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False /oidc-signin/en-us/ Convatec Group Contact Us Brasil Brasil United States (English) United States (English) Estados Unidos (Español) Estados Unidos (Español) Argentina Argentina Canada (English) Canada (English) Canada (Français) Canada (Français) Chile Chile Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador México México Perú Perú Belize Belize Guyana Guyana Jamaica Jamaica Venezuela Venezuela Costa Rica Costa Rica Curaçao Curaçao República Dominicana República Dominicana Guatemala Guatemala Honduras Honduras Nicaragua Nicaragua Panamá Panamá Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Suriname Suriname El Salvador El Salvador United Kingdom United Kingdom France France Deutschland Deutschland Italia Italia Україна Україна België België Česko Česko Danmark Danmark España España Ireland Ireland Nederland Nederland Norge Norge Österreich Österreich Polska Polska Schweiz (Deutsch) Schweiz (Deutsch) Slovensko Slovensko Suisse (Français) Suisse (Français) Suomi Suomi Sverige Sverige Türkiye Türkiye Ελλάδα Ελλάδα Россия Россия Bosna i Hercegovina Bosna i Hercegovina България България Eesti Eesti Hrvatska Hrvatska Magyarország Magyarország Ísland Ísland Lietuva Lietuva Latvija Latvija Северна Македонија Северна Македонија Malta Malta România România Srbija Srbija Slovenija Slovenija الإمارات العربية المتحدة الإمارات العربية المتحدة البحرين البحرين مصر مصر ישראל ישראל ایران ایران الأردن الأردن عُمان عُمان قطر قطر پاکستان پاکستان لبنان لبنان الكويت الكويت المملكة العربية السعودية المملكة العربية السعودية Suid-Afrika Suid-Afrika العراق العراق New Zealand New Zealand 日本 日本 Australia Australia India India Malaysia Malaysia Singapore Singapore 대한민국 대한민국 中国大陆 中国大陆 中国台湾 中国台湾 ไทย ไทย Indonesia Indonesia Việt Nam Việt Nam Philippines Philippines Hong Kong SAR China (English) Hong Kong SAR China (English) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区)) 中国香港特别行政区 (中文(简体,中国香港特别行政区))

Meet Carl, me+ community member

Looking back, Carl Simmons says that it was dangerous to assume, “It will probably just go away. ‘It’ being recurring urinary tract infections repeatedly treated with antibiotics. Had the underlying cause been detected sooner, the outcome could have been different. This is what motivates me to share my story with other men.” 

On a meaningful pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago, in Spain, Carl Simmons and Dave Dufresne walked various paths, ranging from 65 to 625 miles. Friends for 35 years and now married, they relished the great outdoors, despite Carl’s recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs). “I always followed the rules!” Carl explains. “I always drank the recommended amount of water and knew my health profile.” 

“We eat healthy meals at the same time every day. Carl would take cranberry and saw palmetto, but that was just masking the infection. At first Carl would get a UTI once a year, then twice, three times,” Dave explains. Carl picks up “It finally changed last year. I took 2 full courses of a prescribed antibiotic and within 3 hours, I had the same cloudiness, urgency, and inability to urinate, burning, all the symptoms we had diagnosed as frequent UTIs.” “Now in hindsight we suspect it was because he wasn’t completely emptying his bladder,” Dave adds. “I think the problem is that it is so gradual that you get used to it. If the urodynamic study had been available to Carl even 5 years ago, he might have been able to recover.” 

two men standing in front of a door with art on it ;

They are correct; Carl hadn’t been completely emptying his bladder for years, allowing some urine to sit in his bladder and attract bacteria. The antibiotic masked the symptoms for a while, until it didn’t. Carl went to the urologist and got a urodynamic study. The result? Carl was diagnosed with an atonic bladder which means he was unable to spontaneously urinate due to insufficient detrusor muscle contraction. “Probably from years of stretching it out by not emptying it properly. You can’t pee until 4 o’clock when you are a teacher!"

The men describe one of the treatments in Carl’s journey toward bladder management was a ‘face-lift of the bladder.’ It involves small implants that prevent enlarged prostate tissue from blocking the opening of the urethra. “Initially it was stupendous!” Carl remembers, “However, my problem was not the prostate or urethra, my bladder muscles are just weak. I am now able to urinate somewhat on my own, but that’s still not enough to keep some of the urine from pooling and attracting bacteria.”

They found a physician colleague of Dave’s who recommended using a catheter to completely empty Carl’s bladder. “At first they had me on a Foley, a leg bag. It worked ok, but it was a bit cumbersome.” Carl continues, “The doctor said, ‘let’s try intermittent catheterization’, and they gave me a selection of about 10 catheters. I tried them. They weren’t awful, but the Hydrophilic Cure Catheter with coude tip was the best by far.”

“The fact that the tip is smooth, eyelets are fire polished, and the catheter has a hydrophilic coating, was the ticket for Carl!” Dave adds.

“Our main message is that this is doable. It is a wonderful option for bladder health, and we want others to know that! We stand on the shoulders of many others who have gone before us. It is a matter of giving back to our community.”

Join the community

Become part of an inspiring community and share your journey to help other intermittent catheter users.
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Adjusting to cathing can be tough, with a range of practical, physical and emotional challenges. You don’t have to figure it out alone.

Speak with a member of the me+™ support team today.

Call 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).

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