Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend one of three different types of catheters. From indwelling to intermittent to external, each of these options does require some time to get used to wearing. Whatever kind of catheters you need, there are little things you can do to make life with them a little easier. Here are some examples to keep in mind.
Clean the Insertion Area at Least Twice a Day
You’ve likely heard of people developing rashes and other skin problems near the insertion site. The best way to avoid that is to wash the skin in that area at least twice a day. Use cleaning products that help soothe the skin and keep the area as clean as possible.
This will help prevent drying out the skin or leaving residue that paves the way for rashes and itching. It also helps to minimize the potential for inflammation around the point of insertion. This one tip will reduce the potential of feeling discomfort while wearing the catheter.
Wash Your Hands Before Touching Any of the Catheter Equipment
It’s not unusual for patients to adjust or otherwise touch part of the catheter equipment during the day. From emptying the bag to inserting a fresh disposable catheter, it will only take a short time to get used to the process. Remember that you need to wash your hands thoroughly before and after any of these tasks. Doing so further inhibits the potential to develop any type of infection and keeps you feeling fresh.
Some people think that if they drink less, it’s possible to make managing a catheter easier. In fact, the opposite is true. You want to remain hydrated at all times. If you notice that the urine is a darker shade of yellow, that means you’re not taking in enough liquid.
Proper hydration helps in terms of keeping the catheter line clear of any residue. That in turn also helps reduce the potential for irritation or infection. Keep water or something similar on hand to sip throughout the day. You really will feel better.
Make Sure the Catheter Remains Free of Any Tangles
The catheter line between the insertion point and the collection bag should be free of any tangles of bended areas. Strapping the bag to a thigh is often the most practical way to accomplish this. The last thing you want is for the urine flow to be trapped in the line or begin to back up. When nothing interferes with the flow, you’re more likely to feel comfortable. The potential for inflammation is also kept to a minimum.
Adjust the Straps on the Bag for Comfort
Ideally, the straps on the Catheter bag should be adjusted so they hold it in place but do not pinch or rub against the skin. It may take a little effort to find the perfect adjustment, but it’s worth it. A fit that’s snug but does not interfere with your range of motion or seem binding makes it easier to focus on the day’s activities and be less conscious of the fact that you’re wearing a catheter.
Your doctor can provide more specific instructions based on the type of catheter you’re using. Listen closely and always ask questions. If something comes up and you’re not sure what to do, don’t hesitate to call the doctor’s office. In time, you’ll be used to wearing the catheter and feel confident in your ability to use it effectively.