POTS and ME can both mean Overactive Bladder (OAB)
No-one under 75 really expects to have bladder issues. I mean yeah, those of us who have given birth might accidentally piss ourselves whilst jumping on the trampoline with our offspring, and wonder whether to stop jumping or just carry on – because, let’s face it – it’s going to end up a piss-fest anyway with the under-5’s, so we might as well make it a family affair (or is that just me?!). But otherwise, no. Most of us associate bladder problems with older age. I certainly did. But not anymore.
Something Not Right
I’ve felt for years now that something ‘wasn’t right’. I mean, it’s just not normal to have a wee before I leave the house, and then be busting to go again by the time I arrive at Tesco – a 10min drive away. Likewise, it’s not normal to not feel my bladder getting full – but instead be going about my business or having a nice chat with someone, feeling perfectly comfortable – to then getting this sharp and very sudden urge to wee … DESPERATELY. As in, no getting the last few bits in my shopping trolley first, no quickly finishing a conversation, no nothing – just get to a motherfucking toilet RIGHT NOW, or it’s game over for my dignity. And it’s DEFINITELY not normal for that sudden urge to spring itself on me regularly throughout the day. But did I do anything about it? Did I heck. I developed pelvic floor muscles of steel instead.
Discovered By Accident
Like many people with chronic illness, I just put it down to my POTS/ME and figured there’s nothing anyone can do to help (this is the mentality that happens when you have chronic conditions that have proven very difficult, if not impossible, to treat over the years). But then recently, during an ultrasound for something entirely different – it was discovered that my bladder was still significantly full, even after I’d been to the toilet TWICE (pans out they can measure how much urine is left in the bladder with ultrasound). This led to a urology referral, a diagnosis of OAB, and medication which can help.
And it IS helping. The all-encompassing, sudden urge to wee is less severe. I feel like I get a bit more warning now to find a toilet. I’m still not convinced my bladder empties properly, and I’ve got more tests coming up soon to check things out in more detail. But in the meantime, things are easier.
Get Yourself Checked Out
Therefore, if any of this sounds familiar to anyone reading this, then I would urge you (in that same forceful urging way your bladder uses) to get it checked out. Because yes, it may well be ‘just’ another symptom of your chronic illness … but unlike many other symptoms, this as it pans out, is something that CAN be treated.
I could kick myself for not figuring this out sooner, except the force would probably make me piss myself – which kinda defeats the point. Albeit, we’ve got plenty of my son’s pull-ups in the house in case I ever need one.