Sacral Nerve Stimulation (InterStim)

The next few weeks you will get to go through my journey of “InterStim” or Sacral Nerve Stimulation surgery.

I have had bladder issues my whole life and this use to be embarrassing for me to talk about I no longer feel embarrassed and want to lead you through my journey so others have a chance to maybe have some questions answered.


I basically wet the bed until I was 12 years old.  Did it once at my friends house at age 11 and that was horrifying.  I went through suppositories, drugs, you name it, nothing worked.  I eventually learned to get up 1-3 times a night to not let this happen.

I have always had trouble with incontinence, and after I had kids it head about 10 fold.  I have always had an over active bladder as well, even when I was young I would go to the bathroom it least once an hour, sometimes more. 

Now that I have had kids, if I drink anything at all I go every 15-20 minutes.  Some days it is in large amounts each time and others, I just feel like it is a lot but when I go it is not so much.

If I jump around and dance I pretty much wet myself on the spot.

I wear pads around the clock but this can be very uncomfortable as when I wear it for too many days in a row it makes me sore and that does not go away quickly.

It has been an uphill climb and tiring living like this.

What I have done so far:
I have been in and out of the doctor for years and the last year I have been on every over active bladder on the market.  The last one (Enablex 15mg) is costing me $40 per month as there is no generic version, and that is with insurance coverage!

It has helped with the incontinence drastically but not at all with the overactive bladder.  The smaller dose between 5mg-10mg of other medications did not help at all and there are too many to mention that I have tried.

The last resort for my doctor is this InterStim surgery and it is in 2 parts.  We are proceeding with this at 6am tomorrow morning.

Part 1: 
Hook up the leads near my sacral nerve (near the tailbone).  They will then attach a wire to the lead and this wire will then exit out of my lower back (maybe upper buttock).  I will go home like this (with the wire sticking out) and the battery pack hooked up to the outside of my body.  This allows electrical impulses to the sacral nerve in hope that the nerve and brain will start communicating properly and thus limit the times I have to use the bathroom

This part kind of makes me a bit uneasy.  I don’t really want this wire and battery pack on the outside of my body for a week, but I guess  won’t know until I try.

Part 2:
Only if part 1 is successful, will we do part 2.  If no success (not 50% better then before) then we just take it out on part 2.  If there is at least a 50% improvement then we do the actual step 2 which is inserting the battery pack underneath my skin.

It is at this stage that I will have a “bladder pacemaker” to show off.

Both steps are done in outpatient surgery but require me to be put out totally.   I am sure there will be tenderness and soreness, but will not know exactly how much until tomorrow and the next few weeks.

Will keep you posted!

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Cleaning above my shoulders, or rather NOT cleaning

Note:  Don’t forget to enter the holiday bloganza (see my post before this one) it ends Dec 6th and there are 25 prizes)!

OK so I have to ask, does anyone, on a continuous basis, clean things that are above shoulder or head  height, or is it just me that tends to miss this all the time.

I was laying on my bed staring into space the other day and noticed that the blades on my ceiling fan were horrendous!  This is not even an exaggeration, they were nasty.  It still took me til the next day to pull the duster out to clean it but I did clean it.
I am not a good duster at all and if it is above seeing distance you can forget about it, literally.  I guess I am not a very good housekeeper, who knows, but the fan was nasty and I am not too proud to admit that they will probably have to get that bad again in order for me to clean them.
Here is a pic of my nasty dust mop and ONE blade.

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Parents are indispensable…right?

Even at 39 years old it is hard to grasp that our parents may leave us someday.  We all know it is going to happen but just can’t seem to grasp that concept even as we get older and wiser.

Having a little scare with my Dad lately and I feel like a little girl again.  “Not MY Dad, no way, my Dad is going to live forever and ever, he is indispensable!”  I know the reality but I am not willing to face it head on.

There are many different directions the next few years could take with him and of course I am hoping for the live long and healthy option. 

It is days like today that I sit here wondering if moving so far away was the right decision.  I ask this to myself and then my little 14 month old grabs my leg and gives me a hug, duh yes it was the right choice, I would not have my beautiful family if I hadn’t moved, I just wish it wasn’t so far and expensive to visit home more often.

Heres to some good news in the near future.

Love you Dad!

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Hardest hair cut ever and my baby’s first!

Oh my goodness, I took both my kids in to get a haircut today and it was the first haircut for my 14 1/2 month old.  I had him in my lap and the hair capes we were wearing pretty much did nothing.  It is a good thing that my hair dresser is a friend because I think if it were anyone else they would have quit and my son would probably be lop sided.  Nancy is a trooper and his hair looks great!

I and my son ate a bunch of hair, had it in our eyes, he screamed the whole time it was exhausting.  I am seriously sore now and can’t take any ibuprofen due to an upcoming surgery so I am definitely feeling it but look at the difference and how cute he looks!

Before cut
During cut 
After cut, whew! 
What a cutie!

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Lot’s of esercise = no medicatin for the dog!

I know, another post about my awesome lab but I needed to post another one today:)  I have had my dog at every 6 month appointment, religiously since she was born and last year she ended up on thyroid medication due to excess weight gain.  I have always been good about getting her outside and walking but last year she seemed to gain a lot of weight and they were actually finding fat deposits in her blood work, which can kill a dog only after a few years.  I was not OK with that so we put her on a small dose of thyroid medicine and it took her down about 5 pounds and she was better, but I hated giving her medication every day.

We moved into a smaller house but it has a yard 4 times bigger and she LOVES it!  My dog was an inside dog.  I am one of those dog people that treats my dog like one of my kids, I love her to know end.  I can’t keep her in the house now with this new yard and we love going outside everyday and playing with her.  Our last yard was small and had a 6 foot retaining wall on half of it, with no fence so I did not go out much with the kids, we had to depend on the daily walk for 30 minutes around the neighborhood.

Since we moved into this house 5 months ago I noticed my Shadow Belle looking too skinny and I got worried and took her off her medication about 3 months ago.  She has stayed lean and trim but does not look “ribby” anymore.  I took her to the vet for her 6 month check up tomorrow, and I did not tell them she was NOT on her m eds anymore, and to give her the normal thyroid test.  The Vet’s exact words “Shadow’s thyroid is perfect & so is her weight, so keep her on the does of thyroid she is on.”  My response “Shadow has not been on the medicine for about 3 months.”  The Vet “Oh, I guess she does not need it anymore, really, no medicine eh?”  Me “No because we have a huge back yard now and she refuses to come inside.”

I always worry that doctors like to keep people and animals medicated because of the $ involved so I did not want to tell them initially that she was not taking the medication anymore.  Not saying that this Vet is like that but better to be safe then sorry.

The moral to my story?  Well…my dog is getting 200% more exercise then she was before, so yes the thyroid meds were helping her initially but I love to see her healthy and un-medicated better!

I should have been walking her 60 minutes every day before rather then 30 minutes as who knows, this could have stopped the excess weight gain in the beginning.  I was pregnant a lot during that 4 years of her life and always sick so I know this had something to do with it.  I am so happy that she is healthy now though!

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My lab is the best dog in the world!

I just have to brag about my awesome black lab today.  She is too cool, I love this dog.  I have always wanted a black lab and when I got one at my Bridal Shower from my cousin, I knew it would be a long great friendship with the dog and the cousin!

Dogs seem to always know and Shadow (my lab) always knows what I need.  She is a Mommas girl big time.  Follows me no-stop, hence the name Shadow.  When I am upset she comes over and lays her head on my lap (I know its her way of giving me a hug).  When I am happy she hops around excited, wagging her tail and makes me even more happy.  She is just too cool. 

Last night it was something so simple but it made my whole day.  I was watching a movie called. Love Happens, and it was a bit sad.  It made me cry a little and my dog came out of my kids room, where she was asleep, almost immediately when the tears started and lay her little (big) head on my lap and sat there for about 10 min.  After the show I went to bed and she followed me in and stood beside my bed until I got the covers on, gave me a  couple kisses and then headed off to her pillow.  Is that not the best dog in the world!  I love her and just had to share this story.

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Teaching my daughter using fun!

It has been abnormally warm around here and we are back up to almost 68 degrees today.  I am so not complaining, this is awesome as it is November 9 and I am warm!

I was outside raking leaves so my daughter could jump in them and wanted to get inside to go over her letters and numbers.  I like to try and remember to do this everyday and she did not want to go inside and quite frankly neither did I. 

I looked around and saw the sidewalk chalk and thought, hmmm, what to do with this?  Aw picnic table, yes perfect!  We sat down at the picnic table and wrote all over it.  This lead to writing on the fence, the dog house oh and of course the cement.  She had a great time writing her letters, numbers and everyones name.  How perfect was this, and for a few minutes she thought I was the coolest Mom ever because I let her write all over things!

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Holiday Bloganza!


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