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Catheter Journal

2nd Month of use

Tuesday Dec. 15, Month 2- It's been a month since I started to use catheters to treat my urge incontinence. I started off with intermittent catheters that were simple and small but made of a hard plastic that caused a lot of pain and blood. After two and half weeks I switched over to the softer Indwelling, Foley catheters that have a balloon to hold them in place. These catheters have been working much better and the discomfort of using them has been overall subsiding as my body adjusts to them. I'm going to start keeping slightly less detailed entries, updating only as things change. A skipped day just means everything is status quo.

Thursday, Day 33- I changed my cath again this morning. There was the expected irritation from the changing but it went away pretty fast. These last few days I've noticed my pee has had a very strong smell even though I'm still peeing a lot, and last nigh my wife noticed it too. I wasn't incredibly wet and had changed my diaper only a couple of hours earlier but the smell was still bad.

Saturday, Day 35- The smell of my pee has returned to normal but I still not sure what made it smell so bad since I wasn't dehydrated, didn't eat any asparagus, and cranberry juice isn't supposed to make it smell strong. Other than that I'm continuing to go though diapers fairly quick and will need to order more x-pluses soon.

Thursday, Day 40- It had been a full week since changing my cath. I know 7 days is ok but I really don't like waiting too long to do it. Changing my cath this morning was quick and easy. There was the usual discomfort but that went away within 30 minutes. After some time I was sitting on the floor watching TV and felt a pop from somewhere in my pelvis area. I wasn't quite sure what it was at first but soon found I was experiencing the same irritation and discomfort I had from the intermittent caths I had used before. I know I only put 5cc in to blow it up, but a gentle tug verified that it was the balloon that popped and the cath was migrating out. I pulled it out and put a new one in and endured the discomfort once more. Amazingly later in the day the second one started hurting even more, and with another gentle pull the second cath came out too. I gave myself a few hours rest from the irritation before trying to put a third cath in, which held just fine. I guess the first two were defects but the third one definitely proved to be working as my diaper filled up overnight and leaked onto my mattress pad.

Saturday, Day 42- My cath use has been going good since the defects. This morning I took my family to see Avatar in 3D IMAX. I change into an Aben x-plus around 10:15. We showed up at 10:50 for an 11:30 showing and the theater was all ready getting packed. By 11:40 they finally started the pre-show countdown, and by almost 11:55 we all discovered the 3D projector wasn't working. I saw several other people leave the theater to let the staff know but they didn't try re-setting the projector until 12:10. That didn't work and by 12:20 they tried re-setting it again to no avail. The entire theatre sat in the dark for another 10 minutes (one person had the flash on their camera turned on and shined it on the screen to give a hand puppet show). The manager finally came into the theatre and let everyone know they were going to reboot and re-calibrate the projector and that it wouldn't take long (yea right). Nearly 20 more minutes of sitting the dark and the projector finally came back on. After a few skipped previews the 3D part came on and everyone cheered to finally start watching the movie at 12:55 or so. I know the movie is only supposed to be 2 hours and 40 minutes long but we did not get out of there until just before 4pm (the credits were long and there weren't any extra clips after it too). The rest of my family all hit the rest rooms so I got to stand around and wait some more. I got back home just before 4:30 and I changed out of a very soaked and smelly diaper. To my surprise it never leaked during the 6.5 hour movie. Two things learned here; 1. Avatar is such a great movie I didn't mind the extra wait. 2. Abena x-plus diapers rock.

Thursday, Day 47- I've been on vacation all week and wow the days are just flying by fast. I hadn't even realized it's been a full week since I last changed my cath so it looks like I'm due once again. I've gotten almost completely used to having the cath in now. Yes I can definitely still feel it but it no longer feels irritating- except on occasion when an adjustment is needed any way. Tonight is news years eve and the moon is in full which is making for a really great show of everything. My diaper keeps getting soaked a lot faster than I expect and I've been changing at least 5 times a day for the last week. I'm running though my supplies fast and will need to order more Abena X-pluses and catheters. I just wish these Abenas weren't twice as expensive as the Attends I used to wear, but oh well at least they work better.

