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Catheter Journal

1st Month

For the past 15 years I have been urge incontinent because of spinal bruising in just the wrong place. I had tried everything to regain my continence but after 5 or 6 years I had pretty much given up. During those years I had gotten use to wearing a diaper 24/7 and have to admit I always did like wearing them any way. I was once told "Be careful you just might get what you want", now I know what that really means. Casual diaper wearing was fun but this is much different. The biggest problem with my incontinence was the discomfort and flooding. My bladder would always fill without me noticing then suddenly get just painful enough and erupt like a bursting dam all at once. As such, my diapers would leak quite often.

These last few years I have wanted to go from urge incontinent to fully incontinent since this would eliminate the pain, solve the flooding problem and spare me the process of trying to fix the incontinence like I had been. I've tried half a dozen urologists (all of the ones even close to where I live) and none would help me. Most of the time they just wanted to "cure" me or put me on another new drug that is supposed to lessen the urge. Since I've "been there and done that" I always refused any further attempts, and then of course they would refuse to help. A long time ago I tried using a home made catheter but it hurt a lot, I peed blood, and got a kidney infection. The hospital got me healthy again, but again the doctors refused to actually help. I've tired hypnosis twice but just can't be hypnotized. Once I even tried Flomax (a drug intended for enlarged prostrates) which has a major side effect of incontinence, but that didn't do anything for me. This time I am going to try catheters again but I'm going to buy a package of real ones. I found some high-slip catheters online ($60 for 30 of them) I'm hoping these wont hurt as much as the home made one I had tried, and with being sterile they hopefully won't make me sick. Just in case I'm also stocking up on cranberry juice and large Abena X-pluses (I usually wear medium supers).

Friday, Nov. 13, Day 1- I got the catheters in the mail today. I'm going to put one in tonight.

Saturday, Day 2- My pp is very irritated and I am experiencing a lot of pain, the cath had pulled itself out sometime last night. I woke up really early and re-set the cath by pushing it back in and managed to get some more sleep. I had an arousal when I woke up so I took care of it. Bad move, now I've got blood in my pee and a lot more pain. I pulled out the cath and am very sore. I'm going to give my lower self another day or two to heal before I try it again.

Sunday, Day 3- I'm still feeling a lot of discomfort so I didn't try it again.

Monday, Day 4- I waited until the evening then put another one in. There was a lot of irritation putting it in but that has been slowly going away. It felt good peeing without noticing I had done it, especially since the urges are always uncomfortable and sometimes painful. I changed my diaper before going to bed but had been getting aroused again from my wet diaper. The cath had all ready pulled itself out twice from the constant size change of my pp and I had to re-set it once again. My sleep was broken, and the cath pulled out a third time so I pulled it out and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, Day 5- I woke up very sore and irritated from the cath pulling out last night so I decided not to push it and let my pp heal some again. I later changed my mind and put a cath in just before going to bed. I hope I'm not pushing it too much but I really want to get rid of those urges. At lease I managed to sleep all night.

Wednesday, Day 6- I woke up this morning with a wet diaper and have to admit I really like this feeling. The cath had stayed in place overnight, but I was still somewhat irritated. I was aroused once again but didn't want a repeat of day 2 so I resisted it. I left the cath in during my morning work out but of course it had pulled out and was hurting a bit. I guess a 16" cath just isn't long enough for me but I bought them and I'm not going to let them go to waste, so I just re-set the cath and went for my morning walk. When I got back I noticed I had wet a lot more but never felt my bladder empty. I really do like this feeling and will have to continue to work at it. I pulled the cath out and took note my pp was sore again but not quite as it had been. After taking care of my arousal & taking a shower I decided not to put another one in for work. I may want to be fully incontinent real bad, but I know better than to push it too much. Later at work I noticed I had some blood in my urine again which must have been caused by pulling out the cath. I really do need to be careful with this as it feels like I'm playing chicken with the devil. Will I become fully incontinent, or will I get an infection first? Regardless I feel I still can't let up and put another cath in just before bed.

Friday, Day 7- I woke up a half hour early this morning with severe dry mouth. I wonder where all the water in my body went? Oh wait, my diaper was really wet this morning too, I wonder if they are connected? The soreness is a little less this morning again, I think I'm starting to get used to having a cath in for extended periods of time. It didn't pull it out during my morning work out, as I had realized the positioning of the cath end within my diaper makes a difference. Before I had my pp pointing up because of the arousals I always get, but had the cath pointing down to make sure I wouldn't leak. The last two days I've had both pointing up & the cath seems to stay in place a little better and still without any leaking. I decided to take it out again before going to work since I'm still sore and trying to be cautious. Today is Friday, so I think I'll try leaving it all day tomorrow.

