Before a prostatectomy, men receive a warning about one of the most unpleasant, and life-altering events that occur following prostate surgery. Most men lose urinary control, referred to as urinary incontinence. According to Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute “Recovery from incontinence after prostate surgery is unique to every patient, but rarely takes more than 3 months. Most men regain urinary control within 3 months.”
The way I determined how many diapers I’d wear daily caused me months of unnecessary grief, shame and embarrassment. First, I decided how much money I wanted to waste on diapers every day. Then I divided that number by the cost of each diaper. This equation led me to a five-diaper-a-day budget. For some men, five diapers a day might be enough to stay dry. For me, it wasn’t.
Day after day, I’d leave home only to find my jeans urine-soaked within a few hours. My next foolish move involved limiting my fluid intake until I could live without leaking out of my five-diapers-a-day budget. Reducing my fluid intake did not prevent public accidents.
It took me more than a month with countless public accidents to figure out what every girl learns in adolescence. You base the number of times you need to change on your flow, NOT by how much you want to spend per day. Eventually, I discovered it would take 15 diapers a day to keep me accident free.
Here are some helpful tips about living in diapers:
- Find the brand that fits you around your thigh. If there’s space there, odds are you won’t stay dry long. Find a brand of diapers that fit snugly.
- To determine how long you can stay in a diaper, stay in one until you leak. Stay in your next diaper 30 minutes less. Keep adjusting your time until you find the maximum number of hours you can go without your diaper leaking.
- Keep a spare change of clothing, powder, and extra diapers, with you in your car or in a back-pack in case of a public accident.
- To maximize your sleep time, create a “super diaper.” This is a diaper where you add a pad. In the middle of the night, should you wake up, take the pad out and either put in another pad, or go back to sleep in your diaper without a pad. This takes so little time, you can get back to sleep quickly.
- Wear black nylon pants on outings. They don’t show wet spots and they dry quickly.
- Don't lose your perspective. For most men, living in diapers is temporary.
If you have other tips for living in diapers, please share them.
Note: This article appeared in Prostate Cancer News Today
Rick Redner and his wife Brenda Redner wrote two award winning books. The first:
provides men and couples with information and support before, during and after prostate surgery.
Their second book was written for couples living with!erectile dysfunction. After living with erectile dysfunction for four years, Rick chose penile implant surgery. The couple share how implant surgery changed their lives and relationship.
The title of their book is: