On an overnight tramp with friends, we were sleeping in a hut at the top of a gorgeous NZ mountain. Yet, as is the way, we were sleeping in a large dorm room with single mattresses covered in thick durable plastic. The kids got to sleep fine after a long day of hiking, but I lay awake all night long – uncomfortable, hot, and with a mind full of thoughts. It was that night that I had my light bulb moment.
I had not been open with my girlfriends about my personal problem. I guess its because no one really wants to talk about bodily fluids – because that’s nasty. Am I right?
But there I was, lying awake, thinking about how annoying it was that my backpack waist-strap had dug into my bladder all day during our hike and that I wish I had better pelvic floor muscles. Because not only had I leaked through the pad in my undies that day – but I was also dreading having to put another pad in the next day, as the only private place to do that was in the outdoor long-drop toilet, which was a haven for mosquitoes. Think nothing but ‘dreadful’!
As I lay awake that night there were three things that just kept swirling around my head.
Firstly, I wanted to understand why I wasn’t being more open about my bladder leakage issue. I remembered something I’d read once that said only 1 out of 3 people with incontinence issues seek help. This felt wrong to me, and I made an internal promise, right then, to be more open about my issues. It also made me want to help foster a more open conversation about female incontinence in general.
I was also annoyed that I hadn’t been able to buy any leak-proof underwear in New Zealand prior to our overnight tramp. I had found some online providers overseas, but the cost of shipping was the same as the product – so that was not going to happen. I decided then and there – I needed to do something about this too!
Lastly, I realised that my full-time job wasn’t stimulating me enough anymore. I was a small cog in a big wheel that just keep turning. It was starting to make me feel like I was just coasting along. No highs. No lows. Just letting life pass me by.
I knew I needed a change. My goal… was to discover more about bladder leaks and what I could do to fix it or at least control it!
And so began my journey to establish Vivo Bodywear. I was ripe for change. Covid had just hit, and my consulting work had paused. It was the perfect storm… or light-bulb moment – some may say. Step 1 – create the best ever underwear for bladder leakage!