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Introducing UroPants: Lock Down Your Liberty with UroPants (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on Apr 14, 2015 1:00:00 PM

A couple months ago we sent out an email to our Men's Liberty users to inform them about a new product we are offering that helps keep your Men's Liberty even more discreet and secure. Since then we have had a great response to the UroPants and decided to make a video blog explaining them a little more. Check it out below and don’t forget to leave your questions and comments!

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Topics: Video Blogs

Victory Gardens, Gas Rationing and Men’s Liberty

Posted by Sam Turner on Apr 2, 2015 10:00:00 AM

My parents taught me not to waste anything.  Our village had victory gardens. Because of World War II and gas rationing, we practiced conservation.  If driving sixty miles from our house to Williams, Arizona while maintaining a speed of thirty miles per hour would save gas and tires, then my father took two hours to drive our 1938 Chevrolet to our destination.    My wife grew up under similar circumstances. Making things last as long as possible became a habit in our marriage.

LearningCurveTherefore, it’s understandable that, if Men’s Liberty says my external catheter is designed to last twenty-four hours, I would attempt to make it last thirty-six or even forty-eight hours. Tony, my advisor at BioDerm, was careful not to reprimand me but he encouraged me to follow the directions.  I kept track of the units used, listing them on my calendar.  I even bragged to Tony that, one time, the unit lasted seventy-two hours before falling off in the shower.  But I realized that I was taking chances... 

This morning, for instance, I was into Day Three of one unit’s use.  Since I wasn’t planning to go anywhere, I figured that, being home for the day,  I could make it last until bedtime.  My neighbor was sweeping the sidewalk and, without thinking, I walked out to visit.  Standing by the oleander hedge – plunk! The unit fell through my shorts!   He was as surprised as I.  

“Let me explain about Men’s Liberty’s external catheter.” 

“You have an unusual way of advertising, Sam,” he laughed. 

GoldStarHowever, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (my wife), had a different opinion.

“Are you in some kind of contest?”

“No.”

“Will Men’s Liberty send you a gold star if your unit lasts a week?”

“No.”

“Then I suggest you follow their directions and rotate the units every twenty-four hours.  You’ve just been lucky that you weren’t someplace in public that would cause you and me embarrassment!”

All I could answer was, “Yes, dear.”  


Thanks for sharing Sam! I just need to add a little note from all of us here at Men's Liberty. It's true our directions do say to expect a 24 hour wear time because that is what the vast majority of men experience. Some men, like Sam, can see a consistent wear time of 48 hours but there are lots of reasons why this isn't possible for everyone. For example, men living in hot, humid areas where they sweat a lot probably wont see that kind of wear time.

Our recommendation is always to change every 24-48 hours, depending on what your body needs. Get into a routine with your Liberty and stick with it. That's the key to avoiding an unexpected plunk!

If you are a current user who is seeing a change in your normal wear time, give us a call - we'll troubleshoot things with you and get you back to the wear time you're used to!

Thanks for visiting! And a big thank you to Sam for sharing!

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Topics: incontinence, tips from Men's Liberty users, Patient Stories, mens liberty

Managing Incontinence During a Zombie Apocalypse (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on Apr 1, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Breaking News: Today we have a zombie apocalypse on our hands! 

April Fools! You know we had to give it a shot. Anyway, since we are on the topic of the zombie apocalypse, check out this week’s video blog on how to prepare yourself and manage your incontinence during the zombie takeover! Don't forget to leave your questions and comments below.

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Topics: Video Blogs

That Darn Easter Bunny...

Posted by Caleb Bartlett on Mar 26, 2015 11:00:00 AM

It's now the second day of spring. It snowed yesterday on the first day of spring. It doesn't feel like spring and these Meteorologists on TV might as well be telling us the Easter Bunny is running behind on chocolate orders and had to outsource holiday deliveries to Godiva. Fortunately the snow is melting very fast.easterbunny

I'll tell you something else that is melting very fast, the weight around my middle. At least I hope so.

Because my injury is at a high level the muscles below my chest are mostly paralyzed. When a muscle is unable to move it becomes atrophied. The muscles that wrap around the abdomen are the support system for the core of the body. When you sit up, your core pulls you up. When you stay seated it holds you up. When you walk it stabilizes the entire torso. They work without even thinking about it. Their other job is to hold the stomach, intestines and other lower organs in place, tucked up under the diaphragm. When those muscles atrophy the organs slide forward and down causing a condition known as "Quad Belly". It gives the appearance of a beer belly. When any extra fat builds up on the body it tends to build up in and around that area. Also, the forward shift and lack of consistent muscle contraction can cause the metabolism to slow down considerably so once weight is gained it can be difficult to burn off.

