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An Evening in the Life of a True Adult Bedwetter
I thought it was time to write. While I enjoy lots of stories, there seemed to be a lack of reading for those of us who want to relate to older people with bedwetting problems. So this is a detailed - a night in my life, if you will - of me and my bedwetting....
I am 48 and have never had a dry night in my life. Well, that's not completely true, just like a child trying to get potty trained, I have had some 'successful' nights over the years, but I've never been able to sleep without being in a diaper. I am as diaper dependant at night as a human can be or as an infant is. In talking to doctors over the years, I phrase it as having never been 'reliably dry', but that is an understatement. It doesn't matter how little I've had to drink after 6:00 P.M. , whether I'm trying DDAVP or Imipramine, or sitting on the toilet, like a big kid, before bedtime to squeeze out every last drop.... I will wet and I will wet a lot. Alarms got old really fast and never helped do much but give me a lousy night's sleep. As a young teenager, my mother would come into my room to shut off the alarm and take me by the hand to the toilet. With both of us half asleep, she'd stand there as I dropped my wet diaper to the floor (we put the alarm in the diaper so the sheets wouldn't get wet) and then I'd sit on the toilet. In that 'program', she was to wait until I started peeing before leaving me, so just like a child, my mom would hover over me waiting to cheer me on when I finally 'tinkled' in the toilet! Sometimes she'd sing the pull-up song for kids that goes "I'm a big kid now", but she'd say "You're a big kid now" as I'd pee as much as I could to make her feel proud. She'd then pick up my wet diaper, drop it in my diaper pail and go to the bed where she'd lay out a fresh diaper for me with a new sensor inserted. It seemed like we had just fallen back asleep when I'd awake to my mom walking me to the toilet again! It was like trying to potty train a baby to early...and she finally gave up.
As much control as most adults have at night is the opposite of what I have. I pee like an infant when I sleep and I have at least two heavy wettings a night and often have small wettings in between. It's like I have a separate reserve stored up so that when I fall asleep, it can then come out. Think what this means though... If I want to take a nap anywhere in the world, without a diaper on, I have to worry about wetting my pants. If I fall asleep in a car or on a plane trip I could pee like an infant without any chance of being able to hide the wetness. It's not like I just dribble a little! Once I had an MRI. I fell asleep and wet the table so much, that they had to interrupt the procedure while I put on a diaper and they cleaned up after me! A two week vacation requires a minimum of 28 adult diapers and related accessories...a complete 2nd suitcase! Think about it, for those who wish they really were a bedwetter. It's not just confined to the bed!
After a hard day at work, I will come home and have a glass of wine. Once dinner and family time is over, I'm usually in bed by 10:00 P.M. I'm one of those people who needs 9 hrs. of sleep per night. Think about how much a person pees over 9 hours and you can imagine how heavily diapered I need to be or the sheets will get wet. Since there isn't a bedwetter alive that hasn't experienced awaking to wet sheets, I have the expected telltale protection on my bed. A plastic sheet covers the entire mattress and then I have a crib sheet, right under my top sheet, which is pinned to where my diapered bottom generally rests. It's amazing how often I need both and if I could handle sleeping directly on an absorbent underpad I would. However, I try to imagine that even if I'm diapered, my bed is prepared like an adults and a pad showing would just look to infantile or institutional. One sit on my bed though, and the crinkle gives the truth away that a big bedwetter sleeps there. As a point of interest, this very morning I awoke to a huge wet spot on my sheets from a diaper that just couldn't hold it and everything was wet down to the plastic sheet!
It's amazing how many items a bedwetter needs. My nightstand is really a dresser with three long drawers. The first drawer has a few tubs of Desitin. Babies-R-Us carries these, otherwise, all I can find are large tubes and I go through a lot of diaper rash cream. Also in the drawer is corn starch Baby Powder, disposable diaper doublers, diaper pins, a few large packages of baby wipes (unscented), diaper pail liners, replacement diaper pail deodorizers, about 6 pair of plastic panties and a box of latex gloves (to be explained later). The second drawer is packed with disposable diapers and pull-ups and the last is all my cloth diapers, training pants and cloth liners. WOW, that's a lot of stuff for an adult to have just in order to pee in bed!
Ok, so now it's time to protect myself. The first thing I do is get completely naked so that I don't get cream or powder on my t-shirt or pajama top. A few years ago I watched a mother change her child's diaper and before applying diaper rash ointment she pulled out a latex/rubber glove and put it on her hand. When I asked her about it, she was excited to tell me how great they were. She buys them by the case from a hospital supply store and just slips one on when using the ointment so that when she's done she can just pull it off and throw it away. This way her hands stay nice and clean without smelling like Desitin all day. So I stand by my bed, slip a glove on, and first go for the wipes. Even though there is no pee to clean off my skin, I just prefer starting the process with a freshly wiped bottom, so I grab a few wipes (the new ones with Aloe J) and freely wipe myself all over. It's amazing how clean I feel at that moment and what a stinky uncomfortable mess I'll be in the same area when morning comes!
Next, I unscrew the top of the tub of Desitin and take a gob with my fingers.
I make first contact in the middle of my bottom spread the ointment up and down my butt crack. My rash always seems to start there so I apply it very liberally. I then spread it all over my bottom trying not to leave any skin untouched. I am very prone to getting diaper rash and my bottom always gets the reddest first, so I make sure even my hips get covered. At this point I open a drawer to take my diaper of choice for that night. I alternate between cloth and disposables for both convenience reasons and the variety is better for my skin. Even if I wear a disposable diaper, though, I always use a plastic panty. For that matter, even if I use a pull-up or a training panty for a nap, I'll still use a plastic panty. There isn't any protection that can't use the extra security that plastic panties provide! Anyway, I lay out (for this example) a contour cloth night diaper, at which point I'll also add a thick cloth diaper doubler down the middle. I then take the baby powder and sprinkle an ample amount on the diaper and doubler that will touch my bottom. I position myself as best as possible and lay down on the diaper, with the hopes that I won't need to adjust much, since the Desitin forms a light bond with the cloth. I then take my second gob of Desitin from the tub and apply it to the remaining unexposed areas including any part of my tummy that may get wet. I then spread my legs with my knees bent slightly outward and lift them in the air as I liberally dust my crotch and tummy with more baby powder. At this point, I lower my legs, but still with them bowed outward, pull all the cloth snugly into my crotch. I take a diaper pin and pull the bottom side over the left flap of the diaper and pin it firmly. I then repeat on the other side.
The best plastic panty is useless if it doesn't cover the entire diaper, so I buy panties with an extremely wide crotch, wide leg and waist bands and a high back. Quite often I've awakened to wet sheets because the panty pulled down over the back of my diaper as I slept, so the high back panty took care of that problem. I pull a pair out of my top drawer, shake it out and lift my legs in to the air as I put my legs in the leg holes. Plastic pants (and my diaper pail, which I'll mention in a while) are, to me, the two greatest signs of potty training failure, so as I slide the panty up my legs to the waiting diaper, I'm 100% validated as an adult that still pees uncontrollably. A diaper and plastic panty is the ultimate porta-potty and thus the ultimate sign of babyhood. I pull the panty over the cloth bulk and listen as the familiar 'snap' happens as the waistband connects with my skin. I then use a finger, just like a mother would do, to make sure both leg bands are outside the diaper. I'm done. An adult diapered bedwetter who smells like a baby. While I should be terribly humiliated, I just feel serene. No one on earth would now expect me to use a toilet versus my diaper for at least the next 8 hours.
I am a hopeless, helpless bedwetter! I am a hopeless, helpless bedwetter!!!!!
I then quickly fall asleep, although on occasion, my left thumb grazes my lips and before I even realize what's happened, it's in my mouth. I'm not a big thumbsucker, but sometimes it just feels very natural and I don't fight it. I suppose it somehow goes with territory since my infant state probably triggers other sensory responses.
Sometimes I dream that I'm peeing in a toilet and even in my dream know that this is when I'm wetting my diaper. In some dreams, I know I'm diapered, and just pee wherever I happen to be. Other times, it just gets wet, seemingly all by itself and I've even been awoken while in the middle of a pee! Even if I am up in the middle of the night for some reason and know I have to pee, I won't bother. It's just too much trouble to un-diaper, and I'm going to get wet no matter what, anyway. So I sleep like a baby - literally. I'm told that there are millions of adults that are still bedwetters, and I assume they all sleep protected, too. I like to imagine all of us lined up in a row for miles and miles, all sleeping in our beds with our diapered butts exposed and then we all awake at the same time and look down at our diapers filled with pee; all recognizing what failures we are at getting potty trained.
Dawn arrives, and my first moment of the new day is greeted with one of two feelings and they both come from my diaper area. I have had babies and sometimes they awake as happy as can be and other times they cry so hard that you can't change their diaper fast enough. I understand those emotions. If I've had a wetting within an hour or so before awakening, my soaked diaper can feel like a second layer of skin and all I want to do is snuggle in bed and sleep some more. However, if the sheet is wet and cold and my diaper has pee in it that's 8 hours old, I can't get to my diaper pail fast enough! Sometimes, I feel the onset of a diaper rash by way of 'prickly heat' and that, too, makes me want to change quickly. Either way I end up waddling to the bathroom where my diaper pail sits patiently awaiting yet another deposit. It sits next to my toilet almost mocking me as I open it to drop in yet another indication of my failure at being able to control myself. This diaper pail has been with me for over 20 years! I bought it from Toys-R-Us when the only diaper pails sold were the classic kind. It was pure white with a yellow lid and a deodorizer compartment that attached under the cover. A solid metal handle with a plastic tube where your hand carries it was the normal design back then. After 20 years, that tube has cracked in half and the deodorizer lid is long gone. What was white has fractured yellow stains that have permeated it from the inside out and the yellow lid is now closer to an ugly pee stained orange. There are miscellaneous diaper pins, from over the years, attached to the handle that slide down to where it connects with the pail, which is also where a piece of string connects to a deodorizer disk that hangs on the inside of the pail. The bottom of the pail has a crack in it, so I am now forced to use these dainty pink diaper pail liners or else my floor will suffer from pee leaking out of the pail.
Next, I peel back the plastic panty from my soaking wet diaper and pull it down over my legs and let it drop to the floor. As a funny aside, I went to a dermatologist once with a very bad diaper rash that I couldn't shake and while she was diagnosing my bottom I asked her what the spots on my legs were. Guess what???? When I am pulling off my wet plastic panty, some parts of my leg got rashed! Talk about humiliation!! She suggested using snap-on panties until the rash cleared up. Anyway, I usually throw my plastic panty into the shower so that I can hand wash it right away and put it over the shower head to air dry. Otherwise, if I'm in a hurry or am not taking a shower, I drop it in my pail with my sodden diapers. Next, I grab as much of the top front part of my diaper as I can (I hate this part because it's always wet!), while opening a diaper pin and pulling it out. While still holding the diaper I pull out the other pin, which immediately lets the back of the diaper drop quickly between my legs, because of its weight. With the other hand I open the lid to my diaper pail and then drop the whole stinking mess in to it. I look into it with disappointing eyes as it joins the other collection of diapers, each a constant reminder of what a hopeless bedwetter I am and each one representing a lost opportunity to use the toilet. All I can hear now is my mother's voice singing, to the tune of the pull-up song for kids, "You're STILL not a big kid now"!
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