Bladder and bowel incontinence are a demeaning and all-too-real part of many illnesses. In a way it's worse than pain, because you can power through the hurt, at least to some degree.
Incontinence is different. It takes away your pride.
There are those who are willing to make use of adult diapers, to allow at least a modicum of mobility and independence, something that helps one to avoid the social exile of the shut-in.
I have tremendous respect for those who can do this; it's a refusal to be beaten back by circumstance.Everybody has bowel and bladder movements, after all. We like to pretend we don't, but a healthy regard for the benefits of socialization and the willingness to face down the sense of shame is, to me, heroic.
But it's just not possible for some, and I'm part of that number.
There's simply nothing I want to do out in the world that would make up for the stigma of potentially having to sit in my own waste, at least until I can get to a bathroom for some messy cleanup. Going to a movie would be a hanging-on-the-edge of my seat experience in more ways than one, and going out to dinner...ugh. That does not bear thinking about.
In a way it's a selfish attitude, because I'm taking away from my wife the possibility of doing things together. But I think, and hope that she understands that it's a disgrace and practical inconvenience that I just can't face. I've lost a lot, in terms of self-respect; diapers would just about finish me off.
The social eile of being at home is better. Having quick access to a bathroom I can often forestall accidents, and if the worst happens, cleanup is easier...and private.
And my wife does not have to see me degraded. I'd rather she remember our time together at its best, and not to have those memories overlain by the sight of me waddling off to a public washroom.
And not having to carry a diaper bag.
There are other reasons I really can't go out; it's hard to ride in a car, as the vibration's too painful; there's enervating fatigue, and it's gotten really difficult to talk. A nice inner at Olive Garden would be pretty quiet (assuming I didn't throw up, which happens a lot).
But the incontinence issue, were it the only one, would be sufficient. I just can't go there.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you feel that I'm a prideful Neanderthal who's tripping over his self-conceit, let fly.
A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
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Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.