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on a personal note...

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by leashedForLife, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    My bike arrived - my helmet, oddly, did not, but no matter, as i haven't had time to take the bike out for a trip, yet, so i haven't needed the helmet. :oops:
    [The trailer is being built - they're constructed only after an order is placed.]

    The bike LOOKS great, it's not terribly heavy [~36#] -- folds & unfolds easily, as promised. :)
    - terry

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  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I cannot wait for Boston, or even Mass as a state, to do something similar -

    Spanish cities are bursting Airbnb’s bubble

    having been homeless since Oct-15, 2015, & struggled mightily to keep myself safely housed, if only temporarily, via a combo of live-in caregiving & Air-BnB short-term stays, I can tell U that the Air-BnB storyline is pure kaka.
    :mad:

    Air-Bnb in the U-S claims that less than 5% of all their rentals are "conversions" - IOW, 95% are owner-occupied, & the homeowner is an empty-nester who's renting out their adult child's former bedroom, or the tenant is a college student whose flat-mate suddenly moved out, & they're just trying to make up the rent while searching for a new housemate.
    o_O Don't U believe it - 7 out of 10 of the places i stayed in, were total conversions. // NO ONE "lived" there as tenants - every room aside from the shared bathrooms & kitchens, had been turned into a rentable space, even if it was a pass-thru from room to room, or a pull-out sofa in the living-room, or a lounge-chair with a pillow, draped in sheets.

    I didn't rent pass-thru rooms, sofas, or lounge-chairs - i rented actual rooms with doors; they might or might not lock, but there was a door with a doorknob, & i carry a security bar that braces the door closed; when i slept, the door was braced.
    WOMEN have to think of these things - I find men as a group are less concerned about it. :rolleyes: So what else is new? - men are also the gender in the U-S who have far-more fatal auto-accidents, speed more, have more auto-accidents that total the car or cause serious injury, etc. That's why men under 25-YO pay more for auto-insurance - 'cuz they're more-likely to drink & drive, speed, play chicken, drive aggressively, or wrap the car around a power-pole on a curve.

    I was stunned by the number of houses & apts that were taken off the market as leaseholds or even pulled off sale, in favor of harvesting lucrative short-term rentals. Boston is a tight housing-market, & AFFORDABLE housing is practically nonexistent; a studio apt - which is a single room, with a bathroom in a closet - averages $1,200 / mo.

    Last month, there was a housing lottery in Watertown - brand-new "affordable" apartments in a new building; the 2 smallest units were single-occupancy, measured 528-sq-feet, & rented for $1,240. That's $2.35 per 12-inch-square. :eek: U could fill out a 5-page form, & enter the drawing - just like any gambling operation.
    I'm not running a retail business, & generating profit on every square-inch of my "home" - i'm looking for a place that is clean, not riddled with rot, not overrun by roaches, & in a neighborhood that isn't awakened by police-sirens on a nightly basis.
    It's a low bar - or i think it is. :oops: The Boston housing-market seems to think i'm extremely demanding.

    - terry

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  4. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Really sorry to hear of your bad news Terry and hoping you find some more employment amd a nice home. Have you any family you can stay with if you're in dire straits? Could you find work out of state where the rental costs aren't so high?
     
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  5. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Teddy560:
    ...
    Have you any family you can stay with if you're in dire straits?
    Could you find work out of state, where the rental costs aren't so high?

    ___________________________
    .

    that would be no, & no -
    I have no near-relatives north of Va, & my 14 1st-cousins are scattered over 12 states of the 48; i don't even have a current address or phone-number for any of them. When my grandmother died, my cousins ranged from late-teens to mid-twenties; since then, they've finished college, married, & moved multiple times.

    It cost me $1,200 just to get out of my apt-lease when i left VA for Ohio, plus discarding about 1/4th of my possessions, plus travel costs. It cost me another $79 / mo to keep my pod-packed possessions in storage for a year, then moving the pod to Mass cost me $1,000.
    On arrival in Mass, i hunted for FT-work from July to November 2012; i can't afford another interstate move, & i have no work references outside of the Boston-metro area. At least here, i have safe places where i can stay - & i have medical insurance, which WILL NOT move with me, if i move out of state.

    My older sister, in VA, is more than 10-years my elder; she's already saddled with the care of her husband, who is a brittle diabetic.
    Besides, I wouldn't return to VA without a round-trip ticket in my hand - the climate is awful, & attitudes there are not merely hidebound, but regressive. // There are college-educated, well-off white folks in VA who make public statements that are so stunningly racist, sexist, or xenophobic that i think i've somehow stepped thru a time-portal to the 1920s or '30s - & they say these things without a blush, knowing their friends, listening, will agree with them.
    It's appalling.

