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Melanie - Living with a urinary catheter

Age at interview: 55
Brief Outline: Melanie broke her neck and back after falling from a horse in 2010. She had a urethral catheter for a few months and then tried intermittent self catheterisation. She found the latter was impossible without help so decided to have a suprapubic catheter.
Background: Melanie is a journalist. She is married and has one child. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

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Sometimes information can be given too soon after a life changing injury. Melanie feels there isn't enough information about infections and different types of catheters.

Sometimes information can be given too soon after a life changing injury. Melanie feels there isn't enough information about infections and different types of catheters.

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Sometimes I think you get the information too soon. It’s because, certainly again in terms of my injury which is a very long term thing, and it takes you a while to realise just quite how grave it is. 

You get given a whole bundle of notes and information and it’s as if it relates to somebody else, not you. You don’t really take it in. I sometimes think that maybe it could come a little bit later in the process or maybe it could be repeated later in the process. 

I also think there isn’t nearly enough information given about the downside and the possibility of infection. I mean in all the literature I read on, I was given and I read on catheters, drainage, urine drainage, there is absolutely no, nobody’s telling me “Yes but you’ll probably get infections all the time.”

It’s not something that is, obviously the health service don’t want to talk about it. But it’s, I think people cop out a bit. I think there is an awful lot of turning a blind eye to it. Especially when you hear about the amount of resources that are devoted to treating knock on infection rates from bladders. So there’s a lack of forthrightness I think on the part of the information put out about different kinds of catheters, success-rates.
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