Friday, December 01, 2006

Where I Make The Pitch To Be The New Depends Spokesperson

I went to the gym the other day to workout. This is not noteworthy or new per se, but normally I park the kids in Child Watch and then head to the treadmills for a run. This day I was not feeling the treadmills. It simply wasn't happening for me. So I grabbed the latest trashy mag and spent some time on the stationary bike. Again, not feeling it. I could NOT settle down into my workout - any workout, it seemed.

So I must have been tickled by the crazy stick and had the brainstorm to head to the basement weight room for a different kind of workout. I don't normally spend any time there - it's the "manly" weight room. Big and quiet and filled with lots and lots of machines and iron. You don't often see ladies pumping iron in there. They tend to be found upstairs in the "softer" workout areas. You know, where there is at least some form of carpet on the floor (vs. that stinky black rubber mat stuff) and the machines are clean and white and there are windows and the hand-weights/dumbbells are covered in bright foam vs. cold, hard steel like downstairs. Anyway, I ventured into the manly portion of the YMCA and set about winging an impromptu workout on the fly.

I spied a jump rope and beelined for it. Why I have no idea - I haven't jumped rope since I was a kid. But for some reason it struck me as just what I was looking for that day. Thankfully there weren't many people in the dungeon when I started jumping because I looked like a complete ass. I was skipping rope like a school kid - you know, where you jump and then do an extra little hop between jumps over the rope. Very ridiculous looking. So I thought I'd channel Rocky Balboa and speed up my rope and only jump once per rotation. Better, but still clumsy at first because I kept tripping up. The rope would hit my head weird as it went over me, or it would snag on my ankle. I couldn't get the rhythm down at first.

But then, it clicked. I was jumping like they do in the boxing movies when they show the underdog training for the big fight! I was rockin' the jump rope! And boy howdy, it was definitely getting my heartrate up! So I started pacing myself: jump for 50, then do 10-15 push-ups (girl style - who are we kidding here?), then jump for another 50 then do 25 sit ups. Jump again then do arm curls or whatever. I was enjoying my strange new workout and feeling all powerful and strong when my reality came crashing through: I'm a woman whose given birth twice.

Yep, you guessed it: my bladder started to give way with all that jumping.

I don't normally have bladder control issues in my everyday life. I can run, play with the kids, ride bikes, race up stairs, etc., all without feeling like I needed to be a spokesperson for Depends. But jumping? Jumping must be my weakness. I noticed this "issue" a couple of times before when I would get in those big inflatable jumping bounce house thingies with the kids. But nothing much. I conveniently forgot about that when I took up with the jump rope. It's not like I wet myself to the point of emptying my bladder, but little drops would sort of squirt out and surprise me. What the hell - ?? This only happens to the elderly or my mother, who actually had to have surgery to lift her bladder after she had 4 ginormous babies. We used to make fun of her (sorry, mom!) for having to physically grab herself to stop from peeing unintentionally. And now? Now I seem to be headed for the same fate. Well, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, but still - having urine leak out of you when you did not give them command for it to do so sort of kills the buzz and makes you realize that yes, you ARE turning into your mother.

I guess the next time I decide to repeat this particular workout I'll be prepared with my Poise Pads or something, because jumping rope? It really does kick ass - wet pants or not.

Has this happened to you? Have you experienced some urine leakage at a most inopportune time? Would more kegal exercises help? What have you done about it??

Now I'm off to the gym again to attempt to negate the effects of tonights cocktails, dinner and cookie exchange with the girls. I think this time I'll stick to the treadmill.

I can't even run. I can jog slowly, but cannot run or jump rope. I have to cross my legs and "squeeze" tight when I sneeze or I will trickle. I've been pregnant twice and delivered both babies vaginally. I am 34. I saw some gradual improvement for about 6 months after my last birth (2 years ago), but I think it is as good as its gonna get now. When I am sure that I am done giving birth, I plan to have surgery where they put a "hammock" in to hold up your bladder.
I can't sneeze or cough without having to run for cover first. ANd, when I have to go, I have to go, no holding for hours on end like before....just getting old, I didn't birth children from my cooter???
I have a problem with leaking from my cooter after my cooter births as well too. It really sucks!
I feel your pain.

Before I was even married, I distinctly remember mocking my sister for peeing her pants when she was kneeling in front of the toilet with morning sickness.

Turns out what they say is true-- Karma's a bitch.
I have a friend who had the same problem after the birth of her daughter. She confided in her doctor and he sent her to physical therapy and that solved her problem. She can now sneeze carefree.
You might try giving that a shot.
The answer here is to do Kegels, Kegels, and when your'e done, do more Kegels. This needs to be done when driving, reading, waiting in line at the bank or grocery store, or even during dinner!!! The super cool thing about it is that nobody has to know that you are working out your inner yoni-cooter muscles. I can guarantee that this will solve the tinkle problem of you and your commentors, and Depends will no longer be on your shopping list! Some have suggested surgery, or even physical therapy (I would have issues with this-it sounds like it could be quite invasive). This is not necessary. Try to work up to 1,000 a day (100 per set). I know this sounds excessive, but I have had 4 children vaginally and used to squirt all the time. I used to have to try not to laugh when out with the girls. It seriously lowered my quality of life. I started on the aggressive kegel workout and had no issues after six weeks.

