When you hear the phrase “quality of life,” it usually drums up some sort of terminal health scenario.
When my grandma’s cancer advanced, her “quality of life” was in the forefront of our minds as we made decisions and next steps.
It’s something you hear on prime time medical dramas as doctors stand over unresponsive patients, or on the floor of Congress as they debate and decide such serious issues as Death with Dignity legislation.
It’s a heavy phrase.
It’s a phrase that doesn’t usually make you think about peeing your pants.
I walked into every doctor’s office as a mother first, a woman second, and then somewhere way down the line after 1999 senior class vice president and maybe-wiccan, I allowed myself the title of patient.
I want to talk about this, I mean really talk about it, because this is a huge part of my life.
This is me.
You are probably wondering if this picture was taken after I ran down the driveway to get the mail, or jumped up and down on a trampoline, or had some sort of coughing fit?
No. This photo was taken halfway through brushing my teeth.
When I say I peed my pants a lot, I don’t mean when everybody else pees their pants: during a sneeze or of high impact activity.
I peed my pants when I walked, I peed my pants when I lifted clothes out of the dryer, and I even peed my pants pulling my leggings back up in the bathroom after peeing.
If you asked me to list all the times in a day I peed my pants, it’d be easier for me to tell you when I didn’t: in the shower, because technically, I didn’t have pants on. Boom.
I even peed during sex, which is, as you can imagine: awesome, if that’s your fetish.
If it’s not, well, waterproof pads and goggles help.
Incontinence and urgency are billed first as old people issues, second as punchlines, and lastly as quirky byproducts of having kids.
And as a result, it took me a crazy long time to escalate my concern about peeing my pants to anything other than, “haha motherhood and bladder leakage amirite, haha.”
It took my gynecologist sitting on a stool in front of me, asking what my quality of life was, to realize my quality of life kinda sucked, and even though I wasn’t elderly or terminal, that still actually […]
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