This is going to be a blunt post. Maybe TMI for some of you, but the fact is that this is real life for me. And real life isn't always what it "looks" like it is...or even "acts" like it is...hang with me and I'll explain.
Hi my name is Lori and I have a neurogenic bowel and bladder due to trauma and complications from a uterine rupture. I have multiple other injuries to go along with that, but today, its all about the bottom!
Did that scare you off yet?
If not, hang on, I got something better to go along with that.
For the past nine years (in July) I have lived with neurogenic bowel and bladder. Don't know what that means? Well, in a nut shell, I am numb and incontinent. My bladder and bowel do not function as they should. I don't feel when I have to go to the bathroom and I can't make myself go to the bathroom.
I have had surgeries, bladder therapy, bowel training...and all that pretty stuff through the years. I have learned to do the very best I can and live life praying that God will help me moment by moment, place to place. There are days I must avoid eating before I leave the house, watch my fluid intake and such. I self catheterize about ten times daily to empty my bladder. Glamorous, right? Truth. I know it's not pretty, but it's the truth.
So, as one may imagine, I have had many accidents. Many. Too many to count, but none I have forgotten. (big sad sigh.)
I am telling this VERY personal information for awareness...Some people just have NO IDEA what others go through and are very quick to assume or judge them based on their appearances or actions.
Here's what I mean.
I look so healthy. Yes, don't I? I look like I have it all. (I am not talking about beauty, I am referring to physical health, stamina and endurance.) BUT...I simply do not. And unless you know personal details, you would never know it.
Years ago when I wrote my book, I swallowed my pride and shared with everyone about my injuries and the limits that I have. But not everyone has read it or is familiar with my story.
Let me get to why I am really sharing this-
I was once to my face (probably more than once) called out on being a "snob." Someone actually told me I was a snob and acted like I was too good to be sitting in the bleachers by the rest of baseball moms. GASP!
Yes, that is what I just said. Me, a snob.
My son plays baseball, a lot of baseball. And through the years, there have been some major ups and downs of bowel / bladder training. Due to the epic failure of training, I often sit in the outfield, on the bleachers or in a chair closest to the bathrooms, sometimes consciously away from the crowds, NOT because I don't want to sit by them, but sometimes because I am too afraid to sit by them because of the possibility of an accident.
I have never distanced myself from sitting with baseball moms because I thought I was better than anyone. Period. I distance myself because I have to do what I have to do and that is be comfortable in my surroundings if I have an accident and need a quick get a way. Period. I have learned to do what makes my body as comfortable as it can be so I can enjoy my son's ballgames and such. I adapt according to my stomach issues of the day, no matter where I am or where I am going.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to have your son at bat with two outs and not have any control over your bowels? Talk about nerves getting the best of you. Been there. Done that too many times.
Y'all, it made me sick when I was called a "snob." I cried when I got home and just thought they have no idea. Really, ignorance is what I have to chalk it up to to survive this world of people who judge my "cover" (my outside appearance) before they even know me.
I am going to go a bit deeper, if you can take it.
One weekend we were at the ball field. I had mustered the courage to sit in the bleachers with the rest of the moms. I held my breath a lot and prayed a lot. I was terrified I would get sick.
The game was over...and as we were walking to the car it happened. I had a sundress on and everything started to run down my legs. I completely panicked and started running through the parking lot. I was wearing flip flips and actually broke them on the way. My son running behind me didn't know what was wrong and he was screaming "Mom, what is it? Are you okay?" I glanced behind me and there from our team were parents and one of my son's teammates. I ran faster and the more I ran, the more came out. BY the time I made it to the car, my husband and son were in tears with me. Both carefully trying to tend to me and the mess that I was standing in. Gulp. I was so, so sad that my son had to see that. So sad.
There was another game that evening and on the drive home, sitting on a garbage bag wrapped in a towel, tears streamed down my face. I was embarrassed. I was hurt. I was mad. I was so sad.
My son sat in the back seat doing his best to make me feel better. It was then I was determined I was going back to the ball field for the next game.
We got home, I took a bath while my husband cleaned the car and all that stuff and then I put some leggings and a long shirt on, added another coat of mascara and we headed out the door.
When we pulled up to the ball field, my husband grabbed my hand and walked right beside me. He carefully put my blanket on the ground in the outfield where I sat there and watched my son play ball.
I was grateful God gave me the courage to go back out there and I was so thankful to have such incredible support from my husband and son.
Bottom line, it takes an awful lot of courage for me to go anywhere. Through the years I have carefully learned to listen to my body and do what is best to help me navigate life with such extreme injuries that alter so much of life for me.
This post was really scary for me to share. But I believe there is enough of a need out there to share this. Maybe you think the person you see at the ball field is a snob too...or maybe it is you that can relate to my situation. Perhaps you have been judged by your cover too, and if so, I am sorry. Really sorry.
Either way, be kind. Be kind to others and quit thinking things about them that you just don't know.
Let's not assume things about people. If you want to know why they are in the outfield or sit far away from the crowd, why don't you just talk to them. Go out of your way to learn their story instead of jumping to your own conclusions.
To the person(s) who called me a snob because I wouldn't/ didn't sit by you... here you go. You choose what you will do with it now. I am going to recommend you look in the mirror and start there, being kind to yourself and to others. Please know this post is written with love and harbors no ill feelings of any kind.
And for all of the lovely people that can relate to any of my story, hang in there! We are going to make it!
There you have it y'all...more of my story. It isn't always pretty, but I promise you it is as authentic as it gets.
Love to all!
*Please note, with all of these injuries to my body also came the death of my son.