Sunday, April 02, 2006


Poor old Gent is stiff with arthritis; the pain must be mind-numbing. Once he’s in bed he can’t get out again, so at night he is supposed to wear a condom catheter; this is the latest thing in bladder technology. When he came out of hospital last year he had a bag of them and the staff nurse showed me how to use it. It looked easy, and was, with the ones I got from the hospital  but, I was presented with what I can only imagine is a cheaper version from the chemist which were nowhere near as pliable. I just couldn’t get this thing on. There is Gent, all padded up in pillows for the night, and me trying to stuff his tackle into this little plastic, corrugated funnel. Then I’m supposed to roll it up the shaft and fiddle with double-sided sticky tape to hold it in place! The one the hospital gave me was much softer and once you began rolling it up there was a sticky substance already there, and it was suddenly on...and a very clever thing it was too. So I ended up using pads. I did complain to the chemist but they sent me the exact same stuff.

I work back to back with another carer; we’ll call her Fi. She can use them and is amazed that I can’t. Because Gent has to sleep in a propped-up position now, he has some little pressure sores on his bottom, which the urine is not helping. The staff nurse called me the other day and asked me to send in the conveens and bags we still had at home. I was happy to hand them over (some people won’t give away medical stuff but I couldn’t use them anyway). I was ecstatic to hear,  from Gent, that three of them couldn’t get the thing on either! I didn’t feel so bad when 3 professional nurses had trouble fitting them. The staff nurse told me yesterday that in the end they put in a real catheter for the duration of his stay with them, or until his bottom clears up. Poor old Gent hasn’t even had a chance to try out his new mattress at home; the family got him one of those with the memory foam. I think his bottom got so bad because he was sitting on a hard mattress for 12 hours. I was sitting on mine last night, setting this new blog up, for just a couple of hours and I was crippled!

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