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Thread: Studying overseas with incontinence

  1. #1

    Default Studying overseas with incontinence

    So I've been thinking about going on exchange from my uni to somewhere over seas for a semester, i feel its an amazing opportunity. My big concerns- and they're big ones for me, is A) having to most likely live in some sort of share accommodation with the dreaded ' communal' bathroom facilities (i probably wouldnt be able to afford to get a room with my own ensuite)
    B) cost of having to purchase all my own pads and nappies in another country -(currently have most of my needs met through government funding, but i imagine shipping them out to me is going to be rather cost prohibitive) and ofcourse where to keep them/ how to 'sneak' them in to the share accommodation as it were - walking in with a big box always screams "you have to find out what's in here!" To everyone present.
    C) not having my car. I keep all my supplies in my car other then literally one pad in my bag (always worried if i carry too much stuff it may fall out when i open it etc) also if im far from a toilet when the.... shall we say worst situation.... happens, i find it far less embarassing to map out a quick path through the uni to my car where im unlikely to pass many people and go to a public toilet nearby that's rarely used where i can sort myself out in private.
    D) being away for so long from my supports, both social and medical. My partner and my bestie are always there to cheer me up when my incontinence is getting me down, but i imagine on my own I'll end up wallowing in pity of myself. And as for medical stuff, i have a good relationship with my dr's and nurses who look after my medical needs, but I've had some fairly awful experiences with people in the medical profession - from just super unhelpful to down right making fun of my problems before i met my current 'team'....

    So my question really is this - has anyone here gone overseas for a reasonably long period on their own? Whether for study or work or any other reason? Am i being ridiculous with my concerns? Any suggestions to mitigate some of these issues I'm going to face?
    Last edited by Bear85; 11-Oct-2017 at 16:24. Reason: I'm a der-brain that doesnt check for spelling errors in the thread title

  2. #2

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    Overseas in which country. Some actually make it way easier to get diaper supplies than the US does. Others, not so much.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slomo View Post
    Overseas in which country. Some actually make it way easier to get diaper supplies than the US does. Others, not so much.
    Probably either the UK, Ireland, netherlands, or sweden at this point. it has to be a country with a reciprocal health arrangment with australia to make it easier to get my crohns meds while im gone - though they wont give me diaper supplies - just my $3600 per treatment medication....

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear85 View Post
    ...or sweden...
    One thing to be aware of is that I've not run across aaaaany grocery stores in Sweden that sell adult diapers (vuxenblöja / vuxenblöjor); you will need to order them online and have them shipped to you, unless you can find a specialty store (there's one a few towns over for me, but who wants to lug a case of diapers on mass transit?). I think the most you might get are some pull-ups from Apoteket, if you're in a pinch.

    Online shops such as Tena Butiken can offer free shipping of Tena products within Sweden, though you technically can save about 100kr per shipment buying in larger quantities from SaveExpress (despite having to pay for shipping costs from Germany) provided PostNord gets the shipment to you (you need somebody there to accept the package, always--not sure how it works with universities). You can use stuff like DHL Droppoint (that's what Tena Butiken uses for free shipping), but you may end up walking a pretty good distance with a large package (you can try balancing it on a rack on your bike, but the packages are just huuuuge. I purchased a truck for my bike to transport them the 1/4 mile home).

    I cannot comment on the health arrangements, unfortunately; maybe you can reach out to resources at the universities you are interested in?

    Product-wise, I personally like Tena for their quality and discreteness. I've had the ID brand recommended to me (available through SaveExpress) as a lower-cost alternative to Tena recently, but I've not yet had a chance to test-drive them.
    Last edited by Kif; 11-Oct-2017 at 18:03.

  5. #5

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    Your concern is very understandable. I went to India for work last year, and managing my incontinence while I was there was a big stressor. It ended up that I was not in a flare when I went, so I was able to take just minimal supplies in case I had a problem, and I was profoundly grateful for that.

    It sounds like a good time to do some research on what the accommodations will be for exchange students. You can certainly call or email universities that you're considering and ask them about their dorm facilities, without having to explain the reasons that you're asking. Most administrators of foreign student programs will be very willing to help you with that sort of information. My university dorm was set up with two adjoining rooms sharing a bathroom, and that arrangement would have been good for managing incontinence. Other dorms share a bathroom per floor, which would probably not be very good.

    Studying abroad will be an amazing experience, and I hope you don't let incontinence problems get in the way of doing it!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kif View Post
    One thing to be aware of is that I've not run across aaaaany grocery stores in Sweden that sell adult diapers (vuxenblöja / vuxenblöjor); you will need to order them online and have them shipped to you,
    thanks for that, important info i need to know if i continue to consider Sweden as an option.
    and reaching out to the uni's is probably worth a crack. cheers.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltaluv View Post
    Your concern is very understandable. I went to India for work last year, and managing my incontinence while I was there was a big stressor. It ended up that I was not in a flare when I went, so I was able to take just minimal supplies in case I had a problem, and I was profoundly grateful for that
    Omg, india is my biggest fear for travelling. I assume your mention of flares means that you have IBD?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear85 View Post
    Probably either the UK, Ireland, netherlands, or sweden at this point.
    I had a private en-suite room in halls in the UK. About 1/3rd of rooms on campus were en-suite.

    Shared rooms are relatively rare, and there are usually en-suite rooms available. If you notify the university of your problems, I'd be almost certain you'd be allocated a private en-suite bedroom.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear85 View Post
    Omg, india is my biggest fear for travelling. I assume your mention of flares means that you have IBD?
    India was amazing. If you have a chance to go there, you should jump on it. I don't know how it is for pads or nappies, but in terms of a cultural experience it was fantastic.

    I do have IBD (ulcerative colitis, more specifically) but it hasn't flared in several years, and only rarely since my primary sclerosing cholangitis became active. It turns out that it's common to have UC go quiescent when PSC crops up - I fought a lot with UC during college, but it's rarely more than an aside and an excuse for my GI doc to want to do annual colonoscopies.

    The flares I have now are interstitial cystitis. I go through periods when my bladder feels like somebody is scraping the inside of it with a fork, and I have a constant feeling of pressure and needing to pee even when my bladder is empty. Incontinence is rare with interstital cystitis, but when I have that pressure my bladder goes into spasms and empties pretty much uncontrollably. The ironic thing is that I get botox injections into my bladder wall, which causes a high residual volume so I have to self cath 6-7 times a day, sometimes more. There's the half of the urine in my bladder that won't come out, and there's the half of the urine that won't stay in.

  10. #10

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    Well, you shouldn't worry about it so much I guess. All first world countries in Europe will have great support for diapers, 2nd world countries as well. Europe is pretty much developed as well - in worst case, you will just order online as I don't see it as a big deal personally once you will have your own room and you most certainly aim for one, being incontinent and sharing a room will just lessen your self-esteem and you will be annoyed of the situation. I've lived in a shared room for my whole time in the university in the US when I was younger and I was having problems with being incontinent the most. For example in the US I order from hexa & co my favorite diapers in bulk home and I have no problems with it, but when I have lived in Luxembourg for 6 months I had a problem with getting diapers as it was extremely small country, very developed, but extremely small and they simply don't have a need for so many shops etc, so I had to order from Nappilla - best service for diapers/pads there in my opinion and I was sharing a room with a guy that wasn't aware of my issues, so I kind of had a small nightmare with this as well and I have only spoken a little bit of French, but not Luxembourghish - which is a mix of French and German, but really hard to get around without knowing it really.

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