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Peter's story

When I first heard I had to self-catheterise ­– basically, when someone told me to put something where I wouldn’t usually – I went, “what?!”. Whether you’re a man or woman, that’s a difficult thing to get your head around. But, be patient, you do get there. I’ve done it for 3 years now, and I know exactly what I’m doing.
a man with a large smile

Why catheterisation?
It started with a blockage in the urethra. I went to the hospital to have it removed, and after the operation, I had to go on a catheter. The muscles of my bladder became weak, is how they described it. At first, they put me on a permanent catheter. I didn’t like it – it wasn’t exactly convenient. So, I went on self-catheterisation. It’s given me my independence back.
Thinking about what I’ve been through, I’d say I was anything but weak. It’s been 28 years now, since my divorce, that I’ve been doing everything myself. Self-catheterising is just another thing I do, it’s part of my routine.
Advice to other users
In terms of advice, I’d tell people that the psychological side of things is important. If you’re having problems physically or if it’s getting to you emotionally, you should talk to someone and get help. Your doctor. Or Amcare. There’s no shame in it.
I’ve always had really helpful conversations with people at Amcare, from talking about personal things to the more logistical side of things, like making sure you’ve got enough catheters.
The other thing is UTIs. That’s a real top priority. It’s not a pleasant experience having one. You can keep on top of them by using the correct catheter for you. And using it correctly. I’d say I’ve not had a UTI for at least 3 years. Deal with that, and you’ve got your independence again.

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