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Thread: "Sometimes, you just have to think like a baby..."

  1. #1

    Default "Sometimes, you just have to think like a baby..."

    Hi! So, the other day, in the morning, I had begun to get dressed for the day. My home health aide usually assists me with dressing myself, as well as many other things, but today was not his usual day, so I had to get dressed by myself. I shaved, took a nice shower, put on my socks and shoes, and a clean diaper. It was just at that point that my morning nurse arrived to take care of my morning meds.

    In the past, I used to be very body shy, but over the last three years since I have had skilled home nursing and a home health aide, I have managed to overcome a lot of this shyness. I greeted my nurse as I was: clad only in my socks, shoes, and my diaper. The nice thing about nurses and home health aides is that they have basically seen it all, so nothing takes them by surprise.

    As my nurse was taking care of my morning meds and drawing my insulin (I am diabetic), I took the opportunity to strike up a lively conversation about diapers; specifically, about how I like to wear them. I punctuated the conversation by showing her how I like to wear them (snugly around my waist and hips), how I like to have the tapes fastened, and so on. Since she often assists me lately by helping me put on my diapers, I believed it quite appropriate that I offer her some suggestions and advice about this. She does not usually assist patients with putting on their diapers, so she welcomed any advice I could offer.

    At one point as we spoke to one another, I remarked, “Sometimes, you just have to think like a baby.” She found that comment quite amusing. Thus, I was inspired to write this post here about my observations, opinions, and suggestions concerning wearing diapers. I do hope that this post helps out others who wear diapers as well. Without further ado, here are my comments:

    1) “Sometimes, you just have to think like a baby.” We all know that babies wear diapers too. They are prone to the same issues and problems that we have concerning diapers. They have problems with leaks, rashes, and sagging diapers just like we do. So, it seems logical that if one “thinks like a baby,” then one can reasonably expect to have a strategic approach to solving a lot of these issues concerning diaper wearing.

    2) Pull-ups. When I was first diagnosed with urge incontinence three years ago, as a result of diabetic neuropathy affecting my bladder, my doctor prescribed pull-ups. In my honest opinion, pull-ups never worked for me. Ostensibly, they provide a convenience factor. However, I found they leaked like a sieve. Also, one has to take everything off from below the waist to change them, since they do not have any tapes or fasteners to detach to remove them.

    3) Health insurance coverage. Fortunately, since the pull-ups were prescribed by my doctor, my health insurance covered the cost of them. I was also able to request that I have a new prescription for traditional adult diapers. The cost of my adult diapers has also been covered by my health insurance for the last three years. I receive a new supply of them monthly, and my health insurance pays for four diapers a day, which has been more than enough for me.

    4) Adult diapers. Some would consider adult diapers to be rather inconvenient and bulky. However, I have found that they work very well for me. There are as many types and brands of adult diapers as there are people who wear them, and each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. I often alternate between Tranquility ATN diapers with the plastic backing and tapes, and Wings Plus diapers (both heavy absorbency), from Covidien/Medtronic, which are paid for by my health insurance.

    Underwear and pants tend to slide down with the Tranquility plastic-backed diapers, and the tapes tend to break and fail after only one adjustment, but they do provide high absorbency. The Wings Plus diapers are cloth-backed, and while they are thinner and less absorbent, clothing does not slide down with them, and the Velcro fasteners provided are re-adjustable, and can be re-attached multiple times for the best fit.

    5) Leak prevention. As was mentioned previously, I found the pull-ups to be the worst offenders for leaks. Adult diapers are a good deal better, but they must fit snugly around the waist, hips, and legs, to prevent leaks. One key factor is the size. For me, I need the extra-large size diapers. One trick that helps with finding the proper size involves a length of string or rope, and a tape measure. Take the string or rope and circle it around your body at the widest part of your stomach. Then, measure the correct length of string or rope with a tape measure.

