Trudy Triumph's Neurogenic Bladder Blog

Slimy Tubes & Tricky Situations

 I had so much to learn in the beginning about the different types of catheters a person with a neurogenic bladder could use.  I was shown a few single-use catheters at my next doctor’s appointment.  I selected a Lofric single-use catheter, that is lubricated with water. It became a hassle to carry sterile water, so I then ordered small lubrication packets called E-Z Lubricating Jelly. 

Privacy is important to me.  I don’t want others to know about my hygiene regiment, so at times situations get complicated, when I need to pee.   At work, I work at a local high school, I tried restrooms closer to my classroom, but that arrangement did not work out. It didn’t work out for a number of reasons: the first is that I need a sink in the stall; the second reason is kind of funny.   Since I cath, I have the flexibility in how I stand when I relieve myself.   I have a penis of sorts and can stand facing the toilet.  What if someone notices the position of my feet?  The toilet in the nurse’s office is perfect because there is a sink in the toilet area; it is essential to wash my hands.  I also like to keep  a stash of catheters handy for me to use.  So, I now have complete privacy, except for the fact that there are a million kids that can see me leave the nurses office, at times.  I am lucky I work with a population that can be a bit self-absorbed and not even notice my trek to the nurse’s office.

When I am gallivanting around, I carry my catheters in a side pouch.  I know this sounds silly but I am afraid of not having them with me in case the big earthquake hits.   The catheters are not easy to dispose of when I am out and about, especially if I am visiting a home, where I know the person emptying the so I carry a zip-lock baggie, which I can just carry out.  I have a “don’t tell” policy; it is easier that way.

All was well with the single use catheters until I took a group of kids to Japan and the catheters I took, for an overnight excursion to Kyoto.  It was so hot there they melted in the heat. I would have had to go to a hospital, to buy what I needed, if I did not take along some sample catheters I saw on a website, called Speedicath.  They are what I use now.

Shield Health Products does not carry Speedicath.  I had to try another company.  My first order was sent with extra product, to bilk the insurance company, I suppose.  When I received my first shipment I was horrified to see that besides my little shoe-box size box of catheters, I was sent two huge boxes of insertion kits. An insertion kit contains sterile gloves, a pad, a container to collect urine, and a mask.  The idea behind the insertion kit is to care for the bedridden person that needs a caregiver to help with the toileting tasks.  These insertion kits were automatically sent along with Speedicath catheters.  They could be called little rockets because they are for women, who are on the go, like me.  I am not needy at all.  The Speedicath catheter can be used by a marathon runner who needs to pee in a porta-potty, really fast, wanting to win the race, without hand-washing; because of their firmness, there is no need to touch the labia. They are also lubricated and so compact. "Why the insertion kit, I tried to comprehend?"  A clown nose, I could use, but not that. No wonder we spend so much on insurance. " I was beyond upset getting the kits, because perhaps they gave me a picture of myself, disabled and needing help to pee. I feel healthy and vital and I am not willing to think of myself in that needy way.   So, I then called the company and they told me that the boxes did not come due to error.  With this new product, Speedicath, insertion kits needed to come along, too.  It was and is hard to comprehend why the company paired the two products up.  I could not use them together.  They are meant for two entirely different toileting needs. “NOT ON MY WATCH”, I thought!  After many phone calls and intent to change companies for my medical supplies, the bosses’ boss told me that I could be the exception to this rule. I still might change companies since I feel like what they did is dishonest. I am still not sure of the rationale behind the decision.  My new medical supply is taking care of me now, though.  I have no complaints.  I have now received several shipments from them and all is well.

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