Trudy Triumph's Neurogenic Bladder Blog

Hospitals and a Neurogenic Bladder

Hospital picture bike
My sister, her husband and me (with the bike I will give away because of the toe clips), and my husband.

You may have noticed that I have not posted lately. I have been doing some research on hospitals and the difficulty one can have if they have a neurogenic bladder. I did not voluntarily sign up for this project, it just kind of happened.

Here is my story . . .

What started as weekend getaway to the beach and the first bike ride of the day, ended with an ambulance ride back home, hip surgery the next day and three days in the hospital. It is one thing to deal with a broken hip but having a broken hip and a neurogenic bladder is one tough cookie.

After spending four hours in the emergency room as the on-call doctor sent x-rays and cat scans to an orthopedic surgeon for advice, I NEEDED TO PEE. I explained that I had a neurogenic bladder and needed to use a catheter. Because I am a woman, they gave me a bedpan that was really shallow. As the urine flowed, the shallow bedpan tipped and there was urine all over the bed. So this is my first tip about this: if you are offered a shallow bed pan to relieve yourself, ask for a vomit bag or the type of urinal that men get. We women-catheter users, have a penis, and can aim and shoot into small areas (targets). Problem solved, the next time I am in an emergency room, which I hope is never again.

The next day I had three pins put in my hip to hold the bones together. The doctor ordered the dreaded Foley catheter and told the nurses that it needed to stay in the duration of my hospital stay. The day I woke up from surgery I asked to have it out, but needed to wait until the next day because of the doctor’s order and it was the weekend. I think that the doctor ordered the foley because he knew I had a neurogenic bladder. I did not make it clear to him that I am perfectly able to cath myself. I had the suspected bladder infection when I returned home, no suprise. If I had a chance to do this part over again I would have advocated for “No Foley”.

It was at the hospital I learned that I needed to be off my leg for up to two months. I am bitterly disappointed about this, with school starting next week. It will start without me.

It was interesting that I had to be really clear about what I needed from the beginning. As a matter of fact, three of the nurses showed signs of sadness, sympathy and grave concern when I told them of my physical disability.  Note to self: NEVER GO THERE at school!! At the high school level, in which I work, we know better than to force our own methods for dealing with personal preferences/practices. We try to take the students from where they are and build on all the resources they have. We encourage students to work with what they have, because what they have is perfect for them. Perfection has so many faces because we are all so different. I must admit the emotional response of the nurses made me feel like a freak of nature instead of a healthy woman getting ready to heal. All of the nurses were really interested in seeing my catheter and how easy it was to use.  At this point I’d like to start a medical revolution and train medical staff to use intermittent catheterization.

Since my home has multiple stairs I have been sent to my daughter’s house.  I am happy to report her care was loving and good.  She was nothing like the animal I knew in her teen years.  God is indeed good!

Remember me telling you about my Big John Toilet seat? Lots of room to take care of my business, well…..my daughter has a teeny tiny toilet seat, that in her small toilet stall, along with my walker, I have had to adapt, big time. A roll to one hip, (the good one) does quite nicely.

We need to be flexible in life. I feel like I am rewriting the book on being flexible; both my mind and body are being stretched. I will have a good attitude along the journey!!

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