In May 2017 I had a urinary retention episode while on vacation in central Oregon that kicked off my life with a catheter at age 68. Now I'm 72 -- still doing the intermittent catheterization thing five times a day.
It took me about three months before I was able to first write about my situation in "Given my peeing problem, be warned about asking 'How are things going?""
Since, I've written fifteen other posts about my life with a catheter. That's a thin (thankfully) plastic tube that is inserted into the urethra and thence into the bladder to remove the urine that, for one reason or another, isn't flowing out like it needs to.
Those posts are in the "Living With a Catheter" category of this blog, which used to be called "My Peeing Problem." Categories are listed in the right sidebar.
I've learned a lot about how a man, me, copes with the massively life-changing event of artificially urinating on a schedule rather than just popping into the nearest bathroom, or behind the nearest tree, to take a piss.
I try to think of using a catheter as being differently abled, peeing-wise, but that only works in my better moments.
And much of the time, I'm not having a good moment. That was true more often in the early days of my catheter use. Now I've settled into a routine that goes pretty well for me -- aside from the occasional times that it doesn't.
The question I'm grappling with now, as indicated in the title of this post, is whether any man out there who is using a catheter wants to know what I've learned about handling life with a catheter. I've only gotten a few comments on the other posts I've written, so part of me wonders if there's any purpose in writing more posts.
In case you're interested in any of the following subjects, I'd appreciate your leaving a comment on this post to that effect. Or, email me.
I'm very much willing to share what I've learned, but I'd be more eager to do this if I had a sense that there are other men wanting to know what I've experienced during the past three and a half years. Here's some of the questions I've grappled with and found personal answers to.
(1) What brand of catheter is best?
(2) What routine should I use before inserting a catheter?
(3) What to do when a catheter won't go into the bladder?
(4) How to handle anxiety, and even depression, about having to use a catheter?
(5) Can you travel when you need to use a catheter to urinate?
(6) How much to tell others about your bladder problem?
(7) How to deal with urologists who aren't very sympathetic?
(8) What's the best place to get catheters?
(9) Could diet play a role in how easy it is to insert a catheter?
There's more that I could share about my life with a catheter, but these have been some key issues for me.
I might go ahead and write about these questions, sharing the posts as links underlying each question. As noted above, I'd simply feel better if I knew that some other men were interested in the answers.