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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

Through my life, I've never really known consistency. I've moved around a lot (at least 15 times) in my 25 years on this earth. I've been homeschooled, thrown into school halfway through grade nine, and graduated with honors – going to Ottawa University with the intention of going for BA in English.

I dropped out of university at the end of my first semester. I've lived with both parents, then one parent, a grandparent, and then the other parent. I've lost, gained, and then lost weight. I've even broken my back twice in a matter of weeks and went through an extremely difficult healing process. Through all this, one thing has remained the same: wetting the bed and overactive bladder.

It's haunted me for my entire life, and sometimes it would leave me with emotional scars, but most times it was just a part of my life, and something I just had to deal with on a daily basis. It wasn't until I turned 19 that I decided to see my family doctor about it.

I explained to her that I still wet the bed. I said it was every night, and I don't know what to do about it. She understood and took my concern seriously. She immediately referred me to my first urologist in Ottawa, and so began my story.

He was the first of 4 urologists that have been my doctor who has diagnosed me with nocturnal enuresis and overactive bladder. I just kept being passed around from doctor to doctor. But I communicate with them all still, and they're all involved in my journey.

Who has been there for you? How?

The only person who has been there for me this entire time, and always supported my life and health, is my mom. She is very close to me, and I support her as well. She is my best friend, and I love her very much.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I was also diagnosed in 2012 with depression, and in 2016 re-diagnosed with dysthymia, a persistent low-grade depression. Along with many other struggles in life, it made my bladder issues extremely prevalent and even more difficult to deal with.

I have wanted to give up on finding help so many times, and even more seriously I have wanted to give up on life. However, in my lowest of lows, I needed to find a way to cope.

I had to change how I saw myself. It had a lot to do with "black and white" thinking. I needed to allow myself to fail and to accept being in a place for longer than I planned because life doesn't go as planned.

I also needed to accept my bladder issues for what they are. I know I don't have it as terribly as others; I never take what I have for granted. I was also sure that one of the medications, procedures, or surgeries would solve my bladder issues, but now I'm not so sure. Sometimes I'm okay with that and sometimes I am not, but its how I manage those feelings that help me move on.

I have wanted to give up on finding help so many times, and even more seriously I have wanted to give up on life. However, in my lowest of lows, I needed to find a way to cope.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I just never saw my life going this way, and it is still foreign to me. It feels like it's just a dream sometimes, and I will wake up with a dry bed and no bladder issues.

I would say my biggest accomplishment is never giving up on finding something to help. The past six years have been difficult in many ways, and I haven't had anyone going through the same thing to commiserate with, and it's been so isolating and demoralizing.

There are only so many "That's not good" and "I'm sorry" that I can hear before resenting people. So to do this alone has been challenging.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I just never saw my life going this way, and it is still foreign to me. It feels like it's just a dream sometimes, and I will wake up with a dry bed and no bladder issues.

I would say my biggest accomplishment is never giving up on finding something to help. The past six years have been difficult in many ways, and I haven't had anyone going through the same thing to commiserate with, and it's been so isolating and demoralizing.

There are only so many "That's not good" and "I'm sorry" that I can hear before resenting people. So to do this alone has been challenging.

What's your advice to someone else living with Overactive Bladder?

Don't wait to ask someone for help. I know it's extremely challenging and embarrassing to even have this condition, but waiting to ask your doctor about your health may cause more problems than its worth. OAB/Bed-wetting can be symptoms of other health concerns.

Regardless, get yourself help and learn more about your symptoms. It will get easier the more you talk about it. So don't be afraid to share, and hopefully, it will help destigmatize bed-wetting and overactive bladder.

Also, treat people the way you want to be treated. If you feel embarrassed or anxious about your health problems, its likely other people feel the same about their own, and that they deserve the same sympathy you do.

Get yourself help and learn more about your symptoms. It will get easier the more you talk about it. So don't be afraid to share.

Is there anything else we should know?

I love traveling, I love animals, and I love iced coffee all year round. I also love rain and snow way more than I like the sun and hot weather. I'm glad I live in Canada!

About Olivia Robbin

My Story: Olivia Robbin

My name is Olivia Robbin, and I am actively trying to change the perception and break the stigma of adults who have overactive bladder and wet the bed at night. It is often thought of as only something a child would do, and even then it can be frowned upon. But truthfully speaking, it is not their fault.

Through my YouTube videos, I go through my very personal experiences with OAB and nocturnal enuresis, which for both, I have struggled with my entire life. I am here to talk to everyone about what it is like, and to empathize with those who also share these problems and experiences. There can be different reasons people experience bed wetting and OAB, and it can be a symptom of another diagnosis.

However, it is embarrassing nonetheless. I urge you to share these videos with someone you love who may be experiencing this and isn't as open about talking about it. It can really help to have someone who understands. Thank you for your support.

Olivia Robbin's YouTube Channel

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