Friday, Nov. 20, End of Week 1- Starting to use the catheters has been painful and is leaving me sore more that I should allow. I haven't told anyone about using the catheters yet since I wasn't sure I'd be staying with it for long. Thanksgiving is next week and I'm sure I'll be taking a break from them to hopefully relieve the soreness for good. I think I'll tell my wife about them after we get back from my vacation break. As a note, plain Cranberry juice isn't my favorite but it goes real good with Southern Comfort or Vodka. The large Abena X-pluses have had problems with their tapes sticking, but only slightly more than the mediums I used to wear. On the plus side they haven't leaked a single time, and have been excellent at soaking up the slow dribble I've had with the catheters in. My hope is that this process will eliminate the uncomfortable urges I've been living with for the last 15 years.

Saturday, Day 8- I woke up again, which I guess is always good. It's Saturday, but I didn't manage to sleep in as the catheters seem to keep me up with the irritation. I left it in, in the early morning but as soon as I started my weekend "honey-do" list the irritation got worse. By 9am I had pulled it out to give my self a break. By 3pm I was winding down and just took another shower. Since I hadn't noticed any more blood in my diaper I put another one in. It stayed in all evening, I changed my soaked diaper later and went to bed.

Sunday, Day 9- I woke up early again to find my cath had pulled out once more. This is getting real annoying & irritates me every time the cath starts migrating, but at least I was able to re-set it and fall back asleep. During my sleep my diaper had a major malfunction and both tapes on my left side came loose. As such, my bed was wet. I cleaned that up and will have to get a mattress protector in case it happens again. My morning arousals are also conflicting with my catheter use so I've had to resist that again and just got up later that morning. I was going to clean house some more today but I have decided to put that off and take it real easy. The cath from yesterday is still in, and of course is making me sore, but I made a decision that I really want a good outcome and if a doctor won't help then I have to stay with it. All day the cath kept pulling its self out and I had to re-set a half dozen times. As a plus though, I managed to go till 4pm before finally pulling it out the rest of the way. I gave myself the evening off but put a clean cath in just before bed.

Monday, Day 10- There was almost no irritation when I got up in the morning. Unfortunately my cath was able to work itself free again during my workout. I re-set it and went for my morning walk. When I got back I noticed a lot blood in my diaper so I pulled it out. And that of course means no cath during work again. I have about 20 catheters left and given the difficulty I am having with these I'm beginning to wonder if I should just order some Foley (balloon) catheters and quit using the hi-slip ones I currently have. Given the price though, I'm just not sure quite yet. Still, I put another one in after I got home from work. It worked ok in the evening, and after another diaper change I went to bed and got some sleep.

Tuesday, Day 11- The irritation was very low this morning. However, since I always seem to do damage during my morning work out I decided to pull the cath out any way. Once I was nearly ready for work I put another one in. This time though, I had a shot of pain just as I put it in. It would seem I just can't catch a break, so luckily I pulled it out right away as I saw some blood on the tip. After healing some more during the day I put another one in just before bed.

Wednesday, Day 12- After getting up I pulled the cath out and got ready to leave for vacation. I didn't take any catheters with me since I know I need to heal.

Thursday, Day 13- Out of town on Thanksgiving vacation. No caths so I'm back to dealing with those darned urges again. On the plus side my diapers are still being constantly wet in.

Friday, Day 14- Same thing again.

Friday, Nov. 27, End of week 2- The catheters had still been irritating me a lot so the last two days have been a welcome break. Unfortunately with out the catheters I'm back to being urge incontinent. I've been waking up way too early with a serious urge, just so I can wet my diaper and get back to sleep. It does seem I am getting the urge to pee more often in the day too, but less each time. This might be a good sign that my bladder muscle is weakening all ready, I just wish it wasn't companied by the more frequent urge discomfort.

Saturday, Day 15- I finally got home from vacation in the evening but had to go shopping and stock up on food. Just before bed I put a cath in and went to sleep.

Sunday, Day 16- I woke up just after midnight with some serious irritation and burning feeling. I had hoped my vacation would give me a break to heal so I could get back into it for good, unfortunately it seems what little my body had gotten used to a cath is now gone. Since I was too irritated to go back to sleep I pulled it out and was eventually able to calm down enough to fall back asleep. Later in the morning I was no longer sore but could still feel it somewhat. Regardless, I decided I definitely still want to be fully incontinent so I put another one in for the night.

Monday, Day 17- Twice this morning I was woken up to more irritation and burning. The cath had not pulled its self out again, but the first time I was able to ignore it and go back asleep. The second time I had to remove it so I could fall back asleep. My morning work out was tiresome from the lack of sleep but the burning sensation was gone, however; the irritation stayed. Obviously having one in at work was still out of the question, but again I put another one in just before bed.

