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Incontinence Support Blog

A Holiday Message...

Posted by Caleb Bartlett

Dec 22, 2016 1:45:08 PM

Well where did that year go? I think 2016 will go down in history as one of the strangest years in history. I hope all of you made it through unscathed and positive about the future. In these uncertain times it can be difficult for many, especially those of us in chairs who often depend on caregivers for help. Life in a chair can often make us feel marginalized or different, adding the holiday mayhem and social madness to the mix can trigger sadness, depression, and sometimes feeling alone… even among family.

I have been blessed with a close, caring family, others not as much, and many somewhere in the middle. I don’t really have anything to complain about, but emotions are complex and funny things. I know what it is to feel lonely even in a crowded room full of loved ones. If I can instill one thought of the minds of my readers this season, and that is, if you are alone or feeling alone during this happy season take a few things to heart.

You are not alone. Life is a difficult thing. We are all on this journey, learning and growing. Each of us has something, some may be worse than others, but we share the same feelings and joys and fears. Take the time to look around. Count your blessings. That may sound trite, but it works.

Take time to tell the ones you love that you love them. You get what you give. Feeling alone? Show someone else they matter. Thank them for something, anything. Channeling your emotions in another direction can be a powerful tool for changing your mood.

Forgive somebody. Never underestimate the power of forgiveness, even if it’s yourself. Oftentimes we feel alone because we’re holding on to past hurts, misunderstandings, and times when people have done us harm. This time of year, despite all the consumerism, media hype, and modern noise we endure it really is a time when people feel empathy towards others. The act of giving gifts alone causes us to value the relationships we share with our fellow man. While we’re in this mindset we can take advantage of this time to mend the past and right a few wrongs. Remember, the high road is always best. Extending the hand of forgiveness doesn’t always mean it will be returned, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is you. The peace of knowing you have done the right thing will help you beat the loneliness blues.

I know that this blog is often about living with a disability, but all the healthy living tips, how-tos, and personal anecdotes don’t mean a thing if we don’t have the peace and contentment inside ourselves. Life is more than the physical and these experiences we go through can trigger complex emotions that affect our health, daily decisions, and more. This holiday season take time to be a better person. Reach out and use the spirit of good will to bring healing and happiness to yourself and others.

May this season of peace bring peace to others through you. Thanks for reading.

Topics: family, Spinal Cord Injury with Caleb, compassion

What is this OAB I keep hearing about?

Posted by Andy Orrell

Aug 5, 2016 9:16:08 AM


Over Active Bladder or OAB, as it is commonly referred to, is a term that you will usually hear or read about when the topic of discussion is urinary incontinence. Whenever you see a commercial on TV for a drug that is used to treat urinary incontinence, you will usually hear about an “over active bladder”.

But, what exactly is an "Over Active Bladder," and what does it mean to you?

OAB usually describe a group of urinary symptoms, the most common of which is a sudden urge to urinate. The urge usually comes on unexpectedly with little warning and is more or less uncontrollable. The reaction to such an urge is finding a restroom quickly. Another common symptom of an OAB is having to go to the bathroom several times during the day and at night. 

Most of the time, an OAB is the result of bladder muscles contracting more frequently than normal. Bladder muscle contraction can be caused by many factors amongst which are urinary tract infections (UTI), side effects from drugs, pregnancy, illnesses such as Parkinson’s, MS, MD, MS and other neurological diseases.

With men, an OAB is a common sign of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which in non medical terms is an enlarged prostate gland. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged, it exerts pressure on the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to exit…this pressure results in an urge to urinate  In addition to having an urge to go, an OAB can be accompanied by unavoidable urine leakage. When unavoidable leaking of urine occurs, an individual is considered to have “incontinence”. If your personal condition reaches the point of incontinence, it becomes necessary to take action. 

I strongly suggest that you quiz yourself to determine if there’s a possibility you have OAB. The five most relative questions to answer are given below. Be honest with yourself, when answering these five questions.

(To better clarify each question, I have offered further details below each question.)

Do you have to visit the bathroom more than 7-9 times during the day?
If you’re visiting the bathroom more frequently, and you’re noticing that some of those visits result in only several drops of urine, you may have OAB.

Are you having to rush to get to the bathroom for fear of an accident?
If rushing to the bathroom to urinate and finding that the result is a small amount of leakage, there’s a good possibility that you have an OAB accompanied by urge incontinence.

Do you have to go to the bathroom more than 3 to 4 times during the night?
This is a symptom of nocturia and is another sign of an OAB especially for men. When men have to get up several times during the night, it usually relates to an enlarged prostate gland or BPH as discussed above. Men can expect to see signs of BPH at age 50 and beyond.

When you’re away from home or at a social affair…for example, at a wedding or at the theater…do you find yourself scouting out the nearest restroom?
If you find yourself doing just that, you can be pretty certain that it’s another sign of an OAB or urge incontinence.

Are you avoiding to do things that you really enjoy doing for fear of having an accident?
If so…what’s happening is that you are actually changing your normal life style around the fear of a potential accident. Although this is likely another sign of an OAB, you should never succumb to a regression in lifestyle…that would be defeatism. which is absolutely unnecessary.

For those who find that they are, indeed, confronted with an OAB syndrome and/or urge incontinence, don’t fret, because there are several first-steps you can take that might work well for you. First and most important is that you learn how to recognize the symptoms of your personal incontinence condition. Once you understand your personal symptoms, you will be in a position to know whether or not what you are trying is working…remember…helping yourself is a trial-and-error process.

Most everyone who encounters OAB symptoms initially opt to trying absorption products such as liners or pads.  These products can cost hundreds of dollars a month and often cause sores. There is a better option. Men's Liberty is discreet, safer than adult diapers and condom catheters and can be purchased at little to no cost through Medicare and a secondary insurance.

Topics: external catheter for men, prostate cancer, insurance, incontinence, compassion, adult diapers

Getting Back in the Game

Posted by Mens Liberty

Apr 26, 2016 11:00:00 AM

I think that for almost every one of us reading this message, we have at least one thing in common:  We’ve experienced some setbacks in life.  It could be financial, losing a beloved family member, friend or co-worker, divorce, a lay-off, our health, and many other things – including incontinence.

 It’s easy to have a good attitude and continuously think positive as long as things are going our way, right?!

What about the difficult times?  One of the hardest things to do when we’re experiencing adversity is to keep our heads held high, and “get back in the game.”  To be positive or to not be depressed…  It’s really easy to lose our passion when we’re hurt.

 Our friend Jason Parker, an Olympic medal winner (speed skating) has a great story about his very first race.  He was around 11 years old, and it was a 4-lap race.  So as he was skating into the very first turn, guess what he did…  Sure enough, he “hit the boards”.  That’s skaters-talk meaning he fell down.

Jay__Chimo001_REZ.jpg

He picked himself up and began skating again, and by the end of the race, Jason had fallen 4 times.  But you know what he had to do to finish the race?  He had to PICK HIMSELF UP and begin skating again.

Here’s a guy who went from falling 4 times in his first race and because he had a “Pick-Myself-Up Attitude”, he became an Olympic champion!

 Now here’s the rest of Jason’s story…  Sitting in the audience of his very first race were his family, his friends, and a cute young girl (Kristin) he had his eye on.  And with all his falls, he was embarrassed beyond belief!  And after the race, he knew that cute little Kristin would never give him the time of day, and perhaps not even look at him.


Fast forward 15 years, and cute little Kristen is now Mrs. Parker, and Kristen and Jason have 2 beautiful children!

Of course, many people choose to sit on the sidelines of life and not move forward because they’ve been “injured.”  As we all know, that’s their prerogative.

But at Men’s Liberty, we feel like it’s our responsibility to ask questions that just may perhaps motivate you to change your life and to change your lifestyle!

So here’s the question:    “What if…?”

What if we picked ourselves up from the “boards” and “started skating again?”

We’re reminded of Cameron J., survivor of prostate cancer.  Like many, his treatments left him incontinent.  He was devastated because (in his words) he ‘was TRAPPED at home, afraid to go anywhere because he feared that his adult diapers might leak, or that someone could smell his urine.’

Lucky for Cameron, his daughter was an expert researcher, and that’s how he discovered Men’s Liberty!  And because of Men’s Liberty, Cameron picked himself up off the boards and became active again.

In fact Cameron is so active and busy, dedicating and volunteering his time and energies to the local hospital, church, and community enhancement committee!  Cameron’s wife teases saying ‘she sees him less now than when he was working.’

And that’s what it’s all about – raising our heads up high, finding solutions and getting ourselves back into the game!

I think that if we just stop and think about the many times we’ve witnessed people picking themselves up, we’ll start saying to ourselves something like this –

  •  “If John can do it, why can’t I?”
  • “I saw that football player finish the game with a broken arm AND broken ribs! Why can’t I?”

And think about it…  When they interview champions about their injuries, almost always they say the same thing:  “I’d rather be IN THE GAME than sitting on the sidelines watching it go by.”

 And there’s the difference between champions and everyone else.

Now this is important:

 At Men’s Liberty, we believe that

ALL PEOPLE HAVE A CHAMPION INSIDE THEMSELVES!!

So what can we do to help you find your inner-Champion?  What can we do to help you pick yourself up from the “boards”?

And – do you have a “Champion Story”?  We want to hear it!!  We want your inspiration and we want to celebrate your big wins.  So please – share your story with us now!!

NOTE:     If you’re new or just discovering Men’s Liberty, please know that we have a very experienced team of experts – including nurses and medical specialists, readily available to help answer all your questions to regaining your life and your inner champion.

Don’t hesitate to call our client assistance team today – 800-814-3174.  We’ll make every step of this journey as easy as possible!  800-814-3174

Topics: family, Health Literacy, Patient Stories, compassion

Your Genes Are Not Your Fate

Posted by Mens Liberty

Mar 29, 2016 11:20:00 AM

In March of 2008, Dr. Dean Ornish, a renowned physician gave a TED Talk in Monterey, California entitled “Your Genes Are Not Your Fate.”  The talk was powerful and impactful, and during his talk, Dr. Ornish shared some incredible research!

We thought you’d enjoy a summary of his talk, beginning with a couple of fascinating facts about changing our genes.  Yes – we can change our genes – first by creating new ones, and second, by changing our lifestyles!

 

The best news is that when you make lifestyle changes, you don’t have to wait a long time to see the results!  Dr. Ornish says that “when you eat healthier, manage stress, exercise, and love more, your brain actually gets more blood flow and more oxygen.”

He goes on to say that after making these changes, our brains become measurably bigger.  “Walking for 3 hours per week for only 3 months caused so many new neurons to grow that it actually increased the size of people’s brains.”

Dr. Ornish says there’s some things that we can eat, drink and manage to increase our brain cells – things like:

  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Blueberries
  • Alcohol (in moderation)
  • Stress management

And of course, he lists some foods and substances that decrease our brain cells, such as:

  • Saturated fat
  • Sugar
  • Nicotine
  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol (excessive)
  • Chronic stress

Here’s a really interesting fact.  Dr. Ornish says that “your skin gets more blood flow when you change your lifestyle, so you age less quickly and your skin doesn’t wrinkle as much, and your heart gets more blood flow.”

He says that we can actually reverse heart disease, and that after only a year, “clogged arteries become measurably less clogged!” 

He continues “We’ve shown that you may be able to stop or reverse the progression of early prostate cancer and by extension, breast cancer - simply by making these lifestyle changes.  Tumor growth was inhibited 70% in the study group who had made these lifestyle changes.”

Now isn’t just this news alone enough for all of us to immediately consider making some immediate lifestyle changes?!  This change in lifestyle has the power to substantially increases our quality of life, and who doesn’t want a better quality of life?!

Now here’s some news that may interest all of our followers…  “Even your sexual organs get more blood flow, so you increase sexual potency.”

And here’s some news that isn’t so great, and definitely a reason to quit smoking if you are a smoker…  “Nicotine, which constricts your arteries can cause a heart attack or a stroke, but it also causes impotency.  HALF of guys who smoke are impotent!”

Dr. Ornish then addresses a subject that is close to our awareness – prostate cancer.  During his talk, he shows a “heat map” and then talks about a study they’re getting ready to publish that says “we found that over 500 genes were favorably changed, and in effect turning on the good genes – the disease-preventing genes, and turning off the disease promoting genes.

So much of what Dr. Ornish is reporting is really terrific news!  And as Dr. Ornish pronounces, “these findings are very powerful, and they’re giving many people new hope and choices!”

This is a very strong argument for all of us to make lifestyle changes that are now PROVEN to substantially improve our lives.  Don’t we owe this to our loved ones?  Of course we do!

So here’s our question:  After hearing Dr. Ornish’s report, what are you going to do IMMEDIATELY to implement a healthier lifestyle?

We want to hear your answers!  Please participate and let us know!

Topics: medical research, Health Literacy, compassion

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