It seems that somewhere between the holiday stuffing and gravy, the winter comfort food and the reduced trips to the gym due to below freezing temps and piles snow I started to resemble Boss Hogg on a frat boy Pub Crawl. If you're too young to catch the Dukes of Hazzard reference I simply... well... got fat. This is not good. Fat building up around the inner organs puts me and other spinal cord injury survivors at risk for early on-set heart disease and diabetes. So with summer approaching and my deep-seated need to look sexy in a leopard print thong (but mostly to just be healthy) I got my butt in gear. However, not after a fit of remorse and self-loathing that fed my other deep-seated need to wallow in the kind of selfish vanity only another Virgo like myself could truly comprehend.

I truly love food. All kinds of food. Every ethnicity, type and shape. Baked, fried, roasted, grilled, fermented, chilled, salted, smoked, boiled or raw. Meat, dairy, veggies, pasta, fruit, bread, desserts... my god... I love the culture around food, discovering a great new restaurant or recipe, learning how something made, sharing food with friends, growing and preparing food. In truth, I don't eat bad fatty food, processed foods, fast food or even candy! I just love high-quality, good food. What is it that song by Sting says, "If you love someone set them free..."

So chia seed smoothies and the gym, the continued electrical stimulation bike, smaller portions and a few other techniques have me exercising self-control and little by little seeing results. So screw you Easter Bunny and your tempting chocolate demons! Ironically, rabbits are vegetarians.

My goal is to lose twenty-five pounds... and keep it off. So often people with Spinal Cord Injury live a lifestyle and adopt habits to ease the daily emotional pain and frustration. Whether it be subconscious or not it is often covered by drugs, alcohol or anti-depressants. The need for the comfortable and familiar can run very deep and strong. Certain foods and activities can act as a drug as well. Personally, I believe this condition is a result of the feeling of hopelessness fostered by a long-held belief by the medical profession that there is no cure. These unhealthy life choices cloud the vision of the future and continue to hold many in a permanent winter of despair. We have to look beyond the common held belief and start believing in ourselves. We have to make positive, healthy life choices so we can live and be ready when the solution we've been allowing ourselves to hope for comes.

Spring always brings new life, and while your parents may have told you a libidinous bunny who lays colored eggs delivered all that candy to you... this spring I hope if you are reading this and need to let go of something to stay healthy, you will allow yourself to hope and believe the real truth that a cure is coming, and the next doctor who says, "there's no hope"... well... even your parents told you the Easter Bunny was real.

Thanks for reading.

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Check out these other popular blogs from Caleb!

http://blog.mensliberty.com/blog/bid/300024/Understanding-Spinal-Cord-Injury-Part-1

http://blog.mensliberty.com/blog/bid/306223/Understanding-Spinal-Cord-Injury-with-Caleb-Part-2

http://blog.mensliberty.com/blog/bid/311261/Understanding-Spinal-Cord-Injury-Part-3-with-Caleb

Topics: wheelchair, spinal cord injury, Spinal Cord Injury with Caleb, holidays, Patient Stories

What Would You Think If I Sang Out Of Tune?

Posted by Caleb Bartlett on Mar 24, 2015 12:30:00 PM

It's not easy to think of things to write about. Frankly, I dread opening my blogging program for concern that I have wrote my last and I am all out of good ideas. I am probably delusional because in reality I often feel I haven't even scratched the surface of life with Spinal Cord Injury. Then I get an idea...

I am 37-years old. I was injured when I was 16. I was 4 months away from my 17th birthday. I had a job, a drivers' license, hell... I had even flown on a plane all by myself for the first time three weeks prior to my accident. I was just getting a taste of adult independence. Since my return from the hospital I have lived entirely with my family. I cannot be alone for more than three to four hours. I have a revolving door of personal care aides both paid and family to help me 24 hours a day. I require assistance with everything from bathing to dressing to cooking to using the bathroom to even rolling myself over in bed... and that's the short list. It sometimes requires two people to help me do something simple like get from the bed to the chair.

Family is devoted. Finding outside help that is reliable, well, I've fired over twenty-five people in seven years. So getting by with a little help from my friends is not always the easiest thing. The help I do have has been amazing and it is for you guys I write. Very little is said about care giving so this one is for you guys.

Imagine for a minute what it would be like if you couldn't use your thumbs, just your thumbs. Think about allThumb the things you do every single day that requires thumbs. Now imagine your fingers. You can't move them either. How would you brush your teeth? Wait... break it down... how would you just put the toothpaste on the brush? How would you eat? Screw that... how would you even open the refrigerator door? Let's really think here. Just imagine a beautiful, warm summer day. You are sitting outside enjoying the fresh air after a long and brutal winter and as you happen to look down you notice a small, black spider making its way up your leg and disappearing into your shorts. No amount of stomping, shouting, swatting or wiggling can help you now as you can only pray that little F@!cker is 1. not poisonous, and 2. making his way towards daylight somewhere else on your person. Oh yeah, it's happened. It can make you feel completely vulnerable and powerless pretty quick... and that was just your hands. We haven't talked about everything from the chest down.

