Many of our friends of Men's Liberty are beginning a second career – or what we call an “encore career,” veering away from the expected routines in life. You have your Men’s Liberty device – and that gives you freedom to do what? To GET ACTIVE and GET INVOLVED! Wendy LaTorre discusses the benefits of Encore Careers and a healthier life.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we aren’t shy about men’s health, and we openly discuss many aspects of it. In fact, we’re so used to using words relating to men’s anatomy, that we don’t even think twice about it. It’s only when we hire a “newbie” (new team member) that we suddenly realize that our vocabulary can be somewhat shocking. Give them a week or two, and they’re right “in it” with us.
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For us, that means it’s all about BEING AWARE and BEING INFORMED.
Each year, more than 29,000 men will die of this disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of U.S. men. These statistics really frustrate us here, and it’s because of one simple thing that we just don’t understand:
Why is it that so many men refuse to have their doctors give them a quick 15-second digital exam?!
You see – here’s the thing: Diagnosed early enough, prostate cancer survival rates are super high!! At 10-years post diagnosis, 98% of men diagnosed early remain alive!! 98%!!
What’s more, undergoing a 45-minute (relatively painless) colonoscopy procedure can very possibly PREVENT prostate and colon cancer!
There are some things that all of us can do to slow down or PREVENT prostate cancer. Let’s go through a quick list of Prostate Cancer Prevention Tips, as follows:
7 Prostate Cancer Prevention Tips
- Maintaining a healthy diet. Healthy meaning meals high in fruits and vegetables, lien proteins (fish), whole grains (oatmeal, brown or wild rice, popcorn, wheat breads) unsaturated oils (olive or canola oil), and of course staying away from sugars and sodas.
2. Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
3. Maintaining a healthy body weight – having a Body Mass Index (“BMI”) between 18.5 to 24.9. If you Google “BMI Calculator”, and type in your height and weight, the calculator will report your BMI. It’s that easy!
4. If you’re a smoker – QUIT! Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health.
5. Take a half aspirin (81 mg) every day. Easy, huh?!
6. Big surprise with this one – having a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. If you’ve never had one, please, please, please – schedule it today!
7. Having an annual checkup with your doctor, and that includes getting a digital prostate exam AND a PSA blood test (Prostate Screening Awareness).
Like we said – BE AWARE and BE INFORMED! Please – take this blog to heart. We truly care about your health, and just think… What if you were able to avoid surgery, all because your doctor was able to remove a few polyps during a colonoscopy?
Or, think of the peace of mind you’d have if your doctor gave you a quick digital exam and told you that your prostate feels normal? You wouldn’t have to worry, or worse yet – wonder.
So there’s just one more step after becoming aware and becoming informed… And that’s to take action now! Call your doctor and make that appointment! Take action to prevent!! Do it now!
Wendy LaTorre reviews and summarizes “The China Study.” This amazing research studies is one of those 400-plus page books that may be more talked about than read, and is packed with research statistics and nutrition facts that can help all. Discover how this long-term study can help you live a longer and healthier life.
Recently a good friend of Men’s Liberty was in the hospital with a life-threatening infection. As with most hospital visits, it was extremely stressful on his caregiver… Me.
While he underwent emergency surgery and recovery, I realized – it was left up to me to be his health advocate. I found myself talking with all the doctors and nurses assigned to him, trying to take notes on what was happening every day; the daily doctor’s instructions, if they changed; what all the machinery was that was connected to him, and what was being poured into his body.
The one additional element I didn’t record was how he was feeling. And that was only because he couldn’t verbally communicate with a vent tube down his throat! It was the quietest he has ever been in his lifetime!
For the most part I have all my notes on one notepad, but I also have them jotted on paper napkins, the back of grocery receipts and whatever other loose pieces of paper I would dig from my bag to take notes.
Keeping these notes allowed me to clearly share the majority of each day’s events with all of our family and friends. Those notes also now act as a mnemonic device for me as I share with him the sequence of events that he was clueless to, as he was in an induced coma.
I became his memory of that time period. I had often witnessed my father saying that about my mother as they negotiated the V.A. medical system. She is his memory. Now I had a lot better understanding.
With today’s healthcare systems so very complicated, I now wonder how people navigate them alone. And as it keeps getting more and more specialized and intricate, the need for a “memory keeper” is key.
