Bedwetting Is Complicated

Bedwetting is a totally involuntary phenomenon, and it is complicated.  Most professionals’ suggestions for cure are based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of bedwetting.

42 years of successfully treating bedwetting has proven that no amount of restricting fluids before bed or trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night will put an end to bedwetting.  Drug therapy is only a temporary “fix” for someone who wets the bed and usually leads to another failure experience.

No amount of self-talk before bed can reduce the profound distance from any level of consciousness that the bedwetter’s sleep creates.

We are forever grateful when a parent is willing to take the time to write about not only their experience with our bedwetting programs, but the frustrations and misdirection that occurred trying to solve the problem.

This mom wrote to her private counselors here at the Enuresis Treatment Center and asked that her son’s story be shared with other parents searching for help to put a permanent end to bedwetting.

Hi Jasmine,

Peyton is very confidential about his journey with Enuresis.  So I will tell the story.  We have been working actively on trying to stop the bedwetting since Peyton was 4.  Around the age of 5 we went to a Pediatric urologist in the area, which they are supposed to be renowned.  All they suggested was to stop drinking fluids close to bedtime and for him to take Miralax to help him go to the bathroom daily so that wasn’t adding to the issue.  They also suggested a medication that was supposed to help and encourage him along.  With hesitation we started the medication, and Peyton ended up with one of the side effects, getting overheated when he was active.  I just didn’t feel right about the medication in the first place, so I stopped it.

I tried doing the recommendations from the urologist, and nothing was working.  We pretty much struggled with it for another 4  years, as close family would tell me that he will just grow out of it and to be patient.  Be patient, really?  Do they have any idea what it is like to wake up 3-5 times a week in the middle of the night and change the sheets?  He didn’t want to wear the underwear (pull ups) he felt humiliated, so we used the disposable bed pads.  It was both tough on us, because I tried so hard not to get mad, but in the middle of the night, you aren’t always rational.  The worst though is how it affected Peyton, he would pretend that it didn’t bother him, but now and again he would just breakdown and cry and ask me if he will ever be able to get married or go to college?  Completely heartbreaking!  Be patient, as my poor son is slowly entering pre-adolescence and he still wets his bed, his self confidence just crushed.   I pursued another option put together by some psychologist in Israel.  He actually had some beneficial tips, his thing had a mat with tiny electric wires, and an alarm system.  The whole deep sleep component however was missing from his method.  We tried that method over and over for a couple of years.  I was struggling and felt horrible for my son, who was now in 5th grade, and they had a science camp activity.  He was only gone for 3 nights, but he literally had cotton underwear with little pads in them shoved in the bottom of his sleeping bag.  So when he got in at night he would put them on.  Then in the morning he would take them off and if wet, he would just run to the common bathroom and throw them away wrapped in a paper towel.  It turned out he really just dribbled in them and left them in the bag, after 2 nights the smell wasn’t too bad, but by the time he got home I could tell it needed to be changed.   This was so tough for him socially, and he is a happy well-liked kid in school, very active and has lots of friends.

As he entered 6th grade, nothing was working, and I was at my wits end.  I stayed up all night researching something that could help him.  Peyton also was diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist with being “overactive” not ADD or ADHD, but very active.  He also has tics, so he was suggested to take some magnesium and B6, that seemed to calm down the tics.  Poor kid, what more could he have to decrease his self-confidence, but he is always happy on the outside, but I know deep down it really hurt him.

He has always been a VERY DEEP sleeper, very groggy in the am, and lots of mumbling at night.  I found your bedwetting program information through a google search online, and you had actual research to back it, and mentioned the connection with the deep sleep and how helping the individual work on achieving healthy sleeping patterns, how this can help with things like over activity, and possible other neurological things.

It took us less than a year, although after 5 months, he really was having episodes that were VERY infrequent.  What a difference from the wetting every night.  You have helped so much in this whole process, you helped me feel that we aren’t the only ones, and Peyton although he would only talk to me about it, it helped him have more self-confidence.  So far, he has been dry completely for almost 4 months now.

We officially graduated a couple of weeks ago.  We got him a new bed, sheets, and comforter.  He is so happy, and his self confidence is up, the other wonderful thing is, his tics are a lot less noticeable and some days I don’t even see them.  We aren’t taking the supplements for them either, so I truly believe it has had a positive effect on them.  We aren’t on the edge of our seat anymore in the middle of the night if I hear something, and in the morning when I wake up, I am no longer feeling his bed to see if it is wet.   You have changed our lives and have helped my sweet son.  I can’t thank you enough.  At one time I felt like it was going to be a lifelong struggle for my son, and to know that it is no longer part of his life, is priceless.  This is the best program for anyone with Enuresis.  Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU!  What a journey, and the fact that we no longer live with it, is beyond words!

