Living with a catheter can be quite difficult but there are things you can do to make living with one easier for you. Here are some tips for living with a Foley catheter or any other catheter.
When you have a catheter most normal activities should still be fine. Your doctor will advise you when its safe to exercise, go to work, swim,take holidays or engage in sexual activity. Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations for living with your catheter. Individuals with a suprapubic catheter or an intermittent catheter should be able to engage in normal sexual activity.
Keeping Things Clean
Cleanliness is important when dealing with a catheter. Here are some tips:
- Around the area where the catheter enters the body, you should wash this area twice per day
- Always clean your hands well before handling catheter equipment
- Keep yourself hydrated and eat fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains
- Make sure there are no kinks in your urine bags and that the catheter is kept below your bladder
When to Seek Medical Advice
- The catheter is block and urine is leaking at the edges
- You have bladder spasms which feel like a stomach cramp
- The urine has blood specks (Catheter may have been pulled)
- Passing bright red blood (go to emergency)
- You have bladderinfection symptoms like a high temperature, lower pain in the abdominal area, or chills
- The catheter falls out
Please speak to your doctor about what you can or can’t do while wearing a catheter as there can be many individual medical issues. A catheter can make going out easier for you if you suffered from issues with incontinence before. Using the catheter means you don’t have to rush to find a bathroom at frequent intervals. You could go to longer events like shows or concerts and not have to worry about finding the bathroom frequently like before. You could also go on longer holidays, take shopping trips, and so on. When going out, you may want to consider a larger urine bag or talk to your doctor about it. Before you go out it can be a good idea to ensure your bag is completely empty. Once it fills, you can find a restroom to empty the bag and then continue on your normal activities.
When you go out, you might consider having a change of clothing with you. If there is a leak, you can change to new clothes. In the car, you might keep an extra bottleor catheter bags so you can use this if necessary. This would be ideal if you were going ona long driving trip without infrequent access to restrooms.
Being Self Conscious
It’s important not to be self-conscious when wearing a catheter. You have a medical condition thatcan’t be helped. The catheter is designed to help you lead a more normal life and in many cases, can improve your life. People will be understanding and you should not worry about the catheter at all.
Some activities might be too difficult to do with a catheter depending upon your individual medical condition. Talk to your doctor about what they recommend.
Living with your Foleycatheter or other catheter isn’t as difficult as it may seem. The catheter can actually give you abetter quality of life. Speak to your doctor about living with your catheter if you need further assistance.