Yup, I have yet another diagnosis!
This time I have confirmed Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction. Though I have had some of these problems in the past, I first started having acute symptoms and was admitted to hospital last December (2015) and it was later confirmed after a Urodynamics Test showed little to zero activity in my Bladder on the 15th of March this year.
My first symptom was Urinary Retention. I would get the feeling to go and then couldn’t, it was awkward and then went 3 whole days without going. Lets just say it got more than a little uncomfortable with pressure, Sharp pain, severe nausea and I probably should have went to the hospital with it sooner as it can be very dangerous not being able to pee!
According to the Wiki:
Signs and symptoms:
Urinary retention is characterised by poor urinary stream with intermittent flow, straining, a sense of incomplete voiding, and hesitancy (a delay between trying to urinate and the flow actually beginning). As the bladder remains full, it may lead to incontinence, nocturia (need to urinate at night), and high frequency. Acute retention, causing complete anuria, is a medical emergency, as the bladder can stretch to an enormous size, and possibly tear if not dealt with quickly. If the bladder distends enough, it becomes painful. In such a case, there may be suprapubic constant, dull, pain. The increase in bladder pressure can also prevent urine from entering the ureters or even cause urine to pass back up the ureters and get into the kidneys, causing hydronephrosis, and possibly pyonephrosis, kidney failure, and sepsis. A person should go straight to an emergency department or A&E service as soon as possible if unable to urinate with a painfully full bladder. – Wikipedia/UrinaryRetention
I rang my doc for advice and he told me to go straight to A&E, he explained that urinary retention is considered a medical emergency and that I should be seen straight away if I go in. So I got my things together and went in not really knowing what to expect, but at this stage I was in dire pain and discomfort.
When I got to the A&E I was surprised to find that they did treat it as an emergency and took me straight in, catheterised me to relieve the discomfort (that felt amazing, eventually, though it took an hour or more for the discomfort to subside only a bit, but it was enough to get a bit of comfort!)
Lots of blood tests and scans later they decided to admit me for more tests and observation.
I was in hospital for over a week as they needed to flush my system with antibiotics and fluids as there was blood found in my urine and an infection in my bladder and kidneys. A urology nurse had to come to show and explain to me that I had the option of using the full time Foley Indwelling Cathater that they had me on in the hospital, which is pretty intrusive to be honest, or I could use these small intermittent catathers that almost look like little lipstick tubes or even tampons, but small enough to fit in a purse and look rather inconspicuous. I can use these whenever I need them and I wont have anything attachment to me full time.
According to the Wiki:
People with neurogenic bladder disorders like spinal cord injury, spina bifida or multiple sclerosis, and non-neurogenic bladder disorders like obstruction due to prostate enlargement, urethral strictures or post-operative urinary retention, need to be continuously catheterised to empty their urinary bladders. But such continuous catheterisation can lead to problems like urinary tract infections (UTI), urethral strictures or male infertility. Intermittent catheterisation at regular intervals avoids such negative effects of continuous long term catheterisation, but maintaining a low bladder pressure throughout the day. – Wikipedia/IntermittantCathaterisation
Near the end of my stay the Urology team came to me with a ‘gift’!!! 🙂
My bag of intermittent cathaters! I actually smiled when I saw it. It was actually a cute set up! it came in a lovely stripy bag with instructions, Cathaters, Alcohol Hand Sanitation Gel, Sanitation Wipes and A Mirror to help you see where to put the cathater… like you didn’t know where to put it like, come on folks! but its a handy Mirror! :p
Once I got the knack of using them, and they tested my bladder to see how full it was after I went, to make sure I was voiding properly, and once that was all clear I could go home.
Over the next few months I needed to continue to use the intermittent cathaters daily and, despite a few small nicks here and there, I got very used to them.
I eventually was called for a Urodynamics Test on the 15th of March and after a dead performance from my bladder, they conformed Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction.
It’s actually ok to deal with but people with this can be more prone to developing infections of the Urinary Tract, the Bladder and even can lead to kidney failure, so I am now being monitored to keep an eye on my kidney function and I need to come back in to do an updated urodynamics test and a kidney scan once every 6 months. Which I am very happy with considering the amount of medication I also take daily, I do worry about my kidneys and other organs being affected from long term use.
My next appointment for this test is in September and I will update you once I know about that 🙂
Chat soon, Lette (Fainting Goat!)