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May 4, 2013

As Time Goes By: Dealing with side effect of pills can really be a pain


I was doing great until about 3 a.m. when the “urge” hit me. I smiled, knowing that my external catheter was going handle everything.

Wrong! With the first onslaught of fluid, similar to the first blast of water from a fire-hose, the pressure built so much that I blew the catheter across the room. I could have floated a boat in the water in my bed. I called the nurse and said, “I’ve had an accident.” After that, the nurses drew straws to see who would help me.

Finally I answered an ad in the newspaper which was for an external catheter “that really works.” It was, I was told the marvel of the century and I would no longer have to leave halfway through the homily in church. (Rats!)

The apparatus arrived by UPS and consisted of three large brown boxes. We reviewed the instructions and called the help line where I was told that things would be dicey at first but would improve with each additional installation.

The apparatus consisted of a plastic “flower” which was “glued” to the member using a readily dissolved adhesive that washed off with warm water. The apparatus was hooked to a “pouch” that held the fluid. It looked good in principle.

The first hour was relaxing. I painted with my watercolors safe in the knowledge that I would not be jumping up — any problems I might have were “in the bag.”

About this time, I started itching where the “flower” and adhesive met the “member.” The itching turned into outright pain. Suddenly I had to go. I got to the bathroom and blew the plastic “flower” into the next county.

Where the “flower” had been attached was now a very red irritated series of sores. We decided right then and there to forget “the marvel of the century” and decided to send the boxes back.

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