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Incontinence Support Blog

Sam Turner

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MEN’S LIBERTY: A GIFT OF CONFIDENCE

Posted by Sam Turner

Jun 1, 2016 9:54:49 AM

The three of us (Sara, Phyllis and Sam) drove to La Posada in Green Valley, south of Tucson, on May 26th. We had two birthdays to celebrate with fellow cancer survivors, all survivors of one form or another...Leukemia, Colon, Prostate, Basel Cell Melanoma, gathering for a celebration of Phyllis and Sara’s birthdays and the sheer joy of being together.

Our hosts, Margaret Ann, Tim, and Doug, have resided in La Posada about ten years. The grounds consist of medical facilities, independent and assisted living and memory care -- Seven hundred residents on over one-hundred acres of oasis, complete with Butterfly, Japanese, Meditation, (even) vegetable gardens, Pecan groves and a Labyrinth centered with the music of an air harp.

We met at Posada Java for coffee to get acquainted since we had not met Tim (Doug and Margaret Ann’s son). They had not met fellow writer, Sara. So the six of us enjoyed gift giving in the patio shade. We gave Doug and Margaret Ann a case of Negra Modelo. We celebrated Doug’s return from a week in the hospital.  All is well!

After coffee, we rode a tram to their quiet apartment where we shared individual survival stories.

Sara.jpgSince October 2015, Sara has gone through intensive, aggressive chemo treatment for Leukemia. I’m happy to report she’s in remission and June will be her last month of infusion therapy. July, she gifts herself by trailering to the cool climate of Washington State to return to Arizona in November thereby making her an official snowbird.  

 

 

Doug.jpgNow in his tenth decade, Doug survived thirty-three bombing missions over Germany as a tail gunner in a B-17.  He also survived teaching middle school children(!) and finished his career as vice-principal of Cholla High School in Tucson! Oh, and he survived Colorectal cancer.

Margaret Ann is the poet/writer/recorder of her family history. She and Tim put this whole venture together.

 

Tim.jpgTim provided gifts of chocolate cakes for the two Birthday girls…

Sam.jpgSam and Phyllis (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) at La Posada. Had this been two years ago while I was using absorbents-- and leaking continuously -- I wouldn’t have considered going on this trip for fear of leaking.  I would have missed out on the gathering.  I would have missed out on the two chocolate birthday cakes. However, on this day, I was confident that my Men’s Liberty external catheter would handle any “accidents”.  The catheter didn’t let me down.  So you see: This seems like just a normal little vacation trip.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Nothing, that is until we’ve shared our survival stories. Then, we share our gifts of each other knowing just how precious our lives are…

A special thanks to Men’s Liberty’s Research and Development for a product that allows me to participate in festivities! Wendy, Lynette, Tony: I include you as part of my extended family.

Topics: Guest Blogs

Beer and Incontinence (Cont.)

Posted by Sam Turner

May 24, 2016 3:52:23 PM

I know you have been wondering about the results of April’s “test”. The Jury is still out. I’ve tasted eight new brands.  So far, I’ve run across a couple that I would order again:  Negra Modelo and Pacifico.  I can see that this will take some more testing.  Some of you more experienced tasters might suggest brands that are similar, now that you know what I like. Let me know, and I’ll give them a try.

I can’t blame the incontinence on the beer.  As a matter of fact, I enjoyed the glass of Negra Modelo and didn’t have to drain my unit until I arrived home (two miles away).  Moving from a restaurant booth to my car seat usually starts a flood of activity, regardless.

This brings me to a serious problem: car seats that are hot…one hundred plus degrees hot!  Even with a shade pulled across the windshield, when our car is parked in a lot (with or without tree shade or a wall shadow), the inside temperature can escalate to well above one hundred degrees. Plastic sunglasses left on the dashboard will melt to uselessness. A towel draped over the steering wheel helps from burning the hands.  But, the driver’s seat is always hot. That’s Tucson in the summer!

“Quick, turn on the A/C!”

Back in the days when I wore absorbents that warm/hot seat meant instant draining through the pad, my cargo pants and onto the seat. That is no longer the case.  I can have an empty unit, sit down and my bladder will fill the bag in fifteen seconds.  What then? I’ve been known to step behind a tree.  (Emergencies cause creative actions.) Results? No wet clothes or car seat and the plants can use the nitrogen.

I had cause to speak to a mixed group of senior citizens on the importance of drinking water. I spoke of my eighty-three-year-old mother who hated wearing diapers and, without our knowing it, cut down her water consumption to the point that her electrolytes stopped functioning, which contributed to her death!

