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Thread: leaking catheter = infection?

  1. #1

    leaking catheter = infection?

    I've just started on antibiotic #3 and my catheter is leaking a lot and my bladder is spasming. Is this related to infection or something else entirely?

    I swear I am so tired of this shit. I don't care what anyone says, NOBODY was meant to live like this. It is just plain unnatural.

    I just wish something would finish me off once and for all.

  2. #2
    StarlightAngel - Have you been leaking throughout this current UTI? Are you on an antispasmodic for the bladder? Generally, the leakage is consistent with a UTI. How long have you been on the antibiotic? For recurrent infections it is recommended that a person be on a longer course of antibiotics.

    Have you increased your fluid intake? It would be beneficial for you to increase your fluids to at least 8 to 10 glasses (8 oz) daily (this amount should be exclusive of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as both act as diuretics and will deplete your body's fluid balance). I would also encourage you to avoid beverages that have a high sugar content, as this too can support the presence of urinary bacteria. CRF

  3. #3
    StarlightAngel - I am so sorry that you are going through all this. I have no advice or help that I can give you, but I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and hoping you will be ok.

    Hopefully, dawn will bring you a brighter, better day, free from infection and pain.

    Hang in there,


  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines
    Starlight - I know a little of how you feel. Sometimes I just hate living with the pressure. Pressure of always doing everything I can to stay healthy and knowing what the consequences are if I don't. Seems like it would be a whole lot easier sometimes just to check out.

    But life has its rewarding times, too. My goal is to end the constant recurring infections. There are lots of SCI who have no problems with their bladders. I wanna be one of them. So I'm going to give it my best shot. This year. Hell or high water.

    I think you should make it a goal, too. To finish off the UTIs once and for all. And let them leave the pretty lady alone to live her life.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  5. #5
    Jeff and Darlene - thank you for your encouraging are a great source of support for each other! Jeff, you are so right in that there are better days ahead. That is a healthy and helpful goal!! CRF

  6. #6
    Sending you good thoughts.

  7. #7
    While indwelling catheters may leak if you have an infection, leaking alone would not indicate an infection. Neither will a positive culture. For you to be considered to have an infection, you would also need to have at least one of the following: flank pain, fever & chills, malaise, elevated blood white count, etc.

    Remember that most experts do NOT recommend trying to get rid of resistant colonization in urine, as it is usually futile and can cause many side effects from the medications. Colonization alone should also not be treated unless there is true infection. For a reference on this, see here:

    Leakage (in the absence of true infection) should be managed with use of anticholergic medications (usually Ditropan). We use this routinely for all patients with indwelling catheters as it also reduces the risk of bladder shrinkage, high pressures and reflux. Use of a larger catheter is not indicated and may only make leakage worse as they trigger more bladder spasms.


  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    Hey Star, two things. First, sublingual Levsin (0.125mg) helps immediately with some of the spasms that Ditropan alone can't handle. Secondly, I went through "the leaks" once (no foley though) and it wasn't an infection. Check your diet. Turned out I had run out of herb teas so decided to use up my Lipton decaf tea bags. The box doesn't mention the dyes they add. I was lucky that my NP caught this. I was damn near ready to try snorting toothpaste to clog up the airways permenantly! I mean negative test after negative test for white cells and no other symptoms. Not even bladder spasms--things would just let loose. So might try water only and take a look at any changes in diet or meds.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

  9. #9
    Senior Member SlomoScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    South Jersey USA
    I know (partly) what you're going through. The first year after my injury I had a similar problem with leakage and it was a living Hell. No matter what is actually going right in your life, its impossible to be upbeat when you have wet pants. I had every bladder test imaginable and was put on Ditropan. It worked for a week, maybe, then it was back. My doc added Detrol and they worked for another week or so, but never completely. By this time is was not only experiencing mental anguish, but also physical pain. The bladder spasms that caused the leakage also brought on bouts of dyseflexia. I don't know why but my bowel routine became EXTREMELY painful during this time as well. After living with this for two months I finally convinced my doc to increase my catheter size to an 18 french.
    My problems dissappeared in 2 days.
    I don't know why...there wasn't a blockage that I know of, but it did work. I understand the hesitation of medical people when it comes to changing the cath size, but if nothing else seems to work...what do you have to lose?

    Anyway, things have been pretty good for 2years. Just last week I noticed some problems again, but I think there may be something brewing down there. I had some UTI symptoms (first one since Nov 2000) and I'm now taking Cipro. The antibiotic seems to be taking care of my problem so far.

    I'm not one to pray, but I will send posative thoughts your way (hey, that rhymes!).

    I know you'll beat this one way or another.

  10. #10
    I had partial results from the latest culture this afternoon. First, I have yeast. Why? I don't know, considering I took 4x acidophilus every day while I was on the Augmentin. Still have to wait to see whether there is more going on in terms of bacteria.

    In the meantime they are NOT going to prescribe Diflucan (the preferred treatment) b/c they want a repeat blood sample to see what is going on with my liver enzymes first (always something ). They were also suggest I take sodium bicarbonate (?) 3x a day as well.

    Meanwhile I am still taking massive dosage of acidophilus; drink about 4 cups of herbal tea (~10 oz), water, coffee (only 1 cup); irrigate the catheter when needed; etc. I also take Detrol daily b/c I couldn't tolerate the Ditropan dry mouth.

    Does the yeast ever go away on its own?

    Is there anything else I can do? Will this ever end?


    Thanks for all the nice thoughts everybody, BTW. You guys mean a lot to me.

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