This is certainly more than you wanted to know if you’re just about anyone. But I’ve heard from a few friends since my Compliant Colon post that their kids have been going through something similar. So for them, and for anyone else who’s medically inclined, I will continue.
I posed my questions to Dr. Hodges and he said I already understood more about the condition than most urologists in the world. Last night at bedtime Zoe wanted to play a game she invented called “What’s My Job?” She was guessing what job I had and she had figured out it was a doctor. “Are you a urologist?” she asked. Good guess. (I was an eye doctor).
So here’s what Dr. Hodges had to say in clarifying my understanding of what’s happening in Zoe’s body:
It’s actually the rectum, which is the end of the colon, which is the end of the large intestine, that’s directly behind the bladder. When the rectum is dilated (enlarged) it “encroaches on the bladder, activating pelvic nerves that make the bladder overactive, and making it difficult to relax the pelvic floor muscles correctly, which then makes the bladder strain to void, also making it more overactive.” So the poor little bladder is just getting hit from all sides, basically.
When she has these accidents that happen approximately five minutes after she’s used the bathroom and seemingly emptied her bladder, it’s because her pelvic floor muscles weren’t completely relaxed so the urine did not all come out, even though she felt like it did. Her bladder is likely hypertrophied (thickened, from straining, like any other muscle), which may cause forceful contractions without warning, which also causes accidents.
At least I’m learning something.