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Sunday, September 29, 2013

How to Hide a Bag of Pee

When Bob received his first prescription for condom catheters, the medical supply company sent the typical Medicare approved 35 condoms, 2 leg bags and 2 bedside bags. The leg bags strapped to the thigh with latex bands. These worked fine in the chilly winter months, when Bob wore long pants, but I began to worry how this was going to look in the warmer months when he wore shorts.

I mean, who wants to go around in public with a bag of pee strapped to your thigh? Because, truth be told, it is not always convenient or easy to empty it right away. And even empty, this thing is ugly...

The leg bag holder as supplied by Medicare.

So I asked around, first calling the medical supply company, then posting on caregiver forums, but the only solutions out there were "don't wear shorts" or "buy really baggy long shorts like the teenagers wear" or one clever lady gave me instructions on how to sew a cath bag holder that would attach to a belt.

None of these solutions worked for Bob, because I wouldn't dream of making him wear long pants in the hot summer months, nor did I want to see him clad like some teenage boy. And then there is the fact that I am not so clever with a needle and thread.

Finally, I found a working solution and this is what we've been using all summer long:

Bob's new leg bag holder, by CareFix

It's called a "Carebag" and made by a company called CareFix. I found Bob's online at Allegro Medical for around $8.50.  It's simply a stretchy fabric tube that slips over the leg with a pocket for the leg bag to fit into. I know it's not perfect, as you can still see it, but so much better than looking at a clear plastic bag of pee! So far, it's worked for us.

It was only recently, when Bob was in the recovery area of Outpatient Surgery, that one of the nurses there became so utterly thrilled at this Carebag that she called not one, not two, but three different nurses to Bob's bedside to look at his leg bag holder. Then, she brought in the woman who orders medical supplies and showed it to her. She took down the name of company and the name of the product and told me that she was going to look into ordering these for the patients they send home with catheters.

After that incident, I thought I'd share this information here, for those caregivers or cath wearers out there who may be looking for a way to hide a leg bag or an alternative to wearing the insurance paid for one with the uncomfortable straps.


J.L. Murphey said...

Good deal, Diane. It sure beats a pillow case.

Anonymous said...

I love your innovativeness (is that a word?). Oh...AND your candor.

Stephany Harvey said...

This is a really good idea. I can especially appreciate it, because my husband struggled with the same issue when he was dying of bladder cancer. He actually made himself a bag to hang from his belt, but it had its limits, too. I plan to pass this on to the people at the bladder cancer website.

Rebecca Dutton said...

I totally get this. The aesthetic appearance of an adaptive device is important.