In 1992, I started using a tube over my penis with a clip at the bottom. The tube was secured to the penis by a rubber band. This was quite good except when the tube became full, it would suddenly come off and wet my shorts. I used this method for over two years. Just a few months before my bladder enlargement operation, I changed to a condom but it did not help.
I faced many problems when I had incontinence. I was teased by many of my classmates in school. I could not attend physical education lessons. I disliked outings for fear of my problem being noticed by people. I stood away form people as much as possible, especially in crowded areas. When it was not possible, I noticed that people gave me funny looks and sometimes covered their noses. I wore only dark coloured pants so that those wet patches could not be seen. I was totally helpless when my pants dried and the odour was still there. As a result, I had to be cautious and took steps to prevent dribbling. I drank very little when travelling and choose a table near toilets when I was eating out. I even avoided crowded and air-conditioned public transport when my pants were wet. I could not sit in one place for a long time as I would become very restless and irritable, and this affected my studies a lot.
In 1996, my father met Dr Peter H C Lim at a Public Forum on Incontinence organised by the Society for Continence Singapore. My father later took me to his clinic for an examination and Dr Lim suggested an operation to enlarge my bladder to solve my problem. Before the operation could take place, I had to learn to self-catheterise, just in case my sphincter becomes too strong after the surgery. Self-catheterisation was painless and easy. After six months, I was ready for the surgery.
Dr Peter H C Lim operated on me on 30 October 1997. I stayed in hospital for about a month. I started self-catheterisation thereafter for about a month to remove mucus in the bladder. Now I do not dribble at all and I am taking cranberry juice to reduce mucus secretion.
I am now leading a normal life and enjoying activities, which I was deprived of in my childhood. I am no longer self-conscious and I am very happy. My only advice to sufferers like myself is to come forward and seek help. There is nothing embarrassing about incontinence. It is just a disorder like any other. I would like to thank the Society for Continence Singapore for giving me an opportunity to share my experience.