I’m Back on the MS ‘Bladder Coaster’
I thought I finally had this bladder thing licked.
After years of urinary urgency and frequency, I’d been doing much better. I was sleeping at least seven hours a night without having to go to the bathroom, and bathroom trips were less frequent in the daytime, too.
When traveling by car, the once common question “How long to the next rest area?” became less of a concern. During our annual 1,000-mile drive from Maryland to Florida a couple weeks ago, I only had to stop twice while driving each day.
Yet despite all of this, a few days ago, my “bladder coaster” looped a loop again.
Medications helped to a point
For decades, I’d used Ditropan XL (oxybutynin) to help ease my bladder problems. After a while, though, its efficacy seemed to wane.
I’d started with the brand-name medication, but switched to a generic version after a few years. As I’ve written before, generic medications don’t always do as well for me as brand-name ones.
I’d heard of a more effective medication called Myrbetriq (mirabegron), and after using it for two months, it seemed to be making a difference. While it’s expensive, I thought it was worth the cost. Was I wrong?
A diet change also helped
I love coffee, strong and black. One mug in the morning had started my day for as long as I can remember. But caffeine is a bladder irritant that leads to frequency and urgency. The same can be said of orange juice, chocolate, ice cream, and several other things, though it varies by person.
In early November, I gave up coffee and orange juice, which I think helped. There was no way I was giving up chocolate or ice cream, though.
Up and down
A few days ago, the urgency and frequency returned, waking me up at least twice a night. I was also rushing to the bathroom during the day. So, what happened?
I’d had some wine for the first time in quite a while, and I’d also been snacking on mini candy bars more than I should have.
Then, after two days of experiencing these problems, my “bladder coaster” swung back around again. I was able to sleep through the night again and didn’t need to rush to the bathroom during the day. I feel like I can take a long car trip again.
My pendulum-like experiences with my bladder have prompted several questions, such as what changed to cause all of this? Was stress to blame? Was it the weather? Was I tired because of our car trip? Could alcohol or chocolate have been the culprit?
I’m betting it was either the food or the fact that this MS “bladder coaster” I’m riding comes with a lifetime ticket.
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