The name's Dean. Soccer is my game. I just passed my fourteenth birthday, and I'm considered by some to be the best player in the league. Last season I scored 47 goals in just 14 games! DEAN My team should have won the state championship. But I couldn't go to the playoffs. "Why?", you ask. Well... it has to do with a little problem that I've got. You see, I wet the bed. I've done it all my life. I wet almost every night, and sometimes I even wet more than once during the night. I've tried all kinds of treatments, but nothing has worked. So... when we have an away game, like the state playoffs, guess who's afraid to go, because he might wet. My teammates don't know. I don't tell anyone. I just tell them I can't go because I've got a bad cold or something. They always get mad, because then they don't win.

This year we were again headed for the state playoffs. And my teammates were counting on me. But I just couldn't go. It'd just be awful if they found out that I wet the bed. Man... I'd be so embarrassed that I'd have to move away or something. So the night before we were to go to the state playoffs I called the coach and said that I was very sick. The guys didn't believe me. They said that I was really a jerk for letting them down again.

The next day, as I hid behind the school gym, PICTURE OF DEAN AND THE BUS I watched their bus leave. Then I walked out onto the soccer field and imagined what it must be like to be at the playoffs. As I kicked a ball into the goal, I suddenly had the feeling that I was being watched.PICTURE OF THE WIZ I whirled around and saw a white-haired old man sitting on the sideline. He got up and slowly walked over to me. Then I realized who he was: the champion of the 1940's soccer World Cup games, one of the best soccer players ever. He was so awesome at faking out the other team, they called him "The Wizard", or "The Wiz" for short. Oh my gosh, would he tell my teammates that I wasn't sick? "How come you're not at the playoffs?" he asked. "You're the best player in the league!" I tried to think of another lie, but before I could get it out, he says, "So what's your secret that you're hiding? Do you turn into a werewolf at the full moon?" I felt my face flush. "Umm... well, if I tell you, you've got to promise to not tell anyone... on your word of honor." "No problem." he replied. I whispered, "I wet the bed." and felt terrible embarrassment. "Oh, is THAT all.", he replied. "I thought it might be an unsolvable problem."

PICTURE OF THE WIZ "Let me ask you a question, how do you kick so many soccer goals?" "I just concentrate.", I replied. "Exactly!", the old man remarked. "All great athletes take time out just before their record breaking pole vault, or a heavy weight championship, or a 3 and 2 pitch with the bases loaded, and they close their eyes and imagine themselves achieving their goal, making that high pole vault, or striking the batter out. Stopping bed-wetting is no different. The trick is "imagery!"

Mother nature stops kids from wetting the bed by teaching them that if they don't concentrate on what their bladder is doing, then they will be awakened by a wet, cold bed, be embarrassed, and so on. It's a lot like when you learned to not fall out of bed at night. FALLING OUT OF BEDFalling on the floor jolted you and woke you up, so pretty soon even when you were asleep, you kept away from the edge of the bed. Learning to not wet when you are asleep happens the same way. You get jolted awake by the cold, wet bed. But some kids just don't wake up when they wet, so then they don't learn. Alarms can help, since they can wake you if the wet bed doesn't. You hear the alarm and feel the wet bed just as you release the urine, so then you learn not to let the urine go." "But I tried the alarms!", I replied, "I sleep right through them!". "Well," the old man said, "then you need a louder alarm, or a vibration alarm. And your mom or dad has to back up the alarm and help you train to wake up when the alarm sounds. But, most of all, before you go to sleep, you really need to concentrate on what the alarm sounds like and imagine yourself hearing it and waking up.

Exhausted soldiers in war trenches can fall dead asleep, Soldier but train themselves to awaken at the first sound of an attacker. Doctors train themselves to wake up to an emergency phone call. Kids can train themselves to wake up the same way when they have to pee. Kids tend to wet less when they are away from home, as if they sleep less soundly or they concentrate more on not wetting. Again, the trick is "imagery!" Just before you go to bed, really imagine yourself hearing the alarm, or better yet feeling that your bladder is full, and waking up. You can practice by letting your bladder fill up sometime before bedtime and then go lie in your bed with your eyes closed and imagine that you're asleep. Really concentrate on what your bladder feels like. Then open your eyes, jump out of bed, and go to the bathroom. There have been nights that you didn't wet... right? So you do have the power to be dry! Practicing by getting up to an alarm clock very early in the morning is another good exercise, because you sleep less deeply as the night goes on. Then, as you learn to wake up, set the alarm earlier and earlier in the night."

"Also, many kids actually dream that they are in the bathroom or outside, and then they wet.", the old man continued. "Yeah I've done that.", I remembered. "Well, telling themselves just before they go to sleep to not believe that dream that they are in the bathroom, but pull themselves awake, is the idea.", the old man replied. "Some kids make more urine during night than their bladders can hold, and some kids just have small bladders. But they can all still learn to wake up, or even sleep through the night without waking and stay dry. But it takes real determination, just like breaking a pole vault record... or making 47 soccer goals!

Some kids can quit wetting by just not drinking so much in the evening. I remember a 14 year old who stopped wetting after he quit drinking 2 liters of pop before bedtime. Drinks containing caffeine, like cola and tea, make wetting worse. Those kids have it easy, but a lot of kids can't stop just by drinking less. They have to train to wake up!"

I then noticed a really cute girl walking out onto the field. "That's my granddaughter Julie," JULIEthe old man exclaimed with a twinkle in his eye. "She's 13. Hi Julie, this is Dean, and he wets the bed." Oh no... now she knows! I was so embarrassed. "Hi Dean, you sure are a great soccer player. Don't be embarrassed. I wet the bed too, up until three months ago. My grandfather helped me, and he can help you." She was right. Julie and I and her grandfather became great friends. It was tough, but I did what the Wiz recommended, and guess what... by the end of the next soccer season I was dry, and... we won the state championship!


Dean and the Wiz is based on a true story.

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