Hello all. I'm John Davis in the beautiful state of Virginia.
I had a severe rock climbing accident many years ago which fractured my back (incomplete) and broke my pelvis.
After pelvic reconstruction I was paralyzed from the waist down and told that I probably would never walk again - WRONG! I owe much of my motivation for recovery to how bad daytime television was during my stay in a rehabilitation hospital! I still have no sensation in my saddle region and numbness in a strip down my left leg, but I slowly regained basic mobility to the point where I can walk, but can't jog or run. Most of the numbness slowly went away. I was left with a lot of pelvic trauma, trauma in my lower spine, and a lot of implanted surgical metal, and a numb strip from my crotch down my left leg and foot.
With age, problems have arisen which are due to the old accident and spinal-related. I now am bowel and bladder incontinent, wearing diapers 24/7. Nonetheless I learned how to cope - actually pretty well, if I say so myself.
You will be forgiven for thinking me weird because I take preventive enemas every morning so that I then can go about a normal day and get on with my life without fear of being publicly humiliated by a bowel accident. Yes, you can say "yuck," but it works. My wife and I enjoy international travel and went on a 35-day trip from Istanbul, Turkey with back-to-back cruises through the Mediterranean and trans-Atlantic back to the States. I administered my enemas in a tiny cruise ship bathroom and had no bowel accidents for 35 days! If you are bowel incontinent you can appreciate this. I have written a 32-page white paper on the use of enemas for the control of fecal incontinence.
The bladder incontinence came later. It was a surprise, but was not so traumatic as I already had worked out the diaper thing pretty well by then. I have written a 23-page white paper" Introduction to Wearing Diapers - their Selection and Use." My internal medicine doctor has encouraged me to publish it.
Both white papers arose from my own anxieties and search for useful information to control my own bowel and bladder problems. They have been well received by others in incontinence forums. If anyone wants a copy let me know via a personal message. I do not know whether there is an archive here that would permit me to upload them.
My current worry is how to handle my enemas, diapers, and the recovery from a L3/L4/L5 fusion. I have a good surgeon who has performed over 1,000 of the operations. I have confidence in him and expect a good outcome. I am more concerned about the recovery period.
I will have a visiting nurse to help with the enemas for an unknown number of days after the surgery. As I am unsure how well I will be able to tolerate the enemas and pain post-surgery I still may have to deal with a messy (poopy) diaper or two.
My big concern is when I am on my own after the nurse no longer is available. Diapering requires a certain amount of turning and reaching (these are taped adult diapers, not pull-ups, as pullups do not work well for bowel incontinence). Removing a messy diaper and cleaning oneself afterward will be even more difficult. I truly hope someone on these forums has some experience in this regard or can offer advice.
From my experience in recovery many years ago, I have purchased a reach extender (grabber), a bottom buddy for toilet functions, a dressing tool, and a sponge on a wand. Am I forgetting anything?
I am retired military. From my training I try to plan, prepare, and rehearse. You will laugh, but I actually am practicing removing soiled diapers and getting them into a disposal bag that I can lift with the hook of my dressing tool. Then re-diapering without bending over.
Sorry for the TMI, but I hope to learn from you.