“JIC”-ing = “Just In Case”
You know what I mean--
“Oh wait…l need to go before we leave (“just in case”)”
Does someone in your family do this? Do you do this? And how long have you been doing it?
Have you thought about WHY you do it? Is it because you really do need to go, or has it become habit?
JIC-ing is one habit that can actually create more problems for you! Many of us are unaware of this.
I’d like to tell you about a time when one person did become aware of it. After one of my workshops on bladder leakage, a lady in her late 50’s came up to me. We chatted for awhile, and she told me that she has been a JIC-er nearly her entire life. She didn’t realize it until now.
“Ever since I can remember, before we would leave the house to go anywhere, my mom always insisted that we use the bathroom first. ALWAYS. Even if I didn’t have to go, I had to at least TRY.”
She also admitted that she had been having urinary urgency problems, and has even had a few embarrassing accidents lately.
She paused awhile, then asked, “Do you think this habit could be related to my problem?”
Quite possibly, I told her. The reason is this: the brain and the bladder have a good communication system in place. It’s called Bradley’s Loop. Basically it’s a feedback system that tells our body when to fill the bladder, when to empty it, and when to use the pelvic floor muscles to keep the pee in or let it out. More about Bradley in our next blog post.
What JIC-ing does is that it messes up that system. Now the brain and bladder are getting false signals. The bladder is saying, "wait, I'm not even half full yet, but Brain is telling me to empty. What's going on?" Brain is saying, "Hey Bladder, what's your problem? I'm getting the signal that it's time to empty. Sorry if this signal came early, but you need to do this NOW."
The pelvic floor is down there, wondering how it should respond to the chaos. "Okay, do I relax or do I stay at resting tone? Bladder and brain, will you PLEASE make up your mind? Wait...WHAT NOW??!! My person is telling me to tighten while she is peeing? I'm supposed to be relaxing now!" (as in, you are doing your Kegels while you're urinating). "Fine, I'll just do whatever whenever I feel like it."
Let this become a regular habit, and you can actually retrain your bladder to act like a fussy baby! You start getting that sudden strong urge that screams for attention—“I WANNA GO -- NOW!!” Can you see how this scenario can get set up over time?
(BTW, this is one reason why Kegels alone may not help with urgency incontinence, and could make things worse!)
Can you change your JIC-ing habit? Absolutely yes! This really is a “mind over matter” thing.
The next time you are on auto-pilot toward the bathroom, stop and ask yourself,
Do I need to go pee, or is this just part of my habit?” The answer may surprise you!
Are you a nighttime JIC-er? Do you tend to get up more than 2 times a night to use the bathroom?
Did you know that this habit can nearly DOUBLE your fall risk at night? Not to mention increasing the risk of hip fractures. The consequences can be serious. And your bladder might not even need to be emptied so often!
Here's how to start changing this: whenever you wake up at night, ask yourself this:
Did I wake up BECAUSE I have to go pee, or did I wake up and decide I should go pee?
If your answer was " I woke up and decided I should go pee", then go back to sleep!
As we all know, habits can be broken. This is one habit that would be good to get rid of! If you find that you’re going to the bathroom at a certain time “just because”, and it has nothing to do with your bladder being full, then try waiting until you feel that signal that it’s time to go.
“But Laura, I’m afraid that if I wait, I’ll have an accident.”
“But I’m already at that ‘fussy baby’ stage; my bladder screams at me all the time now. Is it too late?”
No, it’s not too late. And I do understand the fear of changing this habit.
But is there a greater fear of losing your dignity, having your life controlled by your bladder, or having to live with this problem for the rest of your life?
There are things you CAN do to regain control over your bladder so that it no longer controls you! We can teach you how to win the “mind over matter” game, get Bradley’s loop working again, and break the JIC-ing habit, without relying on medication or surgery.
Interested? Contact us and find out how to take the next step!
We help men and women with bladder leakage, pregnancy or postpartum issues, or pain “down there” to regain their dignity and reclaim their lifestyles, so that they can stay fit and active, keep up with their kids or grandkids, be worry-free at social outings, and enjoy intimate relationships again.
Laura McKaig PT
Specialist Physical Therapist