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Self Cathing--Easy or hard?

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  • Self Cathing--Easy or hard?

    Hi all,

    I'm having some very bad retention, and tomorrow I'm going to learn how to cath myself. My interstim needs a reprogramming, and we have to try to figure out when I can get in with the rep, he lives 4 hours away and my uro is an hour away who he works with. My main uro is in town. It's a big mess, but anyway...

    My uro is going to teach me tomorrow how to cath myself. I'm very nervous and it easy? Hard? Help!

    Hugs and love,
    Mommy to 2 crazy, wonderful kids and wife to the most amazing man in the world!

  • #2
    Those that do it say it's quite easy. I guess once you find the technique that works for you. it's pretty simple. Good luck!
    Hugs, Kathi toilet
    One Day At A Time


    • #3
      I was taught about 3 weeks ago and I found it really hard but fortunately my husband never missed a beat and he went with me and he learned how so he does mine for me. I am a heavy woman so it was hard for me to get in a position that was comfortable. My sister in law self-caths and she says it is very easy and was 9 months pregnant and was self-cathing because the nurse in the hospital was hurting her. Dont be too nervous, really I am sure you will be just fine. hi hi


      • #4

        It's extremely easy! I was terrified at first but it turns out easier than using a tampon ever was for me. I use the LoFric Plus catheters that were designed with the help of Dr. Lowell Parsons. They are lubed with water, very small and smooth. I also use a 2% lidocaine gel for extra lubrication and numbing at the same time. I put it directly on the tip of the catheter. PM me if you have any questions! Good Luck!

        Live life to the fullest day to day. The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

        DX: IC - November 2002 after hysterectomy
        Interstim implanted March 2006 - died May 2011
        Interstim replacement June 2011
        Meds: Pain meds, muscle relaxer, cystex, and marcaine bladder instills as needed.
        Docs: Pain management doc, urologist, family practice


        • #5
          hi Jess,
          as you know i cath myself daily when i have no uti and i do my own dmso.
          I found it quite easy to do this others may have a harder time.
          even the first time i done it at home i tried to use a mirror and that just got in the way i stand over the tolit which is easiest for "me" and for some reason i get it in every time the urine starts to come out with no problem.
          i have done it laying down but that seemed to be more of a mess. I find it easiest over the tolit so everything can be flushed at one time.
          if you need me let me know you got my email addy i have some other ways i can tell you to try if you need it i will help you step to step if you need it i also have a paper here to give me other ways of trying it.
          hope everything goes well for you tomorrow.
          sending you healing hugs and prayers
          Medicine taken daily or as needed:
          1. Heaprin and Marcaine rescue installment 1 to 3x daily as needed.
          2. MS.Cotin 100mg 3x daily
          3. MSIR 30mg 1 or 2 every 4-6hrs as needed for breakthrew pain.
          4. Fentanyl 100 mg Change every 48hrs.
          5. Gentamicin 80mg install after each rescue treatment
          5 Leviquin 500mg self start as needed.
          6. Klonopin 1 or 2 daily as needed.
          7. Prosed/DS as 1 every 6hrs as needed.

          I have IC, but IC doesn't have me anymore!


          • #6
            I tend to get a little "wordy" so just bear with me. I was having a terrible time with retention and would spend most nights on the toilet straining, crying, dribbling small amts of urine and then coming back in five minutes doing the same thing. I knew that when I went to the urologist that he was going to suggest cathing. My residual urine at his office that day was 700 cc's. He was very concerned. He had me watch a video first on self catherization and then the nurse showed me how to do the catheter while sitting on the commode and sitting on the exam table. Anyway, it took me awhile to get the hang of it but after you learn it is very easy and in my case gave me a great deal of relief. I started out with a mirror (a compact mirror works great because you can adjust it and it will stand up on its own) and a flashlight. I know that might sound weird but it takes you awhile to figure out where everything is at. I sat on the bathroom floor at first with all of my supplies and put the end of the catheter in the emesis basin. The reason I say this is, yes, I have been careless enough to insert the catheter and not have the end of the catheter in the basin. I started out using a soapy wash cloth to wipe before I "cathed" but I soon moved to unscented baby wipes. This is my own person preference and I have never had an infection yet and have been doing it now for about 5 months. It is just handy. I also use Lidocaine Jel 2% to put on the tip of the catheter and when I first insert it I hold it in the urethra for a minute to let it numb some. I have found that not only is the lidocaine jel helpful with any discomfort, K Y Jelly is a little harder for me to insert the catheter. It will take you awhile to figure out where to insert the catheter, not long and then you will be able to find it easily. Once you get the stream going you will feel a "tug" and that means that the urine flow has stopped and then you can take the catheter out. I have moved from the floor to the commode now, sitting back on the toilet seat as far as I can get, set the emesis basin in front of me resting on the commode seat and have found that it is easier to insert the catheter and after you measure your cc's you can just dump the urine and there is alot less incident of spilling. Plus, it is harder for me to get up and down out of the floor as I get older. I always put the basin in the sink with hot soapy water and while the water is running I wash the outside of the catheter with antibacterial soap, rinse it off and then squirt some into the inside of the catheter and let the soap and water run through. There are alot of varying opinions on this but this is just how I do it and I have never had any problems with infection. Another helpful thing is a towel, a clean towel to lay all of your stuff on when you are doing your catheter. I also have a towel in my bedroom to lay my emesis basin and catheter on to air dry after I cath. I started out cathing four times a day for three months and now I do it at bedtime and as needed for retention. I know that this all sounds scary but it is not hard after you get the hang of it and be patient, it will take a little time but before long you will be able to do it quickly. It has been very, very helpful for me. I can now sleep better without having to get up every half hour and go to to the bathroom and when I have alot of retention it is a life saver. If you want you can email me at [email protected]. I know this is long but I think it will give you an idea of what to expect. Good luck and dont be afraid, you will find that you will get alot of comfort from it I hope. Susan


            • #7
              Jess~it's really easy once you get over the fear of doing it. I use a magnifying mirror, squat over it (no, not a pretty site) and do my thing. You do have to be careful and keep everything as sterile as possible. I soak my caths in just a tiny bit of bleach water and then before I use it I pour boiling water over it.....use the benedine and make sure that you using that in a safe place cuz it can stain and ruin anything it touches......

              GOOD LUCK, and let us know if you need more help blink
              Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow".


              • #8
                Just a couple of tips to what's already been written. If you put your forefinger right under your clitoris and lift gently up (forward, like towards your navel) the urethra will open up so you can easily see it. An alternate method is to bear down slightly and that will open it. I kneel over a handmirror. I can't handle sitting because that creates a slight bend in the urethra and it hurts me too bad to weave it around the bend. Another thing that helped me was to realize the urethra isn't really round and I was looking for something round. It's more like flower petals or a little cluster of tiny petals. That helped me a lot. Good luck. I'm an RN and patients tell me I'm a great cather. Little do they know...

                My bellydance "sisters" , our dogs, and me.