These are my steps for being proactive with your own medical care and keeping a medical journal:
First, start with a notebook or notepad. Nothing fancy, but simple to utilize, by keeping your notes in one place. Making it a really bright color makes easier for you or your caregiver to find it in an emergency. Your medical records and notes should be the only thing you put in this notebook.
There is no right or wrong way in organizing your notebook. It is all about creating a system that works for you. You should be able to access the information that is important to you.
Remember that I said I took notes on receipts, napkins, etc. Instead of transcribing them, I simply taped them into my journal. In other words – NO RULES.
In addition, if you are incapacitated, the journal allows others to have access to what you are currently experiencing and monitoring with your health.
So that brings us to “What to put in your notebook.”
- Record your pharmacist. They have an electronic record of all the prescriptions you fill with them. If you have more than one, make a note of their phone numbers and addresses too.
- Record any information related to all of your doctors. Include their phone numbers and addresses. Make it easy for someone else to know who you are dealing with.
- Record some of your basic health information as well. Start with simple statistics like your DOB (Date of Birth), weight and height, blood type and your typical blood pressure, if you know it.
- Record any medications you take on a regular basis. Remember to record if you have any reactions to your medication. When recorded, it’s also easier to remember to discuss it with your doctor on your next visit.
- Record prior illnesses, surgeries and injuries. These events may play an important role in your long-term health. It’s very easy to forget major medical events when you are directly asked by a doctor. Talk about a brain freeze, or even a “Senior Moment.” OMG - I forgot that I had a car crash that I had with a semi-truck in my youth. That accident may have affected my neck and spinal pain later as an adult. And who forgets getting run over by a semi-truck?!
I use to have migraines and then started a “headache journal.” I used a simple date book. I could record the date it happened, the type and level of pain (from 0 to 10), where it was in my head, how long it lasted, and anything else that was happening in my body (nausea, etc.).
I also looked at my life and what was happening in it. Things like what I was eating and how I was feeling that day. Eventually, I saw a pattern and could address the source, not just the pain.
Hopefully, this gives you some ideas to begin your own personal medical journal. And perhaps it will spur some discussions with your spouse, family members and friends. They need to know you’re being proactive with your health – and by telling them, they’ll know where to look to find your journal in the event of an unfortunate tragedy.
Begin taking the steps to create your medical journal now!! In a while, I’ll share some more tips related to this subject!
We also want to acknowledge that this month is National Spinal Cord Awareness Month. Men's Liberty has some wonderful blogs on Spinal Cord Injuries, including blog postings from Caleb, so look around and read these wonderful posts!
Wendy LaTorre continues the discussion on adult diapers. She examines insurance coverage of adult diapers - none, and how much money you can save each year by using Men’s Liberty instead of adult diapers. This can be a staggering statistic!
Here is "The Ugly Truth About Adult Diapers for Men" link: https://youtu.be/9O7MriFuOws
Here at BioDerm you'll often hear us say that Men's Liberty is the better alternative to adult diapers. Obviously, after using Men's Liberty, our customers quickly realize why they love using our brand. However, you might wonder why we think diapers are the lesser option. For me it always comes down to four factors: safety, comfort, waste and cost.
Long Term Exposure To A Hot, Dirty, Chemical-Laden Adult Diaper is the Number One Cause of Rashes And Lesions
Although rashes and skin lesions can be caused by several factors, the majority of these severe irritations and sores come from allergies to adult diapers, lack of air on the skin where diapers are worn and higher skin temperatures caused by the plastic in diapers retaining body heat.
Certain chemicals found in adult diapers (including Mercaptobenzothiazole, Cyclohexylthiophthalimide and P-tert-butyl-phenol-formaldehyde resin) and the dyes used to add color to the product have been shown to cause intense allergic reactions resulting in severe rashes. In fact, repeated exposure to these unnatural substances can cause long-term allergies, making continued use of adult diapers to be impossible without having to deal with embarrassing and painful rashes for the rest of your life.
As they get wet, adult diapers also become less form fitting and the sopped absorbent material begins to rub against the skin, causing deep lesions. On top of being incredibly painful, these lesions can often become infected and cause very serious medical complications to wearers in the most sensitive of places.
With over 3.5 million units being sold, Men's Liberty has resulted in no complaints of rashes or urinary tract infections. Its hydrocolloid base is safer and truly skin friendly.
So, which would you rather trust, a product with zero complaints or one that easily results in the need for medical attention?
