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Incontinence Support Blog

Wee Answer Wednesday: A Hunter's Questions Answered

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Apr 17, 2013 4:00:00 PM

While 95% of our customers are men dealing with incontinence, there are the select few out there who use the product more recreationally. They use it for fluid management when they know they're going to be away from the bathroom for a while. It's also proving unexpectedly popular among hunters who are investing in scent control. We recently showed the product to a hunting afficiando and he had a couple of questions we thought we would share. The responses are from our Quality Assurance Manager, Joe, who has a wicked sense of humor. 

1. How do we dispose of this bad boy and maintain my “scent lockness”…ie, cinch string, disposable bag?, nothing?...rip it off and then what? Do you provide a disposable surrounding  piss bag so I can slip it off into something and seal up?

I am sure you are an environmentally responsible hunter, so anything you bring in to the environment, I am sure you are taking back out of the environment.  Also, in a pinch, collected urine is drinkable.

2. Many guys also have “leakage issues”… can they use it for both?

From single drips to beer fueled streams, the product can handle it all.

3. Is Camo color possible? Us hunters want to look manly and Camo or a burly swede leather camo pouch might help man it up a lil’.

I was thinking day/glo orange might also be a possibility, as you could enhance your general safety/protection from getting shot by another hunter.  Stenciled deer heads on the bag for each kill could also be an option.

4. How strong is it???….my worry is this…I’m climbing a tree to my stand or riding my quadrunner in the bush to my hunting spot or gutting a deer in a weird position and my zipper rips it…and this thing explodes or falls off.  I’m sure it fits all, but is it ALL TERRAIN?

How strong is your personal equipment? Anything you can do without the product, you can do with the product attached.

5. What’s the cost?

We could barter for some fresh deer steaks.

6. Is the piss bag itself scent free?

Scent free, until you fill it with urine.

Do you have any other burning questions, let us know for next week!

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday: All Dressed Up and No Where to Pee

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Mar 13, 2013 12:08:00 PM

In honor of last week’s filibuster, this week’s theme is non-medical uses for Men’s Liberty! Whether or not you’re a US Senator, a race car driver or a glider pilot, you may be doing something that has you away from a bathroom for several hours at a time. And sometimes it’s just not practical to land, pull over or hop out of that Haz-Mat suit. So what do you do? We have the answer.

FreeDerm1. Your product says 24 hour wear time. What if I don’t need it that long? Does it have to be used continuously to be effective?

The Men’s Liberty will generally last for 24 hours or more; however, it is possible to remove the device before then if desired. You can remove the device using FreeDerm adhesive remover or by wrapping the seal in a warm, wet wash cloth until the seal turns milky white. Once it’s milky white, you can peel it slowly from the skin.

2. This is primarily a medical product; can I get my insurance to cover it even if I’m not incontinent?

Unfortunately, no. In order to secure Medicare or insurance reimbursement, the product requires a letter of medical necessity from a physician verifying your incontinence and need for the product. Without that documentation, reimbursement is not possible.

3. Can I purchase this product myself?

Absolutely! If you wish to pay for items yourself, any of our Customer Care Representatives can do that for you. The cash price is $11.33 per unit.

4. Are there any stores that stock your product?

Not at the moment. Because the vast majority of our customers are incontinent and are covered by insurance, they purchase product through one of our medical device distribution partners who handles all the billing, etc. Then, either a one or three month supply is shipped directly to their doorstep.

5. I need a larger bag than the one that comes with the product. Do you have another model I can try?

We only make one model of Men’s Liberty, which does include an 8ox integral collection chamber. This chamber can hold just about one normal void and is ideal for people who dribble or leak. However, if you require a larger bag we also sell a 1000mL leg bag or 2000mL bedside bag which can accommodate much larger volumes.

Any other non-medical questions out there? Let us know!

 

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday with Men’s Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Mar 6, 2013 11:53:00 AM

You’d think we’d run out of questions after a while, especially since we do this every week. In actuality, not really. With a growing base of new customers and healthcare professionals joining the Men’s Liberty family, there’s always someone new with questions I’ve never heard before. So I have to tip my hat to our Customer Care Reps and our Customers who so consistently think outside the box in ways I’d never expect. I salute you!

