Monday, August 20, 2012

Running in Diapers – Never Thought I’d Be Writing About This!

Some folks may be too young to remember the Harry Neilson song “I’d Rather Be Dead Than Wet My Bed” but I take those lyrics seriously. So when I consider my current post surgery situation, it’s a deep philosophical question.

The docs say I should chill out a bit, not worry about incontinence, just do what I want to do. Time, give it time.

I can tell a difference, that I’m improving as the weeks go by but progress is seems so slow.

My four-inch gash in my lower abdomen has healed nicely. There’s just a ridge of scar tissue that I can feel under my skin and if I don’t do some overly stretchy Yoga pose I don’t notice it all when I move.
So I want to run but I still leak a bit, especially when I put stress on my core muscles. Bending, lifting, twisting and simply moving other than at a walking pace.

The other deal is that I don’t feel bladder pressure the same way as I used to. The urge to go is subtler. Sometimes it’s the feeling of a drop or two escaping that’s the reminder for me to pee. I’ve even set an alarm on my watch to remind me. Right now I’m good for about an hour.

Then of course there’s the look. I certainly don’t want to have a wet spot on my shorts and I don’t want anyone to know I’m wearing some sort of pad. (More on this later) My first running/walking excursion was wearing baggy hiking shorts. No one can tell what I’m wearing under those but they felt cumbersome and I just didn’t feel fast in them.

Regarding the look: First of all, we live in an age where major health product companies are vying for aging consumers who are either incontinent or have the fear of incontinence. There must be a lot me’s out there because there is now a huge supply of absorbency products. Different shapes, sizes and, OMG, colors. There are a lot of options that just weren’t available before.

What I’ve come up with is my pair of running shorts that have an inside compression layer of fabric and a typical outside layer like a standard short. I have a thin stick on pad that is virtually unnoticeable that I tuck in on the front. So now I’m out there again but dealing, with all things, diaper rash.

But the reality is that I run on a private road or up in the hills. The likelihood of someone noticing a small wet spot, and that’s all it would be, is practically nil. Besides I haven’t found a pad that doesn’t chafe if worn for long periods of time. (I‘m still looking for that.) So what I’ve concluded is that this whole thing is more of a head-trip than anything else.

I have to wrap my head around the idea that going out pad less is a worthy experiment. Hey I take a shower and wash my shorts after a run anyway so what’s the big deal. Somehow it still is.

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