Conference Calamity: From Utter Embarrassment to LBL Enlightenment

A few weeks ago I attended a personal development workshop. (When I’m not teaching these types of classes, I’m taking them.) Sessions were long and bathroom breaks were infrequent. Not the best circumstances for women who experience LBL. After the first break, the line for the women’s restroom was way too long and filled with fidgeting women who looked as distressed as I felt. I said, “I’m going to need to give my bladder a pep talk to make it through this line.” Several women laughed, chimed in, and an LBL discussion was underway.

Have you noticed that it only takes one bold woman to get a delicate conversation rolling? Later that day, one of the ladies who had been part of that conversation grabbed my arm and walked me down a long, narrow hallway, and into the coat room. She was visibly upset. I asked her, “What’s wrong?” “Just before the break, I couldn’t wait any longer, so I got up and ran to the bathroom. I didn’t feel like I leaked, but my pad was completely waterlogged. That’s NEVER happened before. And now my underwear is damp. Thank God I wore black pants. I’m going to have to go home now, but I don’t want to miss the class. What should I do?” We commiserated about the unpredictability of these things, and I gave her a spare pad from my purse. “I don’t wear a pad every day,” she said, “I just had a feeling that with the intensity of the workshop and the long hours, it might be a good idea.” She calmed down and I encouraged her to deal with the damp underwear and stay for the evening session.

At the end of the conference, the chilly night air stung our faces as we left the building. We were exhilarated and exhausted at the same time. I congratulated my new friend for sticking with the program to the end, and as we maneuvered our way through the icy parking lot, we laughed about all the crazy circumstances we women can find ourselves in. “Women don’t feel so alone when they hear about other women’s experiences. Would you mind if I shared yours on my blog?” I asked her. She hesitated for a moment, asked me not to use her name, and then said, “Tell them that I’m really proud of myself for staying at the workshop.”

How about you? Life is filled with challenging experiences. Have you ever been in a situation where you overcame the discomfort of the moment, and found a way to manage your LBL?

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