Wednesday, Day 53- I had ordered more Abenas Friday night but apparently my order wasn't processed until Monday morning and shipped till Tuesday morning. As such I was about to run out and had to go to the store to get more. I can't believe any of my local stores, from WallGreens to WallMart, no longer stock real adult diapers any more. The best I could find were some cheaply made cloth like Assurance diapers. I say cloth like because even the pull ups (underwear) have a plastic lining in the center. The sides, however, are completely leak-able and won't hold much before leaking. I've had to use a diaper doubler and still change them every couple of hours. That's been at least 8 changes a day with using one of my few Abenas at night! To top it off I've still had a few leaks even though I am also using a diaper cover! These diapers suck.

Thursday, Day 54- Thank goodness my order came late today, I had 3 more crappy Assurance diapers and was really hoping I wouldn't need to find some more store bought diapers. I think I'll try to order some more Abenas really soon just to build up a stock of them. Oh, and I forgot to mention I had changed my cath again yesterday. The momentary irritation was the least yet and had gone completely away in about 10 minutes. I've been lucky not to get an infection so I must be doing something right. I'm going to need to stock up on more cranberry juice too.

Wednesday, Day 60- Another six days and I've changed my cath again. This one is from a new batch I ordered, but is the same size and type of silicone coated Foley I had before. It's been about an hour since I changed it out but I'm still feeling a little bit irritated. I had actually used more lubricant this time and it went in very easy, so I'm not sure why I'm still irritated from the new cath. Regardless, the irritation is slowly going down. I have today off of work so I've been trying to ease into the new cath with less activity. Soon I'll need to get going on my honey do list but I don't foresee any other complications.

Thursday, Day 61- The catheter I put in yesterday still irritates me. I'm not sure why but I decided to just change it out. Of course now I have re-irritated myself once again which is once again going down. Hopefully this one will be better.

Friday, Jan. 15, Month 3- Officially it's been 2 full months since I started using a catheter. However; I don't feel the intermittent catheters I used for the first two weeks were very successful, so I'm not counting the first two weeks. Still, I'm approaching 2 full months of 24/7 catheter use. I haven't tried going too long without having a catheter in so I can't say if I'm truly incontinent yet. As a side note, I've noticed that several times now I've actually peed past my catheter. That is to say even with the catheter in and working I've still peed normally, not through the cath. My best guess is that my external sphincter has stretched and weakened to normally open larger than the catheter tube. I'm taking this as a sign that my true incontinence is starting to take hold. Things seem to be looking up. I still plan on 3 full months of catheter use before I try to find out though. The Abena X-pluses have been holding up well but I've only just now been able to order more, luckily I still have plenty of supplies. I still have my Urology appointment scheduled for the 27th. I'm somewhat hopeful the doc will be supportive, but since so many of the other urologists I've seen weren't, I'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, Jan. 20- The irritation from last week never really went away, but it was very minor. This morning I removed the cath and gave myself a half day off to try and recover some. I put the new catheter in an hour before bed and the irritation started up again really bad. The first half hour was even a bit painful. Oh well, no pain no gain. I just hope I'm not developing a semi-permanent reaction to the cath when ever I have it out for a short time.

Wednesday, Jan. 27- I saw the urologist today and he definitely wasn't supportive. The doc did say he didn't want me using a catheter for long term and not to have it draining into a diaper because of the risk of infection. Additionally he said the blood and pain I had when I started using the catheters was normal and not severely damaging in the long term. Unfortunately he did say that long term use of catheters would literally wear through my urethra and cause further complications. With that said, he offered to cut up the base of my spine and implant a sort of pace maker for my bladder in order to try and cure my incontinence. I find it so hard to believe that all urologists have the stigma that incontinence is such a bad thing to live with and it must be eliminated at all costs. It kind of reminds me of stigma gays had in the 80's. We've come a long way in accepting them today, but I wonder if that will ever happen for people who like to wear diapers. In the mean time I've started the process to get another referral to a different urologist. Tonight I will change out my catheter again and get ready for another month of cath use.

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