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What Technology Has Changed Your Life?

I’m not talking just necessarily making things easier because that could be anything from a phone to a microwave. I am talking things that have literally changed your life, made it better, even made living possible, etc. I’m going to share a very personal story with you and hope that if anyone has kids with this particular problem, they can learn from my story.

I wet the bed until I was in the 6th grade. I would also have accidents even during the day. It was awful sitting in circle trying to focus on the teacher but all the while feeling my bladder screaming at me that it needed to empty. The worst was the teacher not letting me get up and go and having to deal with the leaking urine until they finally noticed how distraught I was and allow me to leave. But the damage had already been done at that point.: wet pants for the rest of the day and the other kids teasing me endlessly because of it.

Forget sleep-overs. I refused every time and never had anyone come to my house to stay the night.

I can’t imagine what my poor mom went through all those years. She’d have to wash my sheets every night, air out the mattress, all so that I could repeat it again and again and again for years. Seems like when a child is potty trained a parent should get a break from the messes but my case was different.

I have a condition where my bladder isn’t big enough. It stopped growing when I was a child. This genetic anomaly comes from my dad’s side of the family. The other thing I had issues with was sleeping too deeply to wake up when my bladder would signal it was time to empty.


This is where the technology comes in πŸ™‚

My folks ended up getting me a bedwetting alarm that consisted of a flat sheet of foil that would bee placed on the mattress and the sheet over top of it. It was hooked up to a machine that would sound an alarm when any moisture hit it. And we’re not talking a sweet nice alarm (is there really such a thing????) but rather something that I imagine would bring every fire truck within a thousand mile radius. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for the family LOL

My mom told me that on the first night I used the machine (I don’t remember this at all) the alarm went off so she came running into the room and found me literally running in circles just peeing all over the floor. Have I mentioned that I also suffer from night terrors?? Yeah, not a good combo πŸ˜‰

Anyway, after a few months of using this machine and plenty of false alarms, I eventually changed my sleep patterns so that rather than staying in the deep realms of sleep, I would come back up to the stage 1 every few hours or so. When that happened I was awake enough to realize I had to pee and get up and no more accidents! Okay, I’m sure there were a few πŸ˜‰

Talk about a major change! I was no longer afraid of going to sleep over at a friends or having them come toΒ my house. I ended up withholding fluids during the days at school so I wouldn’t have to pee so often but even this adjustment isn’t without dangers. The withholding-fluids-thing has followed me into adulthood and as a result, I’ve had heat stroke once and heat exhaustion three or four times. if I drink enough water so that my urine flows clear or pale yellow (like you’re supposed to) I swear I end up in the bathroom every half an hour LOL Which is fine if you’re home for the summer and only writing a book, but when I’m teaching, I can’t be leaving class that often.

So the machine didn’t cure me of my tiny bladder but it did help me to enjoy such a simple thing as staying at a friend’s house and to wake up with dry sheets every morning.

What about you, friends and readers? What technological/medical device has literally changed your life? I’d love to hear from you!

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11 Comments on “What Technology Has Changed Your Life?”

  1. blazemcrob May 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Wow! What a problem to have! One of my younger brothers had the problem for years. I was in charge of making certain he used the john at every opportunity before I went to bed. I suppose you could say I was a machine for him. After reading your post, I feel I have a better understanding of what he was going through. Thank you for that.


    • drshaywest May 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      My whole life is pretty much run by my bladder LOL But it’s amazing what the human body can adapt to. It’s just normal for me to scope out where bathrooms are every time I go somewhere new, planning water intake around the activity. But I do okay and because I literally can’t hold it, I have never had a UTI in my life πŸ˜€

      • blazemcrob May 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

        I think it’s pretty brave for you to mention it. My respect for you just took a big leap.


        • drshaywest May 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

          Awwww, thanks! πŸ™‚ I opened up about the divorce for the whole last year so this seemed like small potatoes compared to that πŸ˜€

          • blazemcrob May 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

            I wouldn’t exactly call it small potatoes, my friend. And I certainly can relate to the divorce thing as well. We scientists are strong people. You certainly are.


  2. cpbialois May 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Awesome post! I used to sleep through pee dreams but over the years I’ve learned to curse myself awake to avoid it. Guess I learned that from watch the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. lol

    I’d have to side with incubators and other medical devices. I was born five weeks early and wasn’t expected to live through the night and nearly died a hundred time the first week. Add to it I managed to get chicken pox about that time and it’s safe to say I love modern medicine.

    • drshaywest May 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

      Oh my goodness!!! Glad modern medicine kept you around my friend πŸ˜€

  3. Cat June 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    I have the same problem – wetting the bed. Still do, at age 30-something with three kids.

    For me, the life-changer is been high-capacity adult disposables. When I was a teenager, the available disposables didn’t cut it. I had to wear cloth and plastic. College would have been a nightmare, but student health services was able to get me high-capacity disposables.

    As I say, how many of life’s problems can be tossed in the trash in the morning?

    It’s even better for kids. Pullups have made the world a better place.

    I’ve been posting about just this recently.



    • drshaywest June 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      It’s always nice knowing we’re not alone πŸ™‚

      • Cat June 24, 2014 at 11:20 am #

        I discovered that I’m not alone (by a long shot) when I started blogging!

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