Monday, March 14, 2011
I have a indwelling suprapubic catheter which is what I opted for when I was in rehab because I was still in my 30’s and in a relationship. So naturally I assumed we’d still have a physical part to our union. Besides, the idea of neat little whole in my belly seemed much more sanitary, comfortable, and easier to care for then a messy, uncomfortable tube hanging out of my urethra.
First, let’s talk about cleaning the area and catheter. In the six years I've been injured I might have had eight bladder infections. So I must honestly say my routine is excellent in preventing such infections. Each morning when I change from my night collection bag to my leg collection bag, after thoroughly washing his or her hands my attendant will remove the band aid that was placed over my catheter opening the night before and alternate between saline solution and peroxide sprayed onto a cotton ball and then a q-tip to clean the area around the opening and the tube itself. Both will have build up of a combination of triple antibiotic solution and bodily secretions which may include blood, fluid, or pus. Be mindful of what you cleaning every day; too much blood or pus could indicate a problem and you should call your urologist immediately.
After cleaning, my attendant then switches out the bags making certain the leg bag has been cleaned and rinsed in a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach to 4 parts warm water. When cleaning the bags make certain to rinse with warm twice before adding bleach solution and then make sure to shake solution into every corner and hose of bag. Finish with one more last warm water rinse. Then we can remove the tape that was holding my cath in place, use a SMALL amount of triple antibiotic ointment around the catheter opening and on the tube. GENTLY pull the catheter tube all way until your attendant can feel it tug. Then push it back in ¼ “. I cover my cath opening with white pads I order from a medical supply company. They have a slit for the hose to move and keep things clean and dry. But you needn’t cover your catheter at all or you can use a band aid as I do at night. The choice is personal.
At night we remove the white pad, clean with bactine, use a little triple antibiotic, set catheter and cover opening with a band aid. Then we switch back to night bag after cleaning it.
(to be continued)