<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P3V3WD" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

Incontinence Support Blog

Feeling Sluggish? Low Energy? Here’s a Terrific and Super-Healthy Cure!

Posted by Mens Liberty

Mar 7, 2017 11:12:38 AM

We literally take hundreds of calls daily, and one of the biggest grumbles that we hear from our clients has nothing to do with incontinence.  It’s all about how sluggish they feel, and how they ‘wish they had the energy they did when they were younger.’

You may recall that I did a video blog on a book that has changed many people’s lives

http://blog.mensliberty.com/blog/health-update-summary-of-the-china-study.  It’s called “The China Study”.  Without going into a lot of detail, here’s a quick summary:

The U.S. government commissioned a study in the late 80’s for scientists to study various population groups in China.  They postulated that a healthy diet included a minimum of 20 grams of protein / day.

A team of scientists went to China and studied thousands of people – wealthy, poor, urban, non-urban, etc.  As it turns out, the scientists had 2 shocking discoveries.  First, they discovered that there were many healthy people ingesting much less than 20 grams of protein daily.

They also discovered that the poorest populations were the healthiest.  In fact, they had less than 1% of their population getting cancer, having obesity, heart disease, diabetes, digestive complications, and on and on…  LESS THAN 1%!!

As it turns out, the poorest populations couldn’t afford to buy proteins and their diets consisted mostly of fruits, nuts, vegetables and some seafood.

And of course the least healthy populations had diets heavy in proteins.

Now before you think we’re going to try and convert you into a vegetarian, please – relax.  We’re not.  This is about gaining energy and preventing age-related disease.  And here’s the best news – some of the latest research says this is much easier than we thought.

While there’s a lot of things that are out of our control (such as our genes), the following information is something completely within our control, and is relatively easy to manage.  This follows some of the guidelines set in “The China Study”, and it’s called “Eating Clean.”

Let’s go through the 6 simple rules of “Eating Clean.”

  1. Get back to basics. The foundation of eating clean is 2 things: Making better choices and eating more foods in their natural states: unsalted nuts, grass-fed and free-range meats, whole fruits and vegetables.  Common sense.

Much of what we consume today is chemically altered with all kinds of things that we can’t spell or properly announce.

Just try to replace 2 servings of clean food each day instead of processed or altered foods.

  1. Think outside the box. Most foods that come inside a box have been processed in some manner. That means they’ve either added things or stripped away some of the food’s essential goodness.

Try to choose foods with the least amount of processing.  The closer it is to its original form, the better it is for you.

  1. Check the label. Spend a little time reading labels and seeing what the ingredients are.

Simple rule of thumb:  The lower the number of ingredients, the better off you are.  Case in point:  Yogurt.  Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods out there.

  1. Know the enemy. We all know that certain ingredients are bad for our health. They affect our blood pressure, our cholesterol and blood sugar.

Try to avoid things like high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, nitrates and nitrites, trans fats, and food coloring – especially blue 1, blue 2, green 3, citrus red 2, red 3, yellow 5 and 6.

  1. Shop smarter. Some foods have major health benefits – foods like hummus, peppercorns, tuna, salmon, grain breads, garlic and garlic powder, chia seeds, oats, fermented foods (miso, sauer-kraut, kimchi), quinoa and whole grain pastas, and of course, fruits and vegetables. If it’s meats, make it grain-fed and/or free-range.

Just like 1 through 4 – all common sense.

  1. Eat at home. It comes at no surprise that restaurant and fast food meals have more calories and fewer nutrients. It’s likely that when we eat home-prepared meals, we eat less.

Keep this in mind when preparing meals:  Simple is best.  I frequently eat a small piece of grilled fish (salmon, tuna, or sea bass) with sliced tomatoes and steamed broccoli.  It’s also quick!  Sometimes in the summer, it’s just some tomato slices and fresh corn on the cob.  Again, simple and quick!

In closing I want to tell you a story about one of my friends.  A few years ago, he almost died.  When he got out of the hospital he weighed 333 pounds.  While recuperating, he read “The China Study” and immediately changed his diet.  He’s what we call a “pescatarian” – that’s a vegetarian who also eats fish and seafood.

Since revising his eating habits and doing one simple exercise 3 or 4 days a week (swimming), he’s lost more than 75 pounds.  More importantly, he’s of course a lot healthier, and he has a ton more energy.  And get this – every couple of months, he’ll indulge in a cheeseburger or pizza or steak – sometimes all 3 in the same day!  Those are our rewards for making great lifestyle choices.

