelope in the post. With excitement I ripped it open and there was this months Charter Healthcare magazine , imaginatively titled 'Continence Care'. As you can imagine just reading this really made my day, as naturally I wish to be regularly reminded of these things. This months featured articles include

  • Urinary Incontinence in Men
  • Your child and constipation
  • Living with a suprapubic catheter
  • What can I do about odours?

Ah yes, what a rich selection of topics and when did I think any of these would ever apply to me? Whats even sadder is that I actually read them and then think 'how interesting'!

About half a million people in the UK have some sort of continence problem which is I suppose is something like 5% of the population-ish. So its not that rare, yet its something we never ever ever mention, or even feel we can talk about to healthcare professionals let alone anyone else. We tend to think of it as a problem of old age, which certainly isn't always the case. From my own point of view, its not that I have much of a choice about it as most bits from belly button down don't work like they used to, and personal hygiene is something of an obsession with me. So lets get down to the straight talking. I promised that when I started KBO Id try to be as honest as possible, so lets mention bowels....

There I've said it, and we can all have a quick giggle because lets face it British humour is lavatorial at the best of times, and I'm no exception. But while I do think its ok to laugh at most things in life, lets try to overcome the shame element here, there is no shame and there should be no stigma. Its part and parcel of many many peoples lives.

Ok so to be brief, my bowels don't work very well at all these days. Its a grim fact that I basically have to go to the loo in a DIY fashion, in that I have to do some external and manual stimulation. It sounds awful, and I do admit it wasn't a high point of my life, but like everything, you do get used to it, and life goes on. Unfortunately I have developed a further complication in this area now in that I am experiencing leakage. This is caused by the anal sphincter not being able to snap itself shut tightly enough and keeping it all in. Sounds Gross doesn't it? Well I can say that we are not talking major mess here, infact no one would ever know, but for me its enough to cause discomfort both physically and mentally. The answer is something called a peristeen plug. Its basically a cork up your bum. I take some consolation in the fact that if only I could feel it, it could be quite.........interesting!

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