“I’m just a Multi-faceted Hip Hop Diva in this Industry that We Call Entertainment.”

“I’m just a Multi-faceted Hip Hop Diva in this Industry that We Call Entertainment.”

Ever met an angel?  Not a wussy, namb-pamby angel in white robes and a smile, but the real thing: scary amounts of power crossed with furious energy surrounded by a deep abiding love.  That’s Auti Angel.

When you see early pictures of the able-bodied Auti, there is a cherubic sweetness to her face that is hidden now.  As she says, “It’s been a hell of a ride!”

  Even early on, as a principal dancer with such iconic performers as Eazy-E, N.W.A, Kid n’ Play, and LL CoolJ, you can see it – that Auti-tude.  The woman rivals Elvis for an iconic sneer.

But that’s on the outside.  You can learn about the inside easily enough. Auti speaks willingly about the road that got her here.  She grew up in Torrance, California, to very young parents – her father was 16 when she was born.  He worked in the entertainment business which led her to “The Industry”. 

She also grew up in a home colored by domestic violence, which was to be an ongoing challenge for her to face and overcome.  “It seems like I kept manifesting domestic violence until I learned how to heal it.” Auti explains.  “I grew up with it and didn’t even see it in my relationships until it was too late. 

I’m just grateful that eventually God showed me how I was drawing it to myself.”

Talking to Auti you hear a lot about God.  She has had a close relationship with God all her life, praying with Him moments before the car accident that permanently paralyzed her from the waist down.

“I said a prayer just before my car accident.  I had made a mistake, something I wished I could take back, and I prayed, ‘God please forgive me, all I want to do is be different and touch your people.’ I was driving, alone in the car, thank God, and then the crash came. I remember looking down from outside my body, seeing the traffic begin to clog up behind my crashed car on the 101 Hollywood Freeway.”

Auti’s voice is confident and clear – she has told this story many, many times. “I had blacked out when I felt these strong hands grab my shoulders and yank me up out of my body.  I cried out, ‘I didn’t get to say Goodbye!’  and the Voice said ‘Don’t worry my child I’m giving you what you asked for. You will go through many trials and tribulations, but you are becoming one of my chosen. Now go touch my people!”

She was only 22, but her close connection with God didn’t allow for any poor-me dilly dallying. 

“I was dancing as soon as I could get out of the hospital bed. The PTs were very informative back then and once they taught me how to pop a wheelie, I was off!  I’d sneak out of the hospital and go host my own music video show and when I was finished with the interviews… I would hear the dance floor calling me to…so off I went.”

Like a lot of new wheelchair users, Auti found the bowel and bladder issues the biggest obstacle to overcome.  But even that didn’t slow her down very much. “I knew that God had preserved me to serve.  And I knew I could serve this calling best through dance.  That’s what I know best how to do!  I do,” Auti admits ruefully, “yell at God now and then.  Like what happened with that agency.  Oh, this is a good story!”  I can hear Auti snuggle down to share another great anecdote of how she got here.

“Certainly, I’ve yelled at God!  I yelled ‘put me back in the game!’” 

“There was this agency, I auditioned for their dance dept. They watched me do my thing and then said, that was very cool but I don’t think we’ll ever have anything for you.  Afterwards I went home and  yelled at God to put me back in the game, 3 days later that same agency called me and said we’ve just had a choreographer call who needs a Latin Female in a wheelchair who can dance and do tricks.” As I marvel at the serendipity of the event, Auti continues, “You see I went to the audition and Hi-HAT (choreographer) turned and said I was looking for you, which I had never met her before- she was choreographing a music video for Ludacris.  The song was,” Auti laughs uproariously, “rather ironically called Stand Up.” 

With her flashing dark eyes, a mouth that can grin or sneer convincingly and her screaming pink-red hair, Auti isn’t likely to be overlooked.  She has been a ground-breaking force for people with disabilities long before it was acceptable or even heard of in the industry.

 It was no accident that a wheelchair developer named John Box hired her to be his spokesmodel for the fledgling Colours Wheelchair Company.

“John asked me to be spokesmodel, but I got bored just sitting around at trade shows.  I asked him, ‘Can I bring a mini boombox and dance?  Once he saw the crowd it pulled in, he was all for it! Everybody would come and it was a showstopper.” #Auti Angel #Push #Girl That was the birth of the famed Colours Girls – Auti with long dark hair and Briana Walker with long blonde hair. 

