JoAnne Lake

Online Profile
Author welcomes queries regarding

An insistent patient (forthright and wordy) because she is one of five million people in America with bladder problems and wants to start a conversation. She likes to tell it like it is.
The secret of her success is embracing the state of affairs with luminosity and honesty by taking the punch away.
She does not want to be remembered in connection to the toilet, yet she sees toileting dysfunction as the last frontier of subjects that needs to have a mature conversation. Her writings come from life experiences and emotions as a patient, mother, educator, and friend. After journaling her private thoughts and feelings, she started writing a highly successful blog in 2012 to educate and inspire others with bladder and bowel problems. This is her first book.

Visit JoAnne Lake (as Trudy Triumph) at her website

Beyond Embarrassment Cover

Beyond Embarrassment

BY JoAnne Lake • POSTED ON Dec. 1, 2015

Lake’s debut offers a candid memoir of her experience with neurogenic bladder and a wealth of practical advice about coping with its daily complications.

Five million Americans suffer from neurogenic bladder, which has symptoms and stigmas similar to incontinence. It occurs when nerves between the brain and bladder are damaged, often due to spinal injury or prolonged vaginal delivery of a baby. Lake, a Seattle-based special needs educator, had several strikes against her, including heavy lifting during her youth on a California farm, a difficult first labor, a hysterectomy that included removal of her cervix, and back surgery on a herniated disk. By age 55, her pain was intense enough to require a urologist’s attention. It turned out that urine retention had stretched her bladder and left her prone to frequent infections, so Lake now had to use an intermittent catheter for every bathroom visit. This book arose from her anonymous blog, begun in 2012 under the name “Trudy Triumph.” By revealing herself as an NB sufferer and discussing it in detail, she reassures others that they’re not alone: “I see toileting dysfunction as a last frontier of topics that need to have mature acceptance and an active audience,” she says. The text, attractively laid out with leaf motifs and inset boxes, is packed with helpful tips on diet, exercise, hygiene, and intimacy issues. A nitty-gritty chapter on urinary devices and aids recommends adult diapers and special toilet seats and provides a diagram for inserting a female catheter. While useful, however, some sections aren’t always pleasant reading for the squeamish. The book’s second part, “Blog Chatter,” is less essential, but its reader testimonials reveal the diversity of NB experiences. Lake seems clued-in and research-savvy, so she might have been able to write the “Knowledge Nuggets” and answer the reader Q&As without “Biosleuth” Julia Parker on board as a medical consultant. Appendices list suggested products, books, and websites, and the glossary is especially useful. Epigraphs from the Bible add an appropriate inspirational aspect, with Lake encouraging readers to see “setbacks a bit like sea glass….As we encounter adversity, we are forced to adapt and grow.”

An invaluable resource for NB sufferers.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-99-643054-8

Page count: 241pp

Publisher: Triumph Media Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2015


Awards, Press & Interests

Beyond Embarrassment: RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE WITH NEUROGENIC BLADDER AND BOWEL: Mom's Choice Awards Gold Seal, 2016