This is why every day for almost 21 years someone very committed has not only gone about their own daily routine, but also mine as my hands, arms and legs. My brother Ethan and my Mother have been the primary sources of help, but you can add my Dad, my older brother, various friends and extended family members and five paid companions I trust.

It is by no means a glamorous job. There is rarely a set schedule. It can be as simple as handing you the TV remote to as complex as cleaning you up after you ate bad food. Think it's easy? Just when you've finally sat down or fallen asleep you are needed... again. You have to lift, shift, tug, pull, push, tuck, zip, button, scratch, clip, cut, crack, open, close, cook, wash, dry, spread, wipe, clean, brush, smooth, poke, stab, salt, season, hold and fold 24/7 and then some. You forget, you get tired. You get frustrated. You laugh. You cry. You roll your eyes... all the while being the closest friend under heaven and the one thing standing between me and the nursing home, or worse. I snicker a little to myself when people ask my brother what he does for a living and then say, "Oh, that's so nice!" with that oh-that's-not-a-real-job look on their face. They do not realize the President gets more time off then he does. Every stay-at-home mom in America knows what I'm talking about.

istock_man_and_wifeMy paid aides have braved ice storms, worked sick, showed up on late notice climbing out of their own bed after settling in for the night, sat up with me all hours while I recovered from respiratory infections and much more. It is humbling really. I am alive and healthy because of these people and it amazes me how lucky I truly am.

In a time when doctors and medical management make the big bucks, the reality of it all is that it is those by our sides keep us healthy, motivated and alive. So to all the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, friends and aides who have never left our sides... we love you. I love you. Thank you for your devotion, your attention to detail, your heart and all the little things that bring us one step closer to a cure, to walking again and one day returning the favor even when we know there is no way we can ever repay you.

Thanks for reading.

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Topics: Spinal Cord Injury with Caleb

Wee Answer Wednesday: Wendy Answers Questions About Men's Liberty

Posted by Mens Liberty on Mar 18, 2015 1:00:00 PM

We are back with a new Wee Answer Wednesday chalked full of recent developments. We know we haven’t done a Wee Answer Wednesday in a few weeks, so this is one your definitely don’t want to miss! Tune in below.

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

1929 Ford Tri-Motor Airplanes Don’t Have Restrooms!

Posted by Sam Turner on Mar 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM

image001

Riding with our eleven-year old grandson and his father in this 1929 - Ford Tri-Motor Airplane was a memorable experience. A year ago, before Men’s Liberty External Catheters, the thought of twenty minutes of vibration and no restroom would have left me standing on the tarmac watching the plane take off.

However, on this particular Saturday, (February 14, 2015), I felt secure in saying YES to flying with image003Zachery, his father and seven other passengers. Zach sat as co-pilot for the flight. I watched Zach smile when the pilot placed the earphones on his head.

We were mutually excited! And I enjoyed the whole adventure without fear of an embarrassing interruption by leaking on the seat. An event like this with our grandson made the change from absorbents to Men’s Liberty worth all of my mistakes. My thanks to Tony, Sarah, and our TV blog star, Wendy La Torre, for their patience and thoroughness in training.

What is my reward?

“That was really fun, Grandpa!”

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Topics: travelling with incontinence

Order Out of Chaos

Posted by Caleb Bartlett on Mar 2, 2015 1:00:00 PM

I recently reconnected with a friend from High School. No big surprise there really in this age of Facebook, LinkedIn and zillions of other social networking websites. Sometimes you roll your eyes and add them out ofCaleb_quote the desire to be polite, sometimes you try to remember who they are and then every once in while you smile and remember, then add them... excited to know they are well and living life to the fullest. Then there are the ones whose lives have been very difficult and you listen with empathy as they recount their suffering, remembering them young, healthy and filled with promise. Time waits for no man and this was one of those instances.