 

1. Why doesn't the small pouch drain into the bed bag? I have to almost lay the bag on the floor to get it to drain.

The Men's Liberty utilizes gravity drainage, meaning the bag must be below your bladder in order to drain. From your question, it sounds as though urine is draining into the small bag but not into the bed bag, which can indicate that there is an issue with the bed bag or tubing. I suggest trying a different bed bag and seeing if the same issue occurs. I would also recommend checking all your tubing to ensure that it is not twisted or kinked. If none of these resolves the issue, please call our Customer Care team and we will work with you to troubleshoot the issue and make sure we get it resolved for you!

2. You say do not remove plug on bottom. How do I empty the urine from the bag if I don't pull the plug? The bag does not hold very much fluid. My first day I had to empty the bag every two hours.

If you are regularly producing more urine than the small pouch can handle, we recommend attaching the drain plug to any standard leg or bedside bag to ensure sufficient drainage. However, if you just dribble and leak, the small pouch may be enough.

So unless it is connected to another large drainage bag, it is important to keep the plug closed in order to prevent leakage.

3. You said that it is covered by Medicare and insurance. Are all supplies needed in the future also covered and how do you receive supplies?

Yes. Once we get a letter of medical necessity and progress note from your physician, our distributors can ensure reimbursement from Medicare and/or your insurance provider. Additional documentation for future orders is obtained annually in order to ensure continued reimbursement. Our Customer Care team will take care of all this paperwork for you so that you get your supplies when you need them.

4. You asked my doctor to sign a letter of medical necessity. What is that? Is it like a prescription?

It’s similar. A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) is slightly different from a prescription and it is not necessary to purchase the product. If you wish to pay cash, you can do that, unlike prescription items like Viagra. However, a LMN is required in order to secure coverage for the product under Medicare or your insurance plan.

5. I’m just getting out of the hospital and will have a home health nurse helping me for the next 6 weeks. I’d like to resume using Men’s Liberty but the home health agency doesn’t want to buy the product, what can I do?

First, glad to hear you are on the mend! Second, due to Medicare regulations, only one entity can bill Medicare at a time. During a home health episode that means that they are the only ones who can bill your Medicare so they have to purchase all products you will be using, including Men’s Liberty. Unfortunately, sometimes that means they want to use products they are more familiar with, such as diapers or condom catheters. If your home health agency is reluctant, feel free to connect them to our Customer Care Team. We are happy to inform them about the product, why people use it and the benefits they can see. Once they’re bought in, it’s a lot easier to get them to supply your choice of product.

And last, but certainly not least, you can always look for a different home health service. Although sometimes it’s hard to remember, you are the customer here and you have the power to hire and fire. If your current provider isn’t providing the level and quality of service that you need, look for someone else who will!

 

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays, Caregiving

Wee Answer Wednesday: Neurological Disorders & Incontinence

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Feb 20, 2013 11:00:00 AM

We’ve talked a lot about spinal cord injuries here but it’s important not to forget, that’s not the only disease that’s strongly associated with incontinence. Incontinence is often caused by other neurologic conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke and Spina Bifida. In each of these cases incontinence can have a huge economic, physical and psychological impact. So with that in mind, this week we’ve got a few questions from customers with these diagnoses!

1. Why is incontinence associated with these neurological conditions?

Many neurological conditions can cause what is known as neurogenic detrusor overactivity which basically translates to involuntary bladder contractions. There is no physical problem with the bladder or urethra. Instead involuntary muscle contractions and disrupted communication between the brain and bladder make it hard to control urinary frequency or urgency. This can lead to embarrassing accidents and potentially serious medical complications such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections or decubitus ulcers if incorrectly managed.

2. How does incontinence impact quality of life for men with neurological disorders?

Short answer here – it has a huge impact. The exact amount varies by person, by diagnosis and by their stage of illness. However, study after study has concluded that incontinence has a negative impact on health related quality of life assessments.

For example, one study indicated that 96% of individuals with MS reported bladder problems with 41% indicating they were moderately or greatly bothered by it. In addition, 31% reported that urinary problems impacted their emotional health, ability to perform household chores (22%) and physical recreation (28%).

Five different studies have suggested that incontinent stroke patients have impaired functioning, lower life satisfaction and a higher rate of institutionalization compared with stroke patients who are continent. Twelve months after their stroke, 45% of incontinent survivors were institutionalized, compared to 5% of survivors without urinary incontinence.

