Young, Active and Incontinent: The Personal Story of Jane
By Teri Brown
Being active is important to everyone, but especially for someone who almost lost her mobility.
Five years ago, Jane, a 39-year-old mother from Lexington, Ky., and her then 9-year-old daughter were in an automobile accident that left them both severely injured. Jane, who was driving while her daughter sat in the passenger seat, crossed an intersection just as another driver sped through the red light. The car hit them with such force that it turned their vehicle on its side.
Thankfully, the pair recovered after months of intensive physical therapy. However, the accident left them with a permanent condition: incontinence. "My daughter is incontinent mainly due to bruising and scarring of the bladder," says Jane. "I had some fractured vertebrae, which interfered with my nerves and I no longer get the feeling of the need to use the restroom." But after spending so much time learning to walk again, both mother and daughter are grateful that incontinence is the only lasting result of the accident.
To manage bladder leakage, their doctors recommended using catheters or wearing absorbent undergarments, and after weighing the options, they both decided to use incontinence products. Jane's daughter wears GoodNites® Underpants, and Jane uses Depend® Overnight Briefs.
An Active Lifestyle
After their long fight to regain mobility, Jane and her daughter were determined not to let incontinence slow them down. Their doctors encouraged their efforts, and they have been successful, though they say it hasn't always been easy.
"It has been hard for me to keep doing the things I like, but I have managed to," says Jane. "I feel that if I didn't stay active I would become reclusive and unsociable. It's important to me to get out and be with people and do things."
She also helps her daughter to continue the activities she has always enjoyed. "Both my daughters are cheerleaders, and [the daughter with incontinence] is a volleyball player as well," says Jane. "These activities are good for her, though she stresses about leaks or [wet] GoodNites® [Pants] during the games."
Jane feels that the experience has taught her daughter many positive things, including optimism in the face of adversity. "I think this overall experience has taught her to look on the bright side, and that optimism helps her in volleyball games and cheerleading," says Jane. "I think my attitude towards our problem helps her, because I always try to take the whole thing lightly. I make jokes about our diapers ... which she thinks is fun. I think my being bright about the whole thing keeps her bright."
Jane's whole attitude is one of hope and courage. After surviving a terrible car accident, dealing with incontinence seems almost easy, she says, and she wants others to know that being incontinent doesn't have to end their active lifestyle. "You shouldn't let anything get in the way of your doing what you love," Jane says. "Accept incontinence, tighten up your Depend® [Brief] and have a ball with life!"