Posted 2/22/2010 7:55 PM (GMT -7)
As a long term catheter wear thought I would weigh in here. For starters, I only use the leg bag when I am leaving the house to go somewhere. I use the night bag or as some call, the big bag the rest of the time. So with the big bag on, I am either wearing boxers and a tshirt if no one is around, or will wear it with shorts if there's company or if I am justs going outdoors for a minute, like checking the mail, etc.
The two things that make mine bleed a lot are using the vacuum cleaner, which I do every day, or mopping floors, that makes me bleed a lot. If I walk more than a couple of big stores, like a Walmart, I end up bleeding a lot.
It is important to have plenty of slack in the cath when attaching it to your thigh, you have to think how it will be when you are walking, bending, or lying down. I use either disposable cath holders, they are useless once they get wet from a shower, or what I prefer, is the expensive kind that will last a month or more, and they have a swivel device, so that the tube moves with your natural movement. I can give a brand name if needed.
You learn real quick with a foley catheter (penis) about avoiding snags. I have to be careful around kitchen cabinets, because of the door knobs love to catch the tube. With the SP (suprapubic) cath, which exits below my navel, you are even more careful ,because a snag there really hurts much worse.
In all the times I have been on caths ,and still, I have never needed to use any kind of lubricant or cream or ointment. I am not circumsised, so I don't know if that is making the difference or not. Never had any problem with leakage, or oozing, not even in the long term situations.
Everytime I change bags from leg to big or big to leg, I wipe down the ends of the tube with achahol, this really helps keep down a chance of getting a UTI.
I have learned how to hide all the gear even under a fitted suit when I go for job interviews, no one is the wiser. Most of the time I am out in public, I wear this baggy pair of black casual slacks with loose legs. It does a good job of hiding everything, and one a couple of cases, the tube that connects from the cath to the leg bag has come loose, and at least the black pants hide any wetness until I can get it hooked up again.
Also, don't let the leg bag get too full, I empty when its at the half full level as a rule. The heavier it gets, the more it wants to pull down despite the bands holding it in place. And never put yourself in a position to fall asleep with the leg bag on, it can easily go back into the bladder contaminated. Urine is only sterile when its inside your bladder, the moment its out, its contaminated.
david in sc