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Thread: Traveling in Europe

  1. #1

    Default Traveling in Europe

    It happened that, only about six weeks after my bladder control abandoned me, I was scheduled to take my daughters on a three week trip to Europe. Fun!

    Well, yes, of course. But my new IC situation certainly created a couple of complications. First, since we were going to be in the same hotel rooms for weeks, I pretty much needed to tell them. So I did, and they were good with it: much relief. However, that only eliminated an emotional issue. The physical one was still there: I needed diapers for a three-week European visit that would span several countries.

    I tried to research diaper availability in those places but was unable to pin it down. (No bad pun intended.) Ultimately what I decided to do was this:

    I ordered Abena M4's and Tena Slip Maxis, figuring I could bring some of each with me. However, the Tenas did not arrive on time, so I had to settle for lesser diapers. I ultimately brought two full bags of Abena M4's and another full bag of I've-already-forgotten-what-kind. I knew I'd rely on the Abenas and use the others to fill in until I could buy something else.

    End of Week One:

    I found that the lack of normal hydration and the excessive walking combined to make me urinate less, though I still had no clue when it was coming and no control of it when it did. I was only using about 3 diapers a day. Very helpful. Still, I was running out by the time we hit the second week. Shopping time!

    Ireland:

    Could not for my life find anything decent in an Irish pharmacy. Had to settle for a European house brand I'd never heard of at the equivalent of $2.50 a diaper. At least I bought a few more days.

    Norway:

    I needed to get something here to last the rest of the time, as it was the last place I'd have anyone who spoke the language. We went to a drugstore (Apotek) where once again they had nothing worth anything on display. My friend, though, said you had to ask to see the good stuff. So she did. And we were led into a back room where several flip-panels of diapers and pull-ups were shown to us. None were what I was hoping for--where was the Tena Slip Maxi????--but I did find a good looking "pant" (pull-up) from Tena that seemed very strong and I bought that. Again, $2.50 a diaper. But now I had what I felt were enough to get me through.

    The plane home:

    I saved one M4 to wear on the plane home, though I had run out of the rest almost two weeks earlier. There was no way I was going to face a seven-hour flight without that diaper. And this time, the seven-hour flight ended up beginning with a four-hour stranded on the tarmac adventure, so it was even MORE important to have the good one on. (And, yes, that M4 made it the whole 11 hours without leaking!)

    Bottom line:

    Buying diapers in Europe is not easy.

    :-)

  2. #2

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    I think someone was trying to make a post with locations for purchasing all across the continent at one point. I have no idea how far they got.

  3. #3

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    In most of Europe you just need to go to a pharmacy, they might not have them in stock but they can certainly order premium diapers in for you.

    Otherwise Mobility stores will stock something as well, but it could be good or bad.

    They aren't on the shelves as much as nationalised healthcare pays for them, most incon people would have a prescription.

    A bit late for you i'm afraid, but hopefully useful for anyone else.

  4. #4

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    Another solution would be ordering online from a local website, to be delivered at the hotel. Most hotels will receive packages for you. Just call ahead and ask, as they might require prior notice or payment.

    For most of continental Europe, airoliver.de is the cheapest and has the largest selection.

  5. #5

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    As it happens, I am Incontinent (have been since ever)... and a bedwetter - and what a coincidence: I live in Europe

    I know that superficially, especially from a touristic point of view it indeed can prove to be difficult to procure the Incontinence Products you want, at least in some places.
    Where stores mostly carry, if anything crap. Other places, if you know what stors you should check out, you can actually find Molicare or even Tena Slips right there on the shelve.
    BUT, and for anyone travelling europe this is probably good info: most larger pharmacies either have one of the major brands (Tena, Attends, Molicare) in stock or can order just about everything NEXT DAY (or even same day if you go in early enough). However, keep in mind, pharmacies often have ridiculous prices for IC products.
    As an example: A 24 diaper pack of Tena Slip Maxi can cost anywhere between CHF (Swiss Francs) 65 and 90 (approx. 70-95 US$) (YES PER PACK).... but when you look for other sources (mostly, but not exclusively) online, it can be as low as 18$ a pack. so prices vary greatly. More so here in switzerland than comparatively in germany.
    None the less... if you have to go the pharmacies-route, be just prepared to pay a LOT more.

