By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: November 2010
Julie received her first InterStim from Dr. Curt Powell six years ago.
At age 18, Julie began having urinary tract problems. She was experiencing the urge to urinate more and more often. Over time, her condition worsened, and she eventually learned she had overactive bladder (OAB). On a good day, she was going to the bathroom every 20 to 30 minutes – and on a bad day, she was going every ten minutes.
“It’s not just going to the bathroom a lot,” Julie said. “It’s an emotional issue that affected my confidence and work.” After seeing doctors and receiving various treatments, she knew it was time to find a concrete solution.
One in six adults in the United States – as many as 33 million Americans – suffers from bladder control issues. November is Bladder Health Awareness Month, and it is important for those like Julie who are affected to know the different treatment options available that can help.
“So many people believe bladder control problems are simply a part of aging – something unavoidable and untreatable,” says Dr. Curt Powell with Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma. “That just isn’t true. Sacral nerve stimulation has proven effective and has given many people a renewed confidence in life – a chance to enjoy the everyday freedom they once knew.”
Bladder control is an especially common issue for women, with one in four women between the ages of 30 and 59 having experienced an episode of urinary incontinence.
On November 11, Dr. Powell will lead the “Girls’ Time Out for Bladder Health” event, taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Oklahoma Surgical Hospital at 2408 E. 81st St. in Tulsa. This fun social event is designed to encourage women to take time out to face bladder control issues and recognize they are not alone. Dr. Powell is inviting patients to attend the event to receive educational materials and have the opportunity to speak with him about treatment options.
“Overactive bladder has embarrassing symptoms that seriously impact the quality of life,” said Dr. Powell. “Many patients struggle with bladder control problems for a long time before they are comfortable discussing their condition with anyone. By hosting a Girls’ Time Out event during Bladder Health Awareness Month, we hope that we will encourage people who are suffering to reclaim control of their health and their quality of life.”
Girls’ Time Out will feature door prizes, decadent chocolate, and complimentary massages for attendees. It is a fun, interactive occasion for women to learn about, and take care of, their bladder health. To register, visit www.FacingOurMoments.com or call 800-664-5111.
One of the treatment options available, InterStim Therapy, was a major success for Julie. In some people, a possible cause of overactive bladder is that the brain and sacral nerves, which control the bladder, do not communicate correctly, so the nerves cannot tell the bladder how to function properly. InterStim Therapy helps control bladder problems by sending mild electrical pulses to target the communication problem that exists between the sacral nerves (located near the tailbone) and the brain. The InterStim system uses an external device during a trial assessment and an internal device for long-term therapy.
Julie had a successful trial assessment and went on to receive long-term InterStim Therapy. The first day, the urgency and frequency subsided. She got up to use the bathroom only twice during the night, which made her realize that the therapy was really going to work for her.
Now Julie can live and work without worrying about interrupting the conversation to go to the bathroom. She can participate in normal everyday activities with her family and friends.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.