3. Do all men with these disorders have urinary incontinence?

No. Not everyone will have incontinence; however, a majority will, particularly as degenerative diseases like MS or Parkinson’s develop.

For Spina Bifida sufferers, urinary and fecal incontinence was very common (60.9 and 34.1%, respectively), regardless of the bladder and bowel management they used. The majority of urinary and fecal incontinent patients perceived this as a problem (69.7 and 77.0%, respectively). Spina bifida aperta, hydrocephalus and a level of lesion of L5 or above were associated with patients suffering from urinary and/or fecal incontinence.

4. I have been diagnosed with a neurological disorder which shall remain nameless and thankfully, I’m still fully continent. But I’m concerned about when that will change. How often should I get my urinary function evaluated?

Guidelines for this will vary widely based on diagnosis and the stage of the illness. However, the best guidelines I have are to get evaluated when you start experiencing symptoms or at least every three years, whichever occurs first.

There are several possible urodynamic tests your doctor can consider running to evaluate your bladder and bowel function. I’ve included a brief excerpt below from recommendations from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

 

Assessment of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction in Patients with Neurological Conditions

Assessment applies to new patients, those with changing symptoms, and those requiring periodic reassessment of their urinary tract management. The interval between routine assessments will be dictated by the person's particular circumstances (for example, their age, diagnosis, and type of management) but should not exceed 3 years.

Clinical Assessment

When assessing lower urinary tract dysfunction in a person with neurological disease, take a clinical history, including information about:

  • Urinary tract symptoms
  • Neurological symptoms and diagnosis (if known)
  • Clinical course of the neurological disease
  • Bowel symptoms
  • Sexual function
  • Comorbidities
  • Use of prescription and other medication and therapies

Assess the impact of the underlying neurological disease on factors that will affect how lower urinary tract dysfunction can be managed, such as:

  • Mobility
  • Hand function
  • Cognitive function
  • Social support
  • Lifestyle

Undertake a general physical examination that includes:

  • Measuring blood pressure
  • An abdominal examination
  • An external genitalia examination
  • A vaginal or rectal examination if clinically indicated (for example, to look for evidence of pelvic floor prolapse, fecal loading, or alterations in anal tone)

Carry out a focused neurological examination, which may need to include assessment of:

  • Cognitive function
  • Ambulation and mobility
  • Hand function
  • Lumbar and sacral spinal segment function

Undertake a urine dipstick test using an appropriately collected sample to test for the presence of blood, glucose, protein, leukocytes, and nitrites. Appropriate urine samples include clean-catch midstream samples, samples taken from a freshly inserted intermittent sterile catheter and samples taken from a catheter port. Do not take samples from leg bags.

If the dipstick test result and person's symptoms suggest an infection, arrange a urine bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity test before starting antibiotic treatment. Treatment need not be delayed but may be adapted when results are available.

Be aware that bacterial colonisation will be present in people using a catheter and so urine dipstick testing and bacterial culture may be unreliable for diagnosing active infection.

Ask people and/or their family members and carergivers to complete a 'fluid input/urine output chart' to record fluid intake, frequency of urination and volume of urine passed for a minimum of 3 days.

Consider measuring the urinary flow rate in people who are able to void voluntarily.

Measure the post-void residual urine volume by ultrasound, preferably using a portable scanner, and consider taking further measurements on different occasions to establish how bladder emptying varies at different times and in different circumstances.

Consider making a referral for a renal ultrasound scan in people who are at high risk of renal complications such as those with spina bifida or spinal cord injury.

Refer people for urgent investigation if they have any of the following 'red flag' signs and symptoms:

  • Hematuria
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (for example, three or more infections in the last 6 months)
  • Loin pain
  • Recurrent catheter blockages (for example, catheters blocking within 6 weeks of being changed)
  • Hydronephrosis or kidney stones on imaging
  • Biochemical evidence of renal deterioration

Be aware that unexplained changes in neurological symptoms (for example, confusion or worsening spasticity) can be caused by urinary tract disease, and consider further urinary tract investigation and treatment if this is suspected.

Refer people with changes in urinary function that may be due to new or progressing neurological disease needing specialist investigation (for example, syringomyelia, hydrocephalus, multiple system atrophy, or cauda equina syndrome).

Assess the impact of lower urinary tract symptoms on the person's family members and carergivers and consider ways of reducing any adverse impact. If it is suspected that severe stress is leading to abuse, follow local safeguarding procedures.