Sincerely and forever grateful,

Melissa M
Saratoga, NY

Author Michael Stallsmith, M.A., Sp. A., Director of Treatment

The Enuresis Treatment Center’s Director of Treatment is also a school psychologist.  Michael Stallsmith has, over the past 20 years, been involved in over 20,000 cases.  He is responsible for overseeing the counselors on our staff who work directly with the patients, and he is effective at implementing what’s needed for any challenging situations that may arise during treatment.

Michael continues his outreach with the medical community and school systems educating them about bedwetting and its relationship to the non-arousable sleep disorder.  Michael has been on staff at the Enuresis Treatment Center since 1982.

 

Scientists discuss deep sleep and treatment for bedwetting

Interview with two scientists discussing deep sleep, the bedwetting problem and bedwetting program and treatment for bedwetting.

Erica: First let me just say, the wetting has been part of our lives — he wet basically every single day of his life. It wasn’t just an occasional thing. So it was a real problem, and It became clear he wasn’t outgrowing it. We had tried some behavior therapy, we had tried an alarm, and it didn’t wake him up sufficiently. It was getting really frustrating.

We talked to our pediatrician who said the alarm is the best thing. One time when he went away to camp, he used some medication, which actually didn’t even work that well. We were never planning on that as a long term thing. It was just to try so he could go to camp.

Barbara: Excellent.

Erica: We really were frustrated, and I came across your website during some of my investigations. Quite frankly, my husband and I are both researchers. We’re scientists. I was struck by this information on the sleep cycle that you had in your description of the problem. That caught my eye for a couple reasons. One was this disruption of REM sleep that was discussed. Jerry never remembered having dreams, and I always thought that was really strange, and so that resonated as true with our experience.

Then I went back to the actual scientific article that you cited there, and read some of the research. This paper in Science, which is one of the premier scientific journals—we know it has hard criteria to get in. So that was the original paper that was cited. I was actually really surprised that not many people had done anything with this.

I was really struck by your story about finding this information about the sleep cycle, and following it up to help your daughter. But I filed the information away for awhile, and still things weren’t going very well with Jerry. We finally decided —he was 9 and a half, almost 10, and we said we have to do something about this. I was a little concerned that it was, you know remote—we are in CA and you guys are in MI, but I decided to have a phone interview.

Gaile is who we spoke to for the first time, and she was great. It sounded really —I was impressed by what appeared to be the comprehensiveness of the program. It was working to address the sleeping problem, which is the core of bedwetting problems, I now understand.

Jerry: Which is somewhat counter­intuitive and not well-known, I should say. Most people don’t think of it as a sleep disorder or problem.

Barbara: Exactly. They know the child sleeps deeply, but they don’t connect it to being the cause of the bedwetting.

Erica: Right, but we knew something was up with Jerry. Number one, the dreaming thing I always thought was very odd. And then the alarm thing…we bought one of the more expensive alarms, but he didn’t wake up. The pediatrician suggested we get the kind that a hand comes up and slaps you in the face. (laughter).

This notion of being in a deep deep sleep never came up, but it kind of rang true for us. Deep sleep bedwetting is what our son was experiencing.  Seeing that this scientific study on the EEG pattern to corroborate that convinced me at least that there was a sound basis behind your approach. I was impressed with what Gaile told us about the various elements of your bedwetting program, and we set up our first appointment. We just decided we needed to try something.

The way the program worked with the private phone meetings every two weeks, the forms, and the help available whenever we needed it. Even though there were several stages involved, and as long as everybody’s committed to making it work, it’s a very comprehensive program, and it’s not that hard to follow. I think you guys make it easy to keep track.

Barbara: It’s a complicated bedwetting problem, but without our guidance and education, it would be enormously difficult.  You said you failed to stop bed wetting for your son.

Jerry: That’s what I’m impressed with, actually, is the kind of systematic way you approach this. From sleep, bladder, muscle control; from a brain perspective. You’re really hitting all parts of the body. By the way, one thing that Erica and I agree on—I’m sure you guys are doing this— but most of the pediatricians we’ve talked to have never heard of this, and they really need to know about your bedwetting program.

Erica: That’s where people go to with this…they talk to their pediatrician.

Jerry: Our pediatrician was telling us he should take the medicine.

