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Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Continuing Saga of the Condom Cath

Sizing Gauge
Three years ago, if anyone had told me that I would one day be blogging on the internet to total strangers about condom catheters and penis sizes, I tell you, I would have thought that person quite deranged.

But alas, life is strange and here I am....

Because, for these past two weeks, I have been up to my ears in sample condom catheters.

This because, the first box sent were too small.

Now you'd think the urologist, who ordered these, would know what he's doing.

He did, in fact, have Bob "try on" a few samples while we were in his office.

But when they began leaving an ugly red gash on Bob's you-know-what, I figured out that the doctor had ordered the wrong size. Especially, when he started to bleed!

Which was probably why the darn things were so frustratingly hard to get on. And to think, I struggled for two full weeks, wrestling with the fat worm, trying to squeeze poor Bob into them. Jeepers. But how was I to know? I mean, I've never done this before. And I was told, they are supposed to be "snug"... and of course, that home health nurse was absolutely no help in "teaching" me at all.... So here I am, once again, flying by the seat of my pants, trying to figure stuff out on my own.

But after the red bleeding gash appeared, I contacted the medical supply company who contacted the manufacturer who sent us some samples in the next two sizes up. Along with a sizing gauge.  Which was rather shocking to me. As there are only five sizes on it. And what's with that?

Because I know, and you know, and certainly almost every woman knows that men do NOT come in ONLY FIVE sizes.

So we started with the 30's which was "one size" up. But they still seemed too tight at the base. Then we tried the next size, 35's, which was a more comfortable fit and seemed the right one to order. Until we went out and about with it.

The first time, the whole darn thing slipped off. And there was Bob, happily peeing away, not even realizing he had become disconnected.

The second trial, when we got home, I discovered a huge sausage shaped balloon filled with pee between the bulb tip of the catheter and the catheter leg bag. And no matter what I did--shaking it this way and that--it wouldn't go down. Of course, I couldn't take it off him that way without a big mess.  So I'm shaking the sausage shaped balloon of urine, back and forth, trying to get the urine to flow down into the bag and then the darn thing decides to back flow, and it all squirts up out of the base of that condom.  So there I was with another mess on my hands. (And my arms, and Bob's legs, bed sheets and clothes.) GA!

Sizing Gauge #2
So I call the medical supply company again, and she calls the manufacturer who calls and tells me to try the 30's again, but this time, "cut it off" (meaning the base of the catheter, not Bob.)

So I try this, and it isn't easy. Imagine me, with sharp scissors, trying to carefully cut off the too tight base of the catheter while he is wearing it. Because that's the only way you can do it. These things have adhesive inside them. I tell you, Bob must trust me.

After I cut it off, the whole shebang just sort of glides off after an hour.

By then, I am truly beginning to wonder if this experiment is worth it.

So back with the medical supply company, and she decides to send me some different brands which come in different sizes.  Along with yet another sizing gauge, with different sizes, although, still only five of them.

Which makes one wonder, who the heck is running these companies? I'm thinking, it must be straight men without a lot of locker room experience...

So we tried "Freedom" and "Spirit" and "Liberty" (and why does this sound like a political campaign ad?)

We've had them too tight, too loose, and one too darn long--it got caught up and stuck in his pubic hair. So there I was, again, with sharp scissors in hand, aimed at Bob's private parts. Yikes.

We've had them too sticky--think, super glue here. And it's sticking to everything but what it's supposed to. And we've had them not sticky enough...

We've finally hit on one that I think/hope will work. It's called "Pop On".  Size 32. It's made of a soft silicone instead of latex. And you wouldn't believe how easy it is to get on! Though it's a bit of a dickens to get off.

And so far, so good!

I can't even believe I am blogging about this.

Life is, indeed, strange.


J.L. Murphey said...

Ah the lighter side of frustration isn't it grand! Poor aphasic Bob, bet he couldn't find his words when you came at his privates with those scissors. lol

Actually I've been desperate enough to smear Noxzema on my hubby's nether region and shave him. It made the process a whole lot simpler. With my DH it's a problem with fit also. If it fits the head it's too big for the shaft. Been there, am there, and with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not embarrassed reading this. I find in it quite interesting. I mean we are all adults here and I think you are very brave to say what others only think. Those that would be offended wouldn't be searching out a blog like this anyway. Keep talking girl.


Anonymous said...

I love your sense of humor in the midst of a very frustrating and messy situation. Again, your tenacity pays off with those numerous calls to the supply company to get answers to your questions and your efforts with the condom cath and the wiggly worm. It seems as if nothing in yours and Bob's life is simple any longer. My hat's off to you once again.

Hugs, Dan

Barbpolan said...

success must feel wonderful ... Relief, and all.

Joyce said...

I remember when I first shopped for condom caths. I walked out of the med supply store thinking, " I can't believe I just discussed the size of my husbands penis with a male clerk ! ".
Caregiving for a husband is certainly not a job for the meek, weak or shy.

Rebecca Dutton said...

Mind boggliung information. I had no idea.