Feeling sluggish?  Wishing you had the energy levels you had when you were younger.  Betcha there’s a great solution in what we discussed today!

Make it a terrific week!  I love sharing these tips with you!

 

  • Wendy LaTorre

Topics: family, Health Literacy

5 Tips to staying Mentally Healthy

Posted by Mens Liberty

Feb 9, 2017 1:11:26 PM

I read the most beautiful article the other day. Someone had brought kittens to a nursing facility that needed to be bottle fed. “Ohhh how sweet and cute,” is usually the initial reaction when you see tiny kittens being bottle fed by an elderly man and woman. Surprisingly, it’s not something I thought into more deeply. It wasn’t until someone pointed out how much it was helping the PEOPLE doing the bottle feeding that I thought about it that way.

Here are some things we can all benefit from and will help keep your mental health on key, which can sometimes be unfairly overlooked.

  1. Apply yourself to something that makes you feel needed and independent.

Having previous experience in geriatrics, I know residents get frustrated because their hands shake, they don’t understand, something is unfamiliar, anxiety, depression, fear, and many people feel like they are such a burden. It is important for EVERYONE’S mental health (not just elderly) to find something that you can contribute to remind yourself that you ARE a useful human being. We all have struggles, and we all like to feel loved, useful, and important.

Have you ever done an activity like sewing, painting, exercising, gardening, or crocheting where you actually go on “auto-pilot” and look up to realize you got lost in what you were doing? These are what I call “freeing activities”.

  1. Find activities you get lost in that do not involve electronics. There is a difference between being fixated on something like the TV and being lost in a hobby. Try to make a habit of doing these activities at least once a week to help free your mind!

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I eat junk- I feel like JUNK.

  1. Fuel your body with proper nutrients. Know your necessary caloric intake and percentages of complex carbs (greens), and protein. With each milestone in our life or medication changes, our nutrient needs can vary.

Do you ever feel like you don’t have many people you can talk to? Maybe you feel you will be judged, or maybe you don’t really want to bother with explaining the situation so you just keep it to yourself? Keep all your worries, concerns, frustrations to yourself with no “freeing activities” or other release in between and all I can picture is a brewing problem inside.

  1. Talk. It’s so important to be able to talk about things whether it be to a friend, family member, significant other, or therapist. This gives you a chance to release any mental toxins you may have so you can feel good as new.

Have you ever been around people who are negative.ALL.THE.TIME. Okay, enough said. It’s okay to be realistic and vent like #4. It’s also even more important to do THIS.

  1. Find the POSITIVE. I can honestly still hear my mom saying this. “Look at the silver lining”. Oh, this is so true. There is also a phrase something like “whether you are looking for a positive or a negative- you will find what you seek” If that’s actually not out there then I call dibs on being credited!  If you sit and focus on the negative over and over- that is going to be what you find in situations, and that’s going to be what you spend the most time on.

Quick Question: Which statement gives you a better feeling? 

Example:  

  1. I don’t need anyone or their help in life.
  2. I have the utmost strength and ability to tackle life independently.

If I portrayed my point as anticipated, chances are that option B gave off a more positive vibe than option A. It’s because positivity was used over negativity. It’s important to look at a bad situation, acknowledge it, and then step back and look at the silver lining (or sometimes make your own silver lining.) You may have incontinence, but Men’s Liberty can be the positive in an undesirable situation.

 

Best wishes and until next time,

     ~Nurse Nicole

Nurse-Nicole-01.png

 

Topics: family, Health Literacy

“Prostate- what omy”?

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jan 19, 2017 4:04:25 PM

Image3.png

We thought we would introduce a new voice to the Men's Liberty blog.  Meet Men's Liberty's very own Nurse Nicole.  Some of you may have already spoken to her on the phone at our offices. On the "Nurse Hotline" as she calls it.  We think she's great!

We have asked her to break down some of the basic questions we get asked, as well as some of the more common medical issues that men face. We know she is the right person to give simple, clear explainations to some, often confusing, health subject matters. So, look for more blogs and some new videos from her too!

This week she'll cover “Prostate- what omy”? 

Everyone has different reasons for incontinence, and learning to cope with the changes our bodies go through isn’t an easy task. Educating yourself, being prepared, and having the ability to laugh at life situations can work wonders with coping. A large portion of patients who need to use urinary devices have had a prostatectomy. Even though some of you are a pro on the topic now, I am willing to bet there was at least ONE point in time when you were unsure on what the procedure was, what to expect, or maybe what the next steps would be.