Erica: No, she wasn’t. She mentioned a bedwetting alarm. She said he could take medicine, but that it will come back as soon as he stops it. So she wasn’t advocating drugs. But we gave her information about your enuresis program, and I have a friend who is a medical social worker who specializes in pediatrics. I was telling her about this and gave her the deep sleep bedwetting information about your program so she can tell her clients. This really needs to be disseminated to the people who are dealing with the care of children.

Barbara: You can certainly appreciate our uphill battle for 41 years. We’ve tried in every way to educate the professionals, particularly pediatricians. Of course we all go to our pediatrician first, but they just sort of dismiss it. They don’t really understand it. It doesn’t mean they aren’t good doctors, it just means they don’t understand bedwetting. So typically, they give the worst advice.

Erica: After I first encountered your program and the paper in Science that you originally cited, I then went to look to see who is doing research on enuresis and children. There is hardly anybody in the United States doing anything. In fact, there is a big group in the Netherlands doing stuff. They have some papers where they cited the original paper you cited as well. One issue might be just that this is not an area of research in this country, apparently.

Barbara: Again, because no one understands the real impact. They don’t understand the sleep disorder and how that effects the child physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Again, in every country we work with families—like Australia, France, Russia, Mexico—all doctors say the same thing. They give the worst advice: Don’t worry about the bedwetting problem..they’ll outgrow it. Then they say to restrict fluids, take them to the bathroom in the night, punitive measures; reward them.

And to reward for something or to scold for anything that is out of their control simply isn’t fair. Then they’ll offer to try an alarm. And then oh my goodness…we had a family in California with a 19 year old—you can appreciate— her son slept through two earthquakes. These children don’t hear bed wetting alarms. They don’t even hear smoke alarms, and that’s disconcerting.

Erica: My social worker friend knows mothers with young children. There will be three or four people whom she knows who have kids with bedwetting problems, and she has referred them to me, and then I refer them to you. The other thing that is really important for anybody who is considering the program is listening to what we’re talking about right now is that because we come from a scientific background, we tend to be quite skeptical. We don’t buy the ads. I was very skeptical when we saw the 97% success rate, like how can that possibly be.

Greg: And the money­-back guarantee.

Erica: But here we are. We were worried that Jerry would have a lifelong problem. But as soon as we started going with your bedwetting program and seeing what it did and pulling out all the stops and making all the connections between the bladder and the brain—working with the sleep disturbance, working with the bladder capacity, working on the sphincter—all these things to try to take every angle on the problem, we were very, very impressed. It wasn’t a matter of belief, sounds cool”—it was working. Before you even get to the endpoint, you can see how it was working.

Barbara: Many people do have a lifelong problem with bedwetting.

Erica: Yes, I know you treat adults, too.

Barbara: Yes, and currently, our oldest patient is 44. And the older one gets, the more challenges they encounter, which can include social isolation and leading very solitary lives because they would rather be alone than have to share or speak about this to anyone. All around the world, bedwetting and its challenges has such a high impact on everyone. It is a shame that the professionals don’t understand.

Let’s speak a little bit about Jerry and how this has changed his life.

Greg: Fortunately, we never made a big deal about it. We were very careful not to be putative all along, so he’s never developed a real problem about it. But it was quite clear that he felt ashamed or guilty or whatever…pretty typical stuff. He clearly didn’t want his friends knowing about it. I used to have a bedwetting problem for awhile—and I still have issues with sleep—and I remember that feeling. But then all of a sudden, he would sleep over at someone’s house and not pee, and that was great when he completed your treatment and he was was able to stay dry and not have to worry about it.

Erica: What we used to do, he would do sleepovers, and then he even went to camp once before we were in your bedwetting program, and he would take a Pull­Up and would be discreet; put it away in a plastic bag. He was actually pretty well ­adjusted around it. He didn’t seem to feel stigmatized. But it was this thing that he always had to take care of. We were always crossing our fingers saying, he doesn’t leak”. He would be mortified if they found out. It’s just been so liberating for him—I can tell—not to have to think about it. Like being over at a friend’s house and to be asked last minute, have to worry about going home and getting stuff and having the bag—just that he doesn’t have to worry about it.

Barbara: Just not to have to think about it, even! It’s an “Do you want to sleep over” over­night that he can jump into.

Erica: It’s sooo nice. For me as a parent—he’s a really bright kid, he’s a well-­liked kid, well­-accomplished….I always used to think: Here’s this great kid, and there’s this one thing. It got to the point when I first called you guys that I was feeling like— we’ve got to help him. We’ve tried a number of other things trying to prevent bed wetting, but we thought we’ve got to get him out of this. And it worked.