As I look back over my life with spinal cord injury and how sharing its experiences here has developed, I have seen a theme taking shape. How do we deal with hardship and suffering? The real suffering for anyone who has been injured, abused or exposed to trauma of any kind is not really the physical injury. It is the mental and emotional framework within which the trauma took place. Let's look at an example... let's say you walk into the kitchen in your home where a family member is standing at the counter preparing a cup of coffee. They do not see you coming, and as you walk right into them the boiling hot coffee splashes all over you, burning your skin. You rush to the sink and the relief of cold water as your loved one profusely apologies and feels responsible for hurting you. In a matter of days, maybe weeks, the burn is healed and in time you both forget the accident ever happened. Now revisit the scenario, and this is a true story, I know a woman who, at the age of six had prepared a cup of hot chocolate for breakfast when her alcoholic, abusive mother proceeded to snatch the drink from the table and angrily poor it into the screaming child's lap. The visual alone makes one shake with anger. Now imagine the scars on her body that remind her every day of that moment, of the terror, the hurt, the confusion and shock that someone she lovingly trusted could willingly hurt her in such a way. That is the framework, the matrix of suffering. The circumstances under which the pain occurred.

buddha_statuePeople hurt... plain and simple. Suffering is no respecter of persons. The rich, the poor, young and old. Everyone has something. If they haven't, they will. If you consider the Buddhist view of life even those with happy and fulfilled lives are suffering because their life of security and comfort is an illusion that will fade in death. Wow, Caleb... that's a bit dark! Is it? True freedom within our minds is the ability to recognize the transitory nature of life and knowing when to let go of the part of ourselves that desperately holds on to that matrix. For when we understand that the only real difference between the peaks and valleys in our lives is our own perspective we can build a new matrix through which both pleasure and pain become valuable, creative experiences that propel us forward to become better... higher... more caring, balanced and powerful human beings.

So as I listened to my friend I waited. I waited for the indicators that show how they view their suffering. Sometimes you have to listen through the tears and the words catching in their throat. Crying is not weakness, sorrow and anger are not the indicators of one's total acquiescence to defeat. They are living emotional moments of recognition and the acknowledgment that the challenge is real. This is a period of emotional chaos through which the human will rises to that challenge to establish a new order in the mind and heart. If you know what to listen and look for there is a subtle undercurrent of determination, the kind the separates the champions from the maddening mob. When you find it, when you hear that note it resonates deeply and inspires in amazing ways.

Last month I declared war on spinal cord injury and some people reading this may ask, "But Caleb, if we are to accept that suffering is a part if life should we not just let thing remain as they are and make the best of it?" No, no, no... a million times no. There is a difference between taking charge of your suffering and letting the suffering take charge of you. It is the same mentality that subjects itself to suffering as a slave that celebrates pleasure, comfort and success as a badge of personal evolutionary merit. We can ease suffering when we recognize it for what it is. We can live in comfort when we draw that comfort from our right action in the face of discomfort instead of the deceptive world of modern easy street.

If we do this, then we put ourselves in the position to relieve the suffering of others, and that is the greatest comfort of all.

Thanks for reading... and thanks to my good friend Catherine P. for inspiring this month's post. You have certainly risen to the challenge.

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You’re Being Discharged From the Hospital – Now What? (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on Feb 2, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Welcome back! A few months ago we released a video blog titled "How to Pack for a Visit to the Hospital". Due to the response and comments we recieved, we have decided to do a follow up blog. In this episode, Wendy will walk you through 5 things you should do when being discharged from the hospital. What are you waiting for? Check it out below and don't forget to leave your questions and comments. See you next week!

 


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Topics: Video Blogs

OCCUPIED!

Posted by Sam Turner on Jan 29, 2015 12:30:00 PM

For a person on absorbents, this sign can cause panic:

On a one-hour flight from Tucson to San Diego, I am just a bit nervous. The thought of flying isn’t the problem. It’s the thought of having to walk down the aisle with a full absorbent, only to find that both restroom signs have flashed OCCUPIED!

toilet-occupied

PANIC!

There is no such thing as “holding it”. Using the restroom immediately before boarding is no insurance that all will be well. If our plane is on hold before takeoff; if I am unable to get an aisle seat close to the restroom; if we have to wait before landing…all of these events add pressure to “holding it”. Flights longer than an hour demand that I travel by a different carrier that provides “First Class”, where I have a better chance of getting an UN-occupied restroom. Not only do I have to pay for absorbents, but I have to upgrade my seating or even change preferred flights (at a higher cost!), to meet the needs of an inadequate diaper.

Even in a restaurant, there have been occasions when the only stall is OCCUPIED and waiting brings on the emergency. The longer I wait, the faster my “quality of life” scale drops (from 10 to 0). I’m certainly not in control.

This was before Men’s Liberty. Now, with Men’s Liberty external catheter and a leg bag (if necessary), I remain in control. How did I learn about this marvelous invention? I saw an ad that opened with: “What Adult Diaper Companies Don’t Want Men To Know…” The first thing I noticed was that Men’s Liberty is covered by Medicare! I didn’t wait to email them. I called them immediately. I spoke with Tony in sales and he had the product in the mail within twenty-four hours. Four days later, I had my first units. I took my first step onto “Wendy’s, Conquering The Learning Curve (Video)"…My first step to regaining control over my urinary incontinence.

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Topics: incontinence, mens liberty

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