Teenager Bedwetting Challenges

Parents trust their pediatrician or they would look for another one! However… when it came to bedwetting, my pediatrician’s only advice was to wait.  I now wish I would have asked how long to wait or why wait or what the heck is the reason my bedwetting child turned into a teenager who continued wetting the bed.

Why did I think my pediatrician was a bedwetting expert in the first place?  Because that is what you think when you five year old continues wetting the bed. You talk about it with friends when they are late – five or six… then you stop asking the other mothers.     My 15 year-old finally demanded that I search for a bedwetting expert.  You had the only answer that made sense – he slept very heavy.  AND he wet the bed.

No wonder he would struggle to get up in the morning.  No wonder he was tired during the day.  His teachers repeatedly remarked (over the years) “if only he could work to his potential”.

At some level, I knew the sleep had something to do with his teenage bedwetting, but I never thought the heavy, sound sleep was poor sleep.  I thought he was the best sleeper of my three children!

He failed the college entrance ACT, in my opinion, even though you cannot fail this standardized test.  He did not reach the minimum score in order to even be considered for admission into the colleges we were planning to visit. One of the reasons he earned such a low score is because he had a terrible urge to go to the bathroom and had to be escorted out of the room

I told my son that some schools do not require ACT scores, as well as community colleges.  We talked about entering a community college and then transferring once he had solid grades.   Now my son was worried about solid grades and bedwetting.

I was connecting more of the poor sleep dots…

Your program was very step-by-step and definitely addressed all the sleep and bedwetting issues. I have to say, your entire staff fully realizes the impact this type of sleep – heavy, beyond awareness of anything around him and difficult to awaken in the morning – has on everyday life.

His morning behavior began to change dramatically.  Waking up dry after years and years of soaking the sheets, blankets, and mattress pad, felt like a miracle.  He had a smile

We decided to wait to retake the ACT until completing your bedwetting program.  I know you can take the ACT many times, but I did not want my son to feel like a failure over and over again.

Our pediatrician never asked anything about the bedwetting.  He never asked about history of bedwetting in the family.  He never asked what my son thought about the message to wait and don’t worry.  Don’t worry, are you kidding me.  Maybe a six year old does not worry about bedwetting, but a 16 year old.  How insensitive.

Once we were in your program and my son began to see improvements, he shared many of his feelings.  We had no idea he felt this way.  We thought that “not making a big deal of wetting the bed” meant he was fine with waiting.

Together, my son and I created this list of his “ Bedwetting Life”  thoughts and feelings.  It was shocking.    I recommend you share this list with all parents who are waiting…..

  • He told me that he felt like a failure every time he woke up smelling urine soaked sheets.
  • He never wanted to hear “don’t worry, you will outgrow the bedwetting”. He said it was insulting, as well as very confusing.
  • He wanted to punch the doctor in the face and put a diaper on him and make him wear it for tens years so he would truly understand the situation.
  • He was tired of the teachers telling him work on focusing when all he wanted to do was take a nap.
  • Why doesn’t everyone know about the sleep part of bedwetting. If that is the real cause…. Teach the entire world to explain this.
  • He was mad at us for telling him to go to sleep earlier if he was waking up tired and cranky.
  • Why would a doctor tell parents to have a nine year old help with the wet sheets. Just a little kid…. If bedwetting is not my fault, why does this feel like punishment
  • Stop asking me every morning if I wet the bed. Now I feel like a triple failure.
  • Stop telling a kid bedwetting is normal. It does not feel normal and none of my friends wet the bed.
  • Why would you make me responsible for hiding the pullup every time I went to a sleepover. That made it seem like this was shameful if you didn’t not tell the parents at the sleepover to help me.
  • I never wanted friends to come to my room because I was worried they might smell pee.
  • The word normal and common are not helpful words for someone who has no idea why they are wetting the bed.
  • Those reward star charts are cruel. It totally made me feel like I was not doing anything right.  All I did was go to sleep and wake up wet.  Nothing but darkness in between night and morning.
  • He dreaded Wellness visits because of the bedwetting. The doctor never asked about the bedwetting, but when mom brought it up and kept asking for answers… same stupid response.
  • I kept asking myself what was wrong with me. Why was I tired all the time?  Why was I wetting the bed?  Why was this suppose to be normal for a teenager???