    I’ve found that usually the measurement around the hips is smaller. However, the diaper must fit around your waist and stomach as well, so by taking a measurement at the widest part of your stomach, you ensure that the diaper will fit at the largest part of your lower body. A diaper that fits correctly will provide a proper seal around the legs, hips, and waist, thus preventing leaks.

    6) Underwear, vinyl/plastic pants, onesies, etc. Of all of these, I’ve found that vinyl pants, with elastic gathers, provide the best leak prevention, when put on over the diaper. They also prevent the diaper from sagging when it is wet. Also, onesies provide similar leak prevention, and help keep the diaper snug and close to the body. Underwear, when put over the diaper by itself, tends to ride down over time. Sometimes, I will put a pair of underwear over the vinyl pants and my diaper, just to provide an extra layer of protection and comfort.

    7) Booster pads. Yes! Yes! Yes! Booster pads get a big “thumbs up” from me, particularly the XL-6XL booster pads from Tranquility, which cover the entire diaper from front to back. They do not have an adhesive backing, so the moisture will not be reflected back up into the pad, but will soak through, then the rest of the moisture will flow into the diaper itself. This is the proper purpose and function of a good booster pad. Also, booster pads have an added plus: they can be stacked two or more at one time inside the diaper. Since I’ve been using booster pads, I’ve rarely had a problem with leaks, unless I experience a very heavy void of my bladder, or multiple voids, before I have to change.

    8) Rash prevention. I had a nasty diaper rash and yeast infection one summer about two years ago, one summer. It was a very hot day, and I didn’t change as frequently as I should have. It was very hot, itchy, and painful. My doctor prescribed Nystatin (Nystop powder), but the powder usually just flaked off my diaper area. My nurse/case manager had an elegant solution for that problem. He had me purchase some store-brand Desitin cream from Wal-Mart (about eight bucks for a large tub), then he mixed the Nystop powder in with the Desitin cream.

    Voila! Not only did the new cream mixture prevent rashes and irritation, but it contained the anti-fungal properties of the Nystop powder, which is the primary cause of yeast infections and rashes. So, every time my health aide helps me with my diapers, he applies the Desitin cream with the Nystop powder liberally to my diaper area, front and back. This has helped me immensely to keep the whole area clean, cool, dry, and rash-free.

    9) Shaving. I know that this topic has been covered in another forum, so I will be brief. I have found that a weekly routine of shaving my diaper area has helped greatly with keeping the area rash-free, cool, and clean. Usually my health aide has been shaving me, but lately, I have taken this duty upon myself (my hands tend to shake). I have found a strategy that works for me. I have a long, full-length mirror that I hang up over the shower rod in my bathroom, so that I can see what I am doing.

    I wet my diaper area with good warm water, then apply some skin lotion to the whole area. Then, I apply a liberal amount of Edge shaving gel, and shave carefully with a standard razor, usually one with five blades and an edger or lubricating strip. By shaving weekly, I don’t have to contend with long hairs, and it has proven to keep me clean, cool, and rash free so far.

    So, there are my comments, observations, and suggestions about wearing diapers. I do hope that these tips have helped some of you out. I welcome any further comments or suggestions regarding this topic. Thank you for your listening ear and your patience. Take care!

  2. #2

    Default

    This is really excellent you have people that accept you and assist you, not everyone in the health community is as decent as those you people you have.

    Keep it up

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you. Yes it most certainly is excellent. I cannot say enough about my home health aide and my nurses that care for me. I understand what you are saying. In the last two years since I've had my current home health agency, I've had to fire three nurses and a home health aide. I hated to have to do it, but there were serious reasons. On former nurse I fired quite literally said that "all gays were going to hell" during one of my visits. The aide I fired was constantly coming extremely late every day, and he literally did not know how to put a diaper on someone - he had it backwards three days in a row! Fortunately, these were the exceptions, not the rule.

    Thank you also to the person that gave me my first +1 reputation point. It is much appreciated! Happy holidays everyone!

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