Feb 4, 2010

Urinary Incontinence -- Follow Up with Kerry Runyeon

We must have a few people reading this blog that have some new, different, or innovative ideas. I mean urinary incontinence can drive you nuts. So there must be some people on the attack and making headway.....
By Bob DeMarco

Before we get into urinary incontinence, I want to say a few words about Kerry Runyeon. Kerry has a great blog that is just full of life. I read her blogging because it makes me smile, makes me feel happy, and reminds me of the challenges of the Alzheimer's caregiver. Reminds me I am not alone, and that there are many many of us dealing with the same, or similar issues day in and day out.

Kerry writes with a smile. I often think to myself, I should try to do that more often.

Here is a recent example from Living in the moment with Lilybird -- Last Twelve Hours.

Today Kerry posted a comment below the article -- Conquering Urinary Incontinence -- The First Bladder Infection of the Year.

Here it is:

My problem with my mother at present is not daytime incontinence but nighttime. Does your mother stay dry all night? All your problems with the depends or pads remind why I don't think they will work with my mom. As of now I am going to try getting her up (around 11pm or midnight) and then again around 6:30am and see if that works. If not I may have to try the depends but feel I will have the same problems you experienced with that.


Here is my response:


Great questions.

We have this king size bed that is actually two single mattresses on top. This is why I can respond to your question.

Occasionally, I get my mother to sleep on one side and I sleep on the other. I do this so I know what she is doing at night.

She still gets up once (rarely twice) a night and goes to the bathroom. Sometimes she does have a large volume. This surprises me. I make sure she goes right before she gets in bed. All of this still seems to amaze me. Mostly, that she gets up and goes.

Sometimes, we have nothing in the morning. Sometimes she throws her panties in the sink overnight and puts her pajama bottom back on. A few drops, minor problem. Usually only the panties gets wet. And, not really wet, damp maybe.

I also put out an extra pajama bottom on her bed at night. Sometimes she changes. She usually changes the bottom first thing in the morning.

I think the key is that I get her to go to the bathroom every two hours during the day. The goal is to establish a pattern. She does try to resist at times. But, I have that problem about 95 percent under control.

I spend a lot of time reminding her that when she has to go -- it is too late. I am not saying she remembers this, but I think it is possible that the pattern gets established in another part of her brain. Can't really say for sure, but I believe in patterns.

I have tried everything you could imagine on the depends, etc. They come right off. They claim that some sufferers will get use to them. Not yet in our case.

This might be the difference. My mother doesn't go to bed until 11 PM. Sometimes she gets up around 7 30 AM. I try and be quiet, but if she hears me in the morning she gets up. Immediate trip to the bathroom no matter what times she gets up.

My mother and I have some kind of we don't need much sleep gene. Mom use to go to bed past midnight and get up around 6 AM. I rarely sleep more than seven hours.

My mother does sleep well and soundly at night since we added Clonindine -- it knocks her out. When she gets up at night, she gets right back in bed and goes right back to sleep. Knock on wood, it was not always this way.

I think if you can get your mother up early it could help. My guess is if they don't think I have to pee, they can make it to the bathroom in the morning. Again, I have no idea if that is true but it seems likely it to me.

I get my mother to pee around 9 PM and before she gets in bed.

In our case here is the good news. Not one drop of pee in the bed or on the sheet. I check everyday. I also check the pad.

Who knows what the future will bring?

If you come up with any solutions please let us know.

I read your blog and I know you have a great positive attitude. Get positive, think positive, and will it to happen. Might sound crazy, but I think you can do it.

I often put my head on my mother's head and tell her I am lending her my brain. I also try and shoot some silent messages in at the same time.

Guess it sounds crazy, but here is one thing I know for sure. It can't hurt.


Now I have been thinking about my response and I don't know if it is helpful or not.

We must have a few people reading this blog that have some new, different, or innovative ideas. I mean urinary incontinence can drive you nuts. So there must be some people on the attack and making headway.

Got something? Anything? Shoot it into the comments box.

I think I have to get a little man logo where he is scratching his head.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,200 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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