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Incontinence Support Blog

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

Get A Job

Posted by Caleb Bartlett

Apr 21, 2016 11:08:00 AM

Today’s job market is highly competitive. No longer having a college degree guarantees success in the workplace. With more and more jobs going overseas or becoming specialized finding employment can be difficult for able-bodied people, never mind the thousands of folks with physical limitations. Furthering your education can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive as well. How do those of us already battling labels and physical impediments rise above and meet our needs?

In my experience of living in a chair for 22 years the greatest hindrance I have found to financial success is self-consciousness and self-doubt. Many people who are different let the media or the status quo or even doctors determine what they are worth or capable of, but the real truth is that the only person who can decide that for you is you. These kinds of deep, personal changes don’t come overnight and require a great deal of effort, but while you are working on success from the inside I have  a handful of practical steps you can take towards personal financial stability.

  1. Know your strengths. Are you a good communicator? Are you comfortable on the phone? Maybe you are good with numbers, or you’re more of a “big idea” person? Do you love animals or children? What are you passionate about? Knowing your strong points will build confidence and give you grounding when going through interviews and promoting yourself. Don’t be afraid to make a list!
  2. Think outside the box. Everybody needs something and you just might be their answer. There is great liberty in being your own boss. With tools like the internet and social media running your own business in a professional and powerful way has never been more easy than it is today. Find your niche and exploit it!
  3. Know your stuff. We have access to more information than any other generation in history. Books online, college courses, even YouTube! Don’t stop reading and studying. It is said that 1 hour of reading a day will make one an expert in their given field in 7 years. Companies spend millions of dollars each year on consultants to improve their chances of success. Imagine getting paid just to talk! Knowledge is a precious commodity, stock up on it.
  4. The Government is not your source. Use those special programs and disability benefits as a means to an end. Use the money wisely and work on a strategy over 5-10 years to reduce your dependence on Federal help. You’re not a ward of the state, you’re a valuable, contributing member of society. Start cultivating that view today.
  5. Clean out your financial closet. Get your money and banking organized. No matter how broke you may be! Keep accurate records and set a budget. If you have bad debt or credit card debt consider consolidation or a doable repayment strategy. Reduce unnecessary expenditures like unhealthy snack foods, cigarettes, alcohol, video games, and other non-productive pastimes. Set aside 5% of your monthly income for savings.
  6. Volunteer. This is your chance to get out make connections. Strut your stuff. Find something you’re passionate about and donate your time. You never know the connections you will make and the opportunities that will open up to you. If they see what you do for free, they will know what you can do with money.
  7. Don’t be afraid of “No”. Pick yourself up and move on. If they don’t see your value you don’t want to work there anyway. Plain and simple. 

Go forth and prosper and don’t be afraid. You can determine your future, and let nothing stand in your way.

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

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 to Pack for a Trip to the Hospital (if you're incontinent)...

Posted by Mens Liberty

Nov 10, 2015 2:00:00 PM


Welcome back – this week we’re going to be tackling some really practical advice. If you’re like me, when you are planning a stay in the hospital, whether it is for inpatient surgery, or another reason, it is important to be prepared. A well-packed bag is essential for having a comfortable stay in the hospital. But the big question is – what does “well packed” mean exactly?


Never fear – here is my MUST-HAVE list. Feel free to change this around to suit your needs but this is what gets me through a hospital stay.