Urodynamic Investigations

Do not offer urodynamic investigations (such as filling cystometry and pressure-flow studies) routinely to people who are known to have a low risk of renal complications (for example, most people with multiple sclerosis).

Offer video-urodynamic investigations to people who are known to have a high risk of renal complications (for example, people with spina bifida, spinal cord injury, or anorectal abnormalities).

Offer urodynamic investigations before performing surgical treatments for neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction.

 

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday: Wheel You Be My Valentine?

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Feb 13, 2013 11:44:00 AM

It’s the day before Valentine’s, a day some know as Desperation Day. It’s a day for the smug couples to finalize their plans and lonely singles to visit bars in hopes of picking up an acceptable Mr/Mrs Right Now. So in honor of the spirit of both Valentine’s Day and its ignominious ‘eve we’ve got some incontinence & romance related questions from users.

1. Is there a relationship between incontinence and sexual dysfunction?

Sometimes. Because incontinence and sexual function utilize many of the same organs and similar messages to and from your central nervous system, they frequently occur together. However, according to most doctors one doesn’t usually cause the other. However, sometimes we can see a causal link  because incontinence can cause men to feel less virile or sexually desirable, thereby affecting their confidence or leading to performance anxiety.

Both incontinence and sexual dysfunction are conditions you should talk to your doctor about. No matter what’s causing your incontinence, you can still experience fulfilling romantic relationships that include a sexual component.

2. How is sexuality affected by spinal cord injury?

Sexual function, as with all other human bodily systems, is controlled by the central nervous system. Thus, any injury to the central nervous system will affect sexual function. The question is to what extent function and sensation will be affected with injuries at various levels and degrees of severity. There is a growing body of information available to the newly injured about sexual function, fertility and related issues. We’ve included several links below:

For Health Care Professionals: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2941243/

For Men: http://www.christopherreeve.org/site/c.mtKZKgMWKwG/b.4453431/k.A0C5/Sexuality_for_Men.htm

3. Incontinence and sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment is fairly common. Is there anything I can do to improve my function naturally?

You can do kKgel exercises to help kick start and strengthen your pelvic muscles. This can help you regain urinary control after prostate cancer treatment. Although more commonly associated with women, there are Kegel exercises out there for men. MedicineNet.com suggests the following to alleviate some forms of urinary incontinence:

To do Kegel exercises for men:

    • Contract these muscles for a slow count of five.
    • Release the muscles to a slow count of five.
    • Repeat 10 times.
    • Do a set of 10 Kegels daily, three times a day.

When you're first starting, it may be easier to do Kegel exercises lying down, so your muscles aren't fighting against gravity. It may also be easier to contract the muscles for just two or three seconds at first.

After a few weeks, increase the time until eventually you're contracting the muscles for a slow five or 10 seconds, and do the exercises standing up. That puts more weight on the muscles, boosting your workout and improving your control. Remember not to tense your buttock, legs, or stomach muscles while you're doing Kegels.

4. I find taking care of my husband’s incontinence difficult and sometimes I feel more like a caregiver than a partner or a lover. Is there anything he or I can do to manage his incontinence so that we can remember the fun reasons I used to touch his anatomy?

Caregiving for a loved one with incontinence can be an incredibly difficult situation and can definitely impact the intimacy in your relationship. Whether he is using adult diapers, condom catheters or using intermittent catheters – caregivers can spend up to 16 hours a week dealing with incontinence! That can include changing pads, laundry, dealing with infections and changing clothes.

The best way to get your intimacy back is to find a way to minimize the impact of incontinence on your life and your loved one's independence. Men’s Liberty is a great way to do that because it can reduce infections, eliminate accidents and laundry/clothing changes. We even have an instant remover that can help you remove the Liberty when the mood strikes!

 

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday: Unique Customer Questions with Men's Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Feb 6, 2013 11:38:00 AM

Every so often our Customer Care Reps get a question so off the wall, so unique that I feel compelled to share it with the world. If one person can get up the courage to ask, how many more are thinking it but too embarrassed to ask? So in that spirit, this week we’re answering the oddball questions – the ones most men or their caregivers are simply too embarrassed to ask. If I’ve missed one, let me know (you can do it anonymously if you prefer!).

