OH slept right through the night without having to get up for the loo.
I catheterised him again this morning before his shower, but it didnt go so well this time, so Im going to leave it again until tonight.
Im beginning to feel this might be do-able, though. Im glad he is (mostly) compliant and doesnt get aggressive with personal care. If he did there is no way that it would be possible.
We are still keeping going, although only in the mornings and evenings. Im wondering whether this will be sufficient as he can pass urine, just not very much, during the day.
It feels very much like good news and bad news. The good news is that I can manage it, OH is fairly compliant and it means that he sleeps well during the night now - no constant getting up and down to the loo, he just sleeps straight through. This means that he seems brighter during the day and is no longer having mid-morning and/or afternoon naps, which is wonderful.
The bad news is, though, that he finds it very uncomfortable and, at times, downright painful, so Ive had to stop and start again. The other problem is my back which is not taking kindly to bending over for about 5 mins at a time. Last night it was protesting so much that I was worried that I would just collapse, which would have hurt both of us. This morning I explained the problem to OH who was able to understand in the moment and I got him to take my weight by putting my left elbow on his right knee. I will obviously have to explain that this is what I will have to do each time and eventually I suppose that we will get to the stage that he just wont understand, but for now it is OK and my back is not so bad. Im also hoping that with practice my technique will improve so that OH finds it less uncomfortable.
I also wonder what would happen if/when my disc goes again and I cannot lean over at all.
Canary, I am glad to see your report and that the better sleep is continuing. That part is great news.
The toll this is already taking on you is not great news. I wonder what you can try, to make this easier on you physically. Would there be someone you can ring from the clinic? Is there an online forum for urinary issues? A nurse who could advise? Even a physical or occupational therapist?
I'm not happy about this at all. Learning new skills and applying them to a co-operative patient is one thing, ruining your health is a whole different ballgame. I think you should go back to them and tell them that you tried but it's hurting your back, and if you get to the stage where you have to rest completely, you will not be a help to anyone. They should send district nurses or carers to do this.
Yes @Beate and @Amy in the US , I share your concerns.
The nurse is going to phone on Thursday to see how it is going and I will ask her what would happen if I just couldnt catheterise OH because of my back. Its having to hold a half-bend thats the problem - I have to put my left hand on the basin when I clean my teeth and some days I cant get my shoes and socks on. I find myself wondering whether a perching stool would work better as its up higher.
Would carers be willing to do this? Somehow I cant see it.
I did wonder about a change in the seating arrangement to relieve pressure on your back. Could you possibly do this in the shower, if yours is set up in a helpful way? It would be easy to clean, at any rate. I realise this won't help if you have a shower/tub arrangement, versus a walk in shower with a seat.
I would phone the nurse tomorrow and not wait for her to call you on Thursday, or at least leave a message for her.
That was a good thought @Amy in the US , but unfortunately we have a shower/tub (or what we would call a shower/bath ) arrangement.
I might contact a friend of mine who is a physiotherapist to see if she has any suggestions, but if anyone has any ideas please do chip in.
The thing is that if a paid carer or district nurse does this, they are protected under health & safety rules and get sick pay if necessary - you don't. They do a risk assessment and either won't do it or come in pairs if it's too much for one person - but you'll always be expected to just get on with it. Fair? No, so don't let them do this to you. No one will speak for you except you yourself.
I thought as much regarding the bathroom and shower configuration, but thought I would mention it. I recently saw a renovated bathroom that had the ideal setup for your situation!
Beate raises good points. What happens if you injure your back due to having to do the catheter procedure, and then are out of commission? Or even if you break your wrist or get laid up with flu? Is there a plan B for this sort of situation?
I think we are all concerned for you both, Canary. Sending lots of ((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) since I'm out of helpful ideas.
My only experience of catheter for dad was during a week long stay in hospital before he was sent back to his NH for end of life. However dad as with all aspects of personal care or even simple medical interventions was very physically resistant and non compliant but as he needed catheters due to urine retention I had to hold him down which was horrible. However...it was very difficult to manage even for trained nurses and sometimes took several distressing attempts ... dr said because dad had an enlarged prostrate it made it even more difficult and unfortunately painful so I wonder if this could be a factor for your OH. I do agree with others though...for your sake also should you really be taking this strain?
I tend to agree with Beate, Canary. You must look after your own health otherwise you will not be able to look after anyone. This is a nursing situation and we are not nurse trained.
More and more is expected of us all.
You really are in a catch 22 situation. All blessings, Alice.
I think the logic is that if an untrained person can do this for themself, then another person can do it for them.
If I can work out a way to save my back then it will be OK (although I do need to find out what to if Im not well enough to do it)
I rather think their logic is that if an untrained person doesn't protest having to do it...
If it affects your health and is difficult to do to another person, you have every right to tell them to help you with this.
Don't be a martyr.
For me I would find it easier to do it to myself rather than to another.
With myself I would know the pain/discomfort level.
For my husband I would worry that I might be hurting him, I would be concerned that if he did not understand why I was hurting him, he would not trust me to be on his side.
I do not know what the equipment is like but I do know that when my friend had to call 111 for a blocked catheter it took several attempts on occasions.
Once the nurse had to call out another nurse.
I think you are being very brave but do not be too brave for your own good.