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Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/13/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I was wondering how many of you are incontinent due to your back or pain issues?!  I've been going through that, I've been to a urologist and he said that it wasn't structural, so my PM said that it's nerve if it's not structural!  Has anyone taken Cranberry for it?  I have and it seems to help for the most part, but I still have issues occasionally, especially that time of month!  I've even told the OB, but from what the urologist said, it seems related to my back!  Just wondering how many other people have this problem and what they do!?  I HATE the diaper thing, I feel like an old lady, I'm only 30!!  LOL!  eyes
Cranberry, at high doses is what I'm taking to help this!  I've been on all the drugs for incontinence and they didn't even TOUCH it!!  The cranberry is the only thing that has given me some benefit!
I guess I'm just concerned, because I don't know too many people with this problem, and it's embarrassing as all heck!!  Especially when you are out, and shopping or whatever, and you are trying to find the darn bathroom, then you don't want to leave the bathroom because your pants are soaked!  LOL!  I had to run home in the middle of my grocery shopping one day, which is hard enough to begin with, and had to go back with fresh clothes on!  My boyfriend was embarrassed for me and he wasn't even there!!  LOL!  But, now, I can LOL about it!
I'm hoping that knowing others go through this, might help and make it more humorous for all of us, having some support and knowing you're not alone!!  LOL!  Thanks all, I knew that you'd understand!!  :-)
Good luck to all!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/13/2008 11:57 AM (GMT -6)   
First, thank you for all you kind comments in other threads, and the suggestion about probiotics. I was actually taking them for awhile, then when I had my back surgery really forgot about the pro-health stuff - too much to balance with all the post-surgery meds, etc. But you're right they might help and I think I have some in the fridge. I'll check the expiration date.

Leaking urine, from what I understand, could possibly be an indcator of something more serious if it's caused by the spine. Someone else I know will chime in here - there's a syndrome - CES? Someone else please explain more! I think the cranberry juice would only help if it was a urinary tract infection. You certainly don't want to live your life like this, and it could get dangerous if you start to get dehydrated. Cauda "something" Syndrome is the name - which I know is no help but once someone fills in the blanks look it up and see if it might apply to you.

Thanks again for all your support!


Ok, it's Cauda Equina Syndrome! And I think it's similar to what LIndaloo is describing as far as the nerve innervations in that area. Try doing a little research and see if it "fits" what you're experiencing. I would have thought your doc would have mentioned it, but I think many of us would be dead if we waited for an accurate medical evaluation! eyes

Post Edited (PAlady) : 7/13/2008 12:34:25 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 7/13/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   

I didn't have urinary problems but I had bowel problems before I had my back surgery. After the surgery, they all went away. The doctor said it was the nerves that innervated the intestines,. Something about the surgery released all that I am suspecting, Anyway, I onbly mention it because you said it might be related to your back.

Good luck with your problem. Sorry I couldn't be more specific to your particular problem.


Moderator Chronic Pain
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/14/2008 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dragoness....I had the urge to pee after radiation went thru my bladder....I took Detrol for 4 years which stopped the spasms....then it stopped urologist even tried botox which helped slightly....botox wroks for a lot of people so it might be a thought to talk to your urolosgist about it....
I did end up having my bladder removed inApril of this year...which cured oneproblem and gave me another...
I remember 4 years ago after my bowel surgery I was dribbling away and the nurse told me to do the Kegel exercises which I did for twomonths......then noticed that they did help tighten the muscles it might be good to do them every day while you are sitting on the loo...just tighten pelvic muscles and hold for a few secs then it a few times......try to do the exercises every time you think about them...when sitting...or even one can see you do them...
I also take cranberry pills and vitamin c every day to help keep pee neutalised....helps stop infections....
Good luck

Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/14/2008 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   

PALady, no problem!!  I hope it helps!  And THANK YOU too for all of your help and support, you always have great advice, and I know I, for one, really respect that and love that about you!  Thanks!

As for Cauda Equina, I'm not sure, I will have to look it up!  Though I don't have any bowel trouble, except being constipated from the meds!!  But I think that's a lot of us!!  LOL!

Lindaloo, I'm SO sorry that you had that trouble, but I'm glad they were able to help that, at least!  That isn't fun to go through, and I'm very sorry!  I appreciate you mentioning that!  I will definitely look more into it!  Though I had been lax about it because I was getting the little relief from the Cranberry!  I've been taking over 1200 mg a day, at night, which calms it down!

I don't know if I truly had an infection when I went to the urologist, but he started me on Abx too to see if it was an infection, but that didn't work!  I've tried the Kagal's, thank you wrinkles for the suggestion, but it didn't seem to help too much, I've tried pretty much all the newest drugs for incontinence, Detrol LA, Vesicare, etc., all failed!  The Detrol helped in the begining and slowly faded to nothing!  The cranberry is the only thing that had done anything!  And just like you said PALady, I would have thought it was for infections too!!  I think it's for Bladder Health?  Not positive though!  Hey, whatever works at this point!!  Though that time of month is the WORST, I pee myself all the way to the bathroom sometimes!!  LOL!  Though it doesn't have to be that time of month, it's just worse then.