One Year of Using Adult Diapers Can Result in 1000 Pounds of Garbage
Disposable diapers are worn until they are filled, and then, by definition, are thrown away. This results in nearly 8 billion pounds of garbage each year. This is enough to fill over twenty city blocks, or reach to the moon and back nine times. And this is just during one year!
Since it takes several hundred years for diapers to decompose (scientists still aren't sure exactly how many century), you can imagine how much garbage this actually represents. In fact, diapers make up over 30 percent of all space in American landfills (only outnumbered by newspapers and food containers).
This doesn't even take into consideration the human waste that is in the adult diapers (ever wonder the real reason a garbage dump stinks?). When you toss a soild one into the trash, you are adding to the 84 million pounds of raw human waste leached into the environment every year from diapers. This human waste eventually reaches our waterways and goes back into human use...yeah, that's a rather disgusting thought.
Men's Liberty is a much better alternative as far as this is concerned. After a man fills the Men's Liberty integral collection chamber, he can safely and discreetly empty his urine into a toilet at his convenience...that's right, no human waste is added to our landfills!
Would You Rather Pay Over $3000 a Year or Have Little or No Cost in Dealing With Your Incontinence?
To avoid rashes and lesions, an average a man will wear between three and five pairs of adult diapers a day. One package of 18 diapers will last roughly half a week and cost around $20 with taxes (this is on the low end of costs). This means you are paying over $3,000 a year for disposable adult diapers! That's the cost of a brand new high end MacBook, the best quality 75" flat screen TV or an all-inclusive two week cruise to the Caribbean. That's a lot of money!
Whereas the cost of adult diapers are going to come out of your wallet, Men's Liberty is covered by Medicare and most major secondary health insurances. That's right, you can get a better option to deal with your incontinence for little or no cost to you!
So, when you factor in comfort, safety, waste and cost, you can understand why we feel so confident in stating that Men's Liberty is the better alternative to adult diapers. If you haven't tried Men's Liberty yet, give one of our customer representatives a call at 1-800-814-3174 to find out more. Try Men's Liberty once and you'll understand the difference.
My family and I recently went through a rather difficult, yet educational experience. For the first time since my injury I was jointly responsible for a home. By the this I mean my name was on the lease. Many of us in chairs often live with family, some us received a settlement and bought a home, but there are those of us making a go of it out there in world living in a place we do not own. This means Landlords and that can be good, or really bad.
Last year my family and I moved to a new state to start a business. We had trained, saved, and searched for the right opportunity as well as the property. We planned to run a home-based food business and so infrastructure and amenities were equally important as accessibility. We finally found what we wanted and in a flurry of activity we signed a lease, packed, and moved. So as not to bog down this post with the gory details I’ll get to the point… the Landlord was dishonest and breached the lease causing us to lose a years’ worth of hard work, money, and ultimately we had to get a lawyer. Now ultimately our case stands on its own for anyone leasing a home, but in our effort to educate ourselves about our rights I learned a few things I felt it might be worth it to pass on to you. So here’s a few tips...
Make friends with a Lawyer. I’m serious. Attorneys get paid for their time and do get expensive, but the $150-$250 to have them read through a lease agreement could save you thousands on down the road. If you’re in a chair there are many pro bono disability rights services that can at least advise you on such matters before you sign anything. If you have a friend or family member who is an attorney don’t assume favors, be honest about what you can afford, tell them what you need, and offer them something for their time.
Don’t be in a hurry. If you are even remotely considering moving start looking now. Give yourself time. When you rush you settle for second best and a lease can be a difficult thing to get out of.
Don’t be impressed and don’t believe the pictures. Anything can look great with a coat of paint. If you are limited physically take someone with you who can look at the attic, the crawl spaces, the plumbing, and under the cabinets. Have them check for rot, mold, leaks, pests, and anything that could be unsafe or a fire hazard.
Be specific with the Landlord about your needs. Educate yourself about disabled tenant’s rights. There’s a lot of them and they’re in your favor. There are many resources online. However, be kind and polite. Explain your daily routine and how the space does or does not work, and what you can do to change it. Educate yourself on all the accessibility aides that are modular and can save them money. They will appreciate that.
Ask for references and do your homework. They will want references from you, expect no less from them. If you can, speak to previous renters, other current tenants, employees, or other professional connections. Listen and watch their reactions, it will tell you a lot.
