Many people have been asking me about how my parents dealt with the fact that I had incontinence.  So, I figured I would take some time to explain the transition/process that ensued from a young age when they realized that I was not able to be potty trained.

In the beginning, my parents like most parents, tried to potty train me starting with using pull ups and gradually weaning me to try to use one of those portable potty things.  Needless to say it was always a hit or miss type thing because sometimes you would get lucky and it would be the right timing and sometimes it wouldn’t.  I would sit on the potty for a long time but I never had to go sometimes, so I would put the pull up or diaper sometimes back on and sure enough 15 minutes later I had either wet or messed.  While my parents knew from birth that my bladder and certain areas were not developing properly according to multiple doctors and they said I may end up being incontinent, my parents of course thought they could “beat it” somehow.  They tried using alarms that would buzz which entailed these pad like things that were stuffed inside your diaper that when moisture hit it, it would buzz (super annoying).  Nothing worked.  They probably tried for a good 2 years off and on different methods but once they felt like they were making progress I would continually lose control and I still required diapers and pull ups no matter where I went.

My parents finally took me to a urologist that specialized in working with children.  He ran all the obvious tests, scans, etc and basically confirmed what my parents knew.  Due to physical abnormalities/defects in development which have caused certain nerves to not be able to sense the need to urinate or defecate as well as an underdeveloped bladder and a few other things, he concluded, all this in combination is what is likely causing my urinary and bowel incontinence.  He said that there were certain surgeries that could be performed but they were not guaranteed and the success rate for physical abnormalities is quite low and the risk to damaging reproductive organs and such was moderate.  My parents decided to not take the risk and this is where it truly all began.

That day my parents took me home after of course taking me to McDonald’s because they felt bad after all the tests and stuff they had put me through.  I got my Happy Meal (sorry, I remember this day vividly).  Anyways, when we got home they explained it to me that basically your going to have to wear a diaper or pull up for a while longer…they didn’t tell me forever at this time because I think they might of thought it would scare me.  At the time I did not really care…I was 5 years old almost 6.  Pull ups were what I was mainly using at the time.  Time went on and I eventually switched to Goodnights but it became clear as I got older (eh, around age 11 or so) that absorbency was becoming an issue.

My parents eventually told me the truth around this time that I was probably going to be wearing diapers or some sort of protection for the rest of my life.  That is also when they concluded that I needed better absorbency because I had experienced a greater frequency of leaking.  I don’t know what sort of youth adult diapers they bought me at the time but I just remember they were a lot more comfortable then what they make now a days.  My parents typically changed my diapers probably 90% of the time until I was around 15ish when it became more infrequent and I would say changed me probably about half of the time.  Usually when I only wet my diaper it was mainly up to me to change it but when I messed they would usually help me out.

My parents have always told me that this was the way God made you and you should not be ashamed of it.  That is probably the reason they have always been so understanding and supportive through it instead of fighting it tooth and nail my whole life.  They accepted it and made the best of it, as have I.  So, hopefully that explained a general overview of the transition process with my parents and how they handled my incontinence..

By |2017-07-17T21:42:24+00:00March 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|25 Comments


  1. Jks16 March 18, 2010 at 9:41 am - Reply

    that was a great happy story, now I feel happy. I am glad to hear you had your parent’s support through this. I am also happy to hear that they didn’t make you feel ashamed.
    Thanks for sharing this. It made my day 🙂

  2. black-dragon March 18, 2010 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi. Thats a very inlighing post into your past. I bet when you wrote this you were feeling very at ease with yourself remembering all the support that they gave you in your life at that point in time and probally still do to this day. Take it easy and have a nice day.

  3. TinLizzie March 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Were I of a suitable age, I would wish that your parents had adopted me. I had my issues growing up, and had to wash my bedding more than once. I grew out of it, but along the way I had an emotionally trying experience.

    I was perhaps sixish or sevenish and attending a football game that one of my older brothers was playing in. I had to run to the bathroom to go pee, then my zipper got stuck on my pants, I couldn’t get them out of the way in time, and wet myself in the public restroom full of teenage boys carrying around too many horrormones.

    I wasn’t just teased by them. I still carry a monkey on my back from that event, and I have struggled with a fear of being caught with wet pants like few here would believe.

    My brothers and my father never found out. I was terrified. If I had known a way to do myself in back then, I probably would have. My teachers said I needed counseling, I attended more than a few sessions, kept my mouth shut, and it was all ascribed to childhood moodiness.

