Health problems, including incontinence, cause many people embarrassment - embarrassment about exposure of what are conventionally regarded as private, mostly erotic, parts of the body, stains on clothes or bed linen, or embarrassment just talking about certain subjects.
A principle that I have found useful in reducing my own embarrassment is to ask myself whether the person seeing or just talking to me would be embarrassed by what is happening. Would a nurse or carer be embarrassed by inserting a urethral catheter or a bed bath? If they aren't then I see no reason why I should be. A few young carers, particularly some of those from different cultural backgrounds, have given me the impression that they would rather not work with men, but I do not decide the matching of carers to patients.
Maybe Nature was mischievous when placing both our waste outlets so near to our genitals. Some nursing and caring procedures do sometimes result in arousal for me, although sick patients will not see them that way.
A bigger problem might be with non-professional people such as relatives or friends. I do not make a point of raising the subject without good reason but neither do I make a secret of my double incontinence. I do not hide away my pads, knickers or other equipment: they might gently introduce the subject without saying anything.
How can a carer reduce a patient's embarrassment? First, they can show understanding and empathy with the cared-for - the caregiver adapting what they say and do to that particular, special patient. Second, carers can try to make something which is abnormal for the patient seem quite unremarkable - something which the carers themselves do.
I remember a nursing sister in hospital who was good at understanding a patient's frame of mind and putting herself on the same wavelength to make the situation seem quite normal. When treating or showering me, she would slip into conversations such topics as her interest in nudism, problems with fitting an intermittent catheter in women or even her body hair preference, perhaps embroidered a little, but successful in relaxing what might have been a tense moment.
Have other readers got any experiences they are willing to share?
I need people to talk to you I don’t know about you guys this makes me depressed
Tomorrow I have to see the doctorI don’t know what expect It will be the first time I talked to one about Bedwetting It’s embarrassing and I’m scared I don’t know what to expect what they ask What kind of test they do I am 30 years old happens every night should I be worried about it or is it some what Normal