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Thread: Afraid to switch from condom/leg bag to Intermitten Catheterization

  1. #11
    Hi Dan,
    Here are a couple videos you may find helpful:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj_5qzYgNRc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFACKDnE7Qk

    Below is a list of catheter manufacturers. Many manufacturers will send you samples of their catheters upon request.

    Resources: Catheter Manufacturers
    Mentor, 800/525-0245, www.mentorcorp.com
    Astra Tech, 877/456-3742, www.astratechusa.com
    Coloplast, 800/788-0293, www.us.coloplast.com
    Bard, 800/526-4455 , www.bardmedical.com
    Apogee Medical, 800/572-6461, www.apogeemed.com
    Rusch (Teleflex), 866/383-5124, www.myrusch.com
    Hollister, 800/323-4060, www.hollister.com"
    Rochester, 800/243-3315, www.rocm.com

    All the best,
    GJ

  2. #12
    I always hated cathing with a passion. I've worn a leg bag and external texas cath pretty much my whole SCI experience since 1981. What allowed me to keep doing this (after a six year stint of doing I/C along with the texas cath and leg bag which was super inconvienent, I switched docs and talked the new doc into doing another Sphinctorotomy (I had one originally in 1984 but that had gone bad) anyhow, 3 years later after the last Sphinctorotomy very few UTI's as long as I remember to lean back any apply pressure to my bladder every few hours to drain it and drink lot's of fluids. No inconvienence of having to worry to cath, I just look at those lean back's every 3 hours as taking a pee. I don't need hp bathrooms which is great, just the great outdoors, emptying the leg bag is a hell of lot more easy than cathing. The downside, the operation needs to be done aggressive or you might as well not do it and after you are very incontinent and have to wear a external cath and bag at all times, I guess there is price to be paid no matter which avenue you take when it comes to SCI bladder management.
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 12-14-2012 at 10:59 PM.
    "Life is about how you
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  3. #13
    Senior Member
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    Dan, you do not say why the urologist wants you to make a change. Is the current system not working for you and how is it not working?

    If everything is working from your perspective and there are no UTI's or other issues, there is no reason to change. If your bladder or kidneys are being adversely impacted by your current system, however, change is necessary. There is no reason why you cannot use the IC system (your urologist should be providing guidance as to type and frequency). There should also be a staff member available to assist you with methods, brands, features, etc.

    If this is not available or you do not understand and agree with the reasoning behind making a change, find a new urologist. --eak
    Elizabeth A. Kephart, PHR
    mom/caregiver to Ryan-age 21
    Incomplete C-2 with TBI since 3/09

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by crispy1981 View Post
    Also, what do you do if you can't get to a bathroom (get stuck on a plane during a flight for example). I've been on a plane delayed on runway before and if I didn't have a large leg bag i'd be in trouble.
    Quote Originally Posted by tasty View Post
    For plane trips or other difficult situations you can consider using a foley attached to a leg bag. Before cathing one of my worst experiences was a flight to the west coast. The five hour flight with no means of getting to the bathroom and no way to adjust my position so that I could void into the leg bag made me feel like my kidneys would explode.
    Note that all US aircraft (and foreign aircraft serving US cities) with more than 60 seats are required to have an on-board wheelchair, used to transport passengers to the lavatory.

    I completely understand that using the OBWC and the airplane lavatory is a pain in the ass, but I just wanted to point out that it is an option.

  5. #15
    Senior Member arod636's Avatar
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    Try vesicare its great for leaking. Also just get a lil bag to carry around the caths. If I only need a few I just fold them up an put them in my pockets but you could fit a bunch in a backpack just get wipes and you're good. I've cath'd on a plane just asked for a blanket and put it over and did my business.

  6. #16
    I would tell your doc about leaking. Probably should try a new med or add one.

    Cant help on the switch. I have always done ic.

  7. #17
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    If your bladder has shrunk over the years it may take time to stretch it back out to where you can cath every 4 hours without leaks. I'd suggest calling your uro back for a "talk" about how to deal while your bladder is readjusting and let him/her know that you need a nurse along who knows the various equipment needed and all the brands so you can discuss what is best for you. I agree that while many use foleys to fly you may want to use the condom cath for those times and empty, if needed, any bag into a disposable water bottle and toss it or give it to a steward to trash in a barf bag.

    Detrol, I believe, is the starter drug for bladder spasms. You can also ask to try Vesicare and Ditropan XL. Make your uro understand that leaking pee in the professional environment is not acceptal to you.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #18
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Cathing through a condom catheter is playing Russian Roulette with urinary tract infections. It is not a practice that is endorsed by urologists.

    All the best,
    GJ
    I am sure the endorsement would change if they divided the uros into those with no bladder problems themselves and those who have experienced the thrills of a SCI, MS, TM, or surgery for prostate cancer themselves. I mean have you ever asked your uro how often he considers an accident to be acceptable? Ask sometime. Then ask if that number is for you or him/her.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by crispy1981 View Post
    Anyone have tips/advice for me? I am T3/T4 male para and have been reflex voiding using a condom catheter leg bag for 30 years. My urologist wants me to switch to Intermittent cath but I don't have experience with it.

