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A Catheter Ended My Bladder Woes

Over the last few years, I have had bladder problems. Before now, it was simply an inconvenience. But lately it has gotten out of control. Everything I have tried has failed. I’ve been on various medications. I wear adult diapers religiously but they always seem to leak. I’ve even tried self-catheterization, with little success. I am still aware of when I need to pee; I just cannot get to the toilet in a timely fashion anymore. And when trying to use the restroom, timely is the name of the game. I’m just simply tired of “accidents”.

So I decided to get a surgically implanted suprapubic catheter.

During the hour and a half outpatient procedure, the catheter was placed in my bladder and was completed with no problems or complications.

The main reason I had the surgery was I no longer held complete control over my bladder function and the catheter would help me regain that control.

I arrived at this decision after many embarrassing moments. I remember the sleepless nights. I was waking up every three hours to use the restroom. I vividly recall the times I returned home from a night out wearing wet soggy underwear. I had dozens of ruined outings due to a weak bladder and endless anxiety about the “restroom situation” every place I went. I was always mindful of what and how much I would drink. Going out grew to be such a production and most times it wound up being humiliating and just too much for me to handle. It was easier for me too stay in the house and I began to feel trapped, like a prisoner in my own home.

The process began during a regular visit to my neurologist. I mentioned to him the troubles I was having. He suggested I see my urologist. My urologist, after a few test, recommended the suprapubic catheter. He told me that this type of catheter is common for patients with multiple sclerosis. So I found a few people who had a suprapubic catheter implanted and conferred with them. They reinforced what the doctor had said and told me how it had changed their lives for the better.

I also talked to someone who it didn’t work for. But she said she still didn’t regret trying to get it. Despite learning that it didn’t work for her, it was comforting to hear because knowing that it is reversible and can be taken out, gave me a little more confidence in the surgery.

So after consulting with my doctors and discussing it with previous patients, I decided to take the leap and have the surgery.

I had some pre-surgical jitters about being put to sleep with general anesthesia but I was able to push through my fear and I am so happy I did. There has been a learning curve with the maintaining of the catheter but that was expected. But other than that, it seems to have worked out. Now I’m able to confidently leave the house and enjoy life again.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Nicole Lemelle author
    6 years ago

    ask your urologist about getting a suprapubic catheter

  • Nicole Lemelle author
    6 years ago

    The catheter changed my life in a good way,

  • Rebecca
    6 years ago

    I was diagnosed in 2005 @ the age of 33

    My bladder was an issue years before either waking me thru the night or not being able to void at all even when the pressure was immense
    I had botox injections after living with interrupted sleep from my Neurotic bladder in April 2012
    My bladder is still paralyzed even though I am told botox last only 12 months
    I still wake up thru the night to
    self Cath and live with chronic
    uti’s . My urologist has blamed my bladder condition on my ms but I disagree. I have had to cath ever since my injections
    I had incontinence before and wore the adult diapers and my urodynamic test showed I contracted at 2 ounces of fluid waking me up constantly
    now my urodynamics shows no muscle movement
    I tried to have interstim phase one done with out success …I am wondering how the installed pelvic catheter works?


  • Robert
    6 years ago

    After diagnosis in 2002, it took about 6 months post DX until I began having bladder issues. I was diagnosed by my Urologist as having a neurogenic bladder. It wouldn’t void on it’s own. I had participated in a “Trial” for a product called an Interstim, which was supposed to aide in the communication between the brain & bladder. It worked well for the first several months, but then began to malfunction.

    In 2006 I developed an E. Coli based bladder infection that turned septic. I was in a coma for 5 days and nearly died. When I awoke, the infection had landed in my left foot, which was now black.

    Initially I was told my foot would be amputated from the ankle down. They were wrong, it eventually healed with only the loss of some tissue at the end of each toe on that foot.

    After all of that fun and joy it was recommended that I start “Self Catheterizing” which I now do every time I need to void. Initially I was appalled by this procedure. But, have become some used to it, it’s no more cumbersome than brushing my teeth. And, I haven’t had an infection since. Definitely worth the trouble, considering that last infection almost resulted in my demise.

  • Judy P.
    6 years ago

    I also was DX in 2000, I also was sent to a urologist, but after testing he ruled out the “Suprapubic” type of cath. he just felt it would not work for me. So I just use the regular “red rubber” type of cath’s.As I’m almost 70yrs old I guess he knew best as it’s working just fine.
    Kind of a pain,but as my mother used to say ” You get used to hanging if you hang long enough”
    Good luck & God Bless.

  • Nicole Lemelle author
    6 years ago

    Judy P. thanks for the reply. Sounds like you have things under control.

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