We decided to wait a few months after completing his program before my son would prepare and retake the ACT college entrance exam.  You already know the outcome!  His scores revealed he was reaching his potential and would definitely be accepted into many colleges.  We were so relieved and I am very proud of my son.  Everyone has noticed a difference in him.

As parents, we see a young man blossoming.  He wakes up is ready for the day.  His teachers noticed such an improvement in him – alert, focused and prepared.  He makes his bed (from time to time). He invites friends to his room.  I could go on and on.

Again – thank you.

Summer Camp Tips For Bedwetting Child or Teen

This is the time of year when we hear from parents about the fear of letting their child attend summer camp.

As for the child, they are torn between terror and excitement.  The excitement is because, of course, it’s summer camp…a time to do nothing but laugh and play.  And then there’s the terror.  That is the most fitting word to use, because we hear and we know that the thing all bedwetters dread the most is being discovered, and they’ll go to great lengths to hide their condition. 

We spoke with a mom last week who thought she had fully prepared her 13-year-old son to attend camp and to completely conceal his bedwetting with the use of Pull-Ups.  Her careful planning was undermined by a member of the camp staff.  She was devastated when she discovered what happened that put her son at risk for exposure.  This mom gave us permission to tell her story with the hope that other parents can avert the kind of experience she had. 

Here is her story.  Following this are the 5 Critical Steps we recommend to ensure you greater peace of mind.  

This mom, (Lydia), and her son, (Bryce), agreed that wearing a diaper was the only way to feel comfortable to sleep in a cabin with other campers.  At her son’s insistence, they purchased all diaper brands and sizes so he could do what he called “test driving” all of them in search of the “quietest” one.  All of this to prevent someone from hearing the sound of moving around in a diaper.  After all, it’s a noticeable sound.  They practiced how he would slide it on once he was in his sleeping bag at night, and how he would discreetly dispose of them in the morning.  Not the most exciting thing to have to add to a care-free camp experience.  

Typically this plan is the most successful.

However, Lydia did not learn until nine months later–as we were discussing a plan to put an end to Bryce’s bedwetting–what occurred during her son’s camp stay.  When he had checked in with the camp director as his mom advised him to do, Bryce was told that they required he use their own chosen disposable diaper for legal reasons, and that they needed to exchange them before he could be admitted.  In our consultation with this family, Lydia discovered that Bryce was afraid to challenge them since they were in charge.  As you can imagine, Bryce was terrified that someone would find out he was wearing a diaper, so he chose not to wear a diaper and stay awake all night to avoid a wet.  He said he was typically exhausted all day, which prevented him from participating in a few enjoyable activities.  He would take a nap wearing the camp-issued diaper because no one was around.  Bryce told us that he didn’t tell his mother that he was miserable because he didn’t want her to be sad.

Summer camps may report to parents that they know how to deal with bed wetting, even bed wetting teens. However, you need to be assured that your child will be protected from potential harm just as with Bryce, so we encourage you to have an in-depth conversation with a director before the day arrives.  

Here are The Five Critical Steps:

1.  Identify not only the director(s) of the camp, but also the person(s) assigned to your child’s cabin.  You need to be assured by them that they will be discreet.  Ask them what their protocol is.  Make sure they can provide special assistance to ensure the bedwetting won’t be discovered.  Discovery is devastating for a bed wetter.  That discovery can certainly cause long-term damage to self-esteem. 

2.   Notify the director that you will be providing your own privacy package which may include the following:  Diapers, non-scented wet wipes, a trash bag, a suitcase with a lock, and whatever else it is you feel would help put your child’s mind at ease.

3.  Ask to review their procedures for dealing with this issue.  You need to become partners on behalf of your child.  Present different scenarios and ask how they would deal with each scenario.  For example, if a camp counselor is unavailable, then who would be able to assist your child during if needed.

