Sharon’s urinary problems started 22 years ago after a forceps delivery. She found it hard to pass urine and had urine infections. One day in 2005 she found it impossible to pass urine and had a suprapubic catheter inserted, which she has had ever since.
Sharon’s urinary problems started 22 years ago after she had a difficult forceps delivery. After the birth of her daughter she found she could not pass urine so had to have a urethral catheter for 24 hours. After that was removed, she managed to pass urine but the urine flow was slow and she had pain when she finished passing urine. She had many urine infections and was given antibiotics for six months. She also had a cystoscopy and bladder stretch, but the specialist could not find any reason for her problems apart from a narrow urethra and some scar tissue in the urethra.
Sharon’s difficulties continued. Sometimes she took as long as 10 minutes to pass urine, and then wanted to pass urine again after only a short while. Over the years she has had at least six cystoscopies. On one occasion the nurses at the hospital tried to teach her how to self catheterise, but she did not manage to do it.
Then one day in 2005, when Sharon was 45, she found she could not pass urine at all and had to go to the local hospital. None of the medical staff could pass a urethral catheter so, after many hours of discomfort and pain, a doctor was called to insert a suprapubic catheter on the ward. Since then Sharon has lived with a suprapubic catheter, which she straps to her abdomen. She goes to the toilet and opens the valve at the end of the catheter when necessary. She knows when she needs to empty her bladder. She had a bag at night for about a week but didn’t like having it and was told she didn’t need it.
Sharon gets a lot of bladder spasm, and thinks this may be due to urine infections, which she gets about every 2-3 months. She is on a low dose antibiotic all the time. She also takes Buscopan¬¨¬®‚àö√ú and Vesicare¬¨¬®‚àö√ú for bladder spasms. Occasionally the catheter gets blocked and then the district nurse washes it out with saline. If the nurse can’t unblock it she changes the catheter, but that doesn’t often happen. Now Sharon has a size 16 catheter.
Sharon has had to give up work due to her bladder problems because at times she feels ill or is in pain. The catheter sometimes causes discomfort, particularly when she is walking. She always likes to know where to find a toilet. She has had great support from family and friends, and likes to look at Facebook every day to communicate with others who have similar problems, and to find out how they are getting on. Sharon has recently discovered that because she has a stoma she can get free prescriptions, which is helpful.