• entries
  • comments
  • views

External Catheters



Last Wednesday, Dec 4, we went to a stroke group meeting where the subject being discussed would be bladder and bowel control. It has been a real pain and hinderance to not be able to go anywhere to speak of because of the 2.5 hr window of time before he needed to be changed. Most places it took nearly an hour just to get there, and the only option once there was a multi stall women's room. This lead to us missing many things. So, we seemed to be the only people interested in the external catheter info, and she gave us a conveen catheter and bag w/tubing to sample. It went pretty good that day, and he wore a pullup incase anything went awry. I only had to get a urinal to empty it in at his ankle during the day, he also sits on a bed pad incase anything should leak thru. It worked well all day, but at bed time, it had recently slipped off, and so his undies came to the rescue. (we use Assurance pull-ups in the daytime, from Walmart)


I could drive someonewhere in the car with him, that takes 1 hr to get there, and empty it while he is sitting in the car before going in, buying us another 2.5 hours! We are on pins and needles waiting for the delivery which should be today. I think I got a 25oz one for lower leg wear and an even larger one for bedside. I don't know how long you are supposed to use the bags before throwing out and starting over. I've heard you can rinse them, but found that really difficult to get water in that little tube opening. Even if rinsed, they must have a wear out point, with I don't know when that is.


Oh, and our son and fiance are coming in for the Christmas holidays so this will really make it easier to function during their visit. If the weather allows, we could even go out and not worry - well, there is always a little worry of leakage, no matter what.


Recommended Comments

Sandy, I love the way you always know how to handle any situation that "Mr Stroke" throws your way!


Great that your Son and his fiance are coming for the holiday. Enjoy, and have a bless time.



Link to comment

Dan and i tried the external cath - it doesent work for us , but i appreciated the mechanics behind it -- dan was the reason it wont work, but he will use a urinal now which has helped a lot !!!! vinegar is what you are supposed to use to rinse with-- but i bet you already knew that , cause you are always well researched .. i do admire that about you... and oh what fun for christmas !!!

Link to comment

Nancy, I'm thinking I need one of those really large syringes that I can pop in the top of the catheter tube and rinse it thru. Oddly, I think I might have one around here from when I worked for a veteranarian and used one on a sick pet to give water. I'll have to see if I can find it...


There are many different brands of these things, and I have no idea about which is actually the best, but I did have the one conveen to try, so after a trial run, ordered a bunch of all the parts needed. I really will be glad to not have to lug out those really really heavy bags of urine soaked diapers. I don't know how the guy lifts that garbage can on garbage day. I'm guessing it will make his day too!

Link to comment

Sandy: absolutely the vinegar to rinse any collection bag and air dry overnight. If you open the bottom of the bag and keep it lower than the tip, you can put the tip to the faucet and it should drain right through. I am lucky in that the sink is right next to the shower. I just lay the open bag on the shower floor. However, you could go right into the toilet if it is close enough.


State requires us to change our bags every three months at the facility. Since you are in your own home, each should last you a long time if they remain intact.


We no longer use one here at home. Bruce had to have it for the pool in the early years. And yes, there are many types. If it works I will send you my stash - they are all in sterile bags, lightweight enough to send by mail. We'll chat.


I do hope with some experience using them this frees you and Bob up for some well-earned days and evenings out. Also there are larger leg bags (the ones that go under his pants). Again, if this works, you investigate. Use one of your glass containers to drain the bag. Seal up tight and you can put into your tote and empty first bathroom you get to.


Great news.

Link to comment

I'm thinking those ads are for the INTERNAL catheters. They don't care if you are peeing yourself, but care if you can't pee yourself. I suppose because if you can't pee it will kill you, so more a MEDICAL need.

Link to comment

Sandy i was just thinking -- dan had a more frequent urge to urinate and went a lot more often untill we got him on the medication to help him pee -- it makes sure he empties his bladder fully. it is called tamsulosin it is generic. it is a prostate drug - although dans is not really enlarged ( for his age) the urologist thought it would help with the repeated bladder infections ( it has) -( although IV'ing has as well). just a thought.. nancyl

Link to comment

Nancy, I use the same med plus Finasteride 5MG tab together every night. That's why I use the urinal at night it's easier than going into the bathroom in the dark!

Link to comment

Nancy, Bob does have an enlarged prostrate and went thru scrapings and all and was due to go back in Mar 2012, but had his stroke Feb 29, 2012. We would leave the house right after he urinated, and when we got to Walmart, 5 minutes away, he'd be running into the bathroom. I will follow up on that med.

Link to comment

Debbie, I always wondered how he went in the pool if he was incontinent. I'm still having trouble understanding how to hide that under a swimsuit!


Yesterday's delivery only brought in leg bags, I was sooooo disappointed. But today the catheters came. He is wearing it now, hope there are no blow outs!

Link to comment

Sandy: the swim trunks do not hide the bag. It is strapped to his leg, just like with pants. Many in the pool used them, so it wasn't the social trauma going into a public pool might have been. Do keep us updated.


I did try them for overnight. Just so tired of washing linen, especially if he was on his side and not fully protected by the bed pads - we use two, one under and one over the bottom fitted sheet. But with the Ditropan finally regulated and careful emptying before bedtime, plus I really feel brain recovery and Bruce understanding he had to concentrate to get some control back; naps he remains continent and overnight usually just one go - no soaking through. But that also means getting up with him between 3 and 4 am and helping him with the urinal. It is so worth it for us.


That is why I was so excited that you and Bob may have found a solution for both of you. I think this is the one area the professional drop the ball. I do this for a living, but how many caregivers do? That is why this site is so important. Debbie

Link to comment

sandy -- laughing a little at your description of the vacationers... truth isent it ? hang in there !! I know if there is a solution to be found - you will find it !! dan was the same way - he would go to the bathroom and go to the bathroom over and over again with varying amount of urine ( never knew if it would be a little or a lot) and he just would "pull" on his penis as if to get the urine out ( he did not have a UTI) and one of the nurses at the hospital observed him and made the recommendation. he empties a lot more urine in a single increment and seems emptied and doesent have to go again and again... i remember once we had a issue at a shopping mall.. 4 times in a row we had to go back and forth to the BR i would get him all cleaned up and oops he had to go again... and like debbie for a loooong time i would get dan up and down at night - wow exhausting.. now with the urinal ( and no briefs on at night) he has been much better and no wet briefs at night mean a less chance of UTI's !!! as you know those are a real beast ....

Link to comment

Yes, I can relate to this topic also. Larry has an enlarged prostate and takes the max pills. The next step would be the "microwave type surgery" which does not require general anesthesia. Larry can hoist himself up at night with the bed cane and use the urinal. He sometimes gets up more than 4 times. I agree with Debbie, the professionals do not even go into this. Before Larry was discharged, the case manager said "he may need to use the urinal" I had no clue! Larry was only incontinent for a few weeks after the stroke. For that I am thankful. But the prostate problem started before the stroke, therefore we deal with that now too.



Link to comment

I guess it is the loss of cognition (I hate those therapist that told me Bob was EXACTLY the same as before mentally, he just couldn't find the words). I'd like to dump a soaked diaper on their heads and tape it shut! Oh well, too much Christmas spirit on that one I guess. But the point is, Bob can't figure things out. If he were continent (wait, is that geographic term?) and only had to pee once every 6 hours, he still would not be able to pull his pants down and get the urinal cap off and pee in it and NOT drop & spill it.


Bob REALLY REALLY REALLY pees a lot during the night. It's like a flood, and thank God for bed pads of all kinds, I got 3 different ones under him, and change his guards at night. I think he goes the most after 6am, oddly.

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.