Where women may not yet have the choice and must resort to absorbents, men have a choice: absorbents or catheters. I’ve been wearing Men’s Liberty external catheter for over a year. The BioDerm company provides an excellent training program for application and use of the units.  Another benefit is that Medicare pays for Men’s Liberty external catheters; Medicare does not pay for diapers or absorbents that you purchase from your local drugstore.

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder." - Alfred Hitchcock -

That’s the main advantage of Men’s Liberty:  No worry!

Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, Guest Blogs, incontinence

From Scotch to Craft Beer and Incontinence

Posted by Sam Turner

Apr 13, 2016 10:03:08 AM

Welcome back friends!

I’m not a drinker -  However, back when I was thirty, I found some magazine that listed the twenty best scotches. (If it had been the twenty best bourbons, I would have tried them.)   I went to my doctor friend and said, “I’d like to become a social drinker, but I don’t want to get drunk or have hangovers. What should I do?”

“Sam, don’t take mixed drinks.  Drink it straight with water back.  Also have a bowl of oatmeal or buttermilk, before you go.  Then order one scotch and nurse it all night.”

I took my list and a 3x5 card and wrote down the brands that I liked.  I settled on Johnny Walker Black. I would have taken Glenlivet but it was too hard to find.  I didn’t go for the oatmeal prep, but I did start out with buttermilk. I drank scotch for about five years. I didn’t get drunk or pass out.  (There was one time when we had friends over and I broke my rule: I decided to drink Margaritas from a beer stein.  My doctor was correct: By the second stein, I passed out.)  Other than that one time I didn’t have hangovers.  Then one day, I stopped.  Just stopped running in that kind of social circle.  The scotch bottles stayed in the cupboard for three or four years.  Never touched it and sold the whole box of five or six bottles at a yard sale for five dollars. I gave up scotch, but I acquired a liking for buttermilk!    

Fast forward fifty years.  In my eighth decade, I have decided to step outside the box again. A Tucson newspaper mentioned several craft breweries within our area.  Did you know there is something called a “flight”?  This is a way to taste different beers.  (I wonder if one can move up to a “Squadron”?)  Anyway, after I have decided the type of craft beer I like, I am expected to drink at the least, one glass. And no, I haven’t made up my mind. There, my friends, is the problem:  Beer causes one to pee. Unless you want to become a multi-absorbent-wearing di-dee doll, beer will go right through you. The solution is the Men’s Liberty External Catheter. In the winter, with long pants, a Men’s Liberty leg bag is perfect. But in the summer with temperatures in the 100ºs, shorts are called for.   The “regular” size will be fine. It means more trips to the rest room, but the exercise is good.

For those who may wonder: She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed will be the driver!

To be continued…

That’s the main advantage of Men’s Liberty:  No worry!

Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, Guest Blogs, incontinence

Take a Walk Without Worry!

Posted by Sam Turner

Mar 9, 2016 3:36:00 PM

Welcome back friends!

Suddenly, it’s not Winter anymore!   We are running about 12 -20º above normal, which means we will be in the low eighties for March.  Our desert plants think it’s Spring!  Everything is blooming.  This is good walking weather. We like early morning walks while it’s still cool.

All we have to do is watch out for rattlesnakes, bears, javelinas and mountain lions!  Desert creatures enjoy the change in temperature.  The Sun comes up a little earlier each morning and the snakes come out. 

We can spend an hour walking and enjoying the view!

Walking allows one the freedom to think.  Or, if you walk with a partner, there’s a chance for conversation and sharing our discoveries, observations and thoughts.  I know these pictures may not look like desert, but, believe me: we are in the desert.  Another month and the heat rises. Because it is important to keep hydrated, we always carry water with us.  Restrooms are conveniently located along the trails. Wearing a Men’s Liberty External Catheter allows for a long walk in one of our parks to be a joy, without having to worry about leaking. 

That’s the main advantage of Men’s Liberty:  No worry!

Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, Guest Blogs, incontinence

On Compassion and Being Helpful

Posted by Sam Turner

Feb 12, 2016 1:39:00 PM

When we were raising our four children, my wife became regional director for La Leche League International.  Her goal was helping mothers succeed with breastfeeding.    A doctor friend of ours and I spoke on the advantages of Husband Coached Childbirth. We also stressed the importance of the father supporting the nursing mothers.