    I now know empirically that it was not my fault. I was a scrawny little wimp, undersized at that age, and had bedwetting issues. I know now that I simply had a small bladder. But after that incident, it became a mission for me to never, ever, be caught in wet pants again. That’s when I began making my own diapers out of extra underwear and my mom’s pads. I would never be caught with that humiliating and terrifying wetness darkening my pants again. I avoided all games in the future. I went to one dance in highschool because I absolutely had to. I didn’t stay long.

    You were blessed, Adrian. I wish I could tell you just how blessed you were. Hug your folks good when next you see them.

  4. Hugo March 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Truly comoving :’). Love your parents <3
    Yesterday we were at the table (dinner time), and they started making laugh of me because of diapersm jokes and thing like that. Well, i don't give a damn, that's the way i am. As i love myself i would never be able to tell them to stop with it.

  5. Hinck March 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Your parents showed a lot of wisdom! They knew there might be problems but tried what they could and sought medical help when they were out of ideas. Kudos to them.
    You not only lucky to have great parents but lucky to have products available (pull-up, etc.)and knowledge in the medical community that made it better for all involved. I’m probably pretty close to your parents age so these resources were not available when I was young.
    I have noticed some people posting that have been AB/DL for a number of years but now are starting to have real medical issues.
    I wonder how many of these problems occured during childhood but were eventually outgrew for a time and the dealing with these problems led to the AB/DL tendencies.

  6. Hugo March 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Hink – Your right. “I wonder how many of these problems occured during childhood but were eventually outgrew for a time and the dealing with these problems led to the AB/DL tendencies.”
    Nice one 🙂

  7. Ash_WebMD March 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. It would be great for you to join our discussion on the WebMD Incontinence Exchange with Experts

  8. New guy March 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Hi, everyone I am new to the site and honestly didn’t know or sought to know more about these things until my girlfriend came a few weeks ago about her problem. Sounds very similar to what adrian, from birth she was afflicted with something that made her well… you get the picture. But I wanted to post to ask a question to the community as well as Adrian. My question is, ever since she did tell me she has not been the bubbly, vibrant awesome person she use to be. I dont have a problem with her situation, but I assume that in previous relationships where that wasn’t the case. I have confronted her about it, she often dodges the conversation. Has anyone else had simlar relationship issues?

  9. TinLizzie March 19, 2010 at 9:14 am - Reply

    New guy- She’s probably worried that you’ll dump her, if not right away, then eventually, because you may be grossed out by her problem.

    Has she seen Adrian’s blog? The two of you reading it together and having some heart to heart talks about things may help your girlfriend get back her “joie de vivre” if you can lay to rest her worries.

    Your girlfriend told you something about herself that can be extremely difficult to share. Put yourself in her shoes- You would be scared for the relationship’s future too, I bet.

    Be loving, be understanding, be open. Talk about it if she’s willing.

    My wife and I have had our rocky passages over the 14 years we’ve been together, too. I won’t lie and say it’s been all peaches and cream- occasionally keeping a relationship together takes real work. If either one of you is not willing to attempt to see things from the other’s point of view, to imagine how the other may feel, and be willing to grow in new directions, then the relationship may not last.

    Just my $0.02 worth, YMMV!

  10. TinLizzie March 19, 2010 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Adrian, I have a few questions for you. As you were groing up, did you try to hide your incontinence from people who might become friends? Hide the fact that you had to wear and use diapers?

    I ask because many people have had rough times growing up. In my case, I was always scared to death of leaking and someone noticing, so I was downright paranoid. My parents were definitely NOT supportive or helpful. I had a very small circle of best friends (four), of whom only two suspected I had issues. I would make lots of aquaintences, but very few friends, for fear of being reviled.

    I would sneak my diapers into hiding places, always wore the smallest and most unnoticeable pull-ups or diapers, and strove for years (heck, decades) to hide my issues from everyone. I was one of those people who ALWAYS knew where the bathrooms were, and I visited them on a regular schedule in my attempts to prevent accidents.

    This was hell for a hormonal teenage boy! How did you handle life growing up with incontinence?

    Thank you for sharing your life with us via your blog here. You have been and are providing a wonderful and wise perspective!

  11. moostermiley March 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Hi Adrian,
    You are very fortunate to have parents that are so supportive of you. Wish everyone’s parents were like that too 🙂

  12. Bryan March 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    It is very nice to hear how loving and supportive your parents were, as all parents should be! I wouldn’t say you are lucky exactly, since this is what any parent’s reaction should be, but my praise definitely goes out to them! 🙂

  13. Wes March 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, its heartwarming and encouraging that your parents have supported you, helped you, and loved you the same. They truly are wonderful people, God gave you the best parents ever.

    If only more people were like them, and you. You took your situation and made the best of it. Who couldnt be proud of you?