Tuesday, Day 18- My cath had pull out sometime late in the morning because when I woke up my diaper was very wet yet I still had the urge to go pee. The irritation was minimal and the burning was gone. I pulled it out instead of trying to re-set it, and took care of my morning arousal. After my morning work out I decided to put another one in for work. It didn't last till lunch when I again had the urge to pee really bad. I checked the cath and sure enough it had pulled out again. I pulled it out the rest of the way and got some more irritation, then went about my day. Later when I got home I had received a package of Foley catheters and put one of those instead.

Wednesday, Day 19- The Foley cath stayed in all night and during my work out. I was still getting irritation at the tip of my pp, but overall they are more comfortable. The hi-slip caths were a hard plastic and 8fr, the Folley's are a much larger 12fr, but are made of latex coated with silicone. As such I couldn't feel the cath in my urethra, and my bladder muscle didn't hurt for once. After my work out I had a bm but noticed I wasn't dripping pee. I used a large syringe to do a test flush of my cath but my bladder wouldn't fill up. I guess 16" really is just too short if they are still pulling out. I emptied the balloon of the 3cc I put in to the cath (didn't want to risk it bursting) and pulled it out too. Later after work I put another Foley in, but this time I pushed the cath past my opening a little deeper than the V (where it splits for the drainage and syringe caps). I made sure to fill the balloon all the way up to 5cc then gently tugged on it to see if it would pull out. Luckily it stayed and continued to work all evening. I had run out of the Abena X-plus diapers and had gotten the Abena Extras instead so tonight I changed into one of those before going to bed. The padding doesn't spread out as far in the front but they still look thirsty. I hope it doesn't leak but just in case I also got a mattress protector with my order of extras.

Thursday, Day 20- Sure enough, my diaper leaked last night. It turns out they aren't as thirsty as I thought because it was completely soaked and my mattress protector was completely soaked too. At least it did its job and saved my mattress, but there were still a few sheets that needed washing. I've ordered more X-pluses and another mattress protector just to be on the safe side. As for my catheter use, it is going better today. The cath didn't pull out during my morning workout and resisting my arousal this morning seems to have been easier. I left the cath in for work and had a doctor's appointment at noon (follow up for high cholesterol). I brought it up at the appointment and got a referral with a different urologist just to make sure the blood I had before didn't do the wrong kind of damage. By the end of the day my cath was still working correctly but there was also a persistent, low-level irritation. Just before bed my arousal came back and refused to be ignored. Interestingly I was able to take care of it without irritating my pp any more so going to sleep was easy for once.

Friday, Day 21- I had used a diaper insert last night, and watched how much I drank before bed, which seems to have helped since my diaper didn't leak. This is now the third straight day with the same Foley catheter and all is going well. The low level of irritation is still there but I don't believe it will actually go away while I have a cath in.

Friday, Dec. 5, End of Week 3- I've learned to never use an intermittent catheter for long term use again, the indwelling (2-way Foley) catheters are the best bet. I've also found that it is much harder to stick with non-stop catheter use, which is much harder than I previously thought (especially during an arousal). Trying to skip a few days to heal up only set me back too, so it's definitely an all or nothing type of thing. And one last thing I learned this week is to make sure you have plenty of extra, extra thick diapers on hand (that leaves only Bambino, Molicare, Secure X-plus or Abena X-plus). Any of the other good diapers will require a diaper insert, and the lesser diapers (new attends, depends, store brand, etc.) will not be able to handle even 30 minutes of catheter use, so be warned.

Saturday, Day 22- I woke up to a slightly wet bed again but thankfully the pad was able to handle it easily. Strictly limiting the amount I drink at night didn't seem like a really good idea since I have a cath in so I've decided to be hydrated & health, and just risk a wet bed. There's little change from yesterday as the low irritation is still there but the cath is still working just fine. Also, I've started to drink more cranberry juice during the day again, just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, Day 23- My diaper was really wet this morning and so was my bed pad. It sure is a lot easier washing the pad than all my sheets, I can't wait till the second one I ordered gets here so I won't have to do the laundry every day. Today was the 5th straight day I had the catheter in so I decided to change it out. Of course I took the opportunity and had a lot of play before putting the new one in. The irritation does seem to be waning some as time goes by and it did not hurt putting the new one in. While the cath was out I did notice I had to pee at least every hour, but less each time. I guess that's the first sign this is working.

Monday, Day 24- Another wet diaper and pad. These Abena Extras just don't cut it because there's no padding on the front sides (I'm a side sleeper). I woke up just as I was shifting in my sleep to find my pee actually pooled up on the front left. When I was rolling over it literally drained around my side and leaked out the top and bottom (which is what woke me up). My X-pluses won't be here till tomorrow so it's laundry time again. The cath is still working and my arousals are definitely easier to ignore. Not that it is a good thing, I'm just not exactly comfortable down there. Oh well, off to bed.