    He gave me a prescription of Detrol but I only lasted 2 hours before I was leaking. I work for an insurance company as a systems engineer and i'm responsible for the system that processes our annuities (largest part of our income) so I need to be able to attend meetings and some travel etc. Also have a part time job (own a franchise) so I am nervous about how I can continue if I can't solve the leaking problem.


    I also have no idea what products to use to IC (intermittent catheterize) while out of the house and how to carry them around.

    Also, what do you do if you can't get to a bathroom (get stuck on a plane during a flight for example). I've been on a plane delayed on runway before and if I didn't have a large leg bag i'd be in trouble.

    any advice from some IC veterans is very much appreciated! I know you're out there!

    Anyone else have trouble with getting the meds to work?

    Anyone recommend botox over drugs?

    thanks, dan
    Someone asked why my urologist wants me to switch. It is due to what they believe to be high pressure and also due to the fact I have residual urine after voiding. I don't remember the numbers but I'll find out. They thought both were too high. And he didn't mention this but there also is the dysreflexia where the allopathic consensus is that results in high blood pressure which can cause cardio issues (had an EKG Friday...doc says i'm completely fine...i'm going to have a bladder scope next and kidney test).

    I will say that i'm not convinced IC can solve the pressure problem nor am I convinced that is a problem. I don't have any science to support my thoughts but logically I think reflex voiding into a leg bag actually limits the problem of urine backing up into the kidneys regardless of the pressure! That system has an advantage over even those with normal functioning bladders because the bladder releases the urine within seconds of having hit the high pressure whereas those who need to find a bathroom have to deal with prolonged pressure until they can get access to a toilet! In my mind the pressure would have to be prolonged for it to cause any issues even if it does momentarily start back up toward the kidneys! And while us SCI ppl have chronic problems with UTIs normal folks get them too. Maybe if normal folks wore leg bags they'd fix that problem!

    And on the subject of IC to resolve dysreflexia from what I've heard some of the IC folks actually do continue to get dysreflexia type symptoms when THEIR bladders get full. But i'd love to get feedback on this from some of the IC folks...because i only got one IC user's feedback on this so far.

    The issue of retention I DO believe is a problem with reflex voiding and for that reason i'm interested in getting well acquainted with IC and perhaps switching (if i can figure out how). However I do believe if you retain urine after voiding the only time that is an issue is if that urine is bad. I have been successful in limiting my e coli infections by making a renewed commitment to drinking more and using d-mannose religiously. I used to average 1-2 utis/yr and i'm still going on 2.5 yrs ecoli infection free while still on my condom cath/leg bag/night bag routine.

    But I do have a warning about d-mannose that i'm not sure is valid but i'll throw it out there. What happened to me is I got a new bug in july that is not e coli (Coagulase negative Staphylococcus or CNS). So i'm starting to hypothesize that by eliminating e coli I may have opened the door to this new bug to flourish! Just a thought...i'm no health scientist but I will tell you this bug is hard to kill...it is only sensitive to Macrobid and apparently macrobid is not great at killing anything...and my first RX of macrobid didn't kill it. However this bug may only inflict those with indwelling devices. I'm one of the unlucky few that had a uroligist convince me i need to have a urolume inserted in my urethra to hold open the valve so i would drain easier...didn't work. And apparently this bug loves indwelling devices. So my thought is i could have always had a CNS germ party going on where that urolume is and it only got access to the bladder once the e coli were less prevalent.

    Initially they were treating me for e coli because they didn't get a culture (don't ask...they refused my sample) so they had me on the wrong ABX for about a month because I wasn't getting any better (go figure eh?). So my uro immediately determined I need to start to do IC because of the rash of UTIs and because the urodynamics indicated high pressure and residual (been living with this for 30 yrs) and i'm guessing he made the suggestion because it appears to be the general consensus that IC is superior to condom cath. They also suggested Supra pubic too. I'm thinking it would be really useful to have a comparison of UTI rates for each method.

    Let me say to all you UTI warriors...you're a courageous group and thank you so much for you advice. i'm taking it all in and trying to make an educated/informed decision.

    thanks!
    Last edited by crispy1981; 12-15-2012 at 02:30 PM. Reason: fix spacing

  10. #20
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    My new uro wanted me to switch from urethral to SP and yet both raise the risk of cancer and my gain? No guarantee I won't leak out my urethra if I get a SP in the garden hose size tube down my leg and an open stoma that any decently fitting jeans may rub raw versus the possible leaking around the urethral as I age. The only time this has ever happened was when I had a never before bug uti last year. I have full feeling in the bladder area and have never had bladder spasms like that before. This was not the hormone related leaking the uro described. I did get a scope followed by a biopsy and everything was clear.

    I did IC for the first 10 years but when you have feeling that 'cath every 6 hours' is nuts! Finally the uro community came out with every 3 to 4 hours and for a quad who needs help cathing that just isn't reasonable anymore. It feels so much better but it isn't reasonable. Or not for me.

    If you need to write down your situation to get it clear, do it. Then condense that into questions and your wants before going into seeing your doc again. Definitely question why no C & S everytime you suspect or have symptoms of an uti. That is basic Do Not Overuse or Abuse Antibiotics 1O1. If your doc still thinks they aren't necessary ask him to explain in detail why he doesn't. If he doesn't switch to testing efore prescribing find a new uro.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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