Nothing is angrier than a neurogenic bladder. Sure, the legs and muscles really dislike being paralyzed, but the bladder…oh it takes the cake. The bladder was not created to be paralyzed, even in the slightest.
Up until four months ago, I thought my future was bleak when it came to my bladder. I had been struggling with it really terribly the last two years; constant autonomic dysreflexia from chronic bladder pain, UTIs that were untreatable by oral antibiotics….what’s a girl to do when there’s no cure for a spinal cord injury yet?
So in 2005, I tried fixing my bladder by undergoing the Mitroffanoff procedure; the surgery were doctors create a stoma in your belly button that allows you to drain your bladder there via a smaller catheter. Pretty sweet stuff, but that only fixed my bladder pain for a number of years until another problem arose. That’s the nature of living with a disability though; just when you get used to overcoming one problem, another one rears its ugly head.
So I turned to the Internet to see if any new solutions were viable. I always scour the Internet every year to see if anything new treatment-wise is available for my injury, and sure enough, I kept seeing info about bladder Botox injections. They have been all the rage in the spinal cord injury community when it comes to restoring normal bladder control. And for good reason; after trying it I can attest it really does work.
So I decided I needed to try this whole Botox thing for myself. Everyone kept talking about how it dulled the nerves of the bladder, making it dead to the world. No more incontinence or unnecessary bladder spasms ruining your everyday life. Sounds good to me! So after finding a bladder doctor with Botox experience, I must say that it’s transformed my life since undergoing the procedure last July.
Sure, he had to put me under with anesthesia in order to keep my bladder calm during the injection process, but it was worth every hassle. Upon waking up from the anesthesia, I could feel an instant difference. It was the answer to my prayers that I’ve been begging God for. It completely stopped the dysreflexia, especially at night while sleeping in bed, and the severe leg spasms, which would happen everytime my bladder hurt, which was almost all the time.
Bladder problems may not be going away anytime soon, but Botox as a solution really is a near miracle. It’s been able to do something no other medicine or procedure has been able to – make me feel like I have a normal bladder again, and even better, without all the nasty side effects of other medicines.
But make no mistake, Botox doesn’t last forever. Some people’s bodies will retain Botox a bit longer, but anywhere between 6 to 12 months is average. So far I’m four months in, and feeling fine, but when my bladder starts acting up again to the severity it was before, I’ll know it’s time to re-up and schedule another Botox injection with my doc.
Have you tried Botox in your bladder yet? Do your insurance cover it?