Wheelchair Life

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Inserting catheter difficult

What should I do when a catheter is hard to insert?

I would like to tell precautionary measures that my doctor told me and strategies my friends and I are adopting.

Precautionary measures (from my urologist’s talk)

Not to leave a long interval between urinations

You cannot insert a catheter after the body develops an excessive reflex action.

Not to withdraw urine many times

If you withdraw urine with a catheter so many times and the urethra is rubbed, the urinary sphincter is stimulated and gets tight, it would be difficult to insert the catheter in this condition.

Do not drink water too much at once.

If you drink water a lot at once, it caused an excessive reflex in one. In this case, the reflex occurs very strongly; you cannot put a catheter since the bladder swells up as well.

Strategy 1 (In my case)

Change a catheter

Change your catheter from soft one to harder one. This way is most effective so far.

Change the position of your hip

When you feel it’s hard to inset a catheter while sitting on a wheelchair, try shifting your sitting position to different place, like move to a car or a bed.

By doing so, the muscles around the bladder change its position. Consequently, you can easily pass a catheter through the urethra. Especially when you are on a bed, a catheter goes in smoothly.

Change the position of your legs

It is also effective to put your legs on a leg-rest or cross your legs.

Sitting with your legs closed
I can easily insert a catheter when I close my legs like this.

Let your legs have convulsions

As sitting on a wheelchair for long time, your body gets contracted. A catheter wouldn’t go through the urethra. In such case, try causing a convulsion intentionally as hitting your legs. It helps muscles of bladder relax, can insert a catheter without difficulty.

Put grease after applying Xylocaine jelly

After you put the jelly around a catheter, put the catheter into a case which grease is already in, it becomes more sticky and easily pass the urethra.

Change the direction of a catheter

When a catheter stops around the sphincter, change pushing direction from left to right or up to down.
It can help as well.

The way of holding a catheter
In my case, I hold a catheter with my thumb and the middle finger.

Strategy 2 (In my friend’s case)

Wait for 5 to 10 minutes

If he has a trouble with putting a catheter, he doesn’t force himself. He just waits for a while then tries it again.

Use a thin catheter

When his everyday use catheter gets hard to use, he changes it to thinner one.

Do not push a catheter too much

aaIt is very risky to push a catheter forcibly into the urethra even if you cannot put the catheter into your body.
It can cause unexpected accidents. For instance, you cannot pull out the catheter as it bends in the middle of urethra (N ← Like this), or you could thrust a catheter into the urethra to make a hole.

In both cases, you bleed badly and have got to go to a hospital right away.
I was also taken to a hospital by ambulance when I couldn’t pull out a catheter.

Even if you have troubles with inserting a catheter, don’t be confused. Please try above advice and strategies or ask somebody’s help to put a catheter.

If you face difficulties in passing water outside, you may need to ask someone for help whom you don’t know, but do not hesitate to say “Could you please help me to draw off water with a catheter?”
A friend of mine was actually escaped danger by saying so.