Get it in writing, get it in writing, GET IT IN WRITING. Protect yourself now and you won’t have to fight later. If the lease is vague, get it rewritten in clear language. Know exactly what you are responsible for and what you are not. If you need special wording due to the wheel chair be honest and say what you want.
Life in a chair can be a daily challenge. Knowledge is power and can ease the stress of so many unnecessary battles. Living independently is a great blessing and gift that many don’t get to enjoy. The more of us who get out there and make it the norm the more landlords will make more and more properties accessible.
Thanks for reading.
BioDerm, Inc. proudly supports Mission: ABLE, with many of our Men’s Liberty™ and CathGrip® customers being veterans and adaptive athletes. We are also involved in the PVA and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, as well as supporting local adaptive sports teams around the country! Many of these athletes are participating in the Rio Paralympics.
Topics: Video Blogs
Over Active Bladder or OAB, as it is commonly referred to, is a term that you will usually hear or read about when the topic of discussion is urinary incontinence. Whenever you see a commercial on TV for a drug that is used to treat urinary incontinence, you will usually hear about an “over active bladder”.
But, what exactly is an "Over Active Bladder," and what does it mean to you?OAB usually describe a group of urinary symptoms, the most common of which is a sudden urge to urinate. The urge usually comes on unexpectedly with little warning and is more or less uncontrollable. The reaction to such an urge is finding a restroom quickly. Another common symptom of an OAB is having to go to the bathroom several times during the day and at night.
Most of the time, an OAB is the result of bladder muscles contracting more frequently than normal. Bladder muscle contraction can be caused by many factors amongst which are urinary tract infections (UTI), side effects from drugs, pregnancy, illnesses such as Parkinson’s, MS, MD, MS and other neurological diseases.
With men, an OAB is a common sign of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which in non medical terms is an enlarged prostate gland. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, it exerts pressure on the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to exit…this pressure results in an urge to urinate In addition to having an urge to go, an OAB can be accompanied by unavoidable urine leakage. When unavoidable leaking of urine occurs, an individual is considered to have “incontinence”. If your personal condition reaches the point of incontinence, it becomes necessary to take action.
I strongly suggest that you quiz yourself to determine if there’s a possibility you have OAB. The five most relative questions to answer are given below. Be honest with yourself, when answering these five questions.
(To better clarify each question, I have offered further details below each question.)
Do you have to visit the bathroom more than 7-9 times during the day?
If you’re visiting the bathroom more frequently, and you’re noticing that some of those visits result in only several drops of urine, you may have OAB.
Are you having to rush to get to the bathroom for fear of an accident?
If rushing to the bathroom to urinate and finding that the result is a small amount of leakage, there’s a good possibility that you have an OAB accompanied by urge incontinence.
Do you have to go to the bathroom more than 3 to 4 times during the night?
This is a symptom of nocturia and is another sign of an OAB especially for men. When men have to get up several times during the night, it usually relates to an enlarged prostate gland or BPH as discussed above. Men can expect to see signs of BPH at age 50 and beyond.
When you’re away from home or at a social affair…for example, at a wedding or at the theater…do you find yourself scouting out the nearest restroom?
If you find yourself doing just that, you can be pretty certain that it’s another sign of an OAB or urge incontinence.
Are you avoiding to do things that you really enjoy doing for fear of having an accident?
If so…what’s happening is that you are actually changing your normal life style around the fear of a potential accident. Although this is likely another sign of an OAB, you should never succumb to a regression in lifestyle…that would be defeatism. which is absolutely unnecessary.
For those who find that they are, indeed, confronted with an OAB syndrome and/or urge incontinence, don’t fret, because there are several first-steps you can take that might work well for you. First and most important is that you learn how to recognize the symptoms of your personal incontinence condition. Once you understand your personal symptoms, you will be in a position to know whether or not what you are trying is working…remember…helping yourself is a trial-and-error process.
Most everyone who encounters OAB symptoms initially opt to trying absorption products such as liners or pads. These products can cost hundreds of dollars a month and often cause sores. There is a better option. Men's Liberty is discreet, safer than adult diapers and condom catheters and can be purchased at little to no cost through Medicare and a secondary insurance.
Yes – prostate treatment is a major cause of urinary incontinence and that is important to Men's Liberty. However, many of BioDerm's clients have never experienced any type of prostate treatments – or cancer. So Wendy LaTorre has a quick discussion about other causes of male incontinence.