    Then there are medical supply stores, actually 80% of them carry higher end diapers... prices vary greatly though.

    In ireland I had to go mostly through medical supply stores... to get anything "good".
    In some parts of the UK I had good luck with boots or getting them to order something specific for me. Sometimes the Boots diapers were "OKish" (the product changed a lot ... not sure how they're right now).

    I can also highly recommend (as mentioned by BabyFoxDK): airoliver.de (ohwe.de) (although for non-german speakers the website is a bit "problematic" as the translated versions are crappy). Cheapest supplier and probably the largest selection amongst any of the IC online stores.



    Now about your own experience and product choices...
    I have to say, I personally go about it VERY different - but I think how anyone with IC handles their IC is a different matter.
    Whilst on long flights I do wear heavier protection than I would in day-to-day situation, the "thickest" I'd care to wear is an Attends M10 or or the Tena Super.
    Both are still far thinner than the Abena M4.
    To me having basically to have this huge diaper between my legs makes me entirely uncomfortable in my movement, it makes me so ultimately, permanently aware that I do wear diapers (no I don't mind wearing diapers, but I mind the constant reminder).

    I watch my hydration fluid intake - BUT NOT BY LIMITING IT (limiting is bad, really bad):
    What I do is basically simple, besides AVOIDING all diuretics like coffee, some teas, alcohol, sodas, etc. ... well I SPREAD my liquid intake over the entire day in "small quantities". I don't gulp down half a liter during dinner within 20 minutes or so.. .your body mostly can't make use of more than 2dl at any time (0.05 gallons US) within about 1-2hrs... (higher "absorption" if you're highly active, less if you're not)... so consuming more than this within that time frame will basically just "straight" lead to an increased urine production.

    Then I DO go to a Toilet regularly, when possible (like at least every two-three hours if I can find one, or even more frequent if one is close by).
    (this only works if you are able to pee when you want to).
    By doing so, my bladder is rarely "full" to the brim... or the quantities are at least very much limited.

    Same goes for food, if you watch a bit what you eat, it can have a huge effect on your urine production.

    Now at least dring the day, thus I can EASILY get away with regular IC pads (I mostly use Tena comfort plus or super pads at the current moment). and holding / fixing mesh (well I use the higher end non-mesh version) panties.
    if I need to be more "sure" I can slip on my pull up PUL pants over them - but I rarely do.

    I change whenever it's getting wet... and try to not stay in a soaked one for too long (hygiene reasons and leaking).
    I can wear most "normal" cloth and no one will see, carrying supplies is easy (backpack).
    going to the toilet this way is ultimately simple as there's no sticky tapes, re-aligning etc. involved and it's noise free.

    The only times during the DAY when I choose to wear heavier protection is at times like long car rides (where I know changing can be difficult for example when I hit a massive traffic jam) or when I know I'm going to be sleeping at one point (flights, train rides, etc...) then I put on a real diaper.
    I'm a heavy bedwetter always have been, but with my fluid intake, toiletting routine etc. I can easily make it through a night in an Attends M10 (which is still a lot less absorbent than an Abena M4) ...

    To me, not being constantly reminded of the diaper, and having no one around me know if kind of important. the later not because I care much for being outed as an IC, as I'm not ashamed or so, but because I HATE that people perceive me as disabled to some degree or shove their pity down my throat... so no thanks

    Again, I'm NOT trying to say AT ANY RATE that your way of handling YOUR IC is not good or should be changed, we all need to find some ways to handle IC that works best for us INDIVIDUALLY.
    But it took me a good number of years to figure out products, combinations, when to wear what until I was close to an "optimal" solution, maybe you can "experiment" with different solutions...

  6. #6

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    Hi, EPO1,

    Thanks for the nice long and informative message.

