Overactive Bladder (OAB) (cont.)

MEMBER QUESTION:
Did the physician speak to you about other alternatives or was medication the only thing she offered?

RETTON:
Medication was the first thing that she offered, but there are many other things that they can do for this condition if the medication does not work for you. I feel very blessed that that is what works for me, because it's so simple.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Do you still have to restrict fluids? What about
Kegel exercises, do they help?

RETTON:
The doctors say that they do. I'm not real consistent on my exercises. I do try to monitor my fluid intake. I'm a very healthy person. I eat healthy, I cook healthy, I drink all the water like we're supposed to, but I still do monitor large amounts if I know I'm going to be in the car for a long time or at a place that does not have a facility.

Also, the physicians would like for you to cut back on caffeine, as well, because that tends to, I guess, irritate your bladder. I believe everything in moderation is the key.

MODERATOR:
You said prior to treatment you went to the bathroom about 20 times a day. How often do you have to go now?

"I've learned this condition can affect children, teenagers, men, women, in my age group, older, the elderly - anybody."

RETTON:
It's cut in half, eight or nine times a day now, which is still borderline. I'm working with Pfizer and a web site they have, which is called Life Beyond the Bathroom. You can go to that site and take a survey or a test to see if you possibly could be suffering from this condition. One of the questions is: Do you go to the bathroom more than eight times a day? But from 20 to eight or nine, that's pretty good, I'll take it.

MODERATOR:
On WebMD there is a quiz you can take to see if you might have OAB. You can get to it at www.my.webmd.com/content/tools/1/quiz_overactive_bladder.htm

MEMBER QUESTION:
What is the typical age range?

RETTON:
I am not a doctor, but just in my travels and speaking on this condition, I've learned that it can affect children, teenagers, men, women, in my age group, older, the elderly - anybody. And it can be hereditary so I will have all four of my daughters tested.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Do you feel as if the increase in diagnosis of OAB is due to people being more open and willing to discuss the condition?

RETTON:
Absolutely, yes. And it's part of my job, I hope, to bring down that wall of embarrassment. This is a real condition that affects people. It is so easily diagnosed and treatable, so getting the awareness out is something that is so important so that we can help people.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Did you find that when you did go, you did not void a lot?

RETTON:
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. When you have OAB, you feel like your bladder is full when it's not. And sometimes very, very little would come out.

MODERATOR:
But the urge was still there?

RETTON:
Yes, the urge was still there.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Did your condition interfere with intimacy?

RETTON:
No, it never did.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I was getting one-minute warnings to urinate and mostly never made it on time. These occurred while doing dishes, brushing my teeth or running water. It would interrupt
sleep at least 2-3 times a night and occasionally waking up wet, etc. I've had two bladder suspensions -- the first, stitches did not hold and the second, more extensive stitching which lasted a month or so. The only way to do the suspension was a total hysterectomy. I have been to clinics where electronic gadgets were inserted in my vagina; I did not care for that procedure. Since then, the doctor has washed his hands of me. I wear pads for daytime and thick pads at night. Is there anything or anyone I can turn to? I base my life around the closest bathroom if I go out.

RETTON:
My heart goes out to you. The Internet is such a great source of information these days that I'm sure there's somebody or something that can help you. I'm so sorry. Perhaps you can find a female urologist.

MODERATOR:
Mary Lou, we are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final comments for us?