Hearing Aids and Male External Catheters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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