Catheterization and incontinence management can be a personal matter for those of us with disabilities. It can also be the most daunting if our privacy and dignity are at stake. I understand firsthand how important it is to find discreet ways to hide your catheters and incontinence supplies.
I’ve been living with my spinal cord injury for over 2 decades as well as a neurological condition known as Myasthenia Gravis. I have written out a few tips of my own that I hope may help you achieve the highest levels of privacy and discretion.
Determining Who to Tell About Your Needs
First, let’s make sure that when it comes to discretion, you’re not hiding your needs from your doctor. A doctor can help diagnose the underlying issue and create a treatment plan that could help alleviate your symptoms. In addition, when it comes to catheter supplies, you’ll need a prescription in order to purchase these with or without insurance.
Next, find a reliable home-delivery medical supply company to provide what you need. The right company will have a compassionate staff who will listen to your preferences and needs. Then together, you can create the right order for your unique needs.
Lastly, consider who among your friends and family you wish to tell about your needs. While some people are very open about their bathroom routine involving catheters and/or incontinence products, others prefer to keep this very private. My guess is that if you’re reading this, you’re like me, and you’d prefer to tell only a few people. For example, you may want only your caregiver or partner to know. Ultimately, it comes down to what you feel most comfortable doing.
How to Hide your Catheters and Incontinence Supplies at Home
You might think discretion isn’t as important in the privacy of your own home. However, chances are that at some point, you’ll have a visitor including friends and relatives at your home who will use your bathroom.
One of the best ways I’ve found to hide my catheters and incontinence supplies discreetly is to purchase some dual-purpose home decor. For example, I’ve bought some nice wicker baskets with lids and stacked them in my bathroom. They can add to your decorations in your bathroom and blend in well while also storing your medical supplies privately. Baskets and boxes can come in all kinds of varieties of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials.
If you’re spinal cord injured or physically disabled like me, you may also want to fit a nice-looking cabinet or storage unit within arm’s reach from your toilet. This makes it easy to reach the supplies you frequently use.
Plus, it’s a great way of keeping everything organized. I have found that this helps me keep inventory easily for quick reordering of my catheters, incontinence products, and other accessories like wipes and gloves.
How to Hide Catheters and Incontinence Supplies in Public
Discreet Travel-Sized Catheter Supplies
Thanks to advancing technology, you can find extremely discreet and compact catheters that can be easily hidden and kept private. Also, compact catheters can be great for traveling and packing in luggage with minimal added weight.
Depending on your preferences and product requirements, you may find a compact catheter that looks like a lipstick or a travel toothbrush holder. For example, many women prefer the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Female Catheter. Men also have many discreet male catheter options in small packaging. Most people would have no idea by looking that you were carrying catheters if they saw them.
If you prefer or need catheter insertion supplies, 180 Medical also supplies pre-packaged, sealed packets from top brands that you can easily slip into a handbag, backpack, briefcase, or wheelchair tote. Talk to their specialists about what your insurance may cover and what your doctor recommends.
Easy Carrying Options to Keep Your Supplies Hidden
If you plan to be out in public and you’re in a wheelchair, you can find totes and backpacks specifically for wheelchairs, which can be really handy. They are often small, and you can easily tuck them away behind your legs in the manual wheelchair. Totes can also be hung along the side or back of your chair.
If you want to be more fashionable, you might think about getting a cool-looking satchel, messenger bag, or designer backpack. It’s one of the best ways to bring some trend to your adaptive apparel too!
Check out these other great ideas for discreet ways to carry your catheters!
How to Stay Discreet When Visiting Friends
This somewhat touches on the first point about who you may feel comfortable telling about your need for certain medical supplies. If you’re very close with your friend, you may have already told them your new bathroom routine after spinal cord injury or disability diagnosis. If not, that’s okay, and it’s no one’s business unless you want to make it theirs. Nevertheless, it’s always nice to still be discreet about how to hide your catheters and incontinence supplies.
In addition to some of the above tips for discretion in public, I also like to keep extra disposable bags on hand when visiting friends. How many I pack depends on how long I plan to be away from home. These bags will help you dispose of your used catheters and incontinence supplies discreetly. Simply drop your catheter, liner, adult diapers, or other used products into the bag, then toss it discreetly in their garbage can. Plus, in a pinch, you can put your sealed-away supplies in your disposal bag safely inside your tote or purse without fear of leakage so you can dispose of it somewhere private later.
Sometimes, other’s private bathrooms aren’t as accessible. If this is the case, and you know in advance, think about self-cathing right before you leave.
If you would like an option to self-cath anywhere in privacy or from your wheelchair, consider a fully self-contained catheter option with a collection bag and insertion supplies, like a closed system catheter. Then you can cath in a private space with a lockable door, such as a guest room in your friend’s home, should suffice. This option is probably best for those friends who know about your needs and respect your privacy.
How to Purchase Catheters and Incontinence Supplies Discreetly
The urological supplier you choose can also help in aiding your personal privacy. For instance, 180 Medical provides high-quality intermittent urinary catheters, ostomy products, and incontinence supplies such as adult diapers, disposable pull-on underwear, liners, and underpads. They will discreetly and quickly deliver your home-delivery medical supplies right to your door.
No need to worry about trying to hide your catheters and incontinence supplies from others in local pharmacies and stores. Getting home-delivery medical supplies may be a great option for you if you prefer to maintain your privacy. Contact 180 Medical today!