My first urologist was a rather young and very busy urologist.  On my first visit, I sat on a table much like the tables used at the OB GYN office.  I laid back with my feet in stirrups as the doctor inserted a tube into my urethra to empty a huge volume of urine from my bladder. He also took a biopsy of my bladder to rule out bladder cancer.   I was told I needed to come back the next day for self-catheter insertion training. The doctor reminded me again that I had lost my normal urge/feeling to urinate on my own, but that with intermittent catheterization I could have a very healthy normal life.
My first introduction to inserting a catheter was brief.  A nurse assistant came in and had me sit on the edge of a table and helped me just feel for the spot where I was to place the catheter.  I was surprised at how far back my urethra was; it felt like it was right next to the opening of my vaginal opening.  The training on inserting a catheter, which was quick and left me wanting, was over before I really did it myself.  I felt like I needed more time . . . yet I was sent off to start this life of using/needing an aid to pee.  The nurse’s assistant gave me two extra catheters. My first catheter was a fourteen French, a rubber, reusable type.  The nurse did not give me advice about the different types of catheters, which I plan to write about in another post.   She told me of the importance of continuing to self-catheterize. 
 I found out that I needed to get more catheters right away.  I had my prescriptions from the doctor, but learned quickly that you cannot buy catheters in drug stores.  You need to buy them online. The mystery was solved by Cornell Drug Store, who gave me an advertisement for “Shield Products”.  It was a relief to find what I needed, because the next day I was welcoming a guest teacher into my home for ten days.  I was not sure how I would handle a house-guest with my new project. But it all ended up well. With the regular cathing, I felt so much better and had more energy to enjoy my house guest.
When I got home that first night I was just so hungry for information.  The articles I found online about self-catheterization suggested I use a mirror. Ok, I thought, it is worth a try: it did not take me long to realize that one would need to use three hands besides needing more room and perhaps a flashlight between my legs.  Twas impossible to fit all that in the toilet bowl.   It was quite dark, so I finally gave up that approach and just slowly did it.  The urine came out and I peed like a racehorse again.  Now that I look back, I cannot help but wonder how many women use a mirror to insert a tampon for the first time?  I bet those directions were written by a man!