 In 1997, with the death of our youngest son, Rob, we became members and (eventually) leaders of our local Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, helping parents who have experienced the death of a child.

Now that we are hearing impaired, we belong to ALOHA (Adult Loss of Hearing Association) a support group dedicated to helping people better understand what they can do to help themselves as they move into a world of silence.

The operative word throughout our lives has been helping.

I am impressed with Men’s Liberty’s video presentations of helpful issues.  The company is sincere in their compassion. And why should they not be?  Wendy speaks from the heart… Not once have I felt like she was "pushing" their product just to improve sales.  That is what I meant when I said (some months ago) that if I helped one person, it would be worth it. The staff is dedicated to helping men have an easier life with their incontinence. How many women do you know who speak openly and frankly about helping men understand the problems with incontinence?

When I received my first set of Men’s Liberty External Catheters, I was not inclined to discuss them with anyone, not even my wife. However, I wrote to members of the company with questions. The staff of Men’s Liberty, from Customer Care Representative Tony, to Wendy, to Sarah have all been prompt in responding to my concerns. They are truly dedicated to helping their clients.  

That’s what this corporate family is all about: helping us stay healthy by continually providing up-to-date information on current issues.  For me, it started out by switching from absorbents to external catheters.  Most recently, it is Wendy’s one hundredth video blog: Sneaky Causes of Urinary Tract Infections. Some of the information might surprise you. 

As Wendy says: “Stay healthy.”

~Sam

Topics: external catheter for men, Guest Blogs, compassion

Laser treatments, Basil Cells, Star Wars, 3-D glasses, and the Boy Scouts Motto: Be Prepared.

Posted by Sam Turner

Jan 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM

On a Tuesday in December, I had laser “blasting” on an implant on my right eye. The lens cleared up and my doctor assured me that I would be able to find the Orion Nebula with my telescope.

That following Friday, I had a Mohs procedure for basil cell carcinoma just below the right eye lid.  I was not prepared for the fifteen-stitch surgery or the bandage that covered my right eye.

The next morning, our children treated us to reserved seating for a nine A.M. viewing of the latest version of Star Wars…with 3-D glasses.  3-D glasses on one eye!  I wasn’t prepared for that situation. 

However I was prepared for the excitement that, in past years, might cause me the loss of bladder control.  I was wearing …TA- DA… my Men’s Liberty External Catheter!  Exciting moments were no problem.  (I noticed several men and women making quick exits three quarters into the movie.) Not me. I made it to the end. When it comes out on DVD, I’ll watch the movie again, using both eyes.  Until then: 

Happy New Year and … May The Force Be With You!

Sam and PJ Turner (She Who Must Be Obeyed!)

Topics: holidays, Guest Blogs, emergency preparedness

My One Year Check Up....

Posted by Sam Turner

Dec 19, 2015 8:30:00 AM

I visited my urologist yesterday.  He wanted to know how I was getting along with my Men’s Liberty External catheter.  (When I saw him last December, I had just started wearing it.  I must have mentioned it, because he remembered.)

“There is a learning curve that took me awhile.  I tend to skip over directions. But, after a year, I’m very comfortable using it.”

I dropped my shorts and showed how it attached.  I also gave him a sample package.

“So, Sam, you are satisfied?”

“Absolutely, Doctor K., It beats absorbents which I had to pay for. Medicare pays for these.”

*   *   *

mens_liberty_(low_res).jpgI can’t see to attach the element.  She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed* (SWOMBO) is my caregiver and applies the element. (Wendy and Sarah taught me to say absorbent instead of diaper.  Lisa in shipping referred to the Men’s Liberty External Catheter as an Element which was an interesting choice.  No question about it…I have to lose more belly fat!  Exercise and diet… I can do this.

December marks:

  • my first year of wearing Men’s Liberty External Catheters.
  • one year along the learning curve. (There’s more to learn.)
  • a year of adjustment to medical/physical changes.
  • awareness of how much I’m not aware!

*SWOMBO - I’m thinking of putting that on her license plate for Christmas!

Have a healthful December.

Sam

Topics: Guest Blogs, incontinence

Much for which to be Thankful!

Posted by Sam Turner

Nov 27, 2015 11:09:00 AM

Bah-Humbug!  That is the name of the play our nine-year-old granddaughter is performing at our local Gaslight Youth Theater.  This is her fifth play since the age of six in a cast of thirty or more actors ranging from six to sixteen years.  For her, each play is more demanding with more lines and more singing parts.


In the beginning, I was unable to sit through a performance without excusing myself to the restroom to change my absorbent. Each interruption was embarrassing, disturbing and time consuming.  The room is set up as a dinner theater with four chairs crammed around a cocktail table. The first three rows are so crowded, even the server has difficulty passing through.  Aside from being a hazard for crowds to exit, unless I am on an aisle seat, I disrupt the audience as I climb between tables and chairs.

As much as I wanted to witness every performance, I often considered skipping the productions because of my incontinence. Many men can relate to my situation.  These men may not mention it, but they know what it feels like.

However, that was three years ago.  Since, Aladdin, and  Ain’t Nothin’But A Werewolf, (and now, Bah-Humbug!), I have been able to relax and enjoy each performance thanks to the use of my Men’s Liberty External Catheter. Once men begin using Men’s Liberty, they too, will have reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving from Sam & Everyone at Men's Liberty!

 

Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, holidays, Guest Blogs, incontinence

How Men's Liberty Helped Me Overcome Travel Anxiety

Posted by Sam Turner

Oct 6, 2015 12:30:00 PM

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.

Regain Your Freedom Today!

Topics: Guest Blogs

Coming Out Of The (Catheter) Closet

Posted by Sam Turner

Sep 28, 2015 12:30:00 PM

For men who are sixty and over, about one in four have problems with incontinence. The surprising thing is that some of these men won’t even discuss the problem with their doctor.

1. “What is that?” a fellow member of my exercise club asks as I step away from the urinal.

He is looking at my Men’s Liberty External catheter.

“I’m incontinent and this is my external reservoir.”

“Good God! I would just die before I had to have one of those!”

“ I take it you aren’t having prostate problems, yet?”

2. Hi Sam.

“Hi David.” (David and I taught school together in the 60’s.)

We are standing in the parking lot after having dinner at a well known east-side Mexican restaurant.

“This is my wife, Yolanda.”

“How do you do, Yolanda? It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Are you still writing,” she asks.

“Yes. I’m writing a Blog for Men’s Liberty External catheters.”

“Oh, and what is that?” Yolanda asks.

“It’s for men who are incontinent,” I say as I lift up my cargo shorts cuff enough for the bag to show.

“How interesting,” says Yolanda. “Do they make them for women, too?”

“Unfortunately, no, but they’re working on it.”

3. “You write a blog?” Alex is the technician helping me with a tablet problem.

“Yes. I write for Men’s Liberty External Catheter. You’ve heard of that company?”

“No. What’s that?”

I rotate on my stool where he can see the drain plug on my Liberty just peeking out from my cargo pants. “This takes care of any leaking I may have.”

“My father has that problem. He has to wear a diaper.”

“I used to wear absorbents like your father, but I found this catheter to be more reliable.”

4. With friends at Wisdom’s Mexican Café near Tubac: ”George could use one of those!”

“Would he need a doctor’s prescription, Sam?”

“ Yes. Once Bio Derm has the prescription, they will ship a thirty-day supply covered by Medicare. Men’s Liberty will explain how to use it.”

5. Nurse Practitioner – annual in-house examination (through United Health HMO) for both my wife and me: “I need a urine sample, Sam.”

I take the cup, lift my cuff, pop the catheter plug and fill her cup.

“Wow! Is this a foley? “

“No.”

“A condom catheter?”

“No. Let me show you a sample package.”

6. Romance Writers of America meeting: - 28 females; 3 males - “Sam, please report on your writing progress.”

“I never knew when I joined RWA that I would be writing for BioDerm Corporation promoting Men’s Liberty External Catheters. But that’s what I’m doing, folks. I write a monthly blog for them. So far, I don’t have a novel titled, The Romance of the External Catheter but stick around. It may just happen! (Much laughter!)

7. Dermatologist: “Yes, on occasion, I have patients who have a rash from wet pads. They need to change them regularly.”

Sam: “Here’s a sample of Men’s Liberty External Catheters. You might want to try this with your next patient. The contact site is on the package.”


What’s the similarity between the new portable oxygen concentrators and Men’s Liberty External Catheters?

No embarrassment.

One you can see the unit. (…and everyone knows what you are wearing.)

One you can’t see and no one knows you are wearing the unit; you aren’t worried about your absorbent leaking…and Medicare accepts both units!

Why do I mention these encounters? If learning about Men’s Liberty External Catheter helps one person, it’s worth it.

Get Help Now!

Topics: Guest Blogs