Belinda's story

My name is Belinda. I would describe myself as a personal assistant, singer and a caring, sensitive, friendly and happy person. Unfortunately, since I was young, bladder infections have also been a big part of my life.

I’ve been back and forward to doctors and hospitals, took tablets, had injections, was x-rayed and participating in various tests and surgeries. Eventually I was diagnosed with urinary retention (the cause is unknown). My bladder hasn’t been emptying properly for years, which was leading to the infections. I was shown a technique of pressing on my body to help more urine come out from my bladder.

The objective of cathing for me is to try and reduce my bladder infections, because emptying my bladder fully and regularly will stop urine stagnating and allowing bacteria to grow. I have also been told it might retrain my bladder muscle to work by itself again, but no guarantees.

I don’t like the idea of cathing much, but at the same time I feel optimistic about this simple opportunity to improve my situation and get rid of these endless infections!

Click, hold and drag along the timeline below to scroll through Belinda’s story (day 1 to day 1028)

Day: 6

Day 5 Day 8

Day 6

Up until today I’ve practiced in the ‘unpractical’ way on the floor.

But I know I need to decide on a new position that I can adopt on a long-term basis, something that can work in any toilet. So today I decided to give it a go…. 

I stuck a mirror onto the toilet seat using surgical tape. Next I removed my trousers and underwear and stood up, facing forward with both of my legs straddled either side of the toilet bowl (making sure that my legs didn’t touch any part of the toilet at all because of germs!). I placed my catheter and wipes on some toilet tissue to keep them sterile and on a flat surface so that they didn’t fall off onto the floor and become contaminated. I had the light on so I could see everything clearly in the mirror below me.

I moved the skin apart so that I could see my urethra opening and inserted the catheter. It went well and I feel pleased to have overcome yet another new challenge.