I ask Auti how the Colours Girls came to be.  “I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this story before!” Auti laughs.  “It was at a trade Show.  I was in the Colours booth doing my thing and Briana came up and said  OMG, I used to be a dancer!’  I said, ‘What do you mean used to be?  Once a dancer always a dancer!’ and she asked if she could dance with me.  I said sure, so Brianna would come to my house, and we would dance.  We’d been rehearsing together for about 3 months, I guess, when HI-HAT asked me “want to do the vibe music awards?” “Of course and then I told her, ‘Hey, I’ve got this girlfriend I’m working with now, you want to see her?’ So, we danced!”

I asked how it went and Auti pauses, searching for the right words. “Briana is so, how do I put this in words?  She’s beautiful, and she’s your typical Orange County girl, so she would be smiling throughout.” Auti is laughing louder now. “With hip hop, you have to make all these faces – we don’t smile so much. So I went to Brianna and said ‘You’ve got to look tougher and not grin all the time!  She did it and we did the gig together.  It was awesome.”

This was all a lead-in to the groundbreaking Push Girls TV series, which ran for 2 years on the Sundance channel.  Knowing Auti has been asked plenty about the series, I just brush lightly on what the experience had meant to her.

“Really one, no two things.  Well, three actually – the most important one was Sisterhood.  We were all best friends prior to shooting. Season two tried to destroy that sisterhood.  The producers wanted conflict.  They planted seeds and because of some immaturity at the time we took the bait, however there was no way they could destroy what we had.”

“Number two was that we got to show the world how frickin’ amazing the disabled community is and number three is we got to show how the disabled community can do anything.  Yeah, they call us inspirational and all that, but these individuals were doing amazing things prior to the wheelchairs.”

Knowing that Auti has been through recent surgeries and health crises, I ask if her faith has been shaken on her journey.  Has she ever had doubts?

“Doubts?  For some crazy strange reason, I don’t.  Every single time God has pulled me through.  The gift of dance has saved my life over and over again.  Even though this last surgery that was so traumatic, you know deep down inside there is an inkling of that feeling that everything will turn out ok.

“Last surgery God said ‘Trust my Process’.  No matter what you believe in, trust God’s process.  Trust God’s process within yourself, with circumstances, with your loved ones.  Everyone has their own individual walk with God.  I don’t press my beliefs on anyone, however I will always share what worked for me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, that’s what works for me.  How can you deny something that blesses you?  I couldn’t deny it if I tried.

“I wish I could describe that feeling I had when I died. There’s no physical feeling, there’s just peace and joy.   I wish the world wouldn’t judge religion! If people realized that we each have our own individual walk with God, then there would be peace.  Don’t judge it.”

Over the past few decades Auti has also given of her time and talent to teach dance moves to people in wheelchairs at various trade shows including the Abilities Expos.

As she shows the wheelchair community that they can dance in their chairs, the joy in unmistakable.

And now?  Having recovered from a difficult surgery that led to seizures and eventually a spinal fusion from T-8 all the way down to her tailbone, what is next for Auti Angel?

Auti casually replies, “I’m writing a book based on my life story and writing a screenplay, also based on my life story.  And I think it might be time for a converted minivan for this multi-faceted Hip Hop Diva in this industry that we call entertainment.”

She pauses, considering the images this conjures.

“Or maybe an SUV.  Not sure I’m ready for a minivan.”

You can follow Auti Angel under the handle @autiangel on all social media platforms.

Or you can contact her by visiting her website at AUTIANGEL.COM

Beginner Tips for Intermittent Catheters

If you are new to intermittent catheterization (commonly referred to as CIC- Clean Intermittent Catheterization) I have been there. I speak from experience (20+ years of personally using intermittent catheters). CIC can be overwhelming at first, but over time and with practice, it gets easier. It really does. 

In the beginning, give yourself grace – and patience. Things like hand dexterity, mobility, and anatomy are factors that make learning CIC unique to each individual.

Here are 6 tips that have worked for me:

  1. Knowledge is key.

Don’t be reluctant to ask questions. This is a learning process, and it is important to allow yourself space to ask questions.

  1. Try different intermittent products.

The overall convenience of the catheter will help make the process easier. There are many types of products to choose from. Ask your physician (and/or support team) which will work best for your individual situation. Here is a helpful checklist of starter questions to ask:

  • Should you use latex, rubber, silicone, or polyvinylchloride (PVC)? The material of the catheter influences the rigidity.
  • Non-hydrophilic catheters vs hydrophilic catheters? Uncoated/Non-coated catheters; some catheters are pre-lubricated or manufactured with a coating that improves catheter lubrication and eases insertion.
  • Should you use a “No-touch” or “Touchless” catheterization?
  1. Request free samples

(https://urostathealthcare.com/contact/ is a link that provides free samples)

  1. Find support

Support can be found in many ways. Ask other IC users. Talk openly with your urologist or primary care physician. Call your durable medical provider. Join online support groups that offer a place to ask questions.

  1. Get to know your body.

Learn your body and don’t be shy to discover it. Even after spinal cord injury, the body is amazing! Give yourself permission to explore and understand your body after injury. This will help you know when changes occur, like urinary tract infection or pressure sores. It is your body; take good care of it.  

  1. You’re NOT alone.

Incontinence is an ‘able-bodied issue as well. Urinary elimination can be compromised by illness, surgery, pregnancy, menopause, and other conditions.

Most people feel apprehensive about performing Intermittent Self Catheterization. It can be a bit awkward to start with but with practice, you will soon become confident, your local health care professional will offer you support until you feel able to manage alone.  Most people go on to say that they find it easy to self-catheterize after a time.

Helpful Definition of Terms:

Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC)
Refers to the act of draining urine by passing a catheter through the urethra, past the sphincter into the bladder. The catheter is removed after the urine has been drained. This process is performed using a clean technique. A new sterile catheter is used for each episode.

Clean Intermittent Self Catheterization (CISC)
Performing CIC for oneself.

Clean Technique
The process of performing a procedure under clean conditions in order to reduce the number of microorganisms. This includes handwashing, non-sterile gloves, a clean field, and clean or sterile equipment.

Hydrophilic Coated Urinary Catheters
Urinary catheters which are coated, and either activated with water or pre-packed with a sterile gel or fluid reservoir.

A surgical procedure in which the appendix and bowel are used to create a connection between the bladder and the abdominal skin surface to allow for urinary catheterization through a stoma.

Neurogenic Bladder
A dysfunction of the bladder due to a neurological condition.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
An infection of the kidney ureter, bladder, and/or urethra.

*Please be advised these are suggestions on how to use an intermittent self catheter. Consult your physician before use.

Urology Supplies with Peace of Mind

Welcome to UroStat Healthcare! We are a provider of urological supplies including intermittent catheters, ostomy and incontinence solutions. Our foundation is build upon quality medical products and excellent customer service. As our first blog post, we wanted to take some time to introduce our company as well as our mission, values, and principles. Thank you in advance for visiting our site and taking the time to get to know our company.

UroStat Healthcare is a healthcare solutions provider committed to an excellent customer experience for each individual we serve. We supply catheter, ostomy and incontinence products to individuals and streamline the entire procurement process by handling the entire insurance submission and billing process. We even work with your medical team to learn and procure the proper supplies for each individual.

Our Mission:

To improve the quality of life for our customers through the delivery of quality medical products and superior customer service.

Our Values:

  • Respect – For our customers and our employees.
  • Integrity – Be honest, ethical and fair.
  • Customer commitment – Take care of our customers first!
  • Accountable – Admit when we are wrong and correct our mistakes immediately.
  • Teamwork – Work together to provide the best customer experience!
  • Passion – Bring our best effort each day.

Our Principles:

  • We employ individuals who use our products.
  • We never substitute your product without confirming with you first.
  • We are experts in the top catheter, ostomy, and incontinence supplies to provide the most knowledge to our customers.

Individuals utilizing our services and products commonly live with the following conditions:

  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spina Bifida
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Injuries that affect bladder and bowel
  • Elderly Incontinence

We are committed to transforming the lives of individuals who require catheter, ostomy, and incontinence solutions in their daily life by providing them both timely and quality products.

We are always here to discuss with you any questions you may have about your urological needs and never hesitate if you would to speak with one of our urology specialists. You can find them via our LiveChat function on our website during normal business hours. Outside of business hours, please reach out via our contact page: http://urostathealthcare.com/contact/.