Nurse Georgepa panicking

Everyday there seems to be some new experience which one has to come to terms with . Today one of our district nurses called Sue who is straight out of "Darling Buds of May" turned up with her bladder scanner . V has the opposite of incontinence -retention . The reading showed more urine than was possible to contain but contained it was . "I will need to drain her using a catheter ."said nurse Sue . "Oh " I thought - " a second cup of coffee in the kitchen and maybe a piece of toast for me " Not a chance "hold this" she said and continued with the procedure . The bag duly filled , was emptied and reattached . "Now " she said I have to go and see two other patients so when the bag refills just turn off the tap and put it back on -bye "

" Bye - what well no - well I suppose so - oh lord " It actually took me back several years to when I took a severely disabled young man out to the pub for a drink . After his 5th pint he said he need the toilet - with some trepidation I wheeled him outside to the WC . Before we got there he said not to worry just roll his trouser leg up and by his ankle was a tap , place a leg over the drain turn on tap and all would be well -it was . But I digress so to return to the matter in hand . When the Nurse came back some two hours later she said "I have been thinking we could use a mini drain twice a day and that would save V from having a permanent catheter and with training you can do it ."

Mini drain ? that sounds like something out of a plumber's tool box . I had visions of a smaller version of one of those rubber sink plungers which when you use them send everything moving with a satisfying glug .But no it turns out to be a smaller kind of catheter . Then the panic set in -training , who would I practice on - surely not the district nurse , the mind boggled - more panic would I need my distance glasses or my reading glasses ? And what would happen if I sneezed which I am prone to doing six or seven times in explosive succession once I start .For heavens sake I am an antique dealer - I am really not cut out for this .

But hold on I have mastered suppositories , a full range of handling machines and hoists - slings of every possible variation . I bed wash and roll V in bed - I am no stranger to commodes and all that goes with them - the blender and me are as one so this should be a doddle .

On the other hand my CHC funding assessment is coming up -so if I do this will they say yet again my wife doesn't need any specialist care as her husband can do it and he is a layman - so perhaps I shall decline the training and insist the district nurses come in twice a day - I am learning - what do you think ?

30 Replies

  • Decline, decline, decline Georgepa!

    The more we do, the more we are expected to do!

    It disgusts me that you are expected to do all this, what a joke! You need to make it crystal clear to chc that YOU are tired, worn out, incapable of doing all these things! Their taking the Michael and that is beyond wrong!

    So as much as I reckon you wanna know n learn, DONT!!!!! It's a mad thing to say but DONT!

    You NEED chc, and you need it now/yesterday/2 months ago, don't oblige, behave incapable, total nonsense, but I'm afraid it's the only way forward in my mind x

  • Thanks Satt I am sure you are right but its hard to say no I won't .I know I should .

  • Me thinks you are doing absolutely brilliantly...

    and there's me feeling sorry for myself! I feel so guilty now.

    But yes maybe you'll get some help if you 'can't manage' haha I should listen to myself !

    You shouldn't have to 'manage' something like that, let's face it if you'd wanted to be a nurse or a carer, then you'd have trained to be one!!!


  • Nothing to feel guilty about, we are all in the same boat.Some days that boat seems to be sinking fast doesn't it.


  • I just want to say this about that....America doesn't really give a flyin flip whether the carer knows how to do it or not.....You, the carer, are on your frickin own....You all are pretty lucky for a nurse comin around to your house ,on a Sunday nonetheless! You don't want to hear my whine ...but I'm fighting a forest fire with a garden hose!

    Good Luck Georgepa....


    send in the nurses


  • I do realise how lucky we are with our health service in the UK .It may have its faults but without it I would have been up the creek without a paddle .I just don't know how you cope in the USA.I doubt medical insurance would cover half of it. Good luck with the garden hose AVB.

  • Funny story...Woke up today with a strange hissing filling the room...Oh no the catheter....I look through sleep filled eyes (I slept!!) seems fine...A gas noxious smell anyway by now we'd be blowed up w that noise.....moving on.....My ear (Ican hear!!! {It's another saga in my many})follows sound to the window where It's... my garden hose! My landscape architect of a son decided to rise with the sun and come over and clean my pond....hose faucet is just outside our bedroom!!

    Now on to America's Medical Support System.....You know , we have this thing called Medicaide....It pays living and medical expenses for the disabled and or poor....Some people divorce each other to portray an even more destitute situation ...They collect the check and go on a second honey moon..(well it aint that good) others fain an illness or injury ...usually something about their back... can't work...etc...and those who need it.. die from lack of care.....B would be dead by now....I quit my job and am his medicaid ....To be fair we were on it for awhile and it did help alot....but they ke[t denying there was anything wrong with B since they didn't know what was wrong with him....That's one way to keep the weaker masses down, eh?

    All that aside, if you have read my rants on catheter care, I do totally relate to your situation as I am experiencing the same exact situation!

    I do hope you , V gets the care she needs!

    And I doubt you will, but you can count yourselves lucky as the hose is a little shorter journey than with a man....some consolation eh?