Orange Line

1. Can I have sex with this on?

Sadly, no. Because Men’s Liberty attaches to the tip of your anatomy, it is necessary to remove before engaging in any sexual activity.

2. I am a regular at my local nudist colony and I’m not sure I want to have this hanging out there. Is this anything I can do to minimize visibility of the Men’s Liberty?

When we got this question last week, I’ll admit, it threw me for a bit of a loop. But after thought and some discussions with our engineering team the basic conclusion was not really. Men’s Liberty seals to the tip of the anatomy, so it’s going to be visible if you’re not wearing any other clothes. However, we can provide a supporter belt which can cover the tubing and pouch and make things a little more comfortable.

And while it may not be the most discreet accoutrement at the nudist colony, I am confident that it is definitely better than wearing an adult diaper or walking around without anything and having an accident. In this case, I’m afraid there is no perfect solution.

3. My new lady friend and I want to be intimate but it takes a few minutes to remove the Men’s Liberty which kind of ruins the moment; is there a faster way I can take this off in these situations?

First, congrats! Second, absolutely! While Men’s Liberty can be removed with warm water and a wash cloth, we know there are times you’d like to remove it faster. For those situations, we also sell a product called FreeDermTM, which is an INSTANT hydrocolloid remover. You can get wipes or a pump spray that you can use to remove the Liberty device in 30 seconds or less.

4. I am my father’s primary caregiver and he has incontinence.  He lives in my home which used to be lovely, but now I don't have guests because it smells like a nursing home. The air current, my washer machine, the garbage pail, all have the strong foul aroma of pee. I feel like I am washing my family's laundry in his dirty pee residue left in my washer and dryer. I am at wits end but I don’t want to put him in a nursing home. Can your product help?

First and foremost, thank you for taking such wonderful care of your father in admittedly difficult circumstances. Incontinence is responsible for nearly half of all nursing home admissions in the US for exactly this kind of reason. So finding a way of managing incontinence and staying in the family home would be the best option for everyone. Second, yes, Men’s Liberty can definitely help. Men’s Liberty can seal just to the tip of his anatomy and he can apply it himself if he has a minimum level of manual dexterity. Each one lasts 24-48 hours and will direct all the urine into a collection chamber. He can empty it into the toilet or use a leg bar if he’s going to be away from the toilet. By securely collecting all urine it can reduce or eliminate excess laundry, accidents and the ammonia odor in your home.

5. Can I get a quote for car insurance?

We regret to inform you that while we pride ourselves on being a full service organization, we are in fact not able to provide car, life, home or other insurance to our customers. However, we would be happy to refer you on to a number of other organizations which provide excellent insurance coverage.

(P.S: you would be surprised by how often this question actually comes up!)

 

Got any other oddball questions you’ve been a little too afraid to ask? Let us know (anonymously if you prefer) and we’ll give you a discreet answer, right here!

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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday – Physical Therapy & Incontinence

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 23, 2013 11:51:00 AM

This week Men’s Liberty is exhibiting at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. We’re talking to physical, occupational and rehab therapists about how Men’s Liberty can improve their patient’s quality of life and aid them in gaining independence after a devastating injury.

In that spirit, I wanted to share some of the top questions we’ve gotten from physical therapists so far this week.

1. Can Men’s Liberty be used in hospitals immediately after an injury and/or during therapy?

Men's LibertyThis depends on the extent and severity of the injury and any ongoing medical procedures being completed. Generally, Men’s Liberty is appropriate for any man without urinary retention regardless of whether they are in a hospital bed or in their home. However, urinary retention can occur after spinal cord injury and require indwelling or intermittent catheterization. Men’s Liberty does allow intermittent catheterization with the device in place so once a regular intermittent catheter regime has been established, Men’s Liberty can be used to manage overflow incontinence.

2. Will the Men’s Liberty stay in place when my patient is being active and sweating, for example during therapy, sports competitions or other strenuous activity?

Absolutely! Men’s Liberty has a proprietary hydrocolloid adhesive which will attach securely to the skin for 24-48 hours. The hydrocolloid will turn milky white as it absorbs moisture and is ready to remove. The only caveat is that it MUST be attached to dry skin when first applying. We generally recommend that men change their Liberty daily or along with their shower routine. If continual leaking is a problem, then there are supplemental products available, such as Cunningham Clamps which can temporarily stop dribbling or leaking in order to allow patients to apply the Men’s Liberty and get a secure seal.

3. I do a lot of work with veterans. Is it available in the VA?

Yes! Men’s Liberty is available on the GSA Formulary so patients should be able to have their local pharmacy order it.

4. Why haven’t I heard of this before?


Men’s Liberty is the best kept secret in the urological sector. It was developed in 2006 with the goal of solving one of the most pervasive health issues today, urinary incontinence. We are inspired by the impact quality healthcare has on the lives of the people we serve and empathize with the challenges that patients face when managing activities of daily living.  

Men’s Liberty can help them overcome their challenges with comfort and dignity. More than 1 million Men’s Liberty units have been sold without a single reportable adverse event caused by Men’s Liberty, including UTI or skin injury. We are very proud of that!

And if you’re in San Diego, come check us out at the San Diego Convention Center! We’re raffling off a 32” Flatscreen HD TV!

Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays, physical therapy

Wee Answer Wednesday: Quality of Life Month with Men's Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 16, 2013 11:43:00 AM

January is International Quality of Life Month. This first month of the year symbolizes a new beginning and is a great time to reflect on the quality of your life and its purpose. While evaluating your quality of life, you may think about your relationships, community, work, school, finances, health, fitness, spirituality or other parts of your life.

In honor of Quality of Life month, we’re featuring a host of questions from Men’s Liberty users and potential users about how incontinence impacts your quality of life and what Men’s Liberty can do to improve men’s quality of life right now.

1. How does incontinence affect quality of life?

Incontinence can have a huge impact on your life; it is associated with depression, social isolation, health problems and infections. So it’s important to get it under control and get back out there in the world!

Once you’ve have mastered the mechanics, set goals on how you can remain active.  Make a schedule and establish routes with available restrooms.  Try finding a support group because life is more pleasant when you can share your challenges with other people who understand.  Exercise as much as you can.  Create a daily routine involving moderate physical activity and make it permanent.

The typical response when dealing with urine control is to cut back on social activities.  This is understandable until you learn to manage it.  But that’s the key – manage it; then get out and live life to the fullest. 

2. Can my incontinence have an impact on my loved one’s quality of life?

If you need help managing your urine, it’s important to create as much free time for your spouse or companion as possible.  Tying caregivers to your bathroom schedule makes it difficult for them to get a break.  Choosing a urine management option that empowers you and does not require frequent assistance is preferred.  Alternatively, plans may include employing a personal caregiver, at least on a part-time schedule to provide respite assistance.   

3. I know there isn’t a magical solution, but is there at least a way to reduce the impact of my incontinence on my life?

Sadly, there isn’t one magical secret to making it all go away. If there was, I would be a RICH woman I assure you (hint: I’m not). The best advice I can give you is two things:

    1. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Before your go out make sure you have enough supplies to last through the day. If you’re travelling make sure you have enough supplies and some spares. Make sure to carry an extra set of clothes, plastic bags for wet clothes, wet wipes and baby powder in a small bag that you can keep with you. No one ever wants to have an accident but being prepared can mitigate a lot of your worry. Whether it’s a long car ride or a bumpy flight – it’s always best to be prepared.
    2. Find the right product for you and stick with it. High maintenance times aren’t the time to be trying something new at the last minute. There is usually a learning curve involved with new products and it's best to try those out when you have some quiet time to monitor and respond if something doesn’t work quite as planned. This is certainly something we advocate with our product. Men’s Liberty has a bit of a learning curve for your skin because it absorbs all the excess moisture in your skin that has built up from using diapers and pads. That means the first one won’t last 24 hours. It takes about 3 back-to-back applications to get the full wear time of the product. Knowing that in advance allows you to plan and stay in control.
4. My patient/loved one is incontinent but is embarrassed to discuss it with their doctor. It’s making them stay home and hurting their social life. How can I talk to them about management products without causing undue embarrassment?

What's most important in this discussion is to be sensitive, to listen to your patient/loved one and don’t get accusatory or defensive. This is a difficult conversation to have. Here are a few tips:

    • Even in a well-established relationship, it can be hard to find a way to discuss incontinence. But experts say you should bring the subject up with your partner when you're far away from the bedroom door. Waiting until intimacy is imminent puts pressure on both of you. Instead, find a time when you're both relaxed and feeling positive before you broach the topic.
    • It can be tempting to talk about difficult subjects over the phone, or via email, but there is much more scope for misunderstanding there as well. It's easy to misinterpret silence as awkwardness, or confusion as disapproval and being face-to-face is the best way to avoid those problems.
    • The best response will likely vary based on your relationship with the person. The best default is just to show no embarrassment yourself. If you treat it as a matter of fact thing that has to be dealt with then they will likely follow your lead. Avoid joking unless you’re really secure in your relationship with that person as it’s easy to cause offense about such a sensitive subject.
 
