Bowel and bladder and sex oh my.  All topics that are woefully under discussed and talked about.  I wrote an article about sex last week and will be filming a video for safe sex positions (PG style of course) in the coming week.  However, it dawned on me that bowel and bladder care are just as important to millions of folks around the globe who do not have control or minimal control of these functions.

I did a video on bowel care, but let’s talk about my bladder.  I have something called a neurogenic bladder.  With all of the bladder and bowel and sex nerves wraparound the bottom of the spinal cord, anyone who sustains injury to the spinal cord will have these functions compromised.  Therefore, I can’t feel, and everyone is totally different, when I have to pee in a typical sense.  First my blood pressure starts to rise, autonomic dysreflexia (I talk about it in the video) and my body is trying to tell me, through my autonomic nervous system, that something is wrong.

When my blood pressure starts to rise I get goosebumps and my neck starts to get red.  80% of this time it’s because I have to pee.  I have a very cool catheter called a suprapubic catheter where they performed a minor surgery and inserted a little hole over my bladder, and put in a Foley catheter.  It’s inserted permanently and this prevents long-term damage to the urethra, which is not good!

I change my suprapubic catheter (he’s named Petey) every two weeks with a sterile procedure at home.  Many folks wait one month and go to their doctor to get it changed.  Sometimes of course there is good reason for this, but many folks reach out to me and ask me how I do this at home?  Well, I thought why don’t I make a video and show you.

It’s really not that hard and is just a meticulous process.  After a few times it’s as easy as apple pie.  I promise!

I’m really trying to focus on uncomfortable topics and normalizing them in order to break down stigmas within our society.  You may not have bladder issues now, but I assure you when you just get older you probably will.  You may need to catheter after surgery or, God forbid, something may happen to you.  I don’t want you to be afraid of the unknown.  So, in the name of science, I will use my body to educate the masses!

Honestly, people are usually just curious as well, so hopefully this video will help shed light on how I pee.  I love PETEY … I can just empty my little catheter bag on my leg into a cup and pee on a tree or wherever I find a garbage can.  It’s delightful because I never have to go into an accessible restroom again or in restroom that is definitely not accessible.  I think I wish I would’ve had this prior to my accident 🙂 It’s the small things that make my day!

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