Cruise Ship Travel and Catheters

Posted , 9 users are following.

I have never been catheterized.  Recently, I've had a few episodes of not being able to urinate for up to ten minutes after waking up at night.  I do have BPH and as a result of these episodes I am on Flomax and Avodart.  Everything seems to be working okay and I haven't any repeat episodes for over ten days now.

In a month, I'm scheduled to take a cruise to Hawaii from the west coast. We will be at sea for five days.  I'm worried about how I can be treated if I suffer urinary retention and need to be catheterized.  My understanding is that the ship does have at least one doctor and several nurses.  I would assume that they would have catheters as well.

Still, would it be a good idea for me to take some catheters with me just in case?  As I said I've never been catheterized and obviously I don't know how to do it, but if for some reason the ship didn't have any catheters, I could provide them.  

If this is a good idea can anyone suggest the type of catheter I might take with me.  Nothing to thick. confused

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  • Posted

    Take a mix of 12 and 14's, straight and curved. You may find as I did that the thin 12 isn't practical as it may bend. Some gell and sufficient swabs to clean yourself. Look to use at least six per day, although at this stage of your BPH the Flomax will probably see you through. After a bit using a catheter will be virtually second nature. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I suggest you get some intermittent catheters and learn to use them before you go. Nurses and doctors would tend to use indwelling Foley catheters with bags, which would be cumbersome and uncomfortable when moving around. If you have your own intermittent self catheters with you, you would not need emergency care. I have found that the fuller my bladder the more difficult it is to start the flow. As you report that it is at night that you have trouble, I recommend one self-cath before bed at night. It should see you through without the anxiety of the prospect of complete retention. I agree that the stiffer size 14 might be better for an emergency, but 12 is usually OK for routine emptying. 
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  • Posted

    Have you talked to your urologist? I have only been able to void using a catheter for over a year,  I recommend that you be shown how to use a catheter.  Size, flexibility and tip design do make a difference.  The first couple of times I tried, I caused bleeding.  It was scary.  Since then, it is routine.  I usually use a straight tip, soft red latex catheter in FR18 size, but most folks on this board use a smaller size.  You may want to get a prescription for Cipro, in case you get a UTI.  I carry some with me when I travel, but I haven't needed to use it yet.

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  • Posted

    Difficulty starting and slow flow after long periods of inactivity (sleeping, sitting) are common. I faced a similar situation on a cruise last year and what I found was a small amount of exercise, even just fast walking down the hallway and back helped considerably. If you do not have any physical limitations, modest calisthenics may help as well. The downside of course is this wakes you up, but for me - it beat the alternative. You may want to test this out at home before your trip and see if it helps as it may also allay some of the stress that goes along with managing this problem.

    I had to do ICC for a few weeks the first of this year and used the Speedicath Flex. I found it simple to use and easy to carry. Good luck and enjoy your cruise.

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    • Posted

      Tim:

      I always do some exercise of walking, marching, lifting legs and trying to relax the pelvic floor when the "hesitation" episodes happen.  It definitely seems to help.  The first time it happened several years back, I could readily point to alcohol, long periods of sitting during a holiday get together and using Sudafed as the cause (I didn't know that guys with BPH can't use nasal decongestants that contain certain compounds).  That particular episode was bad and the doc had me undergo an MRI to check the kidneys.  In all other cases, except one, alcohol and sex occurred prior to the episode.  However, the most recent episode, I can't point to any of the usual "triggers".  I did however have a bad stomachache and my stool in the morning was fairly hard.  I have read some posts that indicate that constipation can lead to urinary retention.

       

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    • Posted

      Constipation can cause pressure in the rectum which is in direct proximity to the prostate, putting more pressure on the gland, which in turn can further restrict the urethra. I've experienced similar issues with alcohol and some decongestants. If it's not one thing, it's another ...neutral

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    • Posted

      "If it's not one thing, it's another "

      Yep. I find it sadistically ironic that the alpha blockers cause congestion which I have found requires strong decongestants that guys with BPH can't use.  Since I won't use them, getting a good night's sleep has become an issue.  I'm planning to start a post to see what recommendations people have for safe "decongestants".  Nasal strips do help some.

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    • Posted

      Nasal strips is what I used. I tried all 3 of the selective alpha blockers, never helped me much so I quit taking them. They also had a negative effect on my exercise routine.  

      Dec 2017 I had FLA to address PCa and the urinary issues and my condition has been slowly improving since.

      Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I suggest you try Nasacort... I have bad urine retention, it doesn't make it any worse.  Might ask your urologist about any interactions first... very effective stuff.

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  • Posted

    I assume you are from the US, and if so, you need a prescription for catheters. Some GP's will not write them, but will refer you to a urologist. If you already have a urologist, they will write a scrip without a second thought. Ask for 3 per day, which will give you 90 per month (as needed). The urologist will want you to try a couple of different catheters in his office before he prescribes. If you need a catheter on a cruise ship, it will be a foley.

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    • Posted

      If you want insurance to help you with the cost (about $5.00 per catheter), you'll need a prescription. My insurance handles them as part of major medical, where 80% of the cost is covered after I reach my deductible.

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    • Posted

      I agree if you want insurance to cover. But he is leaving on a trip soon, so just letting him know it can be done online, and could have catheters tomorrow with no prescription, and no wait to see a doctor. My insurance had a high deductible, so I knew it was coming out of pocket. 

      I agree with Mike588. Having the peace of mind to know you can cath yourself if you need to when traveling is really valuable. And let’s you enjoy your trip. Even with alpha blockers, I needed to cath at times. There is a ton of info on how to do it on this site, plus YouTube videos of how to do it. Not that you shouldn’t have a nurse or doctor show you how, but it doesn’t hurt to teach yourself.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for all of the replies.  Prior to the replies, I was thinking that I just want to have a supply of catheters available in case the ship doesn't have any or has run out. My intention was not to conduct self catheterization, but instead to let the onboard medical staff insert the catheter.  I'm figuring that any "event" that might happen would most likely (hopefully) just be a one-time thing.  I have never had an inability to urinate during the daytime.

    Even if the ship does have a supply of catheters, it sounds like they would most likely be Foley catheters.  If I bring the CIC type, that might be better for me.

    I have mentioned self catheterization to both my GP and uro.  Neither is in favor of it for my current situation.  They both believe there is a high probability of contracting a UTI.

    I've already decided to not drink any alcohol on the cruise (too bad I already paid for the beverage package upgrade). 

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    • Posted

      Your urologist may be willing to give you some free samples (mine did). Personally, I found the Speedicath Flex very easy to use. There is a good thread on this forum on how to do CIC effectively.
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    • Posted

      you won't get UTI's if you use pre-lubricated condoms - there are wholesalers who sell them for about $3 each, they ask if you have a prescription but don't check. Take maybe 10 with you. Just insist you want to learn how to do self cath - you don't want a cruise doctor putting on a Foley. Your life, your body just tell them what you want, knowing how to self cath is a priceless thing that can save you a trip to the emergency room one day - maybe your Uro thinks it's highly unlikely you will go into full retention and I agree given you are taking those meds - not drinking alcohol is no guarantee, what about salty food, spicy food? You giving that up too?  On the other hand no alcohol is not a bad thing in general.

      I know it's scary, but once you know how it's a piece of cake, very little pain if  any just the thought of putting a tube down there sounds like a nightmare, the real nightmare is going into retention and waiting in agony for some stranger to put in a Foley catheter. You could also be damaging your bladder or kidneys by the way if you are constantly close to being in retention.

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