Why I will never get cross if my child wets the bed

Here's the thing. I have a lot of things that I keep to myself. Even my best friend - who was my maid of honour at my wedding - has no idea about one of the biggest secrets that I have kept most of my life.

But I don't want to keep things like this from people anymore. Maybe by discussing it, I will help others who are like me and give them more confidence to discuss the things we just don't talk about. Blogs are designed for us to pour it all out - not hold it all in. I am positive there are other people like me, and if there aren't then I guess I'm not so paranoid after all!

So what's today's secret?

Well it's not secret as such, in that my mum knows, my brothers know (I think) and my husband knows - although it was an awkward subject to discuss with him, and I'm sure my viewers will understand why. I have nocturnal enuresis. To save you googling, or clicking that link - I'll put it another way. I wet the bed.

Wet, as in past tense, like I wet the bed when I was younger? Nope. Present tense. I wet the bed. I am a bed wetter. Wow, this must be how it feels for an alcoholic to stand up in an AA meeting, and say: "I'm an alcoholic!"

"Nocturnal enuresis (NE) is the involuntary voiding of urine during sleep. Studies show that at least 2% of adults have a lack of control of urination during the night. Nocturnal enuresis is not to be confused with nocturia or waking two or more times per night to void. Different types of enuresis exist, which need to be differentiated." [NAFC - National Association for Continence]

I imagine those who know me might be cringing, or thinking WHAT, because I certainly don't seem the type to wet the bed. I don't smell, my clothes are clean and I give nothing away to suggest that I have such a problem. It's not a problem all the time, as thankfully it doesn't happen often, but when I do bed wet - then it's a problem.

I never know when I will wet. It just happens. I have no knowledge that I need the bathroom - no urge, no brain signal to wake me - it just happens. The first thing I know about it is the damp puddle I wake up in. I have to get up, strip the sheets and clean up - usually at 3am.

Luckily I don't wet often, but it's frustrating to be thirty, and still waking up wet occasionally. I started bed wetting when I was four. There was no reason for it, and I have never had any hint that I was doing it until it was too late. I would tell my mum and dad that I didn't know I needed the bathroom, and recall being told by my dad, that I would have my nose rubbed in it if I did it again. That didn't help. Nothing helped.

I was made to drink as soon as I got up, denied drink beyond 7pm, I went to the bathroom before bed (and still do), and I was woken up in the night to use the bathroom again - but sometimes would still wet. I was even banned from drinking certain drinks - but nothing seemed to change whether I wet or not. The only drink I have found to exacerbate the problem was J20 drink, so I just don't drink them.

It got to the point when I was so embarrassed to tell my parents if I had wet, I would be fretting for hours, trying to think of ways I could hide it from them. My dad took my brother and I sailing quite a bit, and he just never understood when I would wake up wet. My mum was more understanding though, and she helped me to keep it a secret from friends, and I was even able to have sleepovers without any real problems.

I thought by now I would have stopped. Hell, by my teens I hoped to stop. While it's much less frequent - like maybe one episode out of eight weeks on average - I wish it didn't happen. TH is great about it; I guess the infrequency helps. If it was more often I'm sure it would be more of a problem.

The other day, Mini Madam came to me to tell me her bed was wet. She wasn't really upset, but I'm glad she could tell me, and not be bothered by it. We changed the sheets and put her mattress protector in the wash - just like I do when I wet. She took a bath, and put clean clothes on. That was the end of it.

With my daughter, and my son - if they wet, it's no big deal. I know what it's like to be that child, and not know that I need to toilet until it's too late. I'm never going to get mad at my child for something they can't control, but if it becomes a problem like it did with me, I can only hope that there is something that can be done medically, so they don't end up hiding the fact they bed wet through their grown up lives.

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