    Good luck


  • Hi George,professionals are very good at telling you what a good job you are doing and making it feel right and good to do the physical jobs for our loved ones.However who else can do the other side of care but you?V needs a hand to hold and reminders of all the happy times a husband who has his mind on things beyond bodily functions, the George that had eyes for sunsets.Mind and spirit are just as much part of V and need your attention.Well that is my thoughts,maybe it will help? Pxx

  • Well said ,Pxx!

  • Thanks P - sadly the dementia side of this illness is taking a stronger hold almost daily so the physical help is almost all I can do for V.

  • Decline Georgpa, you don't need anything else to worry you, it's ok until things go wrong ( and often they do ) then it's just another stress for you. Take care X

  • Oh yes, Georgepa, you are learning. Definitely decline. I apologies for laughing out loud at your description. It's a horrible situation for you both to be in but I imagined it being a scene from Carry on Carer, you with your toolbox and plunger and wearing glasses with another pair on your head, just in case and the district nurse with tubes and a bag.

    Poor V, having to have this done to her. I do hope the DN comes in regularly to make her comfortable.


  • George i have to say this. "Let the professionals do it" yes i am trained to do all these procedures...... but i don't tell them that. Why should you do an invasive procedure on your wife after a quick 5 minute training session. When i was trained we saw the procedure done several times then we was supervised at least 3-4 times before we were allowed to fly solo. Janexx

  • So right Jane....If it weren't for you yesterday who is so many miles away, I wouldn't know what the heck was going on a few inches away!

    Send in The Nurses!!!


  • Please decline George, and V surely knows you are there and she is loved xxx

  • George it's easy! You open your mouth and shout as loud as you can "NO. NO. NO. NO." I would also had a few rude words!

    Apart from all the obvious reasons, I don't think it's fair on V, to be pulled around like that twice a day, by her husband. Also the risk of infection must be enormous. I know having a Catether in, is a risk, but nobody is constantly fiddling around. This is definitely a nurse job, NOT A HUSBAND JOB!!!

    I would start demanding that the DN's come in and do more for V, especially in view of the CHC assessment. All these jobs that they are insisting you do, is stopping you do the most important job, that's being a husband to V. That can't be good for her mental well being.

    On that day, millions of years ago, we all utter that dreadful sentence, "in sickness and in health" we didn't mean, we would rush out, buy the rubber gloves and immediately become nurses. We agreed to carry on loving them and being their spouse.

    For V's sake, please tell them to take a running jump, or words to that effect!!!

    Sending big hug and lots of love


  • Well said Heady!!!!! You tell him!!! Xxx

  • Yes but Heady its one of those skills that you never know when it might come in handy !!

  • George be told. That skill is one that you don't need to have. The District Nurses are well trained for that job. And from my experience i would leave it to them and even demand a permanent catheter...... that would save all problems regarding the twice daily fiddle and who should do it.

    For example would you get the pliers out if she had a tooth ache ot take V to the dentist. Janexx

  • Must admit it will look good on your CV!!!

    Lots of love


  • Dad,

    Please please listen to all the advice on here. You are being an amazing husband to Mum, you don't need to do this too!

    Love Bossy Daughter xx

  • You tell him girl. Horses for courses. Janexx

  • Hi George they tried that one on me, DN "oh you can do it its so easy"((nebuliser, yes, change dressings yes, feed via PEG (yes as other style is 16 hr pump loss of freedom), changing urine catheter shown but I refused the responsibility, I will empty the leg bag but tubing no! needs nurses or ambulance, did I get the "you are causing us trouble" from the DN so I suggested they could do more that shut them up. I had only 3 weeks of catheter issues before M learned not to fiddle fortunate and the nursing home place was found (still feel this was unfortunate but I doubt if I could have continued much longer without breakdown)

    Nursing home are brilliant with M and now after some trepidation on their side (Health & Safety, nursing care etc) I am still giving M daily lunch and tea PEG's, evening nebuliser, and neck and chest massages.

    My thought is the DN will try to get you to do as much as they can but you are entitled to say this is too much. As someone said CHC is about nursing care and catheter tube change is definite that so will count towards it.

    Best wishes


  • George listen to us ladies it is NO No No let them come in and do it, it is there job, so George it is a BIG NO xxxxx

  • OK I surrender , I will take all your good advice and decline the opportunity to train . I have to say there was a sad dearth of volunteers for me to practice on - was it the spectacles or the potential sneezing put you off ?

  • No, just very stressed Carers that were too tired to realise that there was an offer on the table!!!!

  • Oh, funny, George!

  • Just back on line so a bit late.

    All I can say is "don't. " It is clear to me now that the more efficient you are the more it is accepted as your job. This is part of Nursing care.

    love, Jean x

  • hi

    don't worry re chc and you giving care, i do all of rog's care my choice as it is no point someone coming at a set time, all you have to prove to the chc is that you are assessing, so yes you might put in the catheter but you will be assessing the if the bladder is full and using an aseptic technique to insert!

    we got funding and i have three hours a day which suits us.

    best of luck


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