    If i could only have kept both my jobs & my 66-hr weeks going for a few more months, i'd have accumulated some savings - as it is, i've lost 1/3 of my income, & my costs are unchanged, plus i must move, & rent will be more expensive, no matter where i go. // My landlord was cutting me a break, & discounted my weekly rent.
    Even with just my weekend hours, i make too much money to qualify for food-stamps - which in the summer, would save me a tremendous amount: Farmers' markets will sell $20 of fresh food for $10 in food-stamps.

    I don't eat meat [other than fish, & that no more than twice a month] - but fresh fruit & veg are crazily expensive.
    I can't live exclusively on pasta & tomato sauce, alternating with rice & beans, LOL.

    As my mother observed one day, in the last week of her life, "It never gets any easier, does it?" - I thot putting myself thru college on my own, with PHEAA loans, a Senatorial scholarship, & full-time work plus 15 credits or more per term, was hard.
    The new economy only makes it harder, now - & i'm not 18 to 25, anymore. // I've lived in genteel poverty all my life - & after so many decades at it, i'm tired. I'm within a few years of "retirement age", what a joke that is!

    If i'm lucky, i'll still be working when i drop dead. If i cannot work - things will go into the toilet very quickly, indeed.
    - terry

    PS -
    i'm going to look at the classifieds in alumni magazines - sometimes well-off couples are looking for college-educated caregivers, & that's often live-in.

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  6. Teddy560

    Teddy560 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'll be thinking of you and hope you find something soon. And no, you're right, it doesn't get easier. You are in a similar predicament to my Mum, she's just returning to work after recovering from breast cancer over the last 5 years. If she wasn't in a fortunate circumstance with her current house she would be up the creek too :( She was a single mum of 4, put herself through university after having us, bought her own house which she was forced to sell after a male neighbour decided to physically assault her and mentally torment her for months. She lost out on that house by about £90,000 as she sold it right before the property "boom."

    I forget how much harder it must be to move areas in USA than the UK. I think maybe unemployment benefits are better here than there? And obviously there's the NHS. I hope you find a live-in job, you really do deserve a break.
     
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  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Teddy560:

    ... You are in a similar predicament to my Mum, she's just returning to work after recovering from breast cancer over the last 5 years. If she wasn't in a fortunate circumstance with her current house, she would be up the creek, too. :(

    She was a single mum of 4, put herself through university after having us, bought her own house - which she was forced to sell, after a male neighbour decided to physically assault her and mentally torment her for months. She lost out on that house by about £90,000, as she sold it right before the property 'boom'.

    ____________________________

    Yow! - that's awful. :(
    Yes, my parents bought our family farm back when almost anyone willing to work full-time could aspire to own their own home; nowadays, folks buy "starter houses" for 3X to 5X what my peers in high-school paid for their 1st home, & an average new car often sells today for what those 1st homes cost - about $35K.
    Most U-S citizens nowadays will be lifelong renters - period.

    Our farm included about 40-acres of ground, total, with the house occupying the core 30-A lot, & 2 adjoining lots tacked on in the 1st few years at tax-sales; both were landlocked & inaccessible, when my mother decided to buy them & prevent encroachment or destruction of our streams. // She realized quite a tidy sum from the sale, but lost over a 3rd of her investments in the 2008 Great Recession. :eek:
    Thus, my inheritance on her death was only $18K. Ironically, that was 1-grand more than the amount I got from my 401-K when i cashed it out, to care for my mother FT. :--\ Funny how these things work, eh?

    - terry

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  8. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I knew the Conservative party had repeatedly cut the UK budget for public assistance -
    I didn't realize they were cutting holes in the UK safety-net. :(

    In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything

    This NYX article says that the UK now resembles the U-S, rather than the E.U., with large gaps in social coverage.
    That's worrying.

    - t

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  9. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    re the article linked above, this sounds all too familiar -
    QUOTE,
    Conservative Party leaders initially sold budget cuts as a virtue, ushering in what they called the Big Society. Diminish the role of a bloated government bureaucracy... & grass-roots organizations, charities, & private companies would step to the fore, reviving communities, & delivering public services more efficiently.

    To a degree, a spirit of voluntarism materialized. At public libraries, volunteers now outnumber paid staff. In struggling communities, residents have formed food banks while distributing hand-me-down school uniforms. But to many in Britain, this is akin to setting your house on fire, & then reveling in the "community spirit" as neighbors come running to help extinguish the blaze.

