Editor’s Note: T-4 Paraplegic Todd Robinson is the Customer Retention Manager for UroMed, based in Suwanee, Georgia, that specializes in home delivery nationwide for urological products, incontinence supplies,and ostomy care for patients that have Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance. Below, Todd shares his thoughts on questions and concerns related to catheter use that he often hears from UroMed customers. Please note that this article is for informational use only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have a health concern, please contact your physician.
Having worked with UroMed for 14 years now, and using catheters himself, Todd Robinson is familiar with many of the concerns and complaints that people have with self-catheterization. On a regular basis, Todd works with people to help them understand why it’s important to follow the catheter regimen that their doctor has prescribed. Todd shares his thoughts below on why your doctor’s orders matter:
Q: Todd, why do some people have a hard time following their doctor’s orders regarding catheter use?
A: You know, that’s a good question. Sometimes, I hear from people who tell me that their doctor has written them a prescription that says they should use catheters four times a day, for a total of 120 times per month [give or take]. The trouble arises when that patient has a care regimen that calls for self-catheterization four times a day, but that person is only using catheters when they think they should. They might be doing it twice a day instead of the prescribed four times per day.
Q: What could happen if someone isn’t following their doctor’s orders and is cathing less often than what was prescribed for them?
A: My personal doctor warned me about this. He said that if your bladder stays too full because you aren’t using catheters often enough, you can cause damage to your kidneys. And, he also told me that cathing less often than prescribed can cause other risks, like an increased chance of urinary tract infections. Take my word for it, UTIs are no fun at all!
In my personal case, if I didn’t use catheters as often as my doctor prescribed me to use them, over time I could have ended up on dialysis. I have diabetes, and thank goodness, as of now I can control it with my diet and by following my doctor’s orders as prescribed when it comes to urinary health.
Q: Todd, do your customers ever ask for other options because they don’t like the catheter they are currently using?
A: Yes, that does happen sometimes, and I encourage people to call me if that’s the problem they’re having! If the individual is having a product issue, I generally talk with them about what they don’t like about their current catheter. Some people just don’t like the fact they have to use a catheter in the first place, but others are new to self-catheterization and don’t know what other options are available to them.
So I try to talk them through what they don’t like and using that criteria, I try to find something that might be more suitable for them, like another style of catheter or a different kind of lubricant. At UroMed, we provide our customers with samples when they would like to evaluate different kinds of catheters that might work better for them.
Q: Todd, what would you say to the person who tells you, “I feel better when I cath, but I just don’t like doing it.”
A: I would ask them if they realize that you put your health at risk when you don’t follow doctor’s orders? In my personal opinion, I believe people don’t realize that they are doing long-term damage to their bodies when they don’t cath as often as they are prescribed. That may be because it’s not an immediate risk. For example, if you need insulin to keep your blood sugar level normalized, and you don’t take it, the effects are pretty serious and they happen quickly. But cathing less often each day than is prescribed is something that won’t bother you instantly. However, when you get a UTI or start having larger issues with urinary health or your kidneys, those issues are just as serious and can even be life-threatening.
So do yourself a favor and follow your doctor’s orders! Your body will thank you even if you don’t know it’s saying it.
Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?
A: Yes! If you have a concern about your current care regimen, please contact your physician to talk over those concerns. UroMed can best support you when you keep the lines of communication open with your medical professionals and with us.
If you have a question or want to learn more about other catheters, please feel free to give our Customer Care team a call! We would love to hear from you. Please dial 1-800-841-1233 to speak with a Care representative today. Our support staff is available Monday-Friday until 7 PM EST and also on Saturdays for assistance.
For more information on UroMed’s intermittent catheters and continence care products, please visit: http://uromed.com/Catheters/
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Please contact us to discuss your catheter needs.