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Sid

Age at interview: 75
Brief Outline: Sid was born with spina bifida. He was incontinent and had to use incontinence pads. When he was about 45 he was told about intermittent self-catheterisation. This has changed his life. It has given him the confidence to go out without fear of embarrassment.
Background: Before Sid retired he worked as a BT engineer. He is married with one grown up child. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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Sid was born with spina bifida. He was incontinent and had to use incontinence pads.  After that he was told to wear a bag over the end of his penis, but it often leaked, which led to embarrassing situations. At that time he often had urine infections. He said that the situation was a ‘nightmare’.  

When Sid was about 45 years old he went to a urology department, where he was told about intermittent self-catheterisation. Since then he has used a Netalon catheter every 3-4 hours during the day. He finds it very simple to use. It is easy to insert, and the urine drains out into the toilet. Sometimes he uses a little gel to lubricate the tip before inserting it. Sid often uses the same catheter more than once. He washes it carefully and stores it in a bottle in the toilet. If he goes out he takes a new one with him. 

Using a catheter has changed Sid’s life completely. Now he can go out without fearing a leakage. He can join in many activities, including sports, which were difficult before he started self-catheterisation.  The catheter has given him great confidence, though he still wears a pad for added protection.  He rarely gets an infection. 

Sid thinks that the National Health Service is excellent. He receives his catheters and pads on prescription from the local chemist. They are all paid for by the NHS.
 

Sid, who was born with spina bifida, has used ISC for years to manage his incontinence. He says it is a simple procedure, both at home and when he is out.

Sid, who was born with spina bifida, has used ISC for years to manage his incontinence. He says it is a simple procedure, both at home and when he is out.

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When I’m out, usually I do a good flow, and in the morning I’ve got a urine bottle and all I do is I sit on the end of the bed, push the catheter in before I get out of bed, on the edge of the bed, and then just take it and tip it away. It’s simple, it’s so simple I mean I can’t think of anything more, and it doesn’t take, it doesn’t take long. And you can do it in your own privacy; this is the beauty of it. And I mean nobody would look at me and say “Oh you, you self catheterise,” because they wouldn’t know.

I take a catheter out with me. I mean I have to use it several times but I wash it and clean it because you can’t take a whole load of them out with you. And I find it dead easy ‘cos I can go into the disabled loo, push the catheter in. I either take a little bottle with me if I can’t get over the loo, or I can just do it over and then just wash it, put it away until [next time], and I might use it a couple of times. Whereas and if I start feeling a little bit uncomfortable I then go straight into the loo, it’s as simple as that. And it is so simple. I mean it’s unbelievably simple, and what I do is, I do have a little thing of gel because sometimes it gets a bit dry and I just put a little bit of gel on the end of the catheter, no problem.
 

Sid has never had any problems with intermittent self catheterisation. It has greatly improved his quality of life.

Sid has never had any problems with intermittent self catheterisation. It has greatly improved his quality of life.

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Are there any problems at all about self catheterisation?

For me no. No problems whatsoever. I can honestly say that with all sincerity I have never ever found any problems. I’ve never found that; I mean the only problem I’ve got is if I forget to take one with me. That’s the head going not right. You know.

So you don’t get a sore penis at all when you’re passing [the catheter]?

No, no, no, never had any problems that way at all.

That’s good.

I’ve, I can honestly say, I may be one of the lucky ones I don’t know, but I can honestly say it’s been the success of my life.
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