I always thought that men have an easier job anatomy wise, but I’ve been put right. Not only do they have further to thread the catheter (which actually sounds worse than it is), they have to kind of ‘force’ the catheter past the prostate. So easier and yet more difficult.
What I do think makes life more difficult is that we just don’t know our own anatomy. So it doesn’t sound silly at all, it sounds utterly normal to me. I remember having two nurses here when learning how ISC was done and I was trying to poke a catheter somewhere in the right area sitting on the loo. I had basically no idea what I was trying to do, no idea what it would feel like if I hit the right place, and adding to my discomfort, 2 nurses who I didn’t know well watching me.
Eventually, we moved to doing it on the bed and even the nurse trying to thread the damn thing in took a good number of catheters (I suspect she was a bit rubbish as I’ve had other nurses thread a catheter into my urethra with no problem).
I then had a couple of months of attempting to do it sitting semi recumbent on the bed with a mirror, using a catheter with a bag attached. Sometimes it was easy, other times harder. At that point I was capable of doing it sitting on the bed with knees bent and looking into a mirror (there’s no way I’d be capable of that now). Eventually, I decided to just sit on the loo and give it a go. By that time I knew what it looked like and felt like. And was amazed that I got the first catheter in straight away. Ever since then I’ve been able to do it without looking. Sometimes I still have to chuck a catheter or two away as I slip with my hand and touch the wrong spot. But generally it’s OK. And I’m mostly infection free.
Shame really that I’m having a Mitrofanoff procedure this summer. So I’ll be using ISC in a completely different way. Future proofing my bladder according to my MS nurse!!