    You seemed concerned at the end that I would misinterpret your intent; do not fear that. I completely understand that this is not One Size Fits All. And I am quite early in the process of trying to find optimal solutions. I will surely be experimenting with lots of possibilities.

    There are things I know already:

    * My highest priority goes to NOT having to visit a rest room a hundred times a day and NOT spending all of my time worrying that I will leak.
    * I do not mind the thickness of the M4 as much as I mind the STICKINESS of the M4 on hot days. I have no issue with being "reminded" that I am in diapers (most likely because I have a history as a DL, which makes acceptance easier).
    * I hate wearing poorly made or cheap protection.
    * As I intimated in another post, I would rather wear Bambino Teddies with nothing over them to school than give up coffee.
    * I am completely IC but also inconsistently iC: there are times when I wet six or more times in an hour; there are others (and sometimes they are the same day) when hours go by between wettings, but whenever they come they come suddenly and I need protection.
    * I have no issue with being in a wet diaper if it is a well-made diaper that wicks the liquid away from my skin.
    * I still have a lot to learn...

  7. #7

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    I admire both your courage and your sticktoative attitude. Like you, I couldn't give up my coffee, especially the first hour at school. I'm a nice guy with coffee, and irritable without. The kids see the difference, so I never start the day without, which is 8 o'clock Colombian.

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICkaraokegirl View Post
    I have a Keurig at school and one at home. Heaven.
    Greatest invention in the coffee world.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICkaraokegirl View Post
    Hi, EPO1,

    Thanks for the nice long and informative message.

    You seemed concerned at the end that I would misinterpret your intent; do not fear that. I completely understand that this is not One Size Fits All. And I am quite early in the process of trying to find optimal solutions. I will surely be experimenting with lots of possibilities.

    There are things I know already:

    * My highest priority goes to NOT having to visit a rest room a hundred times a day and NOT spending all of my time worrying that I will leak.
    * I do not mind the thickness of the M4 as much as I mind the STICKINESS of the M4 on hot days. I have no issue with being "reminded" that I am in diapers (most likely because I have a history as a DL, which makes acceptance easier).
    * I hate wearing poorly made or cheap protection.
    * As I intimated in another post, I would rather wear Bambino Teddies with nothing over them to school than give up coffee.
    * I am completely IC but also inconsistently iC: there are times when I wet six or more times in an hour; there are others (and sometimes they are the same day) when hours go by between wettings, but whenever they come they come suddenly and I need protection.
    * I have no issue with being in a wet diaper if it is a well-made diaper that wicks the liquid away from my skin.
    * I still have a lot to learn...
    I can understand a couple of your points easily enough.
    For example: Cheap (as in lousy) protection: doesn't rock my boat either ... (actually quite to the contrary).

    Bathroom visits: now that's a bit of a mixed bag for myself... For one I DO wear protection as I'm IC (I dribble, like constantly and when THE URGE hits me, I'd better be close to a toilet, as in really close, as I simply can't hold it in for long... which usually leads to an "accident" (that's why I not just wear something for light dribbling, as it wouldn't work).
    But I prefer to change soon after such an accident (happens maybe once a day or so, whilst the dribbling, moderate loss is like a lot more frequent.)
    I could (and depending on the situation I indeed do) choose to wear heavier protection, but then I'd basically be sitting in a wetted diaper my entire day (or at least for a good few hours) and to me, even though the diaper wicks the urine away, I still feel "icky" a bit - I myself feel a tad unclean after having had an "accident". and even with the dribbling / moderate loss, I want to be able to easily change my pad/protection a few times a day...
    This is merely a comfort thing for myself - I don't like being wet.
    So thinner, thus also easier to transport, and cheaper (even if high quality) product serves *MY* needs a lot better in my normal day-to-day situation than a thick diaper, which I'd feel bad for wanting to have changed after the first wetting, after just a few hours. I'd consider it a waste.

