Ambassador – Elaine

Ambassador Elainie

Elaine, Urinary Urgency Frequency

When I realized I had to go, I knew I must go immediately, and 75 percent of the time I didn't make it. I always had to make sure there was a bathroom where I was going and carry pads in case of leaks. It was such a burden.

My name is Elaine, and I'm a 64-year-old child support officer, wife and mother. About 10 years ago, I began experiencing some urgency, but I'd had four children, so I just assumed I'd have bladder problems eventually. However, it got worse. I was going 18 times per day and three or four times per night.

The bathroom was halfway down the hall from my office. I remember ducking into an empty office, crossing my legs, trying to hold it back. I'd leak a little and often as soon as I started walking, I'd leak a lot. Thank goodness for the bathroom blow dryers — I'd use them to dry my clothes. I tried not to get too close to other people at work, because I was afraid I'd smell. In court, I wore pads because it was so long between breaks.

My family doctor prescribed exercises, which didn't work. Next, I saw a urologist, who gave me bladder medication. However, soon after I started the drug, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment. The combination of cancer and bladder medications made my tongue literally stick to the roof of my mouth, so I discontinued the bladder medication.

After my cancer treatment, my urologist referred me to his colleague. He did a number of diagnostic tests before he suggested neurostimulation. Then, in the fall of 2004 I did a trial assessment of neurostimulation to see if it worked for me. My symptoms did improve, but weren't completely gone. I was implanted in December 2004. Neurostimulation gradually helped. It took some adjustments until it was working well, but then suddenly it started working fine. It's been fine for the last nine months.

Now I go about five times during the day, maybe twice in the evening. I don't get up at night, I'm done leaking and I no longer wear pads. I feel like I'm free of something very burdensome. Even when I didn't know if neurostimulation would work, I was bound and determined to make it work, because I didn't want to go back to how I had been. I'd definitely say give it a try; it's not for everybody, but the freedom was worth it.

To contact Elaine, call 1-800-664-5111, ext 3016

This story recounts the experience of one patient who is receiving neurostimulation for the treatment of urinary urgency-frequency. Medtronic invited her to share her story candidly. Please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular person. Results vary; not every response is the same. Talk to your doctor to determine if neurostimulation is right for you. In addition to risks related to a medical procedure, complications from this therapy can include pain, infection, sensation of electrical shock, device problems, undesirable change in voiding function, and lead migration, among others.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 26 Oct 2011

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