Blissful Bowels and Bladders
I am a 63-year-old male and have lived with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis for about 12 years. I am confined to a wheelchair now and am between 6.5 and 7.0 on the EDSS scale.
One of the side effects I experienced was lack of control with my bowels and bladder. The bowels seem to have stabilised - but I still have to take care to immediately respond to nature'scalling.
However, the bladder was another matter, and I had no control over it what so ever. This caused several embarrassing moments, especially when I was not using my wheelchair in public.
In consultation with my urologist, we decided to place an implant into my body to assist in bladder control, the Interstim Therapy System. It was placed just above my right buttock under local anaesthetic. The urologist made the initial settings but I have a unit that I can use to increase the strength of the signal. I have had it for 18 months and only once, at the beginning, did I feel the need to adjust the settings.
The system works very well. It has reduced the need to pass water and gives me a certain amount of control. I ensure that the last thing I do before going out is to go to the toilet and embarrassing incidents have almost disappeared.
The one disadvantage is that, with the implant, I am not able to undergo anymore MRI scans. If the Neurologist deemed it necessary for me to have an MRI, the implant would have to be removed prior to the procedure.