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Monday, July 8, 2013

More Condom Catheter Horror Stories...

I tell you, when Bob got his first supply of condom catheters, I was in a state of bliss. It was a godsend. A miracle. Just to be able to take him somewhere and not spend the whole freaking time in the men's room. I was so elated, I was ready to wax poetic on the subject, you know, a la John Keats, who wrote:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
It's loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still keep...
etc. etc.

Except my version would have gone something like this:

A bag of urine is a joy forever!
Because then you never never never
Have to spend all your time in the blasted men's room!
etc. etc.

Okay, it needs work. But that was just a draft that never got off the ground because just when you think you've got it all figured out and everything is working perfectly, an event such as The Serial Killer & The Exploding Catheter happens. Click here if you missed that exciting episode.

Since then, we've had The Amazing Cannonball of Urine episode. Which happened one day while I was in the kitchen and heard Bob crying out, "Help! Help!" Of course, I immediately dashed to his rescue and was absolutely horrified to see a giant balloon of pee (think, size of a grapefruit here) anchored on Bob's thigh, growing between the condom of the catheter and the anti-reflux valve of the leg bag. And no matter what I did, trying to squeeze/press/push that ball of urine into the anti-reflux valve so it would go down into the bag, it simply was not working. The valve was simply not "anti-refluxing". And here, all the while, was Bob still peeing, still filling that balloon of urine, which was growing and growing and growing to the size of a cannonball and I was scared out of my wits that the thing was going to pop and blast its contents all over the room.  Finally, I managed to pinch the end of the condom cath with my fingers, and quickly, very quickly, disconnect the leg bag and empty the contents of that cannonball into the urinal....

Since then, we've had no end of "blow outs" and "back ups" and so I'm talking about drenched bedsheets and drenched Bob and drenched wheelchairs. One of which happened while Chris was on duty and I was at the grocery store, in the cat food aisle, when my phone rings and I hear a frantic Chris on the other end...

The big problem seems to be that there is a space in the condom between the head of the penis and end of the spout, and this is where the urine collects and gets stuck or backs up.  Not to mention that this uncomfortable for Bob.

Then there was the day that I peed on Bob's bed--well, not technically, but-- this happened when I was emptying the leg bag contents into a urinal, something I've done many times without incident, except this time, when somehow the drainage valve slipped out of the urinal and I didn't realize it until I went to empty the urinal and found it already empty. Because I had pretty much just emptied the whole contents of the leg bag onto the bedsheets...

Then there's the ongoing bed bag trouble. These are the bags that attach to the bedrails, as opposed to the leg bags which attach to, well, Bob's leg. And I don't know who designs these things, but I bet the designers have never actually knelt on the floor and emptied urine from one of them. Because when you're kneeling/squatting on the floor trying to empty the urine from the bag, the drain valve is a very important thing. Case in point, the first bags we received had a drain valve which was sort of short rubber hose with a plastic clip on it.  The clip was extremely difficult to open and if/when you finally got it opened, you had to be careful not to open it too far. If you opened it too far, the rubber hose piece would fall off. Thus all the pee would drain out quite quickly, which is not a bad thing, unless there is more pee in the bag than your bucket can hold and no longer a hose to clip to stop the urine flow... Which happened.  Many times. And then, too, there was the day which the hose and clip both fell off the bag into the bucket. And I had to fish them out. With my bare hands. I tell you, I did this without even thinking and it wasn't until the aroma hit me, and I realized I had my hand in a bucket of pee, that I nearly lost all my cookies right then and there.

So I requested a different style of bed bag and got one. These new bags have a fancy looking "Easy Tap Drain Valve". This valve works like a plastic slide bolt. Which looked like a good idea. Until you find out that it is NOT an 'easy tap' at all, unless you are using a hammer or a wrench or both. And once you do actually manage to get the darn bolt slid over, it's nearly impossible to slide it back in place. And once again, there is urine all over the floor. The second bag in the set only survived one night's use and in the morning, the bolt action got stuck in the middle and I couldn't push it forward or backward and had only the slightest trickle of pee coming out of and I figured at that rate it would take over an hour to empty 1200 ml of urine, so I threw the whole shebang, still filled with urine, into the trash. Biohazard, be damned. And then I had to fish out the last of the clip and hose bags from the trash, attempt to bleach it out, no easy feat, so it could be reused. Then I had to duct tape the hose back onto the drain....

And why is it that the insurance company only covers two bags a month? Don't they realize how gross these things can get.  Even the bags themselves are marked "single usage only"....

So anyway, we are back to Square One on the condom cath front. The medical supply company is sending more samples of other styles/designs of both the condoms and the bags and we will see what happens. Hopefully, the supply company will figure out a solution. We can't be the only ones dealing with this issue.

Today, we are off to the surgery center for Bob's foot surgery.

Never a dull moment here, at The Pink House.









 

4 comments:

Shelly Russell said...

Okay so now I don't feel so stupid! Lol, we are still trying to find the right fit! His keeps rolling up and off. Thank god for depends!

Jenn said...

Monday. 10:40 pm my time. Thoughts of you & Bob are heavy on my mind. Praying all is going smoothly, that all went exceptionally well. Much love to you <3

J.L. Murphey said...

Have been in prayer for you and Bob since yesterday.

As always your catheter fill me horrified laughter as I visual the events as you tell them. The thing about catheters is they are an artificial thing trying to control a hard to control naturally occurring function. The fancier they make them; the hard it is. Hugsssss!

SSTattler said...

At least urine is sterile!

John A/SSTattler