Wheelchair Life

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Tools for self catheterization

A six-piece set for self-urethral catheterization

The tool I use for passing water are six items including an antiseptic solution, a pocket pack of Kleenex and so on.

A six-piece set for self-urethral catheterization

  1. Catheter
  2. Antiseptic solution
  3. Pocket pack of Kleenex
  4. PET bottle
  5. Bag to put a PET bottle
  6. Xylocaine jelly

A bottle above a catheter is glycerin ointment. I would like to leave out explanation for #2, an antiseptic solution, #3, a pocket pack of Kleenex and #4, a PET bottle (Substitute for an urinal). Instead, I’d like to give explanation in detail about #1, a catheter, #5, a bag to put a PET bottle and #6, Xylocaine jelly in below.

About catheter


There are three catheters I use for passing water (the left side of picture). The differences among them are consistency. You can tell the difference as seeing the degree of bending.

I mainly use the catheter 14Fr at the front which is the most soft one.
This is disposable but I repeatedly use for several days after washing it (for saving money purpose).

However, if the bladder stores too much urine or at a change of season, the catheter becomes limp and cannot pass through the urethra to reach to the bladder.

In this case, I recommend you to use the different one on the middle of the picture which is more harder than the first one. This catheter is made of silicon. Using this catheter and put Xylocaine jelly around it, you can push it into the bladder firmly and easily.

Still in some cases, this catheter cannot go into the bladder.

In such case, I use another one at the back in the picture which is a quite hard catheter.

This catheter saved me twice going to a hospital for inability to insert a catheter into the urethra.

About bag to put a PET bottle

About bag to put a PET bottle

hold a PET bottle between legs while passing water like left side picture.

The PET bottle is used as an urinal, but the bottle doesn’t have a handle like urinal does.
However, if you use the bottle bag, you don’t have to hold it with a hand and both hands can be free.

This bag is easy to make, and my OT (occupational therapist) made this for me. Please try it.

Besides an urinal and a PET bottle, you can use a diaper. After putting a diaper between thighs, let it soak urine. There are many types of diapers that can absorb 200cc ~1500cc of liquid. You can take them out with you when you go out without any stressful bulky stuff.

About Xylocaine jelly

Xylocaine jelly case

Xylocaine jelly has the effects of surface anesthetic. After putting jelly on catheter and inserting it into the urethra, Xylocaine jelly applies anesthesia to the urethra. A little bit jelly is enough to have effects.
In addition, it is sticky, greasy and slippery, can lubricate as well.
If a catheter cannot pass through, the jelly works well to insert catheter into bladder smoothly.

Yet, the problem here is that a person who has a cervical spine injury cannot use their fingers to put the jelly.
It’s quite difficult for them to holding a catheter with one hand and push a jelly tube with another hand and apply jelly to a catheter.

You can put jelly on a piece of Kleenex in advance, then apply it to catheter. But it wastes much jelly.
Moreover, if jelly sticks on fingers, you cannot hold nor insert a catheter either.
I was also troubled with sticky jelly to fingers and could not grip a catheter many times.

Xylocaine jelly case

Then I thought up the way to apply Xylocaine jelly to a catheter without sticking to fingers.
I place jelly into a plastic vessel, and put catheter into the vessel to apply jelly. By doing so, you can avoid waste jelly and stickiness on fingers as well.