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The Time Machine

Posted by Caleb Bartlett on Jun 29, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Today a friend I've known for many years and went to school with posted a set of photos on every body's favorite social network. As I have already mentioned in one of this year's blogs 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of my high school graduating class. It seems strange because I remember the night in the late 1980s when my parents dropped my brother and I off at the baby sitter's on the way to my father's 20th reunion. Time truly waits for no man. clock-clipart

As I sat looking at that picture that same weird mixture of thoughts, emotions and feelings that always comes up when I see a picture of myself before the injury. It seems that much of my life is often defined that way, the boy before the injury and the man after, and how different they truly are. There I sit, trying to literally convince myself that the boy without a clue in the photo is actually, or ever really was me.

A few years ago I began having a recurring dream, usually about once or twice a week. The dream usually takes on 1 of 2 themes. One, I dream I am literally back in time in my body, in the exact clothes I wore and in the same social situations. The only difference was I have my thirty-something head full of so-called knowledge to make a somewhat more informed decision. Just when I am about to do the right thing in that pivotal, life-changing moment... I wake up. Then there's scenario number two... I dream I am an adult as I am now, and I appear to myself as a young man ready to give the golden key of wisdom that will somehow change my future like some science fiction movie. Funny thing, I wake up before I can warn that young man. It has become so common that even in the deepest sleep I have come, in a flash of lucidity, to recognize the moment I am dreaming. I then hurriedly stammer to get out what I want to say.

Today as I studied that photo I realized it was Father's Day. It makes me wonder what my Dad feels when he sees an old photo of himself. What would he say if he saw that photo of me? What kind of fear, frustration and urgency did he feel in those very real days when I was 13, 14, 15... what kinds of words did he struggle with? I'm sure he had his own dreams for me, not of the past, but for the future. Hopeful dreams. I imagine they paled in comparison to the words he struggled to find when I awoke from the anesthesia knowing I never would walk with my graduating class. What words would stick in his throat when years later in my anger and frustration with my suffering I would lash out at him looking for someone or something to blame and say things I regret till this day. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but whose words? The photographer? The subject? The viewer? What are those words worth?

I still consider myself a young man. I have been fortunate enough to come to terms with the memories of that young man in that photo. I have been blessed to apply some of the words my father did share with me. Think for yourself. Say what you mean. Look'em in the eye when you talk to them. Don't answer questions that haven't been asked. I am blessed to have reconciled what differences we have had over the years and know my father not just as "Dad", but as my friend. I hope that when he looks back over the past he feels peace knowing that everything turned out alright. I hope he knows that it was not lost on deaf ears and that his acts of love and affection, his love for nature and living things, his passion for music and his desire to live honestly have helped me live through the difficulties of spinal cord injury.

Happy-Fathers-Day-2014-WallpaperI don't have a time machine, but I'm lucky that I do have more time. More time to do the right thing, do it right and do it because it's it is right. Hopefully if I ever have children I will find the words and actions to help them do the same so that one day, when they look back they will know they did not waste this time here we call life.

So to all the fathers worthy of the title, and most all to you Dad, Happy Father's Day.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Topics: Guest Blogs

APIC Annual Conference 2015

Posted by Mens Liberty on Jun 24, 2015 11:30:00 AM

APIC_2015_Thumbnail

Hello everyone! Today we would like to make an announcement: We will be attending the annaul APIC Conference in Nashville, Tennessee along with our partners over at Eloquest Healthcare.

This event is not open to the public; however we are looking forward to learning and networking with fellow APIC professionals. The conference runs from June 27th to the 29th, so if you are attending, be sure to come visit BioDerm Inc. at booth #1342 to learn about CathGrip®, and FreeDerm™. Sarah Woodward will be at the booth to field questions and demonstrate the benefits CathGrip® and FreeDerm™ offer to the acute care market.

Additionally, Please visit our partners Eloquest Healthcare at booth #1529 to learn more about ReliaFit® - the acute care version of Men’s Liberty. Make sure you catch CAUTI Talk™ - an interactive forum on CAUTI risk reduction initiatives lead by Matt Stahl RN CWCN – during exhibit hours at select times.  Attendance is limited, so register here and receive a Starbucks® gift card when you attend the 15-minute session.  While you’re there, grab a new, evidence-based white paper for ReliaFit® Male Urinary Device, Mastisol® Liquid Adhesive and Detachol® Adhesive Remover to take home!

