I've had full-blown AP for a matter of months now since I came out of hospital for an operation on a brain tumour (untreatable). I say 'full-blown' as I've always had latent AP which just meant I favoured the stalls when peeing and could never start if somebody else came and used the urinal next to me.
However, for some reason, these past 12 months or so, it's gotten worse and worse to the extent that I cannot even start when at home if, for instance, a damn dog barks outside or I hear the voices of friends or neighbours nearby.
Since my illness, it means I've had to give up my driving licence and now rely solely on others for transport. Also, due to the nature of my disability (quite minor) I have to sit on the toilet to urinate. This poses little trouble when at home in silence, but when there is noise, or I know somebody is waiting for me then I clam up and can't go at all.
Then there is the subject of holidays (vacations); we are booked to go away this Monday with my wife's family (since I can't drive) including my wife's daughter; her two teenage daughters and her husband.
I know from past experience this is going to be hell for me.
However, since learning about paruresis recently, I've watched a number of videos on youtube and one technique I'm looking forward to doing is the '5 minute' technique - you simply spend 5 minutes in the bathroom, depending whether you pee or not, and if you do, still spend the remainder of the five minutes, getting yourself, and others used to the idea that if you say "I'm off to the bathroom for 5 minutes" it means just that. I say I'm looking forward to trying it out as that seems much better than saying 'I'll try'.
I spent a night in Hospital recently and thought that was going to be bad; I spent the first part of the night in a private room and halfway through was moved into a public ward with, oh dear, a public toilet. After locking myself in there for the first time, I could miraculously go and after that another two times during the course of the next day.
AP is certainly a strange and unpredictable disorder but there are many sources on the internet for fellow sufferers (if I'd never typed into Google 'inability to urinate' I'd still be left thinking I was on my own).
My thanks to all on this site for allowing me to write down my feelings without the stigma and embarrassment I may otherwise feel.
And if I have any luck whilst on holiday, without waiting for others to vacate the caravan, I'll update you and let you know.
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