4.  Don’t assume a so-called “bedwetting medication” will keep your child dry.  The medication is intended to slow kidney function and limit urine production.   It is NOT reliable and should not be depended upon to ensure dryness.  Even if the drug was used in previous camp stays or overnights and it was successful in keeping your child dry, there is no guarantee it will do they same again. Additionally, the medication has a dehydrating effect on the body and requires extra hydration during the day, so make sure you child has a water bottle available to him when active.  

5.  Daytime accidents are often a symptom from the nighttime bedwetting.  In the event of daytime leaking or accidents, you need to know what the counselors will do if your child reports leaking to them.  Make sure there is a plan for a change of clothing as well. 

Once you have established a clear plan with the camp, review it with your child.  Your child, tween, or bedwetting teen needs to have confidence in their camp team, to know they can be trusted, and that everyone understands the situation and will be there to help.  Let your child know that you’ll be one phone call away.

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC

Providing a Fail Safe Bedwetting Solution

Last night we had a consultation with a family from Iowa.  As bedwetting experts for 41 years, we hear from families often who feel they have tried many bedwetting solution and are at their wit’s end, and this family was no exception. 

They felt they have been through the “ringer” to held their 13 year old stop wetting the bed!  They felt they tried every suggestion which seemed to be bedwetting solutions, which included:

  • Restricting fluids
  • Dietary changes
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Shaming tactics
  • Rewards and praise
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Prescription medication
  • Consultations with urologists
  • Two alarm devices purchased online
  • Awakening in the night for a trip to the bathroom

Their pediatrician told them all their attempts were in vain because by puberty, the bedwetting can be expected to end.  Sadly, that is not statistically accurate.  It also creates a “wait and see” frame of mind rather than a workable plan to succeed.

Parents as well as teen’s that continue to wet the bed want a solution… not suggestions. (see also Light at the end of the tunnel)

Bedwetting is the result of an inherited gene.  The time we spend assessing all aspects of the deep sleep disorder–which causes bedwetting as well as many other symptoms–provides us with a great deal of information.  The family history was full of sleep difficulties, which is why this is critical to explore.

For this family, the dad has sleep apnea and insomnia.  When he gasps for air, it awakens him, and then he has trouble falling back to sleep.  He has grown accustomed to having four or five hours of sleep per night!

The mother of this boy has a sister who outgrew bedwetting at age 10.  Yet we, as experts, know that although her bedwetting ceased, the sleep disorder—again, the causal factor of the bedwetting—still existed.  When this mom recently spent the night at her sister’s house, she was stunned by what she observed.  Her sister lives on a busy street, and it’s typical for trucks and ambulances to pass by her home.  Yet the sister did not “move a muscle” when these loud noises occurred.  She was asked about it the next day, and she replied, “I never hear anything.  I sleep like a rock, you know, so I won’t hear a thing in the night.  You’d think that would be a good thing, but I’m always tired in the morning”!  So you can see that even if you outgrow bedwetting, you don’t outgrow the sleep disorder, and that remains a problem throughout one’s life.

For some, this disorder can produce apnea, sleepwalking, night terrors, excessive snoring, teeth grinding, insomnia, etc. 

It can also skip generations, but it’s there.  If there’s any of the above anywhere in the lineage, the gene has been passed on.   

So for this young man, both of his parents show signs of the sleep disorder in the lineage.  We know this leads to a longer history of bedwetting, as well as increased symptoms from the sleep disorder.

Unfortunately, the family’s persistence for a bedwetting solution did not produce results – a dry bed.  They deserve peace of mind, especially when their son goes on a school trip to Washington D.C

At the completion of our consultation, this young man said he was so excited to get started because he felt like “God rained down a miracle upon me”!  He said no one ever took the time to explain why he was wetting the bed and how to fix it.  He felt like this had been his fault, and he felt relief.

