911-Do you Do catheters?

In hospitals, indwelling urinary catheter supplies must be sterile since sterile technique is required; however, in the home environment, clean technique may be used.



     One night this week, just about bedtime, I became very nauseated and started feeling really lousy.  It had the feel of when I’m about to have an allergic reaction to something.  I have lots of food allergies and I often find out about a new one through several hours of agony and being tied to the restroom.  I thought it might be that or food poisoning.  Fortunately, it turned out to be neither but it sure gave me a scare.

     I, like most people, hate to be sick.  It’s miserable but usually, if I have someone to bring me things, I just stay put in the bathroom, often on the floor on a blanket, till it passes.  As I was contemplating possibly having such a night I went between dread of being sick and panic as to what was I going to do about Lynn?

     There were several issues.  The most immediate was that I felt like I couldn’t stay up another minute but still had to finish feeding him, giving him his nebulizer treatment, cathing him, and getting him ready for sleep.  With each request he made, I became more and more cranky and desperate to lie down.  I finally did, lying very still, breathing shallowly, and praying I would not be sick.  Thanks, God for granting that wish…

     As I lay there in dread, the other struggle was what was I going to do if I did indeed get sick?

1.  What if I needed help?  Lynn is attached to a peddler at night so he can peddle when his legs get stiff. He could pull out of it but he also doesn’t usually hear me if I yell from the bathroom and he can’t get his wheelchair through the door to bring me anything.  Solution:  Take a phone into the bathroom with me.  Plan:  Get a phone for the bathroom permanently.

2.  He needs to be cathed several times a night.  He cannot urinate on his own. If I was too sick to move, who could cath him?  That’s where my mind went to 9-1-1.  I figure if a rescue squad could put in a catheter in an emergency, not being able to empty one’s bladder can lead to one, so the solution is to call 911 to get them to come put in a foley.  Did you know that if a person cannot empty their bladder that after a while they will go into shock?  The urine backs up to the kidney and then on toward overloading the heart and lungs.  It doesn’t happen immediately but it can cause a lot of pain and the shock comes long before the other parts. So I think 911 is a good option.

3.  If I’m sick for hours, I sure am not going to feel like taking care of him the next day. Lord, give me strength!  I know I would try to push through though.  I would certainly have to call for help I expect but there are so many things family and friends just don’t know how to do and I still don’t have an arrangement yet for intermittent nursing help.  Got to get back into looking for that again.

     Just so much more to consider when someone is so dependent on you for everything they need.  I also know that emotionally Lynn would be devastated if I was very sick.  He gets so afraid if I seem to be sick or hurt.  He worries about me but he’s also very afraid of what would happen to him.  He says all the time that he would give up and die if I was no longer around to help him.  Talk about pressure…

     Anyway, I dodged the bullet.  Whatever was wrong finally went away.  I felt yucky the next day but functional so it was a false alarm, thank God.  So once again we were blessed to avoid another crisis and managed through what we had.  Aren’t we fortunate to have such a caring God to take care of us that way?

Yes, we are….

7 thoughts on “911-Do you Do catheters?”

  1. I am a fulltime caregiver for my husband and my health is not good either and somedays I would just like to lie in bed for myself but God always gives me the stregenth to carry on and somedays I have to ask often for help.We have a awesome God

  2. FYI 911 will not do a catheter, they aren’t equipped or trained. They will transport to the ER, who will put in a foley most likely. Having had the “fun” of the day when, well, things stopped working I learned all that. That was when he was using the condom cath… and I realized he’d had no urine output in 13 hours! And boy was he in pain. Since I’d already gotten him into the bed, all I could do was call for transport – no way was I gonna be able to put him back into the chair when bending hurt that much. The ER cathed him – and not only got peed on (upon insertion… pee everywhere) but also got about 800ccs in the bag! OUCH!

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