What is independence? Merriam Webster defines it as not requiring or relying on others. In one word, independence is freedom. For many of the retirement age, incontinence is a fact of daily life. Over time, living with incontinence can leave sufferers feeling isolated, hopeless and alone, and dependence on a caregiver to get to the bathroom or change undergarments can feel undignified. While in some cases, incontinence cannot be completely cured, it can be discretely and effectively managed.
With incontinence under control, you can resume a comfortable and active life. Celebrate your independence. Celebrate your right to live dry, comfortable and free!
The first step in regaining your independence from incontinence is realizing you are not alone. Most people do not know just how common the problem is, and as a result, they suffer in silence. The truth is, more than 26 Million Americans suffer from incontinence, meaning there is no need to feel embarrassed about a problem that is so incredibly common. Many of these people lead active and healthy lifestyles; they work, travel, play sports and just enjoy life. When incontinence is properly managed, you can go on with activities without concern. You may have friends and family members who have a form of incontinence, but you would never know. Managing incontinence really is that common.
Next, do your homework. If you are still uncomfortable discussing your incontinence with a doctor or loved one, try conducting a little research. There are many online resources that give both educational and personal accounts of incontinence, including causes and treatment options. Develop a list of questions you may one day want to ask your doctor, as well as a list of your symptoms and details about your incontinence (frequency, amount of urine, any pain or discomfort, etc.). With a knowledge base already developed, you will feel more confident in addressing the issue during your next doctor visit. You are already one step closer to treating your problem.
Talking to your healthcare professional is one of the most important steps in gaining control of your incontinence. While there are several over-the-counter treatment options, a doctor or nurse may be able to diagnose the underlying health condition causing your incontinence. Addressing other health issues could cure your incontinence completely. If not cured completely, your healthcare professional can help you chose the best treatment option for your incontinence; one that fits well with your lifestyle, personal preferences and medical coverage.
The last step in regaining your independence is having the confidence to get back to your active lifestyle. You now know that many people have this problem and there are many treatment options. Start small. Take a walk in your neighborhood, or invite a friend over for lunch. As your confidence grows, challenge yourself a little more. Go to the movies or a dinner party. Slowly, you will realize that there is so much more to life to live. You will have given yourself the best gift of all; physical, mental and emotional freedom from incontinence.
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About the Author: Amy Coelho is the Public Relations Coordinator with BioDerm, Inc., a durable medical manufacturer in Largo, Fla. For additional information on Liberty, an external continence device for men, please contact Amy at (800)373-7006 or by email at ACoelho@BioDerm.us. Visit BioDerm on the Web at www.BioDerm.us and on Myspace at www.myspace.com/bioderm
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