Managing any medical condition can be challenging and when you are unsure how to get started things can be even more difficult. Dealing with incontinence is no different. Many people keep their situation to themselves, afraid to reach out, even to a doctor. Women, on average, go almost six years before getting a diagnosis. However, there is no need to wait or feel lost when navigating incontinence. Here are a few tips to help take control of the journey.
Talk to a Doctor
Don’t hesitate to get an appointment with a physician. They are able to work with a person’s medical history and up-to-date medical treatment options to make life more comfortable and livable for their patients. Whether further testing, medication, or a recommendation for which incontinence supplies work best for an individual’s lifestyle. A doctor can provide useful information to get things rolling.
Do the Research
A doctor is a wealth of knowledge when treating a patient but they can’t always share the full wealth in the time allotted for a single visit. Be prepared to research online or in medical journals and learn as much as you can about your symptoms and how to manage them. The more education a person has, the more informed their choices will be.
Share the Struggle
The most frustrating part of a medical condition like incontinence is the feeling of going through it alone or that it is an issue only experienced by people in the hospital or the very elderly. This is far from the truth. 25% to 45% of women experience incontinence. Share information with a friend who may be struggling and encourage them as they are on their own journey. When a burden is shared, even just to talk about the irritation or resentment, new reassurances and optimism can be shared as well.
Be an Advocate
Find out if any legislation affecting people with incontinence is available or under review. Reach out to local and state lawmakers to lend a knowledgeable voice to their decision. Let them know that their constituents are paying attention to these laws and offer to meet with them to share your information. Places like the American Urological Association can provide medically relevant information and help prepare a person for a successful meeting with their legislators.
So don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. There are so many resources available to those who need them. Interact with the community to share experiences and if possible, champion the cause for others.