Going out without worries

Going out without worries

Why intermittent catheterization can make socializing easier

Nurturing friendships and being social may be overwhelming and challenging when you are dealing with bladder problems- especially when having to leave your home.

It is natural to feel insecure when leaving the house for long periods of time. Our privacy or what we do when we visit the restroom is usually nobody’s business. Going out and participating in activities where you have less control over the situation and where it can be difficult to find the required privacy, might challenge your feeling of security with your bladder routine. You might feel alone with your struggles because most people don’t know about your issue or because you might not want them to know - or accidentally discover it.

Remember that when you use intermittent catheters you can plan your day,

and ensure that your bladder is emptied when you want to empty it instead of at inconvenient times. With some practice, it can be done quickly and you won’t be away for any longer than anyone else going for a bathroom break. Often times this means that most people would not need to know anything about your catheterization routine if you don’t want them to. It could be helpful if you have a few close friends who are aware of your situation. That way, when you have to catheterize- it may be less stressful for you and You can be yourself and do what you have to do without making up excuses.

What if I’m at a friend’s house?What if I’m at a friend’s house?

If you are at a friend’s house you might worry about privacy when using the bathroom. When you need to get rid of the used catheter, it is helpful to have some colored plastic bags with you to wrap the catheter in after use so you can discard it or take it home with you. You can also get catheters that are compact and discreet, so you can just have them in your pocket – even after they have been used.

Do I need to tell anyone?

There really is no way to generally answer this question. The choice to tell people about your cathing is completely up to you. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to sharing personal details about ourselves. However, it might be a good idea to share your condition and needs to some close friends and family. It’s up to you! Read our thoughts on telling about it in the article “Should I tell people about it?”

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Exercising with bladder issues

Exercise - makes life better

Learn why exercise is good for you – especially if you have bladder problems

The need to use intermittent catheterization does not mean that you can’t lead an active lifestyle. Being active in any way can make you feel better and help your body be stronger. It can also be fun and give you a chance to socialize with other people. When you have a medical condition the lack of physical activity can have a negative impact on your body function. 

The key is finding something you like to do 

You may have to adjust for any physical barriers, but there will be something for you. 

Some physical activities may increase the urge to empty your bladder or even to leak some urine. Instead of avoiding the activity, use a pad or empty your bladder just before. The fear of increased bladder issues should not hold you back from exercising.

What sports activities are suitable for you?What sports activities are right for you?

The bouncing and pounding movement of running might cause leakage.
Instead: Try powerwalking (fast walking).
Heavy lifting (using hand weights or other lifting equipment) can put too much pressure on your bladder.
Instead: switch to lighter weights instead and exceed the number of lifts or experiment with doing them slower or faster.
Tip: Swimming is ideal because it can be done by most people regardless of how fit or mobile they are.

There are sports that can be done in a wheelchair

Online research can help you find one of the many organizations who specialize in sport for wheelchair users. For example, there are a number of wheelchair basketball and rugby groups as well as other dance and movement classes and groups that are specific to those who use wheelchairs.

There are many good health reasons that you should exercise – not to mention if you find activities that are fun and use the occasion to socialize with others. You won’t regret getting started with using your body despite bladder issues!

Bladder training exercises
Some people experience bladder conditions that may benefit from pelvic floor training. Pelvic floor exercise – also called kegels - is the exercise to improve bladder management. If your healthcare provider feels that it could be helpful to you, you can do these exercise on a regular basis and you just might feel the difference.

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