The stand-up comedy show I’ve been touring this year was called ‘Navelless Gazing’. Finally, a chance to put catheters out there – whether audiences wanted them or not.

All right, I stopped short of exhibiting a catheter itself. Although I did joke about the audience’s obligation to support our reserved, potentially embarrassed cath community by telling the world about urology in a positive way. Do it on our behalf – because we might be ashamed or unwilling; the least that able-bladdered people could do is help us out by pretending that they, not us, have bladder conditions – safe in the knowledge that they’re fine really. So to help change public perception, I offered to give each audience member a free catheter to take home and leave in a public place of their choosing. But I didn’t want to waste new, finite supplies, so I told them I’d been stockpiling used ones for them...

Of course I didn’t really. But it got a satisfying response from the crowd.

This was an experimental show. Laying myself bare (not literally) and trying something different. Also, in a way, it was doctor’s orders: I see my urology consultant for annual check-ups (that’s “annual” – someone misheard and thought the check-up was, well, in the wrong area), and he knew I did stand-up comedy, and that I often mentioned my lack of bellybutton. However, he incorrectly thought I also talked about my catheter use.

At my last visit, he said how good it was to be talking about these things, to try and in a tiny way change the culture. If one of those audience members one day needs a catheter – perhaps after a road accident, or bladder cancer – they won’t think their life is over. They’ll realize catheterizing folks can look like that stand-up comic in front of them.

So, that’s why I had to do this urological comedy show. I didn’t want to particularly, but it was a chance to get a few things off my chest, to normalize bladder issues... and to scare the crowd that I was going to hand them used catheters.

The opinions expressed here are of a personal and anecdotal nature, and are in no way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Adjusting to cathing can be tough but you don’t have to figure it out alone. Talk to a member of the me+ support team today at 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).