  1. Pajamas or night clothes for each day. You spend all day and night in your PJ’s and tend to sweat more in the hospital,(especially with those plastic coated mattresses,) so you can usually only wear PJ’s for one day. Also don’t go for skimpy items. I have seen patients in hospital PJ’s or other clothing made of nylon and they tend to make you perspire and become uncomfortable, when in bed for any length of time.
  2. Socks and slippers – hospitals are filled with recycled air and they only have one temperature – cold! So even if you’re not a “hot” person by nature – don’t forget the fuzzy socks. A new pair for every day.
  3. Baby wipes or wet wipes for cleaning up hands, face and bottoms and for overall “freshening up,” especially if you can’t shower as often as you like. These are an absolute lifesaver!
  4. 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner – this saves time washing your hair when you feel awful. Even better try using Dry (i.e. waterless) Shampoo – for freshening your hair when you are unable to wash it yourself. While it’s not as good as a real hair wash, if you are unable to get out of bed or wash your hair as much as you would like, then this can be a good alternative.
  5. Moisturizer – Some hospital atmospheres can be very drying on the skin, especially if it has air conditioning or you are having bed baths. So don’t skimp on lotion or moisturizer. I particularly like the spray on moisturizer from St Ives for those hard to reach spots!
  6. Incontinence Supplies – hospitals will have pads or diapers but they buy them in bulk from the cheapest supplier possible so they feel just slightly better than sand paper – not okay. And let’s be honest here – no one wants a Foley catheter if they can avoid it. So whether or not you use Men’s Liberty, bring your supplies with you – one for each day plus two just in case. You’ll be glad you did.
  7. And last but not least – bring a comfortable outfit to wear home. Something slightly nicer than your PJs but comfy. Your going back out into the world and for some reason they don’t seem to like you to wear your PJs 24/7.

Well that’s my list – did I forget anything? What can’t you live without? Let us know in the comments!


 

Topics: urinary management, doctors visit, proactive patients, tips from Men's Liberty users

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?”

“No.”

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

“No.”

“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!

Get Help Now!

Topics: tips from Men's Liberty users, 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.

Watch the Application Video

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

Coping with your MS Diagnosis, tips from Men's Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Aug 13, 2013 10:10:00 AM

We know that there are lots of diagnosis which are associated with urinary incontinence, including multiple sclerosis. And when you first get diagnosed its easy to feel totally overwhelmed. So whether you've been diagnosed with MS or something else, we are thrilled to share some basic coping tips from David Novak.

 Orange Line

Certainlypeople react in a variety of ways when they find out they’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  It might help to know that while the news of the diagnosis is not the most pleasant, many people with MS have been able to successfully manage their symptoms and live fruitful and productive lives in spite of it. With the right education, information, treatment and support system, you can do the same.

Immediately Plan Your Treatment

Upon receiving news that you’ve been afflicted with MS, it might take some time to deal with your feelings and thoughts.  However, addressing strategies for treatment is not only extremely
important for the condition itself, but also for your good mental health.

With Multiple Sclerosis, it's vital to begin treatment as soon as you are diagnosed. In most cases, addressing it early gives you a significantly better chances of reducing the number of symptomal relapses you may have, which can slow down the progression of future issues. The ultimate goal is to interrupt and slow down the advancement of the disease, and at the
same time, avoid further interruption of your life and the things you want to accomplish.

Be True to What You Feel

As with mny life-altering situations, coming to terms and being true to your feelings wth your MS diagnosis is paramount.  Whether you feel mad, sad, scared, anxious or ashamed, just know that all of those feelings are experienced by many who are in the same situation.  It also might be comforting to know that these feelings will change and dissipate over time. So, sit with your feelings.  Get them out.  Give yourself time to get used to these emotions, because this is the best way to move forward after you have lived with these feelings for a while.

It's also important to remember not to blame yourself. Multiple Sclerosis is not your fault, and having the condition is not your fault either.  There’s nothing that you did in your life that could have prevented it, but there are many, many things you can do to make your life significantly easier.  

March Forward, and Get Out There!

This is a new chapter in your life.  Sure a diagnosis of MS is challenging to cope with and will have an impact on your life, but it also means that there will be good challenges in your life that, if overcome, will allow you to live a very fruitful, satisfying and accomplished life. Continue to do the things you like, especially staying active.  This will help you stay focused
and positive. You’ll find out that when you stay busy and do the things you love, that you will live in much the same way you always have. This can include your career, your personal relationships, your family and your daily routine.  

Don’t Be Shy about Your Diagnoisis

It’s normal to feel alone and want to be alone after you receive a diagnosis.  But this may not be the best course of action. Having a support system with nearly everything you do in life is
extremely helpful.  It’s no different with MS.  Don’t cut yourself off from the people closest to you. The support of your friends and family can make all the difference in the world as to how you handle the disease. There’s no doubt that living with MS can be stressful and challenging.  And those whom you share your life with probably know you best.  Having them around to share experiences with and talk with can make everyone feel better about the situation, especially you. 

