Let’s wage war on incontinence: join #pantylinernation

The problem

I recently contracted a cold virus that morphed into a sinus infection that morphed into an asthma flare. With all the coughing I was doing I made the following observation one morning on Facebook:

Okay, my mature women friends and family. You know when you have a cough and you are careful to empty your bladder frequently as a precaution? And there is always something in reserve even if you just went two minutes ago? I’m naming it the ‘cough drop.’

Photo courtesy depositphotos: used with permission

Apparently, I struck a nerve that leads directly to the urinary system as I had over 100 reactions and 20+ comments.

Here are a few comments that made me laugh which made me cough which made me discharge yet another ‘cough drop.’

Teri shared: “I’ve come to the conclusion my bladder and my cough reflex have conversations so I won’t oversleep. One eye open is the signal. “She’s awake…time to trigger bladder alert. Cough reflex? Stand by for further instructions. Hmmm…eye has closed…commence coughing sequence…begin tiny throat tickle…”

Linda confessed: “I need a similar name with the word ‘sneeze’ or ‘blow your nose.’ Asking for a friend…”

Roxanne responded to Linda with: “Post-renal drip?”

The Solution

A realization washed over me.  We need to wage war on incontinence. I issued this Facebook challenge:

I’ve been overwhelmed at the response to my recent post regarding women with upper respiratory infections releasing what I’ve coined the ‘cough drop,’ which occurs regardless of frequent bathroom breaks. I’m thinking of starting a Facebook group called the #pantylinernation. Who’s in?

People wasted no time embracing this watery battle cry.

Kim declared: “Women of a certain age need to squeeze together.”
Me: “I agree whole bladderedly.”

Diana cautioned: “The group will need to be tight!”
Me: “Yes!”

Marvin volunteered: “Me!”
Me: “I didn’t mean to exclude men. I’m glad you’ve broken through the porcelain ceiling.”

Lori was so enthusiastic she wrote: “Me me me!! This is hilarious by the way.”
Me: “When I thought of it this morning I had to change my panty liner.”
Lori: “I had to put one on.”

The platform

Research: I think we should apply for a grant to fund research to locate the undiscovered organ in the body that stores the ‘cough drop.’ I believe when we pinpoint this elusive reservoir, modern medicine will devise a way to surgically remove it or develop a designer drug that will drain its capacity to humiliate us.

Safe havens: We need to help people break through their denial about the condition. We will establish ‘Incontinence Anonymous’ groups so people can have a safe haven to raise their hand and say: ‘Hello, my name is Molly and I do #1 in my pants.”

We will ask people who have conquered their addiction to panty liners to lead the groups. Some have dealt with this enslavement through surgery, or extreme Kegel workouts, while others have restricted exposure to urine producing agents, e.g. water. Sobriety milestones will be rewarded by issuing ice chips, a refreshing way to hydrate without chugging too much liquid.

I nominate Janice as a group leader. Here is her inspiring testimony: “All too familiar with the cough drop. Had it fixed last summer. Best thing I ever did!”

Improved panties: We need panties that have built in liners constructed from organic, ultra-absorbent material. This will eliminate the pain and suffering of the displaced stick-on panty liner. Ouch!

Note: We also need to work on better briefs for men. Let’s not exclude them like they do women when they research cures for major medical conditions.

Moving forward

I’ve heard laughing is good for your immune system so I’m hoping it will hasten recovery from the infection and cough that led me to all of this dribble.

In the meantime, I’m looking for a cough-free opportunity to make a dash to the store so I can buy another box of panty liners. On second thought, I think I’ll ask Patrick to get them for me. Now that I know men use them too, the cashier won’t even think it’s weird.

Who wants to join #pantylinernation? Let’s cough, sneeze, and laugh with abandon as we unite to Make America Dry Again!


©2016, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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42 thoughts on “Let’s wage war on incontinence: join #pantylinernation

  1. This is a condition that doesn’t get talked about, but you have opened the subject up with humor. Bravo! I read somewhere that something like 50% of women have this condition when they cough, sneeze or laugh but no one talks about it because it’s… what? Shameful? Our fault? Wrong? Either way, you are shining a light on it! (no pun intended in anyway!)

    • Thanks for your comment Julia. I had a lot of fun writing this post which was the only fun thing about my relentless ‘cough drop.’ So delighted you stopped by and could appreciate the topic of the essay.

  2. You had me at Cough drops!! OMG, this is so dang funny. But on the serious note, there’s a kind of panty called Thinx. You can wear instead of a panty liner. Sounds helpful. I”m off to kegel!

    • I knew someone must have invented a better panty. I’m glad to know about it, Rosie. (Leaves for 10 minutes to google ‘thinx.’) Okay I’m back. These might be a bit more than I need for the single ‘cough drop.’ hahaha!

  3. I love the way you can turn a problem into a positive and fun read. Thanks Molly for addressing what many women experience but don’t want to talk about. Sharing on ST60 & Beyond FB page.

  4. Oh Molly, you struck a nerve. There’s nothing worse than when you feel a huge sneeze coming on. I’ll squeeze my legs together praying to be spared. But nope. The cough (or sneeze) drop happens anyway. Pantyliner Nation, here we come!

  5. Do you know I smugly thought I didn’t have this issue…and then I got on a trampoline with my husband and granddaughter. “It” started streaming and I started screaming, but my husband thought I was just clowning around for my granddaughter and kept bouncing me harder and higher–as my pride sank lower and lower. By the time I escaped to the edge, my pants were soaked and I had to run–another no-no–in the house and change. Is there such a thing as the cough bomb?

    • I just had to go change my pantyliner reading your sordid tale, Lee. I think given the proper circumstances, there is definitely something akin to the cough bomb. In this case, we’ll call it the tramp bomb. No wait. That didn’t come out right. Oops! Sorry for the reference about something coming out. I guess I’ll quit while I’m dry!

  6. Once you get this movement going you can always “expand” your horizons and move on to the untapped coughing/backdoor prisoner escape that occurs when one is experience tummy woes.

  7. When I was pregnant I experienced similar, I felt like I created enough cough drops to give Halls a run for their money. Oh my!!! I’m totally better now though, in complete control….::wink::

  8. I use panty liners as my line in the sand for not accepting sponsored posts – now you’re making me rethink their relevance – another ‘joy’ of childbirth!

  9. I so love you Molly!! I’m having to change the towel on my chair, as we speak. I too pledge my support to PantylinerNation!
    Cough drop is the perfect description!!
    Kegels?? What’s that?? Sounds suspicious like the exercises I did, uh was supposed to do, when I was pregnant. 😉
    Drat those mysterious pee holders anyway!!
    Thanks for the tip, of quit drinking water! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong!

  10. Brief liners for men will have a secondary, albeit brief, benefit of creating the false impression of more bulk in the area. This should help with marketing the product! “Make America dry again!”

  11. Whether coughing, sneezing, or laughing, I hereby pledge my support to the higher, dryer goals of #pantylinernation. God bless you for bringing this damp scourge to light, Molly.

    • I am so happy to have your support Kate. I can tell you are committed to the cause and even though it was a difficult topic to explore, I believe we will all be better off for having faced it head on. I’d write more but I’m headed for the head. LOL.

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