Most people with ALS do not have issues with bladder control or, uh, um— train movements. First, the trains.
My trains move along OK but no longer according to any schedule or number of cars or how well the cars are loaded. They move along OK so I count my blessings.
Second, the bladder. Do you control your bladder?
Think about that for a moment. I used to think that I had excellent bladder control. My perspective has changed. For example, when it’s time to go, my bladder tells me. That’s normal and likely the case for you, too.
If I’m busy or sleeping or napping when my bladder summons my attention I can tell it to chill for awhile.
That’s bladder control, right?
When told to wait awhile, the bladder merely is exercising some patience and consideration for our needs. We might think we’re controlling the bladder but the reality is obvious.
The bladder controls us.
I took a good, long, and much deserved nap recently. About 90 minutes into the nap I was summoned awake by my bladder. The nap was a good one so I exercised what I thought was bladder control so my nap would continue.
My bladder was kind enough to grant me another hour of sleep so it ended up as a very good nap— with a lesson about bladder control.
We do not control the bladder.
When my bladder finally gained my attention it told me it was time to move. No hesitation. No afterthoughts. No waiting. MOVE! I moved. So, who controls whom?
A reaction to some medicine caused a need for a bladder catheter. Other than going in and coming out, the catheter made bladder control almost unnecessary. Almost. Bags still needed to be emptied.
So, the next time you exercise a moment of bladder control, just remember that what you’re really getting is some friendly patience on the part of your bladder.
Your bladder controls you.