A Patient’s View: Melissa

At the Incontinence Institute, we know all too well how incontinence can rule your life. But did you know there are many products and treatments available that can change that? You can get your life back. This is the story of Melissa, a patient of ours, who is back in the swing of things after an InterStim® Therapy procedure.

Melissa is 57 years old, and leads an active lifestyle. She works full time, likes to walk, work outdoors, swim and bike. But as she aged, symptoms of incontinence started to become more and more prevalent.

Melissa started taking medication for overactive bladder and was on it for several years. Eventually, though, the medication stopped working. Her bladder issues shifted, and she felt urgency more than just frequency. The urge would hit quickly, and she felt she had no time to try and find a bathroom.

“It creates a lot of insecurities in going places,” she said. “You always want to know where the first bathroom is – the closest bathroom. You tend to cut down on your social life because you never know when you’re going to have these problems.”

Melissa took a bullheaded approach that we see all too often. She didn’t want to give in to her body, or as she put it, “I chose not to let my bladder win.” She refused to use incontinence products or pads. This is a struggle for many people suffering from incontinence – ”they do not want to let the incontinence win. Unfortunately, it is an involuntary release of urine. It is NOT mind over matter, as Melissa thought, and as many people think. There is just no controlling it, and that is a tough truth for many to hear.

Melissa grappled with telling her family, and once they knew, they were not understanding. This is another concern for people with overactive bladder. Their family members may say things like, “This is no big deal. You can hold it. You don’t have to go to the bathroom every 45 minutes. We don’t have to stop yet,” and so on. A lack of empathy can be difficult to handle, and as Melissa put it, “it really erodes [your] self-confidence and self-esteem.”

InterStim Therapy was recommended to Melissa by Dr. Naughton. This procedure is a minimally invasive procedure. InterStim is a neurostimulation device. That means it works by stimulating your body’s sacral nerves, which control bladder and bowel function. The InterStim is a very small device that is implanted beneath the skin of your pelvis, where it acts as a modulator of neurological signals, bridging the communication barrier between your brain and sacral nerve, enabling proper functionality of your bladder, bowel, sphincter and pelvic muscles.

In other words, InterStim emits electrical pulses that allow you to control your urinary and/or bowel function. As a result, your overactive bladder, urinary retention, bowel incontinence or constipation will be effectively eliminated. Melissa’s quality of life improved dramatically after her InterStim procedure.

If you are experiencing urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, contact us. Or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953.