I love my blog. Some days I loathe it, like when I feel it’s not performing in line with the effort I put into it, or that it’s taking me away from my family. But mostly, on balance, it’s freaking awesome.
My blog gives me and my family incredible opportunities I’d otherwise not have: you may have missed it, but I had a little fan-girl moment over Cherry Healey recently; as I write I’ve just come from quaffing proscecco at a swanky hotel in London.
But there’s another – less shallow – reason that I LOVE my blog: it enables me to be a part of some really valuable campaigns. I’m so proud of that.
I’ve been to an event hosted by Always. I know, awkward, right? Who wants to talk about *whispers* periods? (Been there, done that, as it happens…)
No? Okay, let’s skip that. How about Female Adult Incontinence instead?
Your collective gasps of horror are so audible I can practically hear them through the space and time between me writing this sentence and you reading it. (If I could bend physics thus, I’d reach through your screens and close your mouths for you.)
But let’s be adults for a moment.
The Last Taboo?
Naturally, there are some topics of conversation which are quite clearly more appropriate than others. The increasing personal nature of those subjects is directly proportional to how well you know the person you’re speaking to. And – while we’re being frank – the volume of alcohol consumed. Right?
Right. So, as you can imagine, I’m quite particular about the things I discuss and endorse on my blog. My blog is not only a reflection of me personally, but also professionally, ie. it’s essential I give off the impression I want others to have of me and of my business.
The Always event I’ve just attended was so heavily embargoed I didn’t even know what I was there for until I arrived and saw incontinence products artfully placed next to vases of flowers. I began to panic think about how I would cover this taboo subject…
In the meantime, I met several others bloggers for Prosecco and ponderings on the subject of weak bladders. There was one lady who, within mere minutes of meeting, chose to share with me the fact she was carrying one of the products we would be discussing. Yep – she even pulled an Always Discreet incontinence pad out of her bag to prove it.
I’m a very private person. If I’m going to share, it will be with my closest buddy, my hubby, or my GP. So I was a bit (a lot) surprised… Actually, that doesn’t cover it; I won’t lie: I was aghast. I didn’t know what to say. Feeling uncomfortable, I greedily drank my bubbles and scanned the room for an escape route.
I was saved at that moment by noticing the lovely Talya, of Motherhood: the Real Deal, was also there. I wandered over for a chat as we were ushered into a screening of a short film about the issue. We had a choice of popcorn or penny sweets to feast on with our fizz, and I began to think the taboo subject I had to find a way of tackling was being rather well balanced out with the treats on offer.
Female Adult Incontinence
The film introduced several women who talked about their difficulties with incontinence and how it affected them. For example, something I’d never considered was the fact that it can prevent women from doing every-day things like jumping on a trampoline with their child, or even just running after them. It can also cause relationship problems as it affects their sex-life too. Even choices in clothing and ability to exercise are dictated by this issue.
Incredibly, I learned that incontinence affects one in three women.
At this point, I started to look at things a little differently to when I’d arrived. Yes, it’s a taboo subject, which basically equates to me feeling a little awkward or embarrassed having the conversation. But actually, it’s very common. If you watch the short video (below) I appear in with fellow bloggers Talya and Clare (Mumsy Mum), you’ll see I do some pretty inspiring maths – essentially, statistically, one of the three of us should be afflicted by Adult Incontinence. That’s crazy; and kind of devastating.
‘Our bodies are perfect as babies, and then things change.’
I found that very poignant. Nobody chooses for their body to ‘let them down’ in some way. Yet there are certain debilitating conditions which are more ‘acceptable’ than others. Essentially, our embarrassment about anything related to the reproductive organs or expelling waste is off-limits. This attitude leads to shame and secrecy – which ultimately allows the cycle to perpetuate.
In the event, for me the most uncomfortable aspect of the, erm…event was the dawning realisation that I was part of the problem. If the lady who shared with me felt able to do so – at a function to raise awareness of that topic – then why should I feel she was being inappropriate?
Naturally, I’m over-simplifying the matter to make a point. The crucial element is context.
Love it or loathe it, social etiquette is alive and well; it’s an intricate dance, of which we must master the complex moves in order to pass or fail.
Had we been in any other situation, then my discomfort would perhaps be reasonable. However, understandable or not, I totally accept that it’s absurd – and actually quite unnecessary: once dialogue was opened and made ‘acceptable’, everybody I spoke to was quite relaxed about discussing it.
Turns out we’re mostly uncomfortable about breaking a taboo, as opposed to the taboo itself. Who knew?
If you’re one of the 33% of women who lives with AI, please don’t suffer in silence. Many ladies are so intensely embarrassed about seeking help that they’re leaving themselves improperly protected by using incorrect products. Investigating your options could really improve your situation.
Speaking of which, Always have been developing their current range for ten years, and they’re pretty proud of the product they’ve released. But they want to aid women like you in two different ways:
- By creating their thinnest ever pads which also control odour by turning liquid into gel within seconds;
- By capitalising on the platform they have to promote awareness and encourage communication about this taboo.
Possibly one of the most fascinating pieces of information I took away from the day is that there’s pioneering research being undertaken looking into whether Botox may be a viable option to ‘treat’ AI. So while this may not yet be available, it’s something to look forward to.
Also, did you know that pelvic floor exercise can also drastically improve your situation?
And in the meantime, you can count on Always Discreet to give you 100% protection. For more advice and tips visit Always Info.
This is a commissioned post.