For those who are just learning about the procedure and would like to learn more information- you’ve come to the right place! In this article we will be learning about a prostatectomy and what it means for you and your health.

Prostatectomy is the removal of the prostate, which is located below the bladder. Many times, this procedure is done to make sure cancer cells will not remain in the body. There are different ways to perform a prostatectomy, and most are robotically assisted due to our advanced technology. The different approaches include, but are not limited to:

  1. Suprapubic: an incision is made in the abdomen below the belly button to remove the prostate.
  2. Perineal: an incision is made in the perineum to remove the prostate.
  3. Laparoscopic (Robotically assisted) : a few small holes are made across the abdomen for the removal of the prostate.  

Your physician will choose which approach is best suited for you, your body, and your health. Make sure to ask as many questions as you need to be informed- I usually recommend making a list….and checkin’ it twice!  (Makes me think of Christmastime!)

Instructions after your procedure may vary depending on the type of procedure you had, your physician, and the facility’s protocols. The hospital will give you discharge instructions on how your activity must be limited. Usually they want you to take it easy for about 6 weeks- that means no whiskey or late night clubbing! You will be sent home with an internal catheter (Foley catheter). Do not pull on the catheter, as there is an inflated balloon inside.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the most irritating part of the entire process. The good news is- it is TEMPORARY (for 1 week). It may be a nuisance, but it is necessary for your healing and will be removed when you visit your urologist.  

If you have already had a prostatectomy, you’re probably now aware of the typical side effects of the procedure. For those who don’t know, the side effects of the procedure may include erectile dysfunction or incontinence.

The good news is Men’s Liberty is here to help you successfully address the incontinence. Combine that with additional medications, vacuums, or therapies and you’ll have conquered the procedure and be on the road to a healthier you!

                                                                                                                                                        ~Nurse Nicole


 

Topics: prostate cancer, Health Literacy

The HIGH PRICE of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Posted by Phoebe Ezell

Jan 5, 2017 10:46:09 AM

Okay…  I admit it.  I know I’m not getting enough sleep.  Sometimes I jokingly call it “The 444 Curse” – I wake up every morning at 4:44.

I also have read enough newspaper and magazine articles about the horrible health effects of not getting enough sleep.  So I began my research…

Here’s some quick facts:  In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared lack of quality sleep “a public health problem.”  They report that “80 million American adults aren’t getting enough sleep.”

Researchers at the National Institute of Health (NIH) report that “more than 70 million American adults suffer from sleep difficulties.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that of all patient’s health complaints, lack of sleep is number 2.  And just a few short years ago, that complaint wasn’t even in the top 5.

So what’s causing this?  Experts say that the top 3 culprits are the rising obesity rate, the unprecedented number of adults taking anti-depressant medications, and all of our electronic screens emitting a high intensity “Blue Light” which scrambles our circadian rhythms. 

Apparently, this high intensity “Blue Light” strongly emulates sunlight, thus throwing our brains off kilter, making them believe it’s actually still daytime.  Our brains have thousands of years of “pre-programming” to think that we stay awake during daylight, and sleep when it’s dark out. 

Sleep researchers report that on average, we’re using devices emitting “Blue Light” 11 hours a day.  And if you’re like me, you have a TV in your bedroom emitting that same light as we try and fall asleep… 

Brain researchers have a unique way of describing what happens to us if we don’t get enough quality sleep.  They say that sleep is the brain’s overnight “rinse cycle”, and it’s important for our brains to “flush cellular debris generated by metabolic activity.”  In other words, “the brain has to go offline during that process.” 

As many of us have experienced a bad night’s sleep, the following day results in a sluggish and diminished function – kind of like being in a fog.  That effects our memory and our mental acuity.  And as adults, many nights of bad sleep can speed up the development of cognitive impairments. 

Here’s where sleep can really affect our health:  It’s reported that some 40 million Americans have “Sleep Apnea”.  Get this – apparently 25% of all middle-aged men have Apnea, yet the majority of them have never been diagnosed. 

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine did a study that revealed the high cost.  Those with severe apnea are: 

  • 4 times more likely to have a stroke
  • Twice as likely to develop depression
  • 5 times more likely to die from cancer

Another study found that apnea sufferers

  • Develop Alzheimer’s disease 5 years earlier than those who sleep soundly; and
  • Mildly cognitive impairments come a decade earlier

Okay…  enough of the bad news.  Let’s talk about what we can do to IMPROVE our sleep and prevent apnea and other sleep disorders.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same things we recommend to prevent other diseases are the same for apnea, such as:

  • Limit your use of “Blue Light” emitting devices to less than 8 hours a day
  • Turn off all “Blue Light” emitting devices at least 2 hours prior to going to bed for the night
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week
  • No foods for at least 4 hours prior to going to bed – especially sweets or chocolates
  • No caffeine after 4:00 p.m.
  • No more than 1 cocktail or glass of wine, and no later than 7:00 in the evening
  • Do your best not to think about stressful things when you awake in the middle of the night
  • Maintain a healthy weight and keep your Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 to 24.9

And know this – do your best to get a minimum of 7 solid hours of sleep each night.

Hopefully this will give you some guidance on how truly valuable a consistent good night’s sleep for your health!

Sweet dreams!

Topics: Health Literacy

The Wonderful Results of Keeping Track of Our Health

Posted by Mens Liberty

Dec 22, 2016 11:08:00 AM

Have you ever noticed how much our responsibility and our discipline increases when we have someone to share our activities with?  It’s proven!

Researchers’ report that our commitment level more than doubles when we have “Accountability Partners” keeping us accountable.  It makes sense that we do much better – even when it’s for things we enjoy!

A perfect example is my Wednesday afternoon board game group.  We all do our best to follow our commitments and be there for each other.  In fact, we start calling our members around 10 minutes before we’re supposed to start – just to make sure they’re on their way!

So let’s admit it…  For most of us, exercise is something that would be a lot more enjoyable, and certainly we’d probably be much more consistent when we have accountability partners.

Did you know that many of us may already have that “accountability partner” and we’re carrying that partner in our pockets or purses?  Yes – we do!  And there are other “accountability partners” called “wearables” – you know, those fitness bracelets we see people wearing.

Back to the ones we’re carrying in our pockets and handbags…  They’re our smart phones!  There are literally hundreds and hundreds of “apps” (programs we run on our smartphones) to help us stay motivated and to achieve better fitness and health.  They’re set up to keep track of measurements, such as the number of steps we take in a day, the total distance we’ve walked, our body weight, caloric intake and nutritional information, and much more information.  What differs is how each app displays our data, and how it keeps us motivated.

So today, we have 6 recommendations to help you stay on track with your health.

Recommendation #1 is to start with an achievable goal.  We always say that if it’s believable, then it’s achievable.  As an example, a few months ago I started swimming laps.  On my first day, I said to myself “just see what you can do without over-exerting yourself.”  I swam 4 separate 50-yard intervals in 30 minutes.  200 yards.

So I started swimming 3 times a week, and that became my baseline to build upon.  Here it is several months later, and I’m swimming 8 separate 150-yard intervals in 60 minutes, and I’ve upped my frequency to 5 times a week – quite an improvement.  From 200 yards to 1,200 yards 5 times a week.

I use my smart phone app to record and track my results, and it’s also tremendously motivating to see my progress!  And that keeps me motivated.  Now I will admit, there’s something else that keeps me motivated, and that’s the group of people I see at the lap pool.  We all encourage each other to achieve our goals!

Recommendation #2 is to create something that will keep us motivated and give us positive feedback.  I called a few friends and asked them to join my “4,000 steps-a-day challenge.”  So now we all have a healthy group competition, and since we’re using the same app, we’re sharing our results with each other!

In this case, we’re all gaining 2 forms of feedback from the challenge – first, we’re gaining more and more steps each week, and second, all of us are seeing our clothing getting looser and looser – we’re losing weight!

The better our results, the more motivated we are to keep going!

Recommendation #3 is probably obvious – we are doing a much better job understanding what we eat and drink.  I’ll admit it – counting calories can be an inconvenience.  That’s where these apps really help out. 

I made a commitment to myself to record everything I ate and drank for a week!  Are you thinking I was shocked at the end of the week?!  You bet I was!  After having it all in front of me on the app, it was easy to see where some of my choices weren’t very healthy, and I knew exactly what I’d need to cut back on.

This one recommendation has made a tremendous impact on my health, and while I don’t keep detailed records each week – I might do it for 1 week every 6 to 8 weeks, I’m getting great results.  Bottom line – I’m choosing healthier options!

Recommendation #4 – “Externalization.”  Behavioral scientists have overwhelmingly proven that when we share our goals with our respected colleagues, friends and family, we are much more likely to achieve our goals!  Well no wonder – we don’t want to be “marked absent” now, do we?  No!

Just for an idea, I’ve taken my externalization one step further (forgive the pun) – I put together a walking group, and we all walk together 5 days a week.  That way we’ve not only externalized our goals, but we’re holding each other accountable by being there with each other – a double win!  Plus – we seem to have some enjoyable discussions!

Recommendation #6 is something we understand – that healthy habits take time to lock in and take hold.  That’s why these health apps and wrist bands help us stay accountable.

And let’s face it – it took us years to get out of our former healthy state, so it’s probably unreasonable to expect for our old habits to magically disappear.  The best advice I can give is to BE PATIENT.

Finally, a bonus recommendation:  Share your data with your doctors.  If there’s one thing our doctors LOVE to hear, it’s that we’re taking measures to be our best and healthiest!  So just get an app or a fitness bracelet, and KEEP MOVING – one step at a time!

Topics: Caregiving, Health Literacy

Taking Control

Posted by Caleb Bartlett

Dec 8, 2016 11:07:30 AM

As with any traumatic injury or debilitating illness it can feel like one has lost control of one’s life. A seemingly endless stream of doctors, therapists, aides, social workers, insurance workers, and more march through your life almost daily. It’s easy to feel vulnerable, at their mercy, and without options, especially if you have lost a job or given up a career.

 

Some of you reading this may have children and find yourself in a situation where you are limited in your ability to physically interact with them. Maybe you depend on government for Medicaid or other programs for assistance and the current uncertainties are causing fear and anxiety. These situations can wear heavy and often result in feelings of hopelessness and depression.

I have been in a wheelchair for 22 years. If you’re reading this and I just described your life, you’re not alone, I know exactly how you feel. I have lived it myself. However, I have also had the privilege of navigating my way through these intense changes and finding a balance in the chaos. You are not powerless. There are ways you can take charge of your life. This month I’ve made a list five things you can put into practice right away that can bring long-term stability.

  1. Take Property Inventory- Get out a piece of paper, use the computer, whatever works. Make a list of the things in your life mentally, emotionally, and physically that have been affected. Now study that list objectively. What can you change with little effort? What can you change, but will take hard work? Write both of those on a second list. Discard the first list. Now take the second list and ask yourself… What can I change by being positive? What can I talk to counselor about? How can I share this with my family or spouse? Work from the inside out. You don’t need a doctor or to go to a gym to work on the mind and heart. When you get to the physical stuff go to the second step.
  2. Explore the Alternatives- What physical issues can you become proactive about? What medications can be changed or substituted with vitamins and supplements. What does changes in your diet do? Fresh air? Activity and exercise? Even just getting out to the park, beach, or a movie can have a huge effect. In pain? Some doctors will prescribe medical massage. Consult a Homeopath or Naturopath. Research new technologies and trends. Even a better cushion or adjusting your chair can do huge things.
  3. Assess Your Skills- What can you do? Can you use a computer? Drive? What do you know? Who do you know? How can you harness these assets into income or starting a business? Consider going back to school or learning something you can do. Everyone can do something!
  4. Build A Network- We live in the information age. Get online, use the forums and discussion groups. Tell your story and get others support and input. Share ideas. Don’t be ashamed to ask for advice or help. Everybody had to start somewhere. Do unto others! If it’s in your power to call in a favor on behalf of someone else, do it. Start putting out a reputation as a helpful, generous person, and see what comes back your way.
  5. Quiet Your Mind- Take a few minutes every day and turn off the TV, the radio, the internet, and the phone. Sit quietly and just relax. Face your fears and dismiss them. The answers will come.

Life is a complex thing, and I sure don’t have all the answers. I do believe with determination, a little effort, and dedication we can turn these tragedies into good.

 

Thanks for reading.

Topics: Caregiving, prostate cancer, Health Literacy

Caregivers Guide – Helping Our Loved Ones with Cancer

Posted by Phoebe Ezell

Nov 18, 2016 12:09:00 PM

It’s no secret that many of our Men’s Liberty clients have suffered from cancer – typically prostate cancer.  And as a result of their treatment, they’ve encountered issues with incontinence.

As we speak with men every day about the solutions and the results that the Men’s Liberty device provides, it’s quite common that we hear the deep appreciation that these men have for their caregivers. 

In fact, probably the most common statement is “I believe it’s been harder on my wife and my family – my caregivers.”

Taking care of our beloved friends and family members can be challenging.  In the process, it will test our patience, our flexibility, our strength, and yes – even our loving heart.  Providing care can also be very rewarding and fulfilling.

We also receive calls from caregivers, and one call stands out in our memory.  She said that taking care of her husband reminded her of her 4-year-old dog.  It seems that for the first 2½ years of having their dog, he just couldn’t master potty training.

Every time she turned around, the puppy had piddled (or worse) on the floor.  But the love and the joy and the happiness that his little smiling face and wagging tail brought to the family overcame all the hundreds of times she considered taking him to the pet adoption center!

In other words, maintaining balance takes finesse.

The social psychologists have broken down the process of caregiving into the 3 stages of the cancer process.

Stage 1 – Diagnosis.

Many times caregivers notice that something is “different” even before their loved ones do.  Typically that begins with encouraging him to get it checked out.

Probably the most difficult day in the process is when the doctor says he has cancer.  That’s when most caregivers jump into action, providing support, asking questions and helping process the news.

And that’s the day that caregivers adjust their days and nights for the responsibilities that lie ahead.

Prepare to:

  • Be present – physically and emotionally
  • Allow him to talk and share that he’s afraid
  • Listen and acknowledge his fears
  • DO NOT say that “everything will be fine”
  • Let him know he is not alone
  • Take notes during medical appointments
  • Listen to the recommendations
  • Don’t hesitate to rely on social workers, spiritual advisors and other professionals

Other considerations:

  • Discuss how you’ll report the news to family, friends, and work
  • Ask family members to pitch in and help
  • TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO!! You’re not going to be much help if you wear yourself into a frazzle
  • Make it a point to ask yourself – who can YOU turn to when you feel overwhelmed or alone

Phase 2 – Treatment

  • Accompany him to chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments
  • Help him feel comfortable while receiving treatments
  • Bring something to keep yourself occupied – a book or your laptop
  • Continue to take notes of anything pertinent to the treatments
  • If you notice any changes in him, report them to your medical team
  • Don’t forget to seek help from friends and family when you need a break
  • Manage all paperwork for medical leave, insurance issues, finances, etc. (know there are community agencies to help – talk to a social worker)
  • Not easy to do, but begin to discuss advance care planning – Discuss his values, goals and wishes and talk through the options
  • Encourage to completion of an advance directive, which ensures that his wishes are clearly documented
  • Again – maintain balance for yourself!

Stage 3 – If Recurrence

If recurrence occurs, it’s normal for most men to feel anger, resentment, sadness and fear.  This is the time to provide as much emotional support as possible

  • Allow time to adjust back into the caregiving role
  • If requested, help him explore potential treatment options, including accompanying him on appointments

Caring for a loved one can really be emotionally and physically exhausting, but as we began this discussion – it can also be tremendously rewarding and fulfilling.  Many people find new meaning and purpose in their lives, as well as great renewal, reconnecting and deepening in their relationships.

You may be surprised to hear, but we actually have a lot of caregivers who call us looking for solutions!  Their hearts are broken seeing their loved ones wearing diapers and pads, getting skin rashes and lesions, and worse yet, wearing catheters, fighting urinary tract infections and hospital visits as a result of infections…

And worse yet, the effects of diapers and pads – men not leaving the home due to odors and leakage.  As a result of all the horrible side effects from other incontinence products, caregivers are searching for the best solutions and attempting to help their loved ones regain their freedom!

That’s exactly what Men’s Liberty does, and it’s easily the number 1 thing we hear from our dedicated and loyal fans – they’ve regained their independence and freedom and they’re back being active with friends and family, and enjoying life to the fullest!

Approaching caregiving with patience, humor, love and humility will most likely give you great pride and honor in the role you played.

We honor your commitment and acknowledge how both challenging and rewarding caregiving can truly be.  We are here for you and with you, and thank you for your tremendous love and commitments!

Topics: Caregiving, prostate cancer, Health Literacy

Finally - Some Good News about Winning the War Against Super-Infections

Posted by Phoebe Ezell

Nov 1, 2016 2:10:39 PM

One of the biggest problems for men suffering from incontinence is getting Urinary Tract Infections (“UTI’s).  Now for men who use the Men’s Liberty device, they know that UTI’s are a thing of the past – after millions of Men’s Liberty devices being used, we have yet to receive even the first report of a UTI.  The Men’s Liberty PREVENTS UTI’s.

(UTI’s are a common and sad side effect, misfortune and result from using catheters, pads and diapers and other incontinence products)

For those of us who have suffered from UTI’s, we know that the first line of defense is antibiotics.  And of course, that means our bodies are building up resistance against antibiotics, and with some of us, traditional prescription antibiotics fail to prevent bacteria and infection.  That means hospitalizations and in some cases, daily infusion treatments.

That’s exactly what happened to one of our team member’s husband.  He was hospitalized with an infection, and ended up in a coma, had surgery while in a 25-day coma, and then had over 150 daily infusion chemo “cocktail” treatments to kill the drug-resistant infections ravaging his body.  That was over 3 years ago, and still to this day the infectious disease specialists have not been able to identify the source or the pathogen of his infections.  Crazy huh?

Actually, that’s not all that unusual – in fact, more than 30% of all infections are unidentifiable.  Did you know that “infectious disease” is the fastest growing segment of U.S. medicine?  Yes!  It’s like being a forensic scientist dealing with unknown diseases of the body.

Here’s some GREAT news:  Recently, a young 25-year-old scientist by the name of Shu Lam, a Malaysian PhD student has quite possibly created a treatment to kill “Superbugs” that can no longer be successfully treated with antibiotics.

This is terrific news, as without Ms. Lam’s treatment, it’s been predicted that infectious diseases could end up killing far more people than cancer.  Many experts have reported that it could be our greatest health crisis ever.

Superbugs kill an estimated 700,000 people a year – among them 230,000 newborns.  A recent British study estimates this number rising to a shocking 10 million a year by 2050!

So how does Ms. Lam’s bacteria killer work?  She developed tiny star-shaped molecules built with peptide polymers.  The polymers target the bacteria and kill it in multiple ways.

Scientists throughout the world are calling Ms. Lam’s research a “breakthrough that could change the face of modern medicine!”

Kudos to Shu Lam and her team of scientists!  We can’t wait for update reports to her groundbreaking research!  This could truly be one of the greatest contributions to modern day health and science!

 

Topics: Health Literacy, antibiotics

September – National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Posted by Phoebe Ezell

Sep 27, 2016 7:28:22 PM

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we aren’t shy about men’s health, and we openly discuss many aspects of it.  In fact, we’re so used to using words relating to men’s anatomy, that we don’t even think twice about it.  It’s only when we hire a “newbie” (new team member) that we suddenly realize that our vocabulary can be somewhat shocking.  Give them a week or two, and they’re right “in it” with us.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  For us, that means it’s all about BEING AWARE and BEING INFORMED.

Each year, more than 29,000 men will die of this disease.  Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of U.S. men.  These statistics really frustrate us here, and it’s because of one simple thing that we just don’t understand:

Why is it that so many men refuse to have their doctors give them a quick 15-second digital exam?!

You see – here’s the thing:  Diagnosed early enough, prostate cancer survival rates are super high!!  At 10-years post diagnosis, 98% of men diagnosed early remain alive!!  98%!!

What’s more, undergoing a 45-minute (relatively painless) colonoscopy procedure can very possibly PREVENT prostate and colon cancer!

There are some things that all of us can do to slow down or PREVENT prostate cancer.  Let’s go through a quick list of Prostate Cancer Prevention Tips, as follows:

7 Prostate Cancer Prevention Tips

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet. Healthy meaning meals high in fruits and vegetables, lien proteins (fish), whole grains (oatmeal, brown or wild rice, popcorn, wheat breads) unsaturated oils (olive or canola oil), and of course staying away from sugars and sodas.

2. Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

3. Maintaining a healthy body weight – having a Body Mass Index (“BMI”) between 18.5 to 24.9. If you Google “BMI Calculator”, and type in your height and weight, the calculator will report your BMI. It’s that easy!

4. If you’re a smoker – QUIT! Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health.

5. Take a half aspirin (81 mg) every day. Easy, huh?!

6. Big surprise with this one – having a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. If you’ve never had one, please, please, please – schedule it today!

7. Having an annual checkup with your doctor, and that includes getting a digital prostate exam AND a PSA blood test (Prostate Screening Awareness).

Like we said – BE AWARE and BE INFORMED!  Please – take this blog to heart.  We truly care about your health, and just think…  What if you were able to avoid surgery, all because your doctor was able to remove a few polyps during a colonoscopy?

Or, think of the peace of mind you’d have if your doctor gave you a quick digital exam and told you that your prostate feels normal?  You wouldn’t have to worry, or worse yet – wonder.

So there’s just one more step after becoming aware and becoming informed…  And that’s to take action now!  Call your doctor and make that appointment!  Take action to prevent!!  Do it now!

Topics: prostate cancer, Health Literacy

Medical Journaling – Part 1

Posted by Phoebe Ezell

Sep 15, 2016 2:19:28 PM

Recently a good friend of Men’s Liberty was in the hospital with a life-threatening infection.  As with most hospital visits, it was extremely stressful on his caregiver…  Me.

While he underwent emergency surgery and recovery, I realized – it was left up to me to be his health advocate.  I found myself talking with all the doctors and nurses assigned to him, trying to take notes on what was happening every day; the daily doctor’s instructions, if they changed; what all the machinery was that was connected to him, and what was being poured into his body.

The one additional element I didn’t record was how he was feeling.  And that was only because he couldn’t verbally communicate with a vent tube down his throat!  It was the quietest he has ever been in his lifetime!

For the most part I have all my notes on one notepad, but I also have them jotted on paper napkins, the back of grocery receipts and whatever other loose pieces of paper I would dig from my bag to take notes.

Keeping these notes allowed me to clearly share the majority of each day’s events with all of our family and friends.  Those notes also now act as a mnemonic device for me as I share with him the sequence of events that he was clueless to, as he was in an induced coma.

I became his memory of that time period.  I had often witnessed my father saying that about my mother as they negotiated the V.A. medical system.  She is his memory.  Now I had a lot better understanding.

With today’s healthcare systems so very complicated, I now wonder how people navigate them alone.  And as it keeps getting more and more specialized and intricate, the need for a “memory keeper” is key.

These are my steps for being proactive with your own medical care and keeping a medical journal:

First, start with a notebook or notepad.  Nothing fancy, but simple to utilize, by keeping your notes in one place.  Making it a really bright color makes easier for you or your caregiver to find it in an emergency.  Your medical records and notes should be the only thing you put in this notebook.

There is no right or wrong way in organizing your notebook.  It is all about creating a system that works for you.  You should be able to access the information that is important to you.

Remember that I said I took notes on receipts, napkins, etc.  Instead of transcribing them, I simply taped them into my journal.  In other words – NO RULES.

In addition, if you are incapacitated, the journal allows others to have access to what you are currently experiencing and monitoring with your health.

So that brings us to “What to put in your notebook.”

  • Record your pharmacist. They have an electronic record of all the prescriptions you fill with them. If you have more than one, make a note of their phone numbers and addresses too.
  • Record any information related to all of your doctors. Include their phone numbers and addresses. Make it easy for someone else to know who you are dealing with.

  • Record some of your basic health information as well. Start with simple statistics like your DOB (Date of Birth), weight and height, blood type and your typical blood pressure, if you know it.
  • Record any medications you take on a regular basis. Remember to record if you have any reactions to your medication. When recorded, it’s also easier to remember to discuss it with your doctor on your next visit.
  • Record prior illnesses, surgeries and injuries. These events may play an important role in your long-term health. It’s very easy to forget major medical events when you are directly asked by a doctor. Talk about a brain freeze, or even a “Senior Moment.” OMG - I forgot that I had a car crash that I had with a semi-truck in my youth. That accident may have affected my neck and spinal pain later as an adult. And who forgets getting run over by a semi-truck?!

I use to have migraines and then started a “headache journal.”  I used a simple date book.  I could record the date it happened, the type and level of pain (from 0 to 10), where it was in my head, how long it lasted, and anything else that was happening in my body (nausea, etc.).

I also looked at my life and what was happening in it.  Things like what I was eating and how I was feeling that day.  Eventually, I saw a pattern and could address the source, not just the pain.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas to begin your own personal medical journal.  And perhaps it will spur some discussions with your spouse, family members and friends.  They need to know you’re being proactive with your health – and by telling them, they’ll know where to look to find your journal in the event of an unfortunate tragedy.

Begin taking the steps to create your medical journal now!!  In a while, I’ll share some more tips related to this subject!

We also want to acknowledge that this month is National Spinal Cord Awareness Month. Men's Liberty has some wonderful blogs on Spinal Cord Injuries, including blog postings from Caleb, so look around and read these wonderful posts!

Topics: spinal cord injury, Health Literacy, Guest Blogs