Photo by Phyllis Turner
I’ll admit that wearing the Men’s Liberty external catheter caused me some degree of anxiety when I started using it last year. I’m not one to follow directions once I’ve read the first paragraph. By July of this year, however, I find that I am navigating the learning curve with some success. (I’m sure that Wendy breathes a sigh of relief!)
My most recent level of travel anxiety was raised when we drove from Tucson to Grand Canyon. Having never experienced long-distant driving with my catheter, I was anxious about finding rest stops or turn-outs as needed.
The last time I drove over a hundred miles, I was using an absorbent. I took a wrong turn which caused a ten-minute delay in arrival time. That extra ten minutes was catastrophic! When we arrived at our friend’s house in Casa Grande everything was soaked.
Fortunately, I brought an extra change of clothes.
Fortunately, our hostess had laundry facilities.
Fortunately, we had time for lunch at their home while my clothes were run through her laundry. Although we hadn’t seen each other for four years and wanted to catch up on family history, the lunch conversation centered on the problems of incontinence, absorbents and pre-planning trips like the one that day. Our host was interested.
I knew nothing about catheters at that time. All I knew was that pads and diapers were restricting my life. Maybe he was thinking about his future?
Now, over a year later, I was hoping for a more successful experience. With one-hundred-plus degrees temperature, I looked to overcome travel anxiety; I wore cargo shorts and had my trusty Men’s Liberty attached. If worse came to emergency, I could always pull over, open the driver’s door, stick my left leg out and pull the plug. I wouldn’t even need to find a bush!
Our greatest level of anxiety was because of the I-10 shooter! He was still on the loose taking pot shots at moving vehicles when we drove north. We decided to turn off just north of Casa Grande and take the 101 loop around Phoenix. Stopping on this freeway loop wasn’t going to be easy. Therefore, before we reached I-17, we found a Circle-K for a restroom break. We stopped again on the Black Canyon Highway at Rock Springs for pie ala mode. Our level of concern was not so much for a restroom, but choosing from their selection of eighteen different pies!
From Rock Springs, up Black Canyon, through Verde Valley passing Oak Creek Canyon and climbing 7,000 feet to Flagstaff, then east to Parks (along old Route 66) I was anxiety-free. In Parks, we stayed with friends. Being a retired doctor of internal medicine, and my roommate at Pepperdine College, Don and I caught up on our health history. I had seen him only once since my prostatectomy. We discussed incontinence and some of the solutions. I demonstrated Men’s Liberty. When the four of us traveled to Grand Canyon for the day I was able to show the efficiency of the catheter. The only anxiety we experienced was finding shelter during a sudden rain shower at Yavapai Point.
After ten days of travel and a safe trip home, I can give my Men’s Liberty External Catheter a rating of EXCELLENT. At no time was there cause for anxiety.