I have absolutely no problem discussing bladder or bowel issues. They are the bane of so many MSers lives. If we need to learn, this is one of the few places we can get real time experiential knowledge.
I should think that if you are having trouble getting onto the loo, some kind of indwelling catheter would be sensible. And clearly an SPC is preferable to a Foley IDC, you’d find that the urethra would be sore and uncomfortable if you were to have no choice but to live with a Foley type. Not to mention catching it on pants etc.
An SPC is a solution to this, but I’ve never actually tried a belly bag, although many people find them wonderful. I just stuck with a leg bag, despite the drawbacks. Another option is a ‘flip-flo’, which is a kind of tap. Your urine stays in the bladder until you get the urge to go, then you open the flip-flo valve into a toilet or receptacle. I decided I was going to use one of these from the start and only realised half way home from the hospital that they won’t work until your catheter wound has healed a bit. (Leakage!) Another downside would be if you have bladder spasms, you might find you ‘bypass’ the catheter and leak through your urethra (this can happen anyway).
I imagine that most people at least start out with a leg bag when they have an SPC and possibly try out a belly bag later on.
I had trouble with my SPC, I was told later that a level of infection may always be present with an SPC simply because you have a foreign object within the bladder. I didn’t know this and had several infections. Given that I always have the sensation of having an infection (see the previous conversation between Ursula/Anne and me), it just ended up feeling too uncomfortable. How would I ever know I had a ‘real’ UTI? I also had a nasty little wound infection.
But, I still had the option of going back to ISC as I maybe a wheelchair user, but can transfer onto the loo OK.
If you have trouble with transfers Jackie, then I should think an SPC is a definite step forward.
The operation is done under general anaesthetic, you’re usually in hospital for a couple of days after the op. The catheter tube comes out of your abdomen a few inches below the belly button. It’s normal to keep a dressing on the wound at first, some people manage to stop dressing it after a while - I didn’t. The wound doesn’t hurt at all (or it didn’t me). You generally use a leg bag for the day and a night bag which holds more liquid overnight. As this thread started out, some people do swap after a while to a belly bag. One of the early posts suggested that a belly bag is more suitable for people who can walk and I can see why. Imagine as you’re sat in your chair, you also have a collection bag wrapped around your midriff, it could be really awkward to dress and to empty it. It might also be quite uncomfortable, but it’s worth giving it a go.
Now that I actually understand a bit more about why you might have an ongoing mild infection issue with an SPC, and also knowing now that I’m likely to be stuck with the urethral issues I have, I’d be prepared if my mobility got worse to have another SPC.
If there’s any other information that I can help with Jackie, just ask.