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Anyone else stuck with a catheter? Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

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Unread 02-07-2008, 05:02 PM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

Hi all,

I had a RAH on 1/28 and came home with a foley catheter in place. It hasn't been hurting, exactly, but it's been driving me crazy just feeling that it's in there and having to drag the bag around with me whenever I get up. I was so happy that today I was going for my first post-op checkup and going to get it OUT!

But things didn't work out as I had hoped. After filling my bladder with some water through the catheter line, they took it out and let me sit on the toilet to pee. 15 minutes later, nothing came out. Even though I felt my bladder was full and really wanted to pee, it was completely impossible to get it to come down. At that point, I was so tense and miserable I just rested my head on the wall and started crying. When the doctor came in to tell me I had to have it re-inserted, I just lost it, starting to sob, and feeling like my life has been taken away from me. (An overreaction, I know, but the whole process of finding out I had cervical cancer 1b2 to today has been less than a month...)

Now I have the catether back in place and don't get to go back and try again for another 10 days...I am so depressed about this and looking for any advice/support!

Thanks to all you strong women,

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Unread 02-07-2008, 06:23 PM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

(((Katherine))) I'm sorry you had to have your catheter reinserted again. I went home with a Foley for a week after my hyst in 2002. I'm here to tell you that eventually, the swelling does go down, the catheter comes out, you retrain your bladder to go normally... and it all one day will be a distant memory.

That said... do you have a leg bag you can wear so you can get out of the house? I wore a leg bag constantly with mine; in fact, I never bothered with the larger bag. The leg bag strapped onto my thigh with elastic straps; the only inconvenience I had was that when I took a shower, I had to remove the elastic straps and substitute paper first aid tape (the elastic would lose its stretch if it got wet repeatedly).

But, other than that, it was great. I was even able to go out to a Valentine's Day brunch with my DBF with the bag in place, under loose black pants, and I promise you, nobody laughed and pointed.

in there... you have been through a lot, but the catheter won't be with you forever.

Unread 02-07-2008, 09:07 PM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

Dear Katherine
Bless Your Heart! I can't imagine what you are going through! I know you are very discouraged but just hang in there and know that pretty soon you will have the catheter out!
Good luck and your in my prayers
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Unread 02-08-2008, 07:23 AM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

I am sorry you are feeling so down. I also had to go home with the catheter. I just wanted to tell you that it will get better. I am assuming you had a radical hysterectomy since you said you had cervical cancer? This causes more trauma to the bladder which is why you are having issues. The swelling WILL eventually go away and you will be able to get rid of the catheter. I will keep you in my prayers. I hope things go better at your next visit. Please let us know how you are.
Unread 02-08-2008, 09:43 AM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

I am so sorry you are having this issue. I was home for 3 days and had to go back to the doctor due to fever and feeling Horrible. I too had to have a catheter put in and that did not make me happy at all. While laying on the table I broke down crying and just lost it.
My doctor tried to make me feel better about the situation by reminding me this only temporary.But I said it was temporary going home with me not him. thankfully I was able to find some humor after the break down!
I did not get to have the catheter out the first visit back to the doctor but was able to get out the second visit. I do have another bladder infection so back on antibiotics.
I did find that squirting warm water (I punched a hole in the top of a water bottle) over that area made me able to go.

Good Luck and you are in thoughts and prayers
Unread 02-08-2008, 10:14 AM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?


I am sorry to hear that things did not go well with the removal of your catheter. I too went home with a catheter. I had mine for 18 days.

The day that I went to have it removed, I feared the exact thing that happened to you. As a matter of fact, my urologist said that there was no guarantee that it would be removed. They did an exam and asked a bunch of questions.

I had to keep mine because they nicked my bladder and had to do a repair. Why did you keep yours? How long did you have it? I ask because about 12 days into having mine, I started to feel like it was leaking, but they said that it was bladder spasms - and that was a sign that my bladder was healing. Do they have any idea why you were unable to go on your own?

As you can see, I don't mind talking about all this (to my surprise - if you are not comfortable giving all that detail I understand).

