Ann’s bladder problems started around the time she had radiotherapy after a hysterectomy for uterine cancer. In 2011 she was fitted with a suprapubic catheter, which she’d had for about 4 months at the time of interview.
Ann’s bladder problems started around the time she had radiotherapy after a hysterectomy for uterine cancer. Two years after her hysterectomy, she had secondary cancer and had to have radiotherapy. After this, her bladder problems gradually worsened. She ended up with a series of infections and had difficulty passing urine as well as leaking. In 2011 she had to have 15 courses of antibiotics for bladder infections. She said she often leaked during the day and flooded the bed and night, a difficult and unbearable’ situation.
When Ann was offered a suprapubic catheter, she agreed to have the surgery. There was, however, a lot of waiting for hospital appointments and the first consultant she was referred to seemed busy and disinterested. Fortunately, she was referred to a second consultant who she said was kind and competent and willing to see me.’
Ann had the operation in October 2011 and, at the time of interview, had had a suprapubic catheter for about 4 months. She was learning how to manage and live with it and, fortunately, had had no infections since the surgery. She said she was still finding it difficult, especially if she had problems such as leaking or flooding the bed at night. Her wound was also still healing because of an ongoing infection.
Like many people, Ann said she knew nothing about catheters until her own experience. Although she was still finding it difficult, she was glad she’d had it fitted. She’d been given helpful information from district nurses, a colleague whose mother-in-law had a suprapubic catheter, and her daughter-in-law who was a nurse for the elderly. She would have liked more information, though, on what to do if the bag comes apart from the catheter and how best to keep it attached.
At the time of interview, Ann had only had one catheter change. She had been anxious beforehand, but it was changed quickly and painlessly and the district nurse was reassuring. Ann was unsure how often she’d need it changed and thought it could be every 2 months.
Ann said she was happy with the healthcare she’d been given once she’d changed to a second consultant, who she described as straightforward and kind’. She also praised the care she’d had from district nurses.