User experience of Liam
On how he can go everywhere again, thanks to the Curan Advantage Man
A car accident left me in a wheelchair when I was 31. 'A spinal cord injury' was the diagnosis: I was told I would never be able to walk again. In the rehabilitation centre, I was given tools to rearrange my life. Thanks to my experience in sports - I have played volleyball since I was a child - I am lucky to have a lot of perseverance. So after a few weeks, I had the wheelchair well under control. But because of the paralysis, I had lost control of my bladder. So, to live independently at home again, there was one more step to take: learning to catheterise. I had mixed feelings about that. I would be stuck with this for the rest of my life. But at the same time, the catheter also gave me back my independent life. So I decided to go for it 100%. Because, just like a sports match, that will give you the greatest chance of success.
Catheter that fits my situation
My nurse, helped me try different catheters. It was especially important to me to find a catheter I could use anywhere. Ease of use was therefore paramount in my orientation. This is how we ended up with the Curan Advantage Man. It has a hydrophilic coating. This is activated as soon as it comes into contact with the sterile water included with the catheter. This coating provides extra comfort during insertion, without risks and irritations. It is called 'comfort coating' for a good reason. And while the coating is activated, I prepare myself for catheterisation.
"It is especially important to me that I can use my catheter anywhere."
Learning to catheterise
Since I live alone, it is very important for me to master the catheter independently. My nurse therefore taught me how to catheterise. She explained to me that it is important to pay attention to hygiene. Before using the catheter, I always wash my hands: if there is no water around, I use disinfectant wipes. During catheterisation, I use the Blue Grip®: a handy device that allows me to avoid touching the catheter with my hands. This is not only hygienic, but also makes it a lot easier. While emptying my bladder, I pay close attention to whether it is really empty. This way I reduce the risk of a bladder infection. The more often I practised insertion, the faster and smoother it went.
Routine in every day
I not only had to learn to catheterise, but also to apply it in my day-to-day life. Since I can't sense when my bladder is full, I empty it at regular intervals as much as possible. I do this about five times a day. This way I know my bladder is never too full and I prevent unwanted urine loss. Fortunately, I can use the catheter anywhere, so I don't have to adjust my daily schedule accordingly: I just make sure I always have some with me.
Living with a catheter
Despite my bladder problem, my life has hardly changed. Catheterising is now becoming a routine; as quick as a regular toilet visit. This allows me to live life to the fullest. Recently, I became part of a sitting volleyball team again. And another festival is already planned in the summer. As long as I have my catheters in my pocket, I can go anywhere.