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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays, adaptive athletes

Wee Answer Wednesday: Questions from Men's Liberty Training

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Jan 9, 2013 9:49:00 AM

We missed last week with the holidays, but now we’re back in 2013 with a whole host of new questions. We recently brought on several new Customer Care Reps and they’ve been jumping into training. In the course of training however, they’ve asked some interesting questions to which we wanted to share the answers!

1. From a new customer: I only use two diapers per day but I re-use them to save money. Is that safe? Is Men’s Liberty is a better option?

Double dipping in your diapers can cause some serious complications and end up costing you more money in the long run. The price of most superabsorbent pads is between $0.44 and $0.86 per unit. Pads should be changed an average of 4-6 times a day, meaning that the annual expenditure for an incontinent man using pads could be as high as $4,402. Because absorbents aren’t covered by insurance, these costs are borne almost exclusively by the individual user.

So I understand the impulse to try and make your pad last a little longer and to save a little of that money. But sadly diapers are generally only designed to absorb around 16 ounces of fluid in a single episode and most do very poorly during a second urination. That can lead to leaking and embarrassing accidents.

Additionally, sitting in a wet diaper for hours is bad for your skin. The most common side effect of absorbents is Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis (IAD) which occurs in up to 25% of users[i]. Continuous use of absorbents for as little as 5 days has been shown to cause increased sweat production and compromised skin barrier function[ii]. Continuous absorbent use is also associated with an increased risk of pressure ulcers[iii].

2. What are the most common diagnoses associated with incontinence?

There are many diseases and diagnoses which are known to cause incontinence. The chart below shows a general breakdown of the male incontinence market in the US.

Causes of Incontinence

3. Do you have any tips for travelling with incontinence?

  • Always be  prepared. Make sure to have a half dozen extra Men's Liberty catheters on hand during your trip. You never know when a flight might be delayed, your car will break down or you get stuck somewhere and need to change your Men's Liberty device. By keeping a few extra on hand you will have the security of knowing that no matter what happens with your flight, your rental car or on your drive home you have the right fluid management solution in hand!
  • Incontinence AirlinesKeep to your Men's Liberty change schedule. Changing locations, time zones and sleeping patterns is normal during a trip. It's easy to get distracted and forget. But whenever possible, make sure to maintain your Men's Liberty change schedule. Keeping this consistent will help eliminate potential accidents caused by wearing each device too long which can result in reduced adhesion of the hydrocolloid, pop-offs or leaks.
  • Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your bladder. When flying, be sure to void your bladder as completely as possible prior to boarding the aircraft. Intermittent cath if needed, even if you normally only do it once a day. The tight lap belt, changes in air pressure and potential turbulence can put a lot of pressure on your bladder and the sphincter muscles. These pressures can result in a strong, unexpected need to void or a sudden, high pressure release of urine which will fill the small Men's Liberty collection chamber. Always connect your Men's Liberty to a leg bag for the duration of your journey so that if you have to go, you can!
  • Don't avoid drinking fluids just to avoid your incontinence. Your body needs food and water to survive and to get the most out of your vacation!  Particularly when you are travelling, you can get dehydrated easily. Not drinking may seem like a simple solution to potential incontinence but it can cause your body real, long term damage.

4. You all talk about adaptive sports a lot – why?

We talk about adaptive sports because sports are a fantastic way to extend rehabilitation out into the community. Men’s Liberty is a proud Mission: ABLE partner and sponsor of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The roots of the Wheelchair Games go back over 60 years to the Department of Veterans Affairs. After World War II, the VA began to get involved in wheelchair sports as a method of rehab. “There was a group of vets coming back and they were disabled in their chairs and the physicians and staff were watching these vets playing, just throwing the basketball back and forth, and realizing they were seeing more function there than they were in the clinics. What was the difference?  Because they were playing, they were interacting, they weren’t focusing on their pain, they were focusing on each other,” says David Tostenrude, a long-serving coach & advocate of the Games.