  14. Dan March 20, 2010 at 6:45 am - Reply

    thanks for the post. and letting us into your personal life:)

  15. Bill March 21, 2010 at 1:50 am - Reply

    A excellent post as usual. During my brief time of incontinence when I was 7 yr old my parents were supportive and helped me with the issue and solving it at night with a cloth diaper and plastic pants now 60 years later my Diabetes and nerve damage require me to wear a diaper and pants at night. I use to have accidents about once a month, it is now more frequent like twice a week. I have come to accept it as does my wife who helped me in making a jockey like shorts out of diaper cloth. We have a protective cover over the mattress. In her understanding and non judgmental acceptance my bride (43 years)even selected the colors of some vinyl pants (yellow, green,purple and blue.

    Yes it is wonderful when the people around you and those who are so closely attached accept one’s challenge and help you be comfortable.

  16. Gary March 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    I was 5 when my parent had test done for my wetting problem in 1959.It was very hard dealing with diapers back then,disposables were not made yet.

  17. little-fox-boy March 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I look at life like a game solitaire, you have your cards to play and whether you build the stack is partly up to fate, partly up to what you put into winning…

  18. chiquillo March 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    wow great parents u got there too back ou up… when i was lil and i went to the doc or something my parents would also take me to mickey d’s amd get me a happy meal those were great day enders lol

  19. Orca March 26, 2010 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Thank-you for the honesty and candidness of you childhood and how your parents supported you through those times. It sounds like you have wonderful parents. 🙂

    My niece was born with a tethered spine. Although she has had surgery to correct the birth defect, there is some concern that potty training and continence may be an issue in the future. She’s 2 right now, so it isn’t a worry at the moment, but it is something at the back of my (and her parent’s) minds.

    Out of curiosity, will you be posting an article about how you dealt with school/teachers and incontinence? (This may be of relevance in my niece’s case, if she indeed winds up with continence issues – which I dearly hope she does not.)

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    Orca _)_

  20. David March 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    hi i am new hear i am 25 years old and started having the odd acidents at age 8 mostly just wet bed then it seemd to stop until age 12 then started to wet the bed every nite and had some daytime wetting so i went out and bought some nappies and used them i hidden my problem from my family as i thought they would laff at me i found it so hard to cope until my mum was decorating my bedroom and found them she was very understanding .
    after she found them she took me to the doctors and he sent me to sea a urologist who then sent me four a bladder test to sea how it was functionin he found that my nerves wher fiering off all the time i think they call it urge incontinence he gave me a tables to take called vesicare i took them four a long time they didn’t really work .
    so now my incontinence has got alot worse and recentley have lost control of my bladder luckely i get my nappies on the nhs 4 free but they arnt very comfortable four the day as they are tena slips they hold alot but they make me woddel when i walk so if eney one nos of a better nappy for day time that isnt bulckey and dosnot rusel when i move could u let me no.
    i have to go and sea the urologist again next week not looking fowerd to that its easey to talk on the net about this just not easey to talk to them specially if he has to examine me so embarrasing showing your nappy to uther pepol . thanks four listening just needed to get it all of me chest

  21. hunter001 April 4, 2010 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I’m 43 and I wet my bed so my mommy makes wear diapers to bed but I wish I could waer them all day long.

  22. mama26 July 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Adrian thank you for this site! I came across it by accident. I’m a cloth diapering mom. I happen to have a 4 month old grandbaby that was born with a few heart defects. The resulting oxygen deprivation caused part of his intestines and half of his colon to have to be removed. The poor thing has permanent diaper rash! His parents have been told that he will always have bowel trouble. My guess is incontinence problems. I too wondered from this post how you dealt with this during your school years. Changing a wet pull-up would be one thing, but having to change a bowel movement will be another thing altogether.

  23. Anonymous August 26, 2010 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story. You said that your parents changed you until you were almost 15–wasn’t that awkward for you? I was the sort of kid that freaked out if anyone saw me naked at age 8. (Luckily, I’m not that uptight as an adult.) Why would you even need someone else’s help to change it if it was just wet? Were you especially close to your parents or something?

  24. A.J. August 12, 2014 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Like you Adrian I have parents that always helped me out with my incontinence and I thank them for being so supportive not to mention my whole family and friends, they made my life being incontinent more fun and enjoyable!

  25. Sofia November 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Great to hear that your parents supported you Adrian. They did their best so you wouldn’t be scared as a little girl going through incontinence but instead you are a brave girl and started to like diapers. Im not incontinent but I always wet my bed since I was a little girl like you Adrian. I wasn’t scared of my bedwetting but it was frustrating though. I have my mother that raised me very well just like your parents Adrian.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

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