Catheterisation: a patient perspective

25 June 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 12


Catherisation can be a traumatic experience for some. In this comment piece, a patient discusses his experience of having a catheter in situ for 5 weeks

Funnily enough, the day before this started, I had noticed how copious my first flow of the morning had been. However, the next day it was the exact opposite: I couldn't pee. Well, perhaps a little dribble. The next time, a few drops, then for the rest of the day, nothing at all. A fine case, I was later told, of urinary retention.

It was a normal work day and by the afternoon I was getting urges to pee, but nothing came. By evening, these urges were causing me increasing pain, which was centred on my stomach. I tried to go to bed, but the pain was dreadful and at 1.30am on Saturday, I called 111. When I told them I had gone without peeing for 18 hours, they instructed me to get to my local emergency department (ED), at King's College Hospital, London.

The bladder scan was absolute agony. Then a nurse came and explained they were going to catheterise me.

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