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In 2010 I gave birth to my first son and suffered a 4th degree tear- as a result of a vacuum delivery and episiotomy. Soon after I started having issues with continence but didn’t really connect the dots. After a year or so of realizing that something wasn’t right, I had a GI doc do a rectal exam and discovered that most of my sphincter muscle was missing. I was referred to a colo-rectal surgeon and had several more test done that determined that I had ZERO continence. I can hold nothing in, liquid or solid. And I have severe nerve damage so signals are always getting mixed up down there. I take Imodium every day, I’ve had Solesta injections, and a Sacral Nerve stimulator implant put in to try and help control the problem. I would say with all of that, I have about 20% more control- that’s it. I also suffer from IBS and GERD and have been having major hormonal problems brought on by the stress of all of this. I am seriously considering having a colostomy done and hope that it will help at least let me live my life. I have two young sons, a job, and a less than sympathetic family (but who can blame them) who really just thinks I’m being over dramatic most of the time. “At least you’re not dying” they tell me. I mostly just want to die at this point since I’m exhausted of this being the only thing on my mind all of the time. I never go out with friends and live in constant fear of a stomach virus. I live a fearful existence, never sure of what my gut might do that day. I tell my husband he should leave me and find someone he can enjoy life with, because I will never enjoy my life again.

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