Bad Bladder Behaviour & Other Medical Conundrums

Bad Bladder Behaviour Other Medical Conundrums

The Domino Effect

I would like to highlight the domino effect that some people with health problems can face. What I mean is, further medical problems caused by the symptoms of your original medical problems. I have a neurological condition called Spina Bifida, of which my bladder problem is a symptom. I have also recently been experiencing a new problem that is caused by the symptoms of my bladder problem... my bad bladder behavior has resulted in a wound.

How Did I Get A Wound?

I have a reconstructed bladder that empties through a stoma via a mitrofanoff. My bladder has also been enlarged and the urethral tract tightened to prevent urine leaking, but unfortunately last year this failed and I started to experience the inevitable. At the time, I didn’t realise that bladder leaking can weaken the skin.

It was last October when I noticed that my skin in the perineal area had split. I’m still not sure if I had accidentally cut it whilst carrying out bowel irrigation as part of my bowel care, whether the wound was a result of too much pressure due to wheelchair use, or whether it was a combination of both factors plus continual bladder leaking - but the result was a very large and painful wound. This then became infected with MRSA.

A Pain In The Perineum

I had bladder revision surgery the following month, which I’ll discuss more in my next blog, but unfortunately this wasn’t completely successful. So whilst the leaking was a bit better it hadn’t stopped entirely. At first the infection was treated with antibiotics and then a variety of barrier creams and films to try and protect the wound from excessive moisture and let it heal, but it just kept getting worse. Due to the wound being on a naturally lubricated area and the continued leaking, any dressings the nurses tried to apply just came off.

Finding A Solution: DIY Bandages

In February I went to see the Tissue Viability Nurses. They said that the leaking plus the bowel irrigation (which also causes the skin to get very wet) were both preventing the wound from healing as it couldn’t stay dry. They gave me a water-resistant barrier cream to use instead. I was also shown what can only be described as waterproof “medical underwear”… whilst not exactly the same as the dreaded hospital “nettie knickers” they were certainly on par!! I simply couldn’t bring myself to wear them, so the creative nurses ripped them up into pieces of material for me to use as a dressing instead.

I’m pleased to say that the nurses ‘DIY bandages’ and the water-resistant barrier cream is working, and after using them on the wound 24/7 it is finally beginning to heal! I think it will be another couple of months until it has completely gone.

It can be difficult dealing with a constant barrage of medical symptoms in your daily life and when symptoms of your symptoms occur it is really frustrating. There is no ideal answer to medical conundrums such as these, but hopefully sharing my experience can help others facing similar issues.

by Kerry Greenfield

Kerry Greenfield

About the author

Born with Spina Bifida Occulta and Tethered Cord Syndrome, I became a fulltime wheelchair user as an adult and lost bladder normality. Thanks to my Urology Team at Aintree Hospital, my bladder has been reconstructed with a Mitrofanoff and I now ISC through my abdomen. Sharing my personal experiences; determined not to spend my life incontinent!

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