Take it from Ettienne Calitz, who shares his story to bring hope to others in the same situation
“In 1990, at the age of 20, I dislocated my neck in a car accident. Although I am today classified as a ‘walking quad with spastic paralyses’ I am still faced with the challenges of spasms and internal organ dysfunctions. I never had normal bladder or bowel function after the accident. My bladder would go into spasm when filled with 200 ml of fluid and I had to press on it to empty it.
Just over two years ago I started getting one infection after the other and was referred to a urologist, who established that after ‘emptying’ my bladder, there was actually still 400-600 ml of fluid left in it. I was informed that intermittent catheterisation would be the next and only option. My urologist introduced me to a product with a water-pocket coating. Then the process began to get it authorised by my medical aid. As a police officer, I belong to Polmed.
I informed Polmed that a catheter with a water coating made the process of self-catheterisation more convenient and hygienic, and would ease the discomfort and prevent the bleeding that I was experiencing when using non-coated catheters.
Polmed requested a motivation letter from my urologist. It took me about three months at first to obtain authorisation. The medical aid also requested three quotations, which was not possible, as I only knew of one service provider at the time.
I made it my mission to find a service provider that could assist. I was contacted by Coloplast, who has now been delivering my Speedicath coated catheters for over a year.
Speedicath really improves the quality of life of an individual – I can now go anywhere confidently. It has reduced my discomfort and pain significantly and given me a sense of freedom. Less time is needed when using an already coated product and you don’t need any additional products. The casing is of good quality and has a feature that enables it to be pasted onto a wall or tile when removing the product for use. Moreover, the casing can bend and be placed in your pocket, making it very discreet. The product can be used without having to wash your hands, if water is not readily available. Most importantly, it reduces infections.” For more information regarding Speedicath, please contact Coloplast on 0861 61 2273.
Coloplast’s resident nurse, Sister Sally Roxburgh, answers some questions about intermittent catheterisation…
Q: How often should I catheterise myself?
A: About 4-6 times a day, or as recommended by your doctor or nurse. You should catheterise as many times as if you had a normally functioning bladder.
Q: Which size catheter should I use?
A: It is important to use the correct catheter and the correct size. Your healthcare professional will help you find the right one.
Q: What should I do if I can’t insert the catheter?
A: If you have tried and failed, don’t panic. Try to relax and wait a few minutes before trying again. You may find it beneficial to take a warm bath before you try to insert it again. If you still cannot manage, contact your healthcare professional.
Q: How much should I have to drink during the day?
A: You should drink around 1,5-2 litres of fluid per day. The colour of your urine will tell you if you are drinking enough – your urine will be light in colour if you are taking in enough liquids.
For more information about catheterisation, please contact Sister Sally Roxburgh on 083 251 1178.