I have had this issue also after two babies. I had my doctor check to make sure my bladder was still where it needed to be and it was so no surgery for me. We discussed it and decided the losing the extra 20 pounds I was carrying would be a good first step. She said I could probably be 60 lbs overweight and not have a problem IF I hadn't had children. I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life doing 1000 kegels a day! I have lost 15 lbs so far and the problem is now almost non-existent in any circumstance. It is hard to get motivated to lose weight but wearing a mini-pad everyday is not too pleasant either.
That isn't fun!!! You might want to see the dr, we learned in nursing school that even after children this isn't "normal" and maybe there is something they can do to help you out!!! Good luck! :)

Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty in speaking about this embarrassing, humiliating, and unfortunately sometimes visible problem. Most of us would not be able to speak of this physical dilemma of incontinence with such openness, grace, and humor. Many women would keep this a private matter only to be discussed with their closest friends/family; not anyone on the world wide web. As I do not wet my trousers, I can not put myself in your shoes; I can only speculate... and I do not believe I would have your bravery. Kudos to you.

Now, while peeing your panties must be terrible as well as unsightly, it can be relieved. Losing weight, as mentioned by a previous poster, might be a great way to staying dry. As I have read every post you have ever written, I know that both you and Mr. Chick want you to lose weight. I can not think of a better motivator than being in-DEPEND-ent.

good luck... and if weight loss is one of the strategies you plan on using, be realistic. Now may not be the time..... the holidays are when most people tend to lose their will power and self control. Overeating is very common in the month of December. Perhaps you will have more success if you start in January.

Merry Christmas,
Cecilia in Oregon City
Well I posted a few minutes ago, but it disappeared into cyber land, please excuse me if two similar posts appear.

MP, after reading Cecilia's comment about your post, I had serious doubt that her information was accurate. I decided to do my own search, and voila! She was right. I took the liberty of pasting some information for you.

Obesity and Incontinence
Losing Unwanted Weight May Help You Stay Dry
By Kelly Burgess

It's a well-known fact that some women experience incontinence during pregnancy because of pressure placed on the bladder by a growing uterus. What some might not know, however, is that obesity can also cause incontinence in men and women because of the pressure of fatty tissue on the bladder.

After giving birth, a pregnant woman's incontinence usually goes away because there is no longer pressure on the bladder. Likewise, among the many benefits of shedding excess pounds, incontinence due to obesity can often be reduced and sometimes eliminated through even moderate weight loss.

So there you go MP, make a plan. Shed those extra lbs, make Mr. Chick happy, and keep those panties dry. With the weight loss will surely come a more active sex life, which will in turn, enable you to have more patience with those great little kids of yours; you know, on those extra challenging days. Oh! I almost forgot, did Mr.Chick ejaculate the suggested amount of times yet? Doing Kegels during sex, can be lots of fun…for both people involved.

Take good care,

Los Angeles, CA
thanks, all, for the helpful suggestions. I appreciate anyone taking the time to comment on my blog. I'm thinking I'll just try to work in some more kegals and stick to that. Probably not as many as 1000+ per day, but more than I already do.

And just to clarify any confusion - I DO NOT have to wear Depends! I was trying a stab at humor there. I don't have bladder problems in my normal life. Just a hint of it when I jump, it seems. Nothing you could even see through my clothes, actually. You might see wetness on my clothing due to sweat, but not urine. So really, it's not a major issue. And yes, I do want to lose some weight, but I am not obese. In fact, I fall within the range of "normal" for my height (but just barely). I want to wear a size 8 again instead of the 10/12's I currently fit into. So about 15-20 pounds or so. That feels like a lot to me, but if you saw me you wouldn't necessarily think me overweight - at least not by much. And I'm quite fit, which I'm proud of. I run 4+ miles 3x/week, on average, and have added weights to my workout in the last couple of months as well. The weight loss will come.

As for Mr. Chick, yes, he/we reached the number of ejaculations suggested by the urologist and his count was down to 2 at last check. Essentially sterile - almost there. We're happy with our frequency, which is 2-3x/week. Normal for most married couples, I presume - thanks for asking.
I found your post after Googling "women", "skipping rope" and "incontinence". I've just started a training program that includes skipping. It's a skill that requires practice, for sure!

Like you, I run on a regular basis and have no other incontinence problems. I wear a size six, so weight loss isn't something I'm after. And I've never given birth, so I can't blame it on that, either.

I was surprised by all this, given that I'm active and fit, by all standards. The skipping proved almost embarrassing, though! I enjoy it as an activity, but I'll be wearing a panty liner at the very least for my next workout!
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