Be Yourself and Live Life to the Fullest
I use incontinence products - both diapers and pads - and have for more years than I care to admit, and I've talked to a lot of people like me over the years. I know, intimately, the fear and embarrassment that can come from being reliant on tab-style briefs, pull-ons, pads and other supplies. It's enough to keep many people from living the lives they want to live. It keeps them from friends, family and the activities they enjoy.
That's both a shame and completely unnecessary.
It's taken me some time to get to where I am. Not only do I accept myself for who I am today, imperfections and all, but I have also learned a few things that have helped me let go of the paranoia - yes, paranoia - that used to consume me as a male with incontinence. To help you navigate these difficult waters, here are a few tips from someone who has walked more than a few miles in your shoes.
You are far from alone. The CDC says that "More than 50 percent of older Americans struggle with incontinence" and "about 25 percent had moderate, severe or very severe urinary leakage." And incontinence - both urinary and fecal - affects people of all ages. People all around you are dealing with some form.
When's the last time you noticed someone wearing an incontinence garment? NO ONE can tell you're wearing protection.
Unless you're wearing yoga pants, there's absolutely no way anyone would notice you're wearing "underwear" that's a little bit thicker than the usual kind. No one's looking. Do you stare at people's posteriors while out in public? If you're human, you might look if it's on display, as in the aforementioned yoga pants, but otherwise you probably don't give it a second thought. Everyone has a bottom, and they come in all shapes and sizes. No one will notice that yours is juuuust a tad different than other people's or that it's a fraction of an inch bigger than it was the last time they saw you.
Again, no one cares ... in the nicest possible way. We're all way too involved in our own thoughts and lives to worry if the person in front of us has a slight bulge or thickness here or there. Even if someone noticed, a diaper is way down on the list of possible reasons. Same goes for any slight crinkling sound anyone might hear. An adult diaper or any other type of protective underwear just isn't on most people's radars.
There are literally millions of people dealing with some type of incontinence, whether it's stress urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, overflow incontinence, urge incontinence or they have other bladder control problems, prostate or neurological issues. Some control it and others let it control them. Be the first kind. The fact is that no one can tell you're wearing protection, no one's looking to see if you're wearing protection, and no one cares if you're wearing protection. To put it bluntly, get out of your own way, stop worrying so much and move on.
Just about the only one who cares about your incontinence is you, maybe your closest loved ones and friends if they are 'in the know,' your doctor and NorthShore Care. I have trusted NorthShore Care for years and know many men and women do as well because their products are high-quality and highly absorbent.
Check out NorthShore briefs with tabs, pull-up style, male guards, pads, liners, bed pads and more. Or call (800) 563-0161, talk via Chat or Email - whatever is most comfortable for you.
About the Author
Some years ago (I decline to say how many), life threw me a curveball and I found myself facing some new and frightening challenges, and having to navigate the confusing world of incontinence products alone. This was pre-internet and, frankly, pre-decent options. Through constant experimentation, I’ve found products that work for me—yes, many of which are sold by NorthShore Care—but the more important part of my journey has been internal. I’ve fought insecurity, isolation, paranoia that EVERYONE was staring at my butt, and fear that I’d never be able to return to the rich, full life I once had. I’m happy to say all of that was unfounded.
Part of the work I did to understand and accept myself included reading. A LOT of reading. I found articles that explained the different kinds of incontinence, blog posts about the various products that were available, and even pamphlets for drugs that offered to solve my problem. What I couldn’t find was practical guidance on and honest thoughts about living with this embarrassing, confusing, and occasionally hilarious new “feature” my body had to offer.
NorthShore gets it, and that’s why I’m here. NorthShore isn’t just a business that sells incontinence supplies, it’s a business built on a foundation of understanding of what you and I are dealing with every day.
I don’t work for NorthShore (would it be too cheesy to say I work for you?) but this feels like the right place for a blog that addresses real-world issues around incontinence. Here I’ll talk candidly, openly, and occasionally uncomfortably about the challenges we face, the products that can help us manage those challenges, and how to go about confidently getting on with our lives.
Let’s get real.