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Incontinence Support Blog

Sam Turner

Recent Posts

To Leak or Not to Leak - (that is the question)

Posted by Sam Turner

Aug 6, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Being a retired art and language arts teacher, I can’t claim to be an expert research analyst. However, here is what I learned:

I filled a fresh Liberty unit with water for measuring purposes. It holds one cup. I then poured water onto a major absorbent that also holds one cup.

I used another absorbent brand that claims to be reliable that only holds 2/3 cup.

On the top shelf of my closet, I have some briefs with built-in absorbents which hold two cups.

How much does a filled, two-cup absorbent weigh? One pound. A couple of ads on the web show a male walking with a brief on, smiling.


If I were carrying two cups of urine in my crouch, I wouldn’t be smiling. I’d be walking “funny” (waddling) for one thing. For another, I’d be panicking, looking for a restroom where I could change. Maybe the briefs were just meant for sleeping. Even so, any pressure on the absorbent will cause leaks. I remember the continued moisture in my crotch resulting in something called yeast infection. Not a good thing. (Yes, I bathed each day. Yes, I changed absorbents several times a day. Yes, I changed absorbents two or three times at night.) That condition resolved itself when I began using Men’s Liberty.

I realize this isn’t an extensive study, but it is enough to prove: Men’s Liberty units don’t cause “funny” walking. The unit hangs easily down my pant leg. With Tucson weather running 100º through the summer, I usually wear cargo shorts with an eleven inch inseam. The drain nozzle comes right above the hemline. Draining is a simple matter. Ten seconds and I’m “good to go”.

My situation is easy compared to people with Spinal Cord Injuries and other serious circumstances. If Men’s Liberty can work out the problems for them, then I have no complaints.

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Adjusting to a New Normal

Posted by Sam Turner

Jul 9, 2015 2:30:00 PM

When our son died of sleep apnea on July 2, 1997, our life shattered. Ours was a colorless world of black and white. Well-meaning family and friends advised us to “get over it and get back to normal”. That wasn’t going to happen. Nothing was “normal” again. Eighteen years of monthly meetings with The Compassionate Friends helped us move out of the “Valley of Grief” and into a new normal. We began to see color again. I’m mindful of this quote:

What the caterpillar calls the end; the rest of the world calls a butterfly  ~ Lao Tzu

The following year, I took a sleep apnea study through the University of Arizona. Eight weeks later, I was wearing my first CPAP and adjusting to a “new normal”- sleeping with an air tube. I looked like a SCUBA diver. I had to learn to turn from one side to another without kinking the tube. That became a normal procedure. A new normal where I no longer snored meant no more bruised ribs from She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

And thus began my journey along this new learning curve including hearing aids and a De Vinci Robotic Radical prostatectomy, where my surgeon said I would “probably” have to wear diapers. “Probably” was an understatement. My extra briefcase held a load of men’s absorbents. My new normal was four or five absorbents daily and two or three nighttime changes. Shortly after the prostatectomy, I had a penile prosthesis implant that allowed me to move in a new direction. (No pun intended.) I was moving along this curve of “new” normal faster than I realized.

Later, there was cataract surgery for both eyes. Driving at night is no longer frightening.

Except for the absorbents, I found I could have somewhat of a normal life. Not the life we had when all four of our children were alive, not the life when I didn’t use a CPAP, not the life after the prostatectomy, or a penile prosthesis, but a new normal where, in my eighth decade, I could adjust and adapt.

Men’s Liberty entered a year ago, July 2014. On a one-to-ten scale, I found myself around the curve toward a new normal of confident comfort. There is more to learn, but Wendy La Torre’s TV training program makes negotiating this curve easier. I am closer to the “ten” than ever before.

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Topics: Guest Blogs

Self-Isolation and How To Avoid Meetings

Posted by Sam Turner

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.

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: Guest Blogs

Along The Learning Curve

Posted by Sam Turner

May 6, 2015 1:00:00 PM

If you haven’t viewed the Men’s Liberty’s video blogs, you don’t know what you are missing. In my case, I thought I knew everything after the first attachment of Men’s Liberty. What’s to learn? The directions are on the package, right? Why would I need information such as: the importance of drinking lots of water, or patient satisfaction? There are over fifty video blogs covering all kinds of questions that you might not have even considered. Wendy calls it the learning curve. When I started using Men’s Liberty, I confess, I didn’t read the directions.