His parents were also relieved that we would be providing a personalized, organized plan…a solution that targets everything needed for this 13 year old.  No guesswork – No drugs – No star charts – No psychological exploration. 

We bring four decades of experience as well as a solid process that will put an end to bedwetting regardless of the age. 

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC

Feeling Guilty About Having Waited

Kids-Sleepover

We spoke to a mom today in New York.  Although sometimes bed wetting is a difficult subject to broach, this mom was talking to the mother of her son’s new friend from school.  Bedwetting became a topic of conversation.  She discovered they had something in common:  Two 11 year old boys who wet the bed, the frustration of having to watch their boys live with it, and their feeling helpless to do anything about it.  The other mom conveyed that her son once nervously attended a sleepover, but decided to sleep “sitting up” on the sofa in hopes of not wetting.  It didn’t work.  Bedwetters sleep too deeply no matter where or what position.  Her son was terrified when he discovered he had wet.  He turned over the sofa cushions in hopes of hiding it, but eventually the scent of the urine drew the host mom’s attention.  She asked her son about it, and in putting two and two together, the boy realized who it was and began to share about it at school.  She said it became the single most humiliating experience her son had ever endured, so much so that he asked to transfer to another school because he couldn’t bear to show up there each day.

The mom who called us was catapulted into action by that story.  She told us she felt guilty she had waited to long, but that their family physical assured her it would be over by now.  He prescribed bedwetting drugs in the meantime.  And although this mom was against pharmaceuticals, she felt as though she had to do something—anything—for her son until he outgrew it. 

Related article: Pre-Teens Still Bed Wetting

After speaking with us, she naturally became fearful of the possibility that her son’s bed wetting could continue into adulthood.  While this condition is not commonly discussed, it is more common than one might think.  As adults, it’s talked about even less often.  Adults come to us after the discover us online, after having lived for years feeling resigned that they could ever live a life free of bedwetting.  One man in our program is 44 years old, and interestingly, he believes he was 11 or 12 when he began to give up that he would stop wetting the bed.  Here he is about 25 years later, and he’s just now being cured of his condition. 

Don’t wait to seek help.  One day a child is 11, and before you know it, they are grown…and still waiting…and having to live with the stress and stigma and discomfort of wetting the bed.

We invite you to call us today – 800-379-2331.

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC

Physicians At A Loss For Effective Bedwetting Treatment

family

Finding an effective bedwetting treatment for every patient

During a clinical assessment this week, a mom came into our clinic with her 13 year old son. She is a doctor. The Dad, also a physician, didn’t come in for the appointment since he had met us before when he came into our clinic three years ago to treat another of his children.

We wondered why they had waited so long to seek treatment for their 13 year old. The mom admitted that she had been trying to “re-create” our protocol with her son thinking she now knew what the program entailed, and that she could help him without our supervision. There were periods of time where she felt overwhelmed doing the work on her own and therefore stopped, and then when she would restart for other periods, she recognized that she couldn’t successfully apply to her 13 year old’s bedwetting the same thing that she did with her other son.

The fact is, it’s always different for each patient. Every bed wetter sleeps the same way, yet how they respond to treatment is altogether different. It has to be individualized. This mom became frustrated and desperate to help her now almost 14 year old son, so she called on us again.

Their educational backgrounds don’t apply to the treatment of bedwetting. Bed wetting is not physiological or psychological in nature, so medical treatment–which usually involves medication–doesn’t work. We are treating the underlying cause of enuresis – which is actually a sleep disorder and that is the only way to put a permanent end to this condition.

We know very well what it takes to both tailor-design the bed wetting treatment for each patient, and how to support every parent in implementing what’s needed. Nobody has to do this alone and hope that the program works. Parents recognize that they no longer have to be frustrated or overwhelmed. They feel relieved. Our 41 years of experience and our professional treatment staff is what makes all the difference. We work with you every step of the way until we reach what parents call on us for, to once and for all end a very stressful condition: bedwetting!

Nobody has to wake up in a wet bed ever again. We invite you to call us to have a clinical assessment to learn more about our program and how we can help you!

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC