Claude MS-ING Around


The “unspeakables.” Bladder trouble is usually a symptom of MS. The problem is simply that you either go too often or not enough. I have little control over starting or stopping. I often experience the feeling of a full bladder, but despite the urgency, urination only lasts a few seconds.

The most frustrating thing about this symptom is that I should drink plenty of water and cranberry juice to prevent bladder infection. However, the more liquid I imbibe, of course, the more I want to go to the bathroom!

I then heard about the special underpants which resemble a baby’s diaper.I decided to check them out. Surprisingly, they were not as bulky as I had imagined, and I purchased a pair. I had been invited to a retirement party the following evening and thought that this would be the ideal opportunity to test my “diapers.”

It had been such a long time since my wife and I had socialized, that I was as excited as a child about his first party. Perhaps the diaper I was wearing had something to do with this. My wife, dazzling in a new dress, caught my mood and pinned a flower to my jacket lapel.

“I’ve got it on, can you notice it?” I whispered. She assured my that my “nappy” was not noticeable and I felt more normal and relaxed than I had in years. Unperturbed by the sound of the crinkling plastic, I stretched out luxuriantly on the chesterfield while she put on her final touches of makeup.

My arrival at the hall was not marred by the usual problem of finding a clear run to the bathroom. I felt prepared for any accident. Feeling quite elegant in my off-white summer suit I had previously avoided wearing, I strode confidently across the room, with my canes and head held high. Yes, even the hobble had disappeared!

My friends greeted us and were surprised at the speed in which I dispatched my first beer. I was determined to have a good time as I settled down, surrounded by friends.

After an hour or so — and a few beers — I was deep in conversation with my son Mark and my brother Denis, while my daughter Hayley sat with her Aunt Brenda. I then became aware of a strange sensation in my left leg.

At first it didn’t concern me too much, as my poor circulation in that area often gives me a chilling feeling. In an effort to ignore this minor discomfort,I leaned forward to listen to a joke on the other side of the table. As I sat back laughing, I was horrified to hear a squelch like an army boot stamping in a mud puddle.

The involuntary gasp of alarm that escaped from my lips was quickly blended into loud and nervous laughing that went on after everyone else had finished. Still giggling, I turned and faced everyone, hoping my eyes would reassure them that everything was fine. The music had finished and friends at nearby tables were glancing at me curiously.

Only Rosemarie, my wife, realized my predicament. While I was frantically shifting the lower part of my body in an effort to hide the everwidening stains that were defacing my white suit, she started the ball rolling.

She carefully collected all of the paper napkins from the table and handed them to me. She then whispered something to our son Mark, who whispered to Denis, who whispered to George, who whispered to Mike. My eyes followed each listener in turn. After further whispering, I got the message from Mark. “Mike will get Mum up for the next dance, I’ll stand behind you with Peter and Den on both sides, and George will go in front. Then we’ll leave.”

In the confusion of the next wild disco dance I arose and was quickly surrounded by my protective cohorts. The five of us moved off in unison like a giant mechanical insect from outer space, my canes adding a further dimension to the whole weird scene. George, like some Royal Usher, imperiously pushed his way through the group standing by the door. We were out!

We made our way to my house nearby. After taking a cold shower, I left my soiled garments on the bathroom floor and went straight to bed. I’d had enough!

The next morning, Rosemarie and I discovered that I had put my giant diaper on inside-out!

I would like to add that I and many others have found these pants or shorts to be excellent if worn properly.

(Reprinted with permission from Claude MSing Around: Meeting the Challenge of Multiple Sclerosis. To order an autographed copy, send a cheque for $10.50 (reduced price) plus $4.00 shipping and handling to the author: John Mythen, 106 – 1551 Bridgman Ave., North Vancouver, BC, V7P 3N3; or phone/fax: (604) 980-7955.)


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