Urinary retention/catheters

(10 Posts)
allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 03:58:07


I’m a 25 year old Mumma of a 6 month old.
I’m looking for some advice/story sharing/any insight or knowledge into my current situation.

Last month I went into acute urinary retention - out of complete nowhere, I was completely unable to wee. I ended up in A&E after over a day of being unable to wee and hours spent desperately trying on the toilet. I was catheterised, admitted overnight, had bloods & an ultrasound (all normal results). When they took the catheter out the next day, I was still unable to void myself, and so was sent home with intermittent self-catheters.

A week later I seemed to be having bladder spasms and so the intermittent catheters weren’t working (almost like my body was pushing them out before they could drain my bladder fully 😳) and again, went into complete retention and had to go back to A&E. They put a catheter in with a leg bag that now stays in for the foreseeable future.

The catheter is pretty uncomfortable and tugs at every movement, but more than that, I’m really beginning to struggle emotionally with what this will mean in the long term. I think this is largely down to frustration and confusion at how blasé the doctor(s) were when I was the hospital.
When I was being discharged with the self-catheters the first time it happened, I asked the doctor what he thought could be causing it (being a healthy, young woman with no history of medical conditions/hospital admissions and a straightforward homebirth with no tearing/postnatal issues), his reply was ‘it can just be one of those things. The catheters might need to be a life-long feature, we can’t tell at this stage”.

When I began to get a little visibly upset, shocked by the potential permanency of this condition (whatever it is!), he retorted that there was no need to feel upset; lots of women have this problem and the catheters become less painful with time.

I’ve been told I’ll have an appointment through for urodynamic studies and an appointment for a ‘trial without catheter clinic’ but neither of these appointments have come through yet, almost 2 weeks down the line and I’m beginning to feel so, so frustrated and so so confused by this whole thing.

Since this has all happened, I have completely no sex drive, I don’t even feel attractive enough to kiss my husband. I don’t have the confidence to go to the gym (nor do I think I’d be able to with the pain of the catheter tugging), I’m living in baggy joggers because I’m too afraid people will see the catheter bag otherwise, I’m struggling with energy to go on play dates/lunch dates with friends and our babies, I feel guilty for the effect this might be having on my bub, I feel tearful, lonely and pretty embarrassed by the whole thing.

Of course, things could be so much worse and I am so grateful that I have my health otherwise, and perhaps I do just need to ‘man up’, but i’m really struggling to simply accept this and could really do with some reassurance/insight/understanding from some fellow women/Mummas.

Thank you and so sorry for the rant ♥️

I can’t understand why this is happening to a healthy, active young woman (I’ve never had a hospital admission, no medical conditions, had a straightforward homebirth, no tearing or incontinence issues postnatally etc), and I can’t understand why the doctors seemed to so easily brush it off as ‘one of those things’. When I asked the doctor discharging me the first time it happened how long he thought I’d need the catheters, his reply was “it could be a lifetime”.

OP’s posts: |
allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 04:01:00

Oops I don’t know why that little paragraph at the end is there 🙈

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Justagirlwholovesaboy Tue 22-Jan-19 04:10:06

This is a medical issue and they should be able to fix it. You need to fight for it though. Specialist appointents are very restricted at the moment. If you are willing to go public a newspaper local to you could put pressure on your heath trust to help, if not then write to your mp. Make sure you see your go often so they record the issues so there is evidence of medical neglect if they refuse to treat you. You dont deserve this

allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 04:26:50

@Justagirlwholovesaboy thank you so much for your reply, this is the first time I’ve opened up to anyone about it other than to the doctors (and my poor husband!), so thank you for being so understanding. X

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stolemyusername Tue 22-Jan-19 04:31:24

You have my sympathy, I've had to ISC due to a car accident and it's just horrible - I really resented that I had to do it. In future I know that I'm looking at a permanent catheter and it does upset me greatly.

Have the urodynamics study (push for it), it's not the most pleasant of tests but it could provide you with answers (for example my urologist suggested Botox injections to relax the bladder so I could urinate normally).

Wishing you the best of luck

Bobojangles Tue 22-Jan-19 04:36:51

No advice except can you ask for a.flip flow valve instead.of a bag? I had retention for a few weeks after the birth of my first child, the flip flow was much more comfortable and less upsetting as there is no bag of wee. The urology nurse got it sorted as the male doctor had no concept that having a bag of wee strapped to your.lwg might be upsetting for a young woman. Also better as it still let's the bladder fillNaturally

allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 05:04:05

@Bobojangles this was something the kind nurse suggested too, that sounds like a much better solution - but the doctor said our hospital didn’t stock them, nor did he think it was necessary at this stage. Thank you though, it’s definitely something i’ll mention again if it looks like this is a long term thing. X

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allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 05:09:56

I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, I can imagine resentment is exactly what you’re feeling. You have no idea how much less of an alien it makes me feel hearing from someone else who’s going through & feeling similar. Lots of love and luck to you too x

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allylally Tue 22-Jan-19 05:10:31

@stolemyusername - sorry, I’m a bit rubbish at this! 🙈

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Kittycuddles Tue 22-Jan-19 07:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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