Barbara: You all handled this enuresis problem very well, too. You understood that his worst fear would be that somebody will find out.

Some people don’t handle it as well as you did in that they scold and blame the child for being lazy, that sort of thing. That’s wonderful for him that you understood. And, of course, Greg, you understood having experienced bedwetting first­hand

Greg: Right. It’s it’s definitely changed ­ not the least of which is that we don’t have to do the wash every day.

Erica: Oh yes, we have a drought here in California. So it suddenly occurred to me—I guess it was by the middle of the spring— i realized “I’m not doing wash every day, Greg!” That was great, too!

Barbara: I remember a story years ago, at the end of treatment, a child was complaining saying, Miss Barbara, my mom and dad only change my sheets once a week now. That’s no fair”. And then you realize that his whole life they had washed sheets every day. He thought that was normal. He hadn’t realized that he’s not in a hotel! (laughter). You realize that that was common for him. And then there was a child that I spoke to who said he had a dream for the first time. It was the first time that he had ever experienced a dream. It was phenomenal for him! He was describing “Oh, I saw this and that, and it was in color”. You realize something so simple like a dream never happens.

Erica: It used to make me feel — this is something I paid attention to with the treatment. I did notice him having dreams more.

I haven’t asked him lately as much. That always was weird to me that he didn’t because he has such a great memory. It suggested to me that he wasn’t having them. It always kind of broke my heart a little bit that he wasn’t experiencing dreaming.

Barbara: Because you know how important that is to brain health and how one functions during the day. Dream sleep is such an important part of getting quality sleep.

Erica: Yes, so I did notice a difference in that. It’s interesting. I haven’t asked about it lately, but I will now.

Barbara: Particularly with your backgrounds, you know how lack of dreaming and how it can cause frustration during the day, or anxiety or moodiness. Sometimes because of the poor quality sleep and lack of dreaming, they are misdiagnosed as having ADD and ADHD.  Almost daily we talk with parents who are dealing with bedwetting and ADHD.

Erica: Fortunately, that was one of the things that he’s never had trouble with. This is also another reason that we would have never thought about a sleep problem with Jerry because he is pretty high energy, and compared to a lot of kids, he doesn’t seem to need a long night’s sleep. He never was drowsy during the day or not focusing or whatever. The main way it came out was with the bedwetting and the lack of dreaming.

Barbara: I’m so happy that we had the opportunity to help him. Those last two months at the end of treatment being totally dry must have been very refreshing for all of you. Erica/

Greg: Oh yes!  How to stop wetting the bed was a topic of conversation routinely.

Barbara: Until you get all of the components — you can try little bits and pieces and get part of the puzzle—but unless you get all of the components, one is not going to be successful with ending bedwetting and changing the pattern of sleep.

Erica: I also think that being a part of the program has a motivational kick to it. Especially with Jerry who didn’t really want to wet the bed, but also seemed to be ok with it, on some superficial level at least. Having the structure—all these things that we were doing— kind of got him fully on board with the process. Don’t you agree, Greg?

Greg: Yes.

Erica: Even though we tried other enuresis approaches, there was no getting away from this one, and I think that helped.

Barbara: With every failure experience, it makes it more and more difficult for a child. I’m glad we were able to help him while he was 10 years old instead of 18 years old and graduating from high school and can’t go away to college.

Greg: That would be a nightmare, yeah.

Barbara: People just sort of give up after awhile and resign themselves to thinking “I may be wetting the bed the rest of my life”.

Erica: Do you do follow­up with people, like a year later or anything like that?

Barbara: Yes, we have an automatic follow­up checking with families to make sure there are no difficulties. And we tell everyone— as I’m sure you were told—that if you ever have any situation in the future where you need our help, you only need to call. No matter if it’s five years or 10 years.

Erica: Lori did tell us that. She was wonderful.

Barbara: She’s a wonderful Treatment Advisor and very caring. Being a nurse, she has the medical background if we need some knowledge, although we’re not doing anything medical. But it’s nice to have all the professional background for the Treatment Advisors like we have to develop individualized bedwetting programs.

Well, thank you very, very much. Our very best to all of you. We appreciate the opportunity to help make a difference and change his life. And of course, it changes the family’s life.

Erica: It does, and we are very, very grateful to you folks, and to you for developing this program. I cannot image adolescent bedwetting.