Eloquest Healthcare is proud to announce that new, evidence-based white papers for ReliaFit®, as well as Detachol® and Mastisol®, will be available at booth #1529.  Don’t forget to grab a white paper to take home!

We look foward to seeing you there!

Getting a 24 Hour Wear Time: Top Tips from the Experts (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on Jun 11, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Good day everyone! As a result of your response to our 2015 customer satisfaction survey we discovered that many of you were having trouble getting to a full 24 hour wear time. Watch the video below for expert tips on how to reach a full 24 hour wear time. Don’t forget to leave your questions and comments below. Have a great day.

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Topics: Video Blogs

Self-Isolation and How To Avoid Meetings

Posted by Sam Turner on Jun 8, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Becoming incontinent happened quickly after my total prostatectomy. At my post-op meeting, the surgeon said I might experience some incontinence and need to wear diapers. (Those were his words: diapers.) That was an understatement. I experienced incontinence every day, all day. A friend suggested that I try physical therapy.

My therapist said, “You should have come to us before your surgery. You would have learned better control. Too bad your surgeon didn’t tell you.” Six weeks of bio-feedback and therapy helped. I learned Kegel muscle exercises and continue them as part of my regular physical training today. But I still used absorbents.

In the drugstore, I couldn’t pass the aisle without picking up an extra package of “male guards.” (Those are absorbents, folks!) Carrying extra absorbent pads was routine. I avoided many events knowing that leakage could become a major interruption. My wife began traveling to family events without me. I didn’t witness our daughter’s hooding at Western Oregon University for her Master’s. I could sit home and leak.

I stopped going to several of my professional meetings because of my “problem.” Either I carry a briefcase of absorbents and sit near the restroom or stop attending meetings. How about a social party at someone’s home? Where do I dump my absorbents? Four fully packed absorbents can fill a small bathroom wastebasket. If I can hide it in my pocket and make it to the kitchen garbage can… I chose to stay home and fill our own garbage can.

We stopped attending movies. A two hour movie meant three or four trips to the restroom (more if it was a comedy) and cargo pants pockets full of fresh absorbents as needed. Hold the iced drinks.

A wide-screen TV and subscription to Netflix solved the problem. I can hit the pause button as often as I need. Pass the popcorn.Sam_Turner_Granddaughter

A year ago, I discovered Men’s Liberty External Catheters and things changed. One attachment meant twenty-four hours of confidence with minimal interruption (even after drinking coffee.) Movies, meetings and social affairs are all possible now. Our granddaughter graduated with honors from high school last week. I sat beside my wife, applauding. 
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Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users

47th Annual WOCN Conference in San Antonio, Texas

Posted by Mens Liberty on Jun 5, 2015 9:00:00 AM

WOCN-15-Brand-Logo-Circle

Hello everyone! Today we would like to make an announcement: We will be attending the 47th annual WOCN conference in San Antonio, Texas along with our partners over at Eloquest Healthcare.

This event is not open to the public; however we are looking forward to learning and networking with fellow WOC professionals. The conference runs from June 6th to the 10th, so if you are attending, be sure to come visit BioDerm Inc. at Booth #731 to learn about CathGrip®, and FreeDerm™. Sarah Woodward will be at the booth to field questions and demonstrate the benefits CathGrip® and FreeDerm™ offer to the acute care market.

Additionally, please visit our partners Eloquest Healthcare at booth #114 to learn more about ReliaFit® - the acute care version of Men’s Liberty. Be sure to catch CAUTI Talk™ - an interactive forum on CAUTI risk reduction initiatives lead by Matt Stahl RN CWCN – during exhibit hours at select times.  Attendance is limited, so register here and receive a Starbucks® gift card when you attend the 15-minute session.

Eloquest Healthcare is proud to announce that new, evidence-based white papers for ReliaFit®, as well as Detachol® and Mastisol®, will be available at booth #114.  Don’t forget to grab a white paper to take home!

We look foward to seeing you there!

Topics: announcements

Notes From The ER...This ain't no Greys Anatomy

Posted by Caleb Bartlett on Jun 4, 2015 12:00:00 PM

There are few things that will make you jump like pissing blood will. Anyone reading this who either has a spinal cord injury or intimately knows someone who does knows exactly what I'm talking about. Living with the numbness and nerve damage and paralysis is one thing, the secondary effects are what drive people like us nuts if we're not careful. There is little money thrown at SCI research as it is. By the time the folks racing to find a cure take the lion's share, as they should, those intrepid, dedicated few researching the day-to-day stuff get next to nothing. The trickle-down effect of this lack of research is a raging river of misinformation, disinformation and no information available for the everyday medical professional when they encounter someone with an SCI falling under their care.

