Tornadoes and the emotional toll of weak bladder control
We did a lot of in-depth focus group research in the US and it was an eye-opener in terms of the powerful emotional impact and serious impediment to quality of life that bladder problems create.
One story that really affected me and sums up how bladder control can really make people lose their confidence, feel embarrassed and have a huge impact on quality of life, came out of one of these groups. It was in the Midwest USA and we were asking participants to share their experiences and give an example of the impact their bladder weakness had on their life and emotional life.
One woman said that a tornado had been approaching the town where she lived and they were evacuating everyone. She had to either get in a car or get on the bus and leave. She didn't know where she was going to be at the other end. She didn't know how far or how long she'd be travelling or if her incontinence pad (or as the Americans say, 'diaper') would last. She didn’t know where she'd be sleeping at the other end. And she was very, very worried that she'd have a bladder accident and wouldn't have the right clothing etc.
So she chose to stay in her house and ride out the tornado rather than risk having a bladder accident on the road or at the destination. The fear of a bladder accident and of people seeing that she'd had an accident, was greater than her fear of death.
That is an extreme case, but it really sums up the massive negative impact incontinence can have on people. But regardless of what stage incontinence is at, bladder control can always be improved. And that's why I've been so passionate about developing Urox® and in promoting more open discussion about bladder control issues. The more we talk about these, the more help people can get help and the less likely they are to suffer such emotional pain.