Friday, December 13, 2019

23 year-old woman hasn't been to toilet for five years after her bladder nearly exploded

Pollyanna Love hasn't been able to go to the toilet for the last five years after her bladder "nearly exploded".

Surgeons had no choice but to remove her bladder and fit a stoma bag after the 23-year-old was diagnosed with a rare condition, Fowlers Syndrome.

Pollyanna was just 18 when she had to undego the harrowing procedure because of her condition, which means the where the urethral sphincter – the muscle that keeps people continent – cannot relax, preventing normal urination.

Since the age of four Pollyanna had suffered from almost constant bladder infections and had to endure a burning sensation every time she went for a wee.

But five years ago the pain was so bad she couldn't pass water at all and A&E doctors had to drain three litres of urine from her bladder and she was diagnosed with Fowlers Syndrome.

In July last year, because Pollyanna was suffering from bladder spasms so painful she said it was like being in labour, doctors removed her organ.

She has been fitted with a stoma and has an attachable pouch to collect her waste.

Pollyanna, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire, who is unable to work because of her condition, said: "I’d been dealing with bladder infections for as long as I could remember, even as young as about four or five years old.

"For years, I’d have that feeling of desperately needing the loo – but only be able to squeeze out a little dribble when I went.

"Then, aged 18, I suddenly stopped being able to wee all together. It was absolute agony and horrific to face something like that so young. I’ve had to grow up very quickly."

Pollyanna was given antibiotics everytime she suffered a bladder infection but as soon as she stopped taking them the problem returned.

She said: "I’d have to wear incontinence pads to school. I felt disgusting and didn’t tell anybody what was going on. It really affected my confidence.

"I constantly felt desperate for the loo, but I had absolutely no idea what was causing it.

"I thought I was just unlucky, and one of those people that are prone to infections like cystitis, which I know some girls are."

Pollyanna tried everything to cure her symptoms, including cutting out certain foods, but nothing worked.

Pollyanna had a second round of surgery in July 2018, this time to remove her bladder completely.

Now, although the stoma bag is an effective solution, she feels self-conscious especially if it leaks or is visible under her clothes.

And she suffers with kidney pain, where the organs have been left scarred and damaged by the repeated infections.

Bravely speaking out to raise awareness of Fowlers Syndrome, Pollyanna, who says her drastic surgery was “the best decision she has ever made,” as it has freed her from the agonising spasms, said: “I want people to know that urinary retention isn’t normal.

“It may not be Fowlers Syndrome, but it’s better to get it seen to before it gets any worse.

“Far too few people have heard of the condition, so I’m determined to do all I can to raise awareness.”

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