The first National Veterans Wheelchair Games were held in 1981 “in celebration of the international year of the disabled,” says co-founder Tom Brown. “We came up with the idea of doing a track and field event for veterans. [It] was a way to extend that rehabilitation out into the community and [help the veterans] put what they had learned in the hospital to practical use. We introduced things in sports that [they] thought that they could never do again. Watching other veterans do it and trying it themselves motivated these guys... The only limitation is in their mind because especially now with the adaptations that are possible, you really can do almost anything.

“In the military you have an unwritten code,” says Tom. “Never leave one of your own behind.  It’s really obvious in the games because the older guys, the ones that have been disabled for a while, know the tricks.  They’re anxious to show the new guys tricks and the new guys learn a lot, not only what they can do but what kind of new equipment is out there.”

It’s not just about the skills the competitors learn, “it’s how to apply it in the real world,” says David.  “You could just see the thought processes going on about well, if I can do this, what else can I do – go to school, go to work, volunteer at my kid’s school.  The doors start to open.”

5. Have you got any good jokes about incontinence?

We’ve got a couple of good one liners but fair warning – some of these are a bit rude.

    • Incontinence Helpline"Hi, you're through to the Incontinence Hotline....can you hold, please?"
    • Apparently incontinence IS a laughing matter because I pee a little bit every time I laugh.
    • I was a bit disappointed this Christmas, I didn't realize that the i in iPad stands for incontinence
    • Leaking? Do we need to call a plumber?
    • And from a truly disturbing conversation between my grandfather and grandmother: “I get it. This incontinence is revenge for my menopause.”

 

 

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[i] Gray, M., “Optimal Management of Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis in the Elderly,” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2010:00 (0).

[ii] Aly, R., Shirley, C., Cunico, B., et al, “Effect of Prolonged occlusion on the microbial flora, pH, carbon dioxide and transepidermal water loss on human skin,” Journal Investifative Dermatology, 1978; 71 (6): 378-81.

[iii] BioDerm estimate, 2005, based on Pajk, Marilyn Pressure Sores. Merck Manual of Geriatrics Section 15, Chapter 124. Internet Edition provided by Medical Services, USMEDSA, USHH. Published by Merck and Co. Inc, 2000

Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays

Wee Answer Wednesday with Men’s Liberty

Posted by Sarah Woodward

Dec 19, 2012 9:30:00 AM

It’s just seven sleeps away from Christmas!! I don’t know about you but it feels like this holiday season has just flown by.  In the spirit of the season, we are continuing our Wee Answer Wednesday tradition with a few tips for getting through the holiday season! A big thank you to all our customers who have sent in questions, we love hearing from you!

1. What leg bags are best to use with the Liberty? How do you make decision?

You can use any standard leg or bedside bag with the Liberty. The plug at the bottom on the Liberty will connect to any standard connector tube.  
 
Most brands of leg bags are pretty similar in size and composition so choosing the best is difficult. Most medical device distributors will sell the leg bags to you at the same time as you place your Men's Liberty order.

2. I get night time erections; will this impact the Liberty’s effectiveness?

Men's Liberty is made from hydrocolloid which moves and stretches with the skin whenever you change position. The average man's penis changes size 6-8 times a day including erection and retraction. Because Men's Liberty seals only to the tip of the anatomy, it will stay put even when the penis becomes erect.

3. It’s the Christmas season and many people are heading to church or praying for certain items to appear under the tree. Is there a special prayer out there for the incontinent?

I wasn’t totally sure on this one but when I looked it up I was pleased to find a cute little prayer for men or women dealing with incontinence to say at night before bed. Credit for this goes to the Rethinking Faith and Church community on Facebook!

"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray, dear Lord,
don't let my bladder leak.
And if I should pee before I wake,
I pray, dear Lord,
don't let my bowel make the same mistake."
(unknown)

4. Will Men’s Liberty work for all types of incontinence?

Just about! It will work for almost all types of urinary incontinence. The only exception is for men who only retain urine because they should require indwelling catheterization. Other than that, if you’re a man with incontinence, this could be the solution for you.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Men’s Liberty only works on URINARY incontinence in MEN. It won’t suit women, dogs (yes we have gotten that question), fecal or verbal incontinence.

 
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Topics: Wee Answer Wednesdays