As a grown child, you know there will be a time when you must start caring for your parents. I am fortunate enough that my parents are healthy and don’t require anything but spending time with their daughters. I never had to worry about their health, which was a blessing since I was starting my own life and family. One day that changed.
My dad had reluctantly told my sister and I that he had prostate cancer. He also followed it up with the statement of “I am not doing anything about it”. I protested of course, how do you NOT do something about it when caught this early? My sister, mom, and I begged him for months to get treatment, he would not. A year went by and as my husband and I announced we were going to have a baby. As a result, Dad FINALLY set a date to have prostate surgery.
My father is the strongest man I know, but also the most stubborn. When the surgery was set, he finally told me why he refused to get the surgery until now. The doctors had told him there was a 5% chance of becoming incontinent, and he didn’t want to live that way. That was until he found out he was going to be a grandfather. It seems like a silly reaction to such a big health scare, but that was the reality of the situation. Incontinence is scary and uncomfortable to talk about, even for men.
As the surgery date approached, I took it upon myself to prepare my dad with some recovery supplies. The doctor had explained to him that he would be incontinent after the surgery and if everything went well, he would regain bladder control and be back to normal in a couple of months. Working in the healthcare field, I knew how to prepare my dad for his recovery process in terms of incontinent products.
During the recovery process, bladder control would come back gradually, and therefore a series of products would be needed. Here is what I purchased for my dad for his temporary incontinence needs:Right after surgery: Absorbent incontinence briefs. I had purchased the following two for him to try:
- TENA Men Absorbent Super Plus Underwear: https://skyblue.com/tena-men-absorbent-underwear
- Prevail for Men Absorbent Underwear: https://skyblue.com/prevail-for-men-absorbent-underwear
I decided to go with a men’s fit vs universal since it looked and felt the most similar to regular briefs. I only did one package of each to start to see which one he preferred. I then ordered a couple more packages of the one he liked best.
Some control: After a week or so dad was up moving around a little and able to use the bathroom as instructed by his doctor. He didn’t have full bladder control, but he could at least make an effort. At this point, I had purchased him a brief that wasn’t super absorbent, but still would have enough protection. Here is what I had purchased:
- Prevail Boxers for Men Absorbent Underwear: https://skyblue.com/prevail-boxers-for-men-absorbent-underwear
More control: After 2-3 weeks, dad was doing great with his recovery and experiencing more control each day. He still needed some protection, as he was not 100%, so I purchased pads/liners/guards. These were used with his normal brief and could be easily changed out when needed. Here is what I purchased:
- TENA Men Bladder Control Pad: https://skyblue.com/tena-men-bladder-control-pad
- Prevail Male Guard Bladder Control Pad: https://skyblue.com/prevail-male-guard-bladder-control-pad
Prostate surgery recovery isn’t a one product solution for most men. Different products will be needed as absorbency needs change. Here is a quick summary of the stage of products needed:
Full absorbency brief or diaper
Moderate absorbency brief of diaper
Moderate pad/ guard
Light pad or guard
Some additional things to consider:
Mobility - After surgery, mobility can be an issue. If standing is not possible, diapers are easier to put on then a pull up brief.
Underpads - Underpads can be used during the recovery process to help prevent leaks on surfaces such as the bed or chair.
Activity level - After surgery someone might not be active, and therefore needs a higher protection incontinence brief. After they start to feel better and more into the recovery process, they can become more active, which will also change the need of the incontinence product. Products are designed with this in mind so read each description to see what will work best.
Patience - Surgery is a lot to deal with, both as the patient and caregiver. Patience is key to a successful recovery and don’t be frustrated if a certain product doesn’t work. Each product is made differently so try others that can be right solution.