While it is possible to enjoy cultural events from your couch, it doesn’t compare to attending a concert with a friend- singingly along to the songs and enjoying the lively atmosphere. It also isn’t the same as going to a live football game where you cheer along with a stadium full of fans as your favorite team scores.
Thanks to technology, you can even meet friends virtually in the comfort of your home. However, if you really want a good talk or engage in intense discussions (or share the latest gossip), why not do it over some food at your favorite restaurant? Or, if you need to confide in a friend about something that’s bothering you, it may be easier to talk to them while visiting your favorite park.
Be creative and surprise your friends or family when it comes to socializing. This way, you get to pick a social situation that is the most convenient for you. But you should also be able to accept their ideas without worrying. All you have to do is to plan ahead. Here are some of our ideas how:
Plan your activity
It may be tempting to skip catheterization when you aren’t at home, traveling, or if you are together with people that don’t know about your condition. You should remember that skipping catheterization might result in leaks and can also be harmful to your bladder in the long term.
Plan your activities ahead of time instead so you can enjoy them without interruptions. Set aside time for catheterization during the activities. Catheterize as close to the time you leave your home as possible, find out where the nearest restrooms are located in advance at a time that is convenient for you during the day.
If you go somewhere to have fun, it is easy to get carried away-and you should! Simply setting an alarm on your phone or watch may help put your mind at ease if you are concerned about remembering when to catheterize.
Pack smart with a “smart kit”
When away from the security of your home, it is good to know that you have all of your intermittent catheterization supplies with you. Public restrooms are not as clean and might not be equipped in a convenient way. If you worry about leaks, it may also be important that you can clean yourself or change clothes. Some people use a different type of catheter when they are away from home. You might want to have a more compact catheter, or one with a urine bag attached.
So, it’s good to plan ahead and pack extra supplies for safety – just in case.
Know what restrooms await you
Check out available restrooms at an event in advance. This may be is especially important if you are in a wheelchair. Use the internet or call to learn about how the location or venue you are visiting it is equipped. You can also use the WheelMate app for smartphones to locate the nearest restroom.
Consider what to wear
Dark colors may make it less noticeable in case you experience a small leak. Have a blazer, sweater or cardigan that you can quickly wrap around your waist if necessary. You might also consider using a pad or absorbent to feel safe from leakage until you feel comfortable in your routine and being out and about.
These are general guidelines meant to help you with typical questions. You should follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the intermittent catheterization solution you are using.