Consider the type of shower soap. The directions suggest that I use a non-oil base soap. Did I follow the directions? No. I already told you about losing my Men's Liberty bag next to the fresh blueberries. But I’m not that fast on the learning curve. Sometimes, I make the same mistake twice, just to be sure it’s wrong.

Two days later, while standing in the check-in line at my doctor’s office in a crowded waiting room, I felt the unit slipping down my pant leg. I knew what was happening and (casually) reached down, caught the bag as it was sliding out the cuff and placed it in my pocket. I used the restroom to drain and clean the unit, put on an emergency absorbent and placed the unit in my pocket. Since I was visiting my primary care doctor, I figured I’d demonstrate.

“How does it work, Sam?”

“It works great as long as I follow directions. I need to use non-oil based soap.”

I returned home and watched the first video several times to be sure I understood how to attach the unit. In the process, I discovered the video blogs. Do you know the answer to the five myths about urinary incontinenece? Treat yourself to an “Ah-Ha” experience and start your journey along Wendy’s learning curve.

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Topics: Interesting Articles

Victory Gardens, Gas Rationing and Men’s Liberty

Posted by Sam Turner

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.

Therefore, 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. 

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

“Are you in some kind of contest?”


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


“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: tips from Men's Liberty users, Guest Blogs

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

Posted by Sam Turner

Mar 9, 2015 12:00:00 PM


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


Posted by Sam Turner

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!


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: Guest Blogs

Hearing Aids and Male External Catheters

Posted by Sam Turner

Dec 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM

What could possibly be a connection?  In 1999, my wife and I received our first set of hearing aids.  It didn’t matter how they looked as long as we could hear.  Then, an interesting thing happened:  We met people that were too embarrassed to be seen with them.  In one professional group, we set up tables close to the speaker with signs: RESERVED FOR HEARING IMPAIRED.  Some people refused to sit there because they didn’t want to be identified as hearing impaired.  They would sit in the back of the room and complain about the poor volume.

In 2007, I had a radical prostatectomy that left me incontinent.  My surgeon said I would probably need a diaper. What an understatement!   I bought male diaper/briefs and began four years of panic and embarrassment. I tried male guards with some degree of success.  But I had to carry a briefcase full of absorbents. The only problem was they weren’t all that absorbent and had a tendency to leak.

By 2010, I began exploring condom catheters.  I was never able to keep one on for a full day.  I even had a penile prosthesis which should have made attachment easier.  While in a hospital for gallbladder surgery, a nurse demonstrated a condom catheter that he said would not come off.  He placed it on in the morning and by the afternoon, it had slipped off.

I resigned myself to a briefcase full of absorbent guards and a loss of dignity because of the dripping or the odor from residue in pads. If I was aware of  the odor, I knew the person next to me would be, also.  Just like persons who stopped attending meetings because of lack of hearing, I reduced my activities because of un-dependable absorbents.  Attending movies were out of the question because I would have to leave several times during the program. (Thank goodness for Netflix.)  My incontinence determined my activities. What I needed was something that worked!

Men’s Liberty is the solution!  Wendy La Torre’s video blogs introduced me to “the learning curve.”  When all else fails, Sam, read the directions. Those first few weeks, I wasn’t applying the units correctly. Finally, I reviewed the video demonstration a few times and figured out just where to place the two additional tapes. With Tony’s help, Wendy’s videos, Sarah and Karen’s advice and my wife’s assistance, I’m moving up the curve. Today, I can regularly wear a Liberty for 48 hours and I’m getting back to the active person I want to be.

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My wife and I go to the gym together every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to keep up our fitness regimens which include balance, stretching and pelvic floor exercises. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, we go for walks in the park or at the mall.

But why am I telling you all this? It’s simple – I believe in sharing what I learn with people it can help. So you’ll be seeing me here once a month – sharing stories, advice and my experiences

So if you have a question, a concern or a suggestion, let me know in the comments section

Thanks and happy holidays. I look forward to seeing you back here next year!

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