Wrinkles, they took out your bladder?  Why, and what did they do?  I'm sorry that you had to go through such a thing, that doesn't sound fun at all!  I hope things are getting better!?


Thank you all SO much for your support and help!!  I wish you all the best, and good luck!

Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/14/2008 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   

OMG, as I was looking at the Cauda Equina symptoms, I have most of them!  I don't have the bowel problems, as incontinence, but I do have the constipation that they mention!  Weird!  Anyone know a bit more about Cauda Equina?

Thank you very much for the info PALady, I hope this isn't the start of another problem for me!!  I don't like that!  LOL!  I was bad enough being diagnosed the way it was, but now I'm really concerned!!

Good luck to all!

Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/15/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been thinking too, Cauda Equina, how much incontinence would you expect from a person?  Because mine isn't TOO bad, but it's enough to be embarrassing at times, and a PITA too!  So, I'm not sure.  If anyone knows, let me know!  I will check past posts too, do we have any?  Thanks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 7/15/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
When I developed CES post op, I started leaking urine, and at first could not empty completely, or tell when I had to go....then I started flooding, in other words, I wouldn't know that I had to go, and in fact, didn't even realize that I had, until I happened to look down and find myself standing in a pool of urine. I didn't even feel it happening.
I talked to my physiatrist about it, but he ignored it for months....not good. Ultimately, you need to see a better urologist, one who does testing to diagnose the problem. Mine was able to tell me that there is a disconnect between the spinal nerves and my bladder and bowels.
I had saddle numbness ( couldn't feel the toilet paper) or much else, couldn't tell when I had to go, and then was hit with a gotta go right now was terrible, because I couldn't hold it either.
You can have a form of CES that is "intermittent", in that, depending on the position that you are in, can cause a worsening of the compression of the spinal nerves.....
Don't mess around with it. I have to self cath every 4 hours or so to prevent having accidents, and it is no picnic. It's better than peeing myself, but it's still not alot of fun at my age.
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I too have been plagued with incontinence the last 5 years. Mainly its because of the pain, hard to get up when you have to go and the you shuffle to the bathroom and leak a bit. I agree Dragoness that it is embarrassing to be out shopping and have a bladder problem and I feel like a baby having to use the poise pads for this. Hubby had an idea that he and I have taken steps in doing and that is leaving a pair of pants and undergarments in the car and truck in case I do happen to have an accident while we are out (BTW works great when your out shopping and can't make it to the bathroom in time). I never thought of cranberry for the bladder leaks, will have to try that.

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 7/16/2008 4:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Keep a large Tupper Ware container in your car, along with a large blanket and unders and a skirt or pants. Or both.
And Tissue,
Pamela Neckpain : )

P.S. Prolapsed kidney or bowel (or both) can cause that kind of pressure as well as all those mystery back problems.
Hmmm.... Who said we'd all be dead if we had to wait for a proper diagnoses.


Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/16/2008 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   

mrsm123, I'm SO sorry that you have to go through all that!  I'm not near that bad, and I can't imagine having to cath yourself every 4 hours, wow, I'm so sorry :(  Thank you very much for your advice and support!

Scared_for_life and Pamela Neckpain, thank you for the advice, that is very helpful!  I appreciate the support!!  Oh, and Pamela Neckpain, I think it was PALady that said, "we'd all die before getting a proper diagnosis", and I believe that too!!  LOL!  That was good advice as well, because for some of us, we want to know, "WHAT" is causing this or that, I guess so that we can find out more about it, but they don't always know, they are human too!  I know from a medical point of view, that it's not always "textbook" and some doctors try to believe that that is what they will find, but that's not always true!!  A good doc will find out more, will do the research, and will tell you what they think, not just treat because they think it's this or that!!  I wish doctors underwent a better system, for compassion, for intelligence, and for those that are willing to continue to learn and research!!  But, hey, we don't live in that kind of world!!  Sorry about the rant!!  LOL!

Also, I was just talking with my boyfriend about going to see another Urologist, wouldn't they start all over again with the testing?  I don't want to go through all that again!!  The one I had was an older guy, that was supposedly very well known and good, and I'll tell you, I know it's medical, but to be sitting like you're at a OB office and having someone in your "area", is very uncomfortable, even if it was a female doc!!  I just don't want to go through that again!!  Maybe if I bring my other docs paperwork?  But then if he wants to get another look, I have to do it again!!  That was very uncomfortable, and made me feel like I had to go, ALL day!  I hated it!!  LOL!!  (I didn't clarify, I'm talking about the bladder scope that they do)

Thanks again for everyone's help and support, those are very good things to think of, and I will start keeping a set of pants, or whatever with me!!  LOL!  And Pamela Neckpain, I like that add on with the tissue!!  LOL!!  I like that, but you are SO right!!  Thanks all!

Good luck to all!

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