A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The art of the catheter

When you first get the SB diagnosis you get the whole walking speech and then "bladder and bowel issues". Depending on what side of the fence they are sitting, the doctor can spin it either way (easily manageable or diapers for life). You think ok I can deal with that. He's born and the cathing schedule starts.
I had a head start and experience cathing so it wasn't that bad. Beyond the need to stick that tube into my little newborn's penis. And it goes in how far?! And its worse at the beginning when you are learning, he can't be on his back, you have to wake him up, he is screaming and you are upset and tired.

After doing this for 4 1/2 months I could cath him with my eyes closed! Now the challenge isn't the actual skill of cathing.
Nickolas' cathing has changed in the last month. I had it down to only cathing once a day, then the volumes started increasing. I was getting upset (you might have noticed in previous posts). As if there was something I could do. There isn't. What will pee, will pee.

This is the art of cathing. When you spend 10 min watching pee drip, drip, drip and fill up the container with higher and higher volumes you have to calm down. When you have 10 min to think about it you really need to talk yourself down. There isn't thing you can do to get lower volumes, a neurogenic bladder can be managed but trying to cath less, when his bladder needs to cathed more, does not help.

I've described it to others like an elastic. If the bladder doesn't completely empty and stays too full then its like the bladder is a stretched out elastic. And it can't get back to a tight elastic that can pee on its own.

Nick's volumes are starting to go back down, but I'm trying not the think about decreasing the times I cath him. Yes it would be nice to go back to cathing once a day (or be that lucky baby that doesn't need any cathing!) But that is how you get stressed. Please let me accept what I cannot change. Like the art of cathing.

Ohh big news! Kyle cathed him for the first time on the weekend!!!


  1. Yeah, cathing becomes second nature after awhile, but it never becomes something you WANT to be doing, does it? :(
    LOL, showing people how far it goes in is quite the party trick!

  2. We cath every 3-4 hours and my son, who will be 5 in June is learning how to help so he can eventually do it himself. He started school this year and showing the nurse at school how to cath him has been an ongoing experience!