Barbara: I’ve had my long struggle, also. But it’s nice to be able now to help others. Just as when you spoke with Gaile, she is kind of giving back what was given to her. Her heart and soul is in it, so that makes a difference.

Erica: I really enjoyed talking with her a lot.

Barbara: Good, I appreciate that. Everyone here tries to be as helpful as possible. That’s why we’re here six days a week. If someone needs help, they only need to call.

Erica: Just one last thing about Gaile. I was very impressed with her because I was very skeptical, so I was challenging her with understanding more about your bedwetting program with a bunch of different questions, and this and that, and she was just so non-defensive. It actually really spoke to her confidence in the program. She answered everything clearly. She understood my skepticism. She acknowledged legitimate questions. She offered guidance and pointed me in directions whenever possible. She said she’d get back to me on things, and I was very impressed by that. It played a big role in moving further with it, I think.

Barbara: I thank you very much. By the way, Erica. I was a very challenging mom, also. It think that’s what you have to be, because we are the only advocate for our children. We appreciate what it takes.

Erica: Yes. I’m really glad I pushed forward with this one, I’ll tell you.

Barbara: Thank you again, Greg and Erica! We are so happy for your family!

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

Dad and daughter thrilled with bedwetting program

The level of support was excellent and European dad claims he would recommend our bedwetting treatment program 100%.

Robert and Francesca are a father and daughter who were together for their final appointment with their Treatment Advisor, Claudia Minvielle, and they gave us permission to videotape them so they could share with others about their experience with us.

The family lives in Europe, and even though they have never visited our clinic in person, they received the same quality of care. Each visit was conducted via Skype so Claudia could nurture the relationship with the family, and consistently develop Francesca’s treatment for her deep-sleep bedwetting.

For the past 40 years, we have been able to develop a protocol to assist families regardless of where they reside, as well as families who live in the Metro Detroit area. 80% of our patients live outside of Michigan.

Transcript of video below:

 

Francesca: “Thank you for helping me”

Claudia: “You’re welcome. Congratulations, and I am very proud of you”.

Robert: “I would say that number one, it works. The Enuresis Treatment Center and website nobedwetting.com, you have a methods that works 100%, and I would recommend you to anybody else. It is quite expensive, so for us, we made sacrifices and were able to do it. Really you can’t put a price on this.

The level of support was excellent, and, Claudia, you have been strict with us which is good, and your program how to stop bed wetting has worked.  The one to one private appointments via Skype worked. It worked from her side, and it worked for us. So we are really pleased, and that is the bed wetting solution we were looking for, and you guys have delivered 100%”.

 

Bed Wetting Clinic Cares About My Child’s Problem

Bed Wetting Clinic Has the Best Care!

As the parent of a child who just successfully completed your bed wetting treatment  program, I want to express my gratitude to your organization and the people who helped my son.  He has been dry for months after years of wetting the bed at least 50% of the time.  I only wish I had contacted your enuresis clinic  sooner rather than later and we could have avoided years of bed wetting for our son.  We tried restricting his liquids after dinner but that didn’t work.  While we never blamed him for the nightly wet bed it was a source of frustration for everyone involved.

 

We discussed the situation with his doctor who told us to restrict his liquids and caffeine but that didn’t work.  Why he thought that was and effective bed wetting solution is beyond me.    Finally I decided to do research online and came across your organization along with several others.  I decided to choose  your bed wetting clinic after talking with Barbara Moore.  I felt that she really cared about helping people with this problem and I liked the fact that your staff was willing to work with every patient for as long as it takes. Since our son was an older child still bed wetting, we knew we needed an experienced team!  Our doctor was skeptical that this would work but I decided to go forward with the deep-sleep bedwetting program.  Everything was explained along the way by our counselor and it was easy to do the meetings over the phone.  Your program is the most comprehensive of the bed wetting solutions  I researched and I am confident it will lead to long-term success.  Needless to say we are very happy now that our son as been dry for months and has completed the program.

 

If you would like to use me as a reference for any other parents who have questions about the program or your bed wetting clinic,  I would be happy to do so.  We are very thankful for what you have accomplished for our son and countless others as well.

Sincerely,

Steve in Massachusetts


Call the Enuresis Treatment Center now and get the help you deserve!
United States:
1-800-379-2331

International (incl. Canada):
1-248-785-1199

Our specialists have treated bed wetting children, teens, and adults around the world, regardless of distance.

Enuresis Treatment Center, Inc.
31700 West 13 Mile Road
Suite 208
Farmington Hills, Michigan 48334