Outside support groups with those afflicted with MS like you are especially helpful.  You’ll have those around you that really understand what you’re going through, mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

David NovakDavid Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries. He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com/.

Topics: doctors visit, tips from Men's Liberty users, multiple sclerosis

The Worst Incontinence Advice EVER!!!

Posted by Sarah Woodward

May 13, 2013 11:02:00 AM

I'm officially appalled. This has to be the WORST advice for dealing with incontinence ever - “live with it. It’s just a little bit of water. Get help. And be brave."

Check out the full article here. I know the British are stereotyped as having a 'stiff upper lip' about problems (not inaccurately, I lived there) but still. No one should ever be relegated to just living with incontinence. There are so many treatment and management options that can help reduce or eliminate incontinence. At absolute minimum, there are ways to manage incontinence so that it has less of an impact on your daily life.

So, inspired by a heapful of dismay at such poor advice, I've copied Maggie's original question below and provided my own answer!

Dear Virginia,

I’m 35 and I’ve had radiation therapy for cancer and the resulting scarring means that I find it very difficult to stop leaking urine at times during the day. I really need to be near a loo all the time and as a result my life has been severely hampered. I’ve tried pads, but I’m always worried about the smell. Because I can’t go out very far my kids have to stay indoors all the time and it’s not good for them. I’ve tried every doctor, but no one can help and they just say I must “live with it”. But I can’t. Do you have any suggestions? 

Yours sincerely,

Maggie

Orange Line

Dear Maggie,

First, let me apologize for the poor advice you received from Virginia. You absolutely do not have to just "live with" incontinence, much less explain your bladder issues to friends and family to excuse having accidents on their furniture! Fortunately, several other ladies emailed in with much better advice. Still, I deal with this all the time, admittedly mainly from men, so I wanted to throw my own two cents in.

First, since your incontinence is the result of radiation, go back to that doctor. There are prescription options that can reduce the frequency and intensity of your incontinence. If they can't or won't provide better options, consider a physical therapist who can help you with Kegel exercises (to improve muscle control) or a urogynocologist who specialized in disorders of the pelvic floor and reproductive organs. You also shouldn't rule out surgical options which may be appropriate, depending on the exact causes and your doctor's recommendation.

Second, consider changing your diet to reduce or eliminate foods that irriate your bladder and increase incontinence. This includes spicy foods and caffeine. Do NOT drastically reduce your fluid intake. Your urine should be a pale yellow, anything darker and you're dehydrating your body which can do more harm than good.

Third, do regular Kegel exercises and scheduled toiletting to improve muscle control and to help train your bladder to go at controlled intervals. Maybe you need to go to the bathroom every few hours, on a schedule so your bladder gets used to the idea of holding it and builds up muscle strength.

Fourth, depending on the amount you leak, don't be afraid of pads. They're not glamorous but unfortunately they are a ubiquitous option that will give you a sense of security. You can also bring spare ones in your purse and change them every two/three hours. Great strides have been made in capturing or eliminating odor, so you can reduce the embarassment. The truth is, you're probably the only one that knows you have them on. Sadly, there aren't a lot of great alternatives out there for women (though I know we're working on it). Due to their anatomical variations, men have more options like condom catheters and our product, Men's Liberty. When we get the market with one for women, we'll definately let you know.

Last but certainly not least, take every opportunity to talk to people who are also in your situation. There may be support groups (online or in person) with people dealing with your same treatment, diagnosis or even dealing with incontinence. They're an amazing resource of truly sympathetic people who are looking for options just like you. They can turn you on to all sorts of other options that most people (including doctors) may not know about.

I hope this helps a bit. Incontinence isn't inevitable and its not something you just have the learn to live with. There are ways of minimizing its impact on your life so that you and your kids can go out and about without constantly looking our for a bathroom.

Anyone else have questions about managing their incontinence? Let us know!

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Topics: bladder control, tips from Men's Liberty users, diaper alternatives, physical therapy