I’ve had to use a catheter since October, 2106.  Before we get into my opinion on those:  I didn’t mean to be gone so long.  Life happens and I have a lot on my plate.  The biggest of which is planning for 2 surgeries in this month. Soon I’ll be saying goodbye to using catheters.  I’m a qualified candidate for an implant. As this is most commonly used for urinary stress incontinence, my case will be part of a study for its use in urinary retention patients. Stage 1 is temporary and the device collects data with which to program the permanent one.  Stage 2 will be performed two weeks later. I have been using catheters since October, 2016.  It hasn’t been rainbows and glitters.  The only positive thing I can say is use of them allowed me to empty my bladder.  That was a relief.

The most comfortable catheter I used was the Coloplast SpeediCath Compact Plus.  They’re small enough I can put one in my pocket if I’m on the go and don’t want to carry a purse.  Nobody would notice.  There’s a slight design flaw that prevented me from using it daily.  I suffer from severe arthritis in my hands and they are extremely difficult to open without splattering the prehydration fluid everywhere.  The catheter and lubrication is self contained which is awesome.  That’s the best feature.  The worst feature is extracting the catheter from its self containment.  It requires more strength to open than I have in my hands. Easy insertion and disposal.

The Cure Catheter doesn’t come pre-hydrated. In order to use them, I had to carry around a bottle of water based lubricant in my purse.  I  found this option to be quite wasteful.  There just isn’t any way to get lubrication coverage without having too much left over.  That was my only issue on that score.  This Cure Catheter is a little bit too flexible for my comfort. It may be because this is a different size than most of the other ones.  Insertion is a little bit difficult.  It bends.  This causes contamination because it comes into contact with external body parts.  It’s not uncommon for this to happen, but it would happen far to frequently for my comfort.  I ended up throwing away more than I actually used.

Another catheter I tried to use was the Cure Ultra.  These come pre-lubricated with a thick gel that did not agree with my body.  I had some sort of allergic reaction to it.  Having an itchy urethra is one the most uncomfortable sensations I have ever experienced.  I stopped using them but insertion and disposal was easy.

I settled my choice with the Bard Magic 3.  This brand provides pre-hydrated and dry for user preference.  I preferred the prehydration.  It’s hydrophilic (coated silicone) which is some sort of low friction fancy water. They could simply say sterile water that sticks to certain surfaces because I’m pretty sure that’s what it means.

I don’t have to carry lube in my purse, but they aren’t small enough for my back pocket.  They are comfortable and easy to use.  My chosen catheters are covered by my insurance, but I tried several by calling the 800 number on the intermittent catheter commercials on the television.  If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know how I feel about discussing bodily functions.  I have a low threshold for being grossed out.  I’d change the channel when those commercials aired.

When you use intermittent catheters at home, you’re supposed to use a Catheter Insertion kit.  Each kit contains sterile gloves, Antiseptic Towelettes containing Benzalkonium Chloride to sanitize the urethra, a puppy pad (pictured left with the hydration fluid from the Bard blister pack) (it’s just an underpad in case you need to lay down and drain), a lubricating jelly (which I don’t use) and a collection bag (for trash or urine collection). I will admit I’m not as conscientious as I should be with this part of the procedure. I’m lucky to say I haven’t suffered any urinary tract infections.

Using catheters isn’t the worse thing in the world.  It does take over certain aspects of your life.  I don’t like leaving the house longer than 3 hours because cathing in a public restroom sucks.  On one particular excursion in a busy bathroom,  one lady asked another lady, “What the hell is she doing in there?” I was embarrassed as hell.

It’s been almost 6 weeks since my last post.  I have 2 surgeries scheduled for April.  I get to be a mother of the bride for a June wedding. Our family is also planning to move from Missouri to Florida by October.  I’ve been busier than I’d like.  But since I’ll be predominately housebound for a month, I should be able to catch up on some articles.  I’ll be reviewing the Oska Pulse.  To give you a sneak preview of some of the things I’ll cover:  It has reduced the swellings in my hands so much so that I now wear a size 7 ring instead of size 8.

Until next time!