I am praying for you. I pray that when you return to the doctor - all will be well and they will be able to remove your catheter without any further problems or discomfort.

Blessings on you ....
Unread 02-09-2008, 03:26 PM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

I am so sorry for what you are going through but I can completely understand how you are feeling. I had my surgery about 9 months ago now and I too had to have a catheter for a long period of time. I had complications of my bladder "being asleep" is what the doctors told me. It turned out that I was having some other complications and my bladder retained so much that when I got home a few hours later I had to go back into the hospital cuz my bladder started tearing open my incisions inside which caused me to start hemoraging. I too had to have a catheter for more than three weeks. It is very discouraging at the time but I can tell you that I can now see that it was much better for me to have it in so that no other damage is done and your body can heal at a slower pace.

I had trouble with the leg catheter with how it felt on my leg. If you have to use the bag what I did was I got one of my bigger bag purses and just put it in that and carried the purse by the handles and with a skirt on I didn't feel like everyone noticed what I had. I can tell you that I have most of my bladder function back. The doctor told me that with the complications I had it could take up a year to heal but I am doing fine now.

I will pray that you heal quickly and are able to get rid of that thing soon. But the best advice that I kept getting that I didn't want to hear was to give your body time to adjust to what has just happened. I know that I wanted to feel like myself again right away and was so disappointed when it didn't happen on MY time schedule. Remember to just take it easy.

God Bless You - Kim
Unread 02-09-2008, 05:55 PM
Anyone else stuck with a catheter?

Originally Posted by DD1986
I can tell you that I have most of my bladder function back. The doctor told me that with the complications I had it could take up a year to heal but I am doing fine now.

God Bless You - Kim
Kim - Thank you for the insight. My urologist told me that my bladder would need to be retrained, but I wasn't sure how long that would take. I don't have another appointment with him for a month. I will be patient and go with the flow - pun intended. I am not used to going to the bathroom this much.

womanofpeace - thank you for asking the question that led to this discovery.

See, this is why I love this site!!!!

Blessings on you....
Unread 02-09-2008, 07:32 PM

Thank you all for your thoughtful and supportive responses! I love having a space to throw out these questions, especially since my gyn oncologist is a classic "surgeon" type who couldn't seem to understand why I was taking this so poorly. I think I know in my head that all of this does, as you all said, take time, and that we need to be patient with our bodies as they go through the recovery process, which is sometimes three steps forward and one step back. But somehow still dragging around the catheter and bag really was getting to me, as it's such a visible sign of what I'm going through, whereas the incision pain, hot flashes, and just plain worry doesn't show so much on the outside if I don't want it to.

I loved your story about going out with your catheter bag in a big handbag, Renee -- I don't want to laugh too hard, with my belly still tender, but I kept thinking that at least I couldn't possible forget my bag that way! But really, hearing you all talk about getting out there with leg bags and so on made me have a bit more positive outlook on this. I'm almost 2 weeks post-op and I've been feeling rather depressed and stuck in bed and blaming it on the catheter, but I think I might actually go out tomorrow for a little walk...things could be so much worse...but the whole experience is still just kind of unreal. Six weeks ago, I had no clue that I had cancer, and now I'm here, in this very weird situation...

Just wondering, too -- for those of you who came home with a foley and then returned to your doctor to check if it could be removed, how long did they give you to try and pee? What they did with me was put some sterile water in my bladder, then give me about 15 minutes on the toilet. The nurse (well-meaning, I'm sure) kept popping her head in every two minutes to see how it was going, which made me more and more nervous, which I'm sure didn't help. I felt the fullness in my bladder and an urge to pee, but nothing happened. I'm wondering if I had more time, and a bit more privacy, if it would have happened... Oh well, now I just have to wait until the 17th to try again.

Hugs to all,


Rad. Hyst. 1/28 w/ BSO and lympadenectomy for cerv. canc. 1B2
Unread 02-09-2008, 07:35 PM

sorry...I meant Kim's post about her handbag! That's what narcotic brain does...

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