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Urinary Incontinence afflicts many people, and it can be embarrassing or difficult to live with. There are ways to manage it, but for most people, the constant fear of leaks or accidents can lead to reclusive lifestyles. For the adult who wants to continue to move and shake without fear of mishaps, incontinence can make your regularly scheduled life seem daunting.
So, for a person who has to deal with wearing adult diapers, or who needs to occasionally cath, what’s the solution? Well, there’s no single answer, but there are many things you can do to minimize your risk of an accident without sacrificing any of the things you love.
Coping At Work
Business meetings, client lunches, and working at call centers – any given job comes with risks for incontinence sufferers. The most obvious problem is that you’ve got to take more breaks than most other people. Outside of that, you’re away from your desk or your post too often, or you have a bad day at work and you can’t find a way to hide your embarrassment. So what? Are you supposed to confide in everyone as though it’s their business? Taking care of leaks requires more than luck, it requires forethought and the right products.
So, at work:
- Put a kibosh on drinking lots of water or especially coffee.
- Wear dark clothing, just in case.
- While at your desk or station, practice Kegel exercises.
Coping At the Gym
If you love to workout, don’t let incontinence stop you. Sufferers know all too well that small leaks can trip you up on the treadmill or give you problems lifting weights. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager, a woman not long from giving birth, or a professional bodybuilder. In particular, men who have experienced prostate concerns, and have been catheterized during or after treatment, can be afraid of the gym. If you’re at home, the concern isn’t as real, but when you’ve got to cath at the gym, it can be scary. But leaks don’t have to spell the end of your fitness regime.
So, while working out:
- Wear black clothing – this is always a practical idea.
- Train your bladder to try and go at specific intervals.
- Only drink water, as anything with caffeine is a natural diuretic.
- For women – wear a tampon, even if you aren’t on your period. It adds pressure and absorbency.
Coping On Dates or at Social Gatherings
Theaters, sporting events, seminars – basically any crowded situation is only going to aggravate the usual concerns. But you don’t want to avoid those kinds of events entirely, so it’s best to be strategic. Bladder training can get you pretty far, but that isn’t a permanent solution. Investing in the right adult diapers or leak pads is crucial, and so is avoiding foods that are extra spicy, as they make urges more difficult.
So, in a social setting:
- Find the bathrooms – knowing where they are good and early can help you make it there in time.
- Pack a small bag for your purse, or your car (gentlemen). Include odor control, moist towelettes, and your preferred method of incontinence control.
Mike is a medical examiner who has been dealing with patients who have incontinence for most of his medical career.