A motorcycle accident in April 1982 left Lesley with a T5 spinal cord injury. This resulted in no voluntary bladder or bowel control and no voluntary movement or sensation from the bust down.
Lesley told us, “I was always worried about embarrassing accidents and mapped out any day trips by toilet availability. I was constantly on antibiotics for water infections and went through copious changes of bedding and clothing. And all the normal trials and tribulations associated with wheelchair use.”
(Lesley at the bike show, “there is no way I would have attempted this before my implant.”)
Lesley-“I can’t remember when I last had a UTI.”
Before the implant I emptied my bladder by tapping on it and applying external pressure, in 1982 it was that or an indwelling catheter, my body objected to the catheter and it would be expelled, when I could get them to stay in they leaked and caused very bad infections and my bladder used to shed its lining.
How does the Finetech Brindley Control System benefit you?
I was one of Prof. Brindley’s early patients. I have had my implant since 1984/85.
In the first year I still experienced a few leaks and accidents, before the implant I had spent 6 months in my local hospital where they insisted I was permanently catheterised, I lost any muscle tone and bladder capacity was very small. This was overcome to some extent by drugs. I then underwent an operation to adjust the angle of the neck of the bladder. I haven’t looked back. Instant dryness.
I am dry all night, at home I wear ordinary underwear with a very thin panty liner, and I wear an incontinence pant if I am going out because you never know where the toilets are hidden. At night I sleep on a Kylie sheet but this is mainly for sweating problems. Night time accidents do sometimes occur but that is normally due to a boozy evening or being too lazy to get out of bed on a cold morning.
I can’t remember when I last had a UTI.
My implant stopped working in 2007 and I learnt how to do intermittent catheterisations. In January 2009 a repair was undertaken.
During the time it was out of action and I was catheterising. I became quite incontinent; I always wore pads and changed bedding daily. Within a week of the repair I was dry.
What would you like to say to other potential users (patients) about the Brindley Bladder Control System?
I have had a very good quality of life, my health is good and I think I would have been in big trouble kidney-wise without the implant. My UTI’s were getting harder to control. I have good skin and my only pressure sore was hospital acquired, I think my skin has been good because I am not sitting in wet clothes or lying in a wet bed. I don’t think I would have had any where near as good a life without the implant, embarrassment was already starting to turn me into a recluse.