I am a devoted husband, a dedicated father and a responsible executive. I am also a chronic, lifelong bedwetter. However, my inability to be dry at night has no bearing on my manhood or anything else about me as a person - it's just how I'm made. It is as natural for me to not have nightime control as it is for most adults to have it, and therefore, my need for protection is as much a necessity for me as it isn't for so many others. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to adult bedwetters exists in a big way although it may, at times, be more in our minds than in reality.

After 47 years, I've come to be prepared for any response from any situation that may call for my incontinence to be revealed. I find it's never as big a deal in other peoples minds as it is in mine. My choice in life would not be to have to always sleep on a rubber-sheeted bed, have drawers of supplies, deal with diaper rash and have a diaper pail under my sink, but some things in life we can't have control over.

I wish parents would understand more, how involuntary bedwetting is. I was one of the lucky ones as a child, but it's still taken years to regain the self-esteem that can so easily slip from you when you're dealing with what is commonly perceived as the behavior of a child. My dad never cared much except when it created an extra suitcase on vacations. My mom would always be sure I had what I needed, but into my teens would say things like 'don't worry honey - you wear diapers at night like a baby because you wet the bed like a baby.' As a child, that analogy did more damage than she ever knew and thankfully she stopped when I got in my teens, but 'like a baby' followed her comments all too often. She never meant it maliciously, but it seemed to help her justify all the additional expense and work bedwetting causes at any age. I was also her last child and I think she liked my needing her support through those years.

While it's hard to understand a desire to have this condition, be grateful to those who daydream that you do have control over something most 3 yr. olds do, and that you don't have to keep reminding yourself that you sleep in diapers because you are who you are. This problem can make life a little more challenging, but when kept in perspective should not be the burden so many of us can make it into.