Last month I wrote about the lack of preparedness on the part of the medical establishment. Little did I know that three days later I would be in the emergency room with a massive UTI, blood draining from my bladder and a blood pressure reading of 198 over 116. I was living out that very nightmare. Maybe Karma's a bitch and I should have kept my mouth shut or it only strengthened my resolve to shout into the storm that faces those of us trying to keep healthy. I may be pissing into the wind here, but at least I can now say I'm doing it free of infection!

My story goes something like this...

Friday, April 24, 2015:

A hot shower and in bed by 12am. I am a night owl sometimes. I slept most of the night, but awoke in the early morning and noticed strange sensations in my abdomen and lower back. I fell back asleep and woke up the next morning.

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10:30AM:

I ate a normal breakfast and responded to a few morning emails. Without warning while having a conversation with a family member I began passing blood and lots of it. Within twenty minutes I was in an ambulance on the way to the ER.clock-clipart

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 11:30AM:

I was laying on a gurney in the ER hallway of a local hospital that will go unnamed with a case of Dysreflexic Shock that would make an Elephant miserable. My bladder was having spasms and contractions, it could not empty itself so my blood pressure was through the roof. The pain and throbbing in my neck was excruciating. The only family member there was my mother and knowing how fast things can escalate she had to watch with frustration and amazement as nurses walked past and chatted, filled out paperwork and spoke on the phone like they were running a day spa on the beach at Malibu.

Saturday, April 25, 2015, 11:45AM:

My mother politely informs the nurse of my Dysreflexia and asks, "Do you know what that is?" To which she responds, "Oh yes, it's when the Foley Catheter needs to be removed!" I was not wearing a Foley Catheter. Autonomic Dysreflexia can be caused by a myriad of situations, from a fold in your pants to a blister on the skin and a triage nurse in major hospital in America did not know it.

So went the day. Fortunately we were able speed things along, but for two and a half days I had stay on top of every doctor, nurse and aide to make sure I did not have any other issues. This included adamantly reminding the resident Urologist at least four times that I should NOT, under any circumstances be given blood pressure medication because once the pain was under control my blood pressure would return to normal. If I had blood pressure meds in my system it would have caused a severe drop in pressure causing a reverse effect and possible death! Both the Urologist and the attending Physician had no idea. Holy Hell.istock_000008064653large

After 48 hours on an antibiotic IV I was much better and they sent me home. Fortunately I am ok. I have a few more tests to check on my kidney health and so forth, but I am certainly relieved to be home and healthy. It simply reinforces my belief that those of us in chairs need to take our health seriously, eat right and exercise so we can prevent these dangerous situations. It is a sad thing that we must protect ourselves from the very system established to protect and heal us, but we can and should.

This past Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of what promises to be a beautiful summer. Help honor the Vets by also supporting a cure for Spinal Cord Injury at The Big Idea. Many veterans suffer physically and emotionally as a result of their sacrifice from this absurd injury.

Much love to all of you and thanks for reading!

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Topics: Guest Blogs

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results at Men's Liberty (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on Jun 1, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Happy Monday! Some of you may have recently participated in our Men's Liberty annual customer satisfaction survey and we are here to share some of the results with you. You won’t want to miss this one, give it a watch and don’t forget to leave your comments. Have a great week!

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Topics: Video Blogs

Exciting New Treatment May Reduce Complications (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on May 25, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Welcome back! In this week's video blog Wendy is back to discuss an exciting new, non-invasive treatment that may reduce complications from enlarged prostate surgery. Watch the video below and let us know what you think in the comments section. Have a great week.

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How to Avoid Bathroom Breaks When Binge-Watching Netflix (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on May 19, 2015 1:30:00 PM

Good day everyone! We are back in this week's video blog to offer our advice on the internet’s latest viral discussion; binge-watching Netflix! Have you ever been so caught up in the excitement of a movie that you don’t even want to get up to use the bathroom? Let’s be honest, we have all been there. So check out the video below and learn some helpful tips on how to avoid those pesky bathroom breaks. Don't forget to leave your questions and comments below.

 

 

 

Topics: Video Blogs

Can Preparedness Prevent Incontinence After Prostate Surgery? (Video)

Posted by Mens Liberty on May 11, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Could expanded education and information reduce the occurance of urinary incontinence after prostate surgery? Watch the video below and learn what the latest research has revealed!

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Topics: Video Blogs

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