Friday, 30 December 2016

No More Incontinence

I've been home since Monday. That day to this, I have not had a single problem with incontinence. No random peeing. No dribbles or leaks. No night time surprises. This morning when I went to the toilet and went pee; I was surprised at how strong my bladder was, how well it was working. This is more than just a result of getting past a cold. I am now convinced that something was happening with my bladder well before I caught the cold. All the cold did was pick up and run with the weakness already within me.

It makes me wonder if I had a low grade bladder infection for some period of time. This is the same thing that happened with the Urinary Tract Infection I had last August. I had been battling a low grade infection when something triggered it and the infection took off. This time, if my suspicion is correct, I had been battling a low grade bladder infection when the weakness from the cold made my bladder control muscles sufficiently weak as to cause incontinence. There was no strong infection for the doctors to see in my bloodstream, but I can only imagine that two days on powerful IV antibiotics may have cleared up any doubt.

Finding success in not peeing my pants; it's another of the weird measurements in life I have these days thanks to ALS. It's also the way one thing hides another. Did the cold trigger something in my bladder? Did the problems with my bladder begin well before the cold, only to be masked as the expected issues of aging and ALS? I never really know what is what. There is rarely a clear connection of cause and effect for things that happen to me these days.

My breathing is a great example. I have been having trouble lately with breathing. It's not that I cannot breathe, nor is it that I cannot get enough air. It's that my ability to pull in air is weakened; not enough to need a Bi-Pap yet, just enough that I have to stop and rest on a regular basis. On Wednesday evening, Katherine and I went for dinner. I became exhausted and was having a hard time regaining my strength.

Was this from the cold, or is this a new normal for ALS? I don't know. All I know for sure is that right now I can't generate a good, lung hacking cough. I have a wheeze, a weak cough. I can't quite clear my lungs of phlegm. The phlegm is from the cold. The lack of core muscle strength makes things worse. So once again I am compelled to deal with the fact that I don't know which is which.

In the end it doesn't really matter. This time a simple cold put me in hospital; weakened, febrile, mildly incoherent, clearly incontinent. Now that I am out, I am continent once again. That's all I got. No real reasons I can elucidate, no clear answers to be given. Now all I have to do is wait for whatever strength I might get back.

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