Tuesday, Day 25- My mornings are becoming very repetitive as I had another repeat of yesterday. My new set of Abena X-pluses arrived today but I changed into an extra after work since I'm not about to waste them. The extra didn't quite make it to my bed time but I changed into an X-plus. I think tonight I will be testing this one out really good.

Wednesday, Day 26- I had today off of work and managed to sleep in some. My X-plus handled last night and this morning easily. I also decided to take care of an arousal with the cath in which did not hurt as much for once. Due to the success of the first time I even managed to take care of it once more. I was very active today and managed to clean house in prep for family that will be coming over for Christmas. My cath only bothered me a little more than the usual irritation, but even that seems to be getting less bothersome as time goes by. The Abena extras on the other hand were just barely able to keep up, I actually had to change 5 times in the late morning and afternoon. At least I'm hydrated enough for the week. Into another X-plus and off to bed.

Thursday, Day 27- Last night I was so hydrated I didn't even think of having to drink more in the evening. This morning I am dehydrated too much. My diaper isn't nearly as wet as usual and I have another case of severe dry mouth. I drank the last of my cranberry juice, a bunch of tea, and water all through the day but just couldn't seem to get re-hydrated enough. I hadn't had to change all evening but by bed time my diaper was still quite wet and I was beginning to smell bad enough to need a new one just for that. I didn't feel sick in the least and had been peeing, just not as much as normal. I'm not concerned yet but am keeping an eye on my overall health.

Friday, Day 28- I'm not feeling dehydrated this morning but my diaper was not as wet as it should be again. There is definitely the strong smell of pee again too. I still don't feel sick but I am definitely getting the feeling like somewhere a yellow light is blinking and it is labeled something isn't right. I drank more than a quart of water for breakfast this morning which now makes me feel like I'm water logged. Additionally I decided to pull out the catheter until later the evening, on the off chance I actually was getting an infection. My sides were fine and my eyes are white (with some of the usual morning red), however; by noon I had heavily considered skipping the rest of the day's work and detouring to the hospital just to be on the safe side. All day I did not get better or worse until later that evening when I noticed I was feeling better and had a slight increase in wetting my diaper. I know I probably shouldn't have done it but I put another catheter in before bed any ways.

Friday, Dec. 11, End of week 4- Having the Abena X-pluses are a definite need for the night as they seem to be the only ones that don't leak. I'm continuing to use the extras, with a booster pad, for day use which is also working but just barely. This week I wasn't feeling quite right and had to take most of a day off from the catheter use. I went do see my doctor earlier in the week and got a referral to see a urologist, but that has yet to arrive before I can even make an appointment.

Saturday, Day 29- My diaper was finally soaked when I woke up again and the strong smell of pee has lightened up considerably. I bought 3 liters of cranberry juice yesterday evening and today I have all ready gone through half of the first one, along with my usual water intake. I admit my feeling off could have just been simple water retention but if it was an infection my body fought it off and I'm back to normal again (what ever that is). I've also noticed there have been a few short times when I don't feel the cath any more, and am only reminded of it by the feel of warm pee running down just before it is absorbed by my diaper.

Sunday, Day 30- Another wet morning but this is a feeling I can definitely live with. I dank so much yesterday and finished off the first liter of cranberry that this morning my diaper couldn't hold it all. My X-plus was soaked from front to back which I thought I could never do since they are so thick, but at least my bed pad easily handled the rest. I put that one into the laundry basket and the second one I bought on the bed. Today is Sunday so I get to just lounge around all day. I had read online that taking care of an arousal with a Foley in won't hurt like it had with the indwelling catheters so I tried it again. I'm glad to report it really didn't hurt at all but was still uncomfortable and will take some getting used to.

Monday, Day 31- Usually when I change I'll rub a little powder on just to make sure I don't develop a rash. This morning after my morning change, I was in a hurry and just shook a lot of talcum powder into my diaper. To my surprise some of it dried onto the cath and acted as sand paper every time I had even the slightest size change or adjustment. I hadn't realized it at first but when I got home later in the day and was able to check myself I figured it out, promptly washed the cath as best as I could, then applied a lot of extra lube to it. I noticed my old diaper had some blood in it too so I guess some more damage had been done, but at least by the evening I was feeling much better. I'm still waiting for my urology referral which is now taking much longer than it should. For now though, one more diaper change and I'm off to bed.

Monday, Dec. 14, End of Month 1- I'm glad I've been able to stick with this for a full month now, especially with the rocky start I had. My journal is getting quite long now and I've decided to break it up into a separate file for each month.

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