    The other part is going to the toilet gives me a "feeling of normality" and I try not to have just every accident in my pad/diapers... whilst when I wear serious diapers (weekends at home, evenings, car rides) I am more relaxed about this and don't really mind using it - as it's a bit of a hassle to take it off quickly and retape it.
    The pads though with the special underpants to hold them in place - well they work like underwear, easy to pull down and back up... (I can even use the urinal if I have to (personally I don't like them that much..., but sometimes better option than using an "abused" toilet. (some people are just complete fuck-ups when it comes to public toilets... I never understood why some need to urinate all over the thing (or worse stuff with No. 2) and don't clean up after them, just because it's a public toilet).
    Also when I have to go to the toilet for a No.2 thing - I can simply pull down the pad/pant combo just as I would with regular underwear. Quick and easy, no tapes to redo, no stuff to rip by accident... no crinkly noise, quick and easy.

    Also the changing aspect... I can change my pad really QUICKLY - and easily... anywhere. (well I can change my normal diapers easily whilst standing up even in a tiny airplane toilet-stall. - but the pad is even simpler).
    Quick & easy.
    And compared to pullups - I don't need to strip my pants & shoes completely to change into a new one.

    And there's summer (I LOVE summer)... as the pad has NO sides, and is a bit smaller in it's cut... I feel less sweaty in hot humid weather.
    Just a simple benefit.
    It is that kind of convenience in my book, that makes my life as an IC a LOT more comfy than if I have to use proper diapers.

    At night I can make pads to work, the highest absorbency one, but honestly they have no benefits over normal diapers, work not as well... and thus I MUCH PREFER proper diapers (I usually wear either attends M10 Reg. or Tena Maxi).

    Same goes for moments when I know I won't have a chance changing frequently, that's where I always go for the good diapers.

    Maybe anatomy plays a role too... but whenever I wear a thick diaper (even the Tena Maxi Slips, which are thin as long as they're dry) I can really "feel" the diaper in a disturbing way, especially when I walk around (when I am lying down I don't mind bigger diapers at all...)...


    Over the years I have indeed tried so many different options, it's actually dazzling to see just how much options product wise we have to take care of Incontinence...
    My point simply is, especially with the concernes about your work place you have voiced, that I highly recommend you to try alternative solutions before you simply settle down for the first that has proven to work well (your M4 Abenas...)
    It really highly depends on how you dress, how you work, what a function you have - etc... And arguably some work environments are more "mature" than others. I guess working with younger Students isn't exactly cutting this corner nicely.
    I mean, without making it into a blown out of proportion issue, but I personally wouldn't want to stand in front of a teenager class with the remote chance anyone of them will notice my diaper. sure it can all be bottled back up one way or another, but I guess it would be much more stress free if you didn't need to worry at all.

    Same goes for changing the protection when you're at work - the pads will be easier and really not anyone will be any wiser.
    However I guess the teachers have their own (not shared with students) toilets... thus the persons you're "confronted" with, are (supposedly) mature adults who know that incontinence isn't something "funny" and would consider it a private matter.
    I would be less - far less concerned about this.

    One thing I can say with some certainty after my 30+ years with this (well to be fair lets make this 25-28 years - as honestly my first few years on this world I was not really aware that I had a problem and I'm 34 now.)...
    Well the thing I can say is that I have NOT come across a well working SINGLE PRODUCT solution... my best approach so far has been to mix products according to my specific day to day needs.
    This way (combination of different products) it might be more confusing at first (like what to pack when, how much, etc...) but honestly, I look at it like clothing choices for winter, summer, work, free time stuff ...
    In the end, the best approach is the one that makes you comfy and is working (protection) and is easy on the logistics.



    And on another note:
    I DO LOVE COFFEE... guys, don't think that I don't love my coffee
    The thing is just, I carefully weigh it's diuretic effect against my daily schedule... so if I'm home for a few hours in the morning (which often is the case, as I can do part of my work from home) I gladly sip a coffee... weekends, time off, etc... but when I know I've got to hit the road shortly after consuming the black deliciousness I'll refrain from getting my favorite black drink.
    But the positive aspect is, I'm not "addicted" in terms of, I don't need it to start my day - but I do enjoy it
    And not having had one in a few days makes me relish the next one even more.

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