    Most view the Big Society as another piece of political sloganeering - long-since ditched by the Conservatives - that served [to justify] an austerity program that has advanced the refashioning unleashed in the 1980s by Mrs. Thatcher.
    'We are making cuts that I think Margaret Thatcher... in the 1980s, could only have dreamt of,' Greg Barker said in a speech in 2011, when he was a Conservative member of Parliament.

    A backlash ensued, with public recognition that budget cuts came with tax relief for corporations, & that the extensive ranks of the wealthy were little disturbed.

    Britain hasn’t endured austerity to the same degree as Greece, where cutbacks were swift and draconian. Instead, British austerity has been a slow bleed, though the cumulative toll has been substantial.

    Local governments have suffered a roughly one-fifth plunge in revenue since 2010, after adding taxes they collect, per the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. Nationally, spending on police forces has dropped 17% since 2010, while the number of police officers has dropped 14%, according to LINK: an analysis by the Institute for Government. Spending on road maintenance has shrunk more than one-fourth, while support for libraries has fallen nearly a third.

    The national court system has eliminated nearly a third of its staff. Spending on prisons has plunged more than a fifth, with violent assaults on prison guards more than doubling. The number of elderly people receiving government-furnished care that enables them to remain in their homes has fallen by roughly a quarter.

    In an alternate reality, this nasty stretch of history might now be ending. Austerity measures were imposed in the name of eliminating budget deficits, and last year Britain finally produced a modest budget surplus.

    But the reality at hand is dominated by worries that Britain’s pending departure from the European Union - Brexit, as it is known - will depress growth for years to come. Though LINK: every major economy on earth has been expanding lately, Britain’s barely grew in the first three months of 2018. The unemployment rate sits just above 4% - the lowest since 1975 - yet most wages remain lower than a decade ago, after accounting for rising prices.
    ________________________________


    The USA has privatized all sorts of Govt processes & services over the past 30-plus years, beginning in the Reagan era - & like Ronnie Ray-gun, POTUS Trump has increased spending on the military, while slashing public supports.
    Making a tank or a fighter-jet does nothing to enhance the economy - these objects need maintenance & personnel, but they *make* nothing. A tractor can raise food, reduce labor costs, provide off-the-grid power, & more - a tank or a personnel carrier suck-up resources, & kick in nothing.

    The private firms that serve the military in the Middle East, the companies that run state & Federal prisons, that deliver the food to military forces, to prisoners, etc, are all in it for one reason only: TO MAKE
    MONEY. They don't give a dam* about military preparedness, civilian safety or collateral damage, the quality of outcomes - they want to cut the cost of their input, & maximize their profits. The End.

    Spending money to help poor or marginal-working women avoid unwanted pregnancies SAVES far-more than it costs. Spending money to provide prenatal care avoids massive emergency spending when that pregnancy becomes a crisis. // But the almighty right-wing wants to punish women for having sex when they're poor, or when they work at 3 minimum-wage jobs to meet the rent... how dare they?! - they DESERVE to get pregnant, lose their jobs, become destitute, be evicted. :mad: Sluts! They DESERVE to have preterm infants that are underdeveloped & need incubator care, underweight & can't suckle properly, don't thrive & grow... who will have mental limitations, because they ate poorly for years on end, & will grow-up to be at best semi-dependent.
    Well, guess what? - U pay for contraceptives or U pay lifelong to help support the adult born into that barely-surviving setting; U pay a little now, or pay a lot more, later. If we want to talk economics, that's the bare facts.

    Thank Goddess, i'm post-menopause & single; all i do is work, & as for sex, i might as well be a walled-in hermit - but that's not good enuf, i must abase myself when my income shrinks & beg for money to buy food; waiting in line, filling out forms, proving my wages, going back to the office for more waiting 2 or 3 times, making phone-calls that keep me on hold for at least 20-minutes, worrying myself sick over whether i'll be approved, faxing pay-stubs from the hospital financial-assistance office, catching the bus from there to work, calling the financial-aid worker to ask if my forms went thru.
    It takes an average of 3-weeks to get food stamps set up; it took me from Dec-2016 to Aug-2017 to get my medical insurance re-established, making 7 in-person visits to the financial-aid office at the hospital, numberless phone calls, endless hold-time.


    I can only empathize from here, seeing the UK fall into the same La Brea tar-pit of public austerity - what will those towns do, after they sell all their public parks to developers? One town is selling 14 public parks. What can they possibly sell, next? What's left for greenspace - the median of the roadway? The space between sidewalk & street-curb? Empty lots where buildings were razed?
    Once the land is built upon, it will never revert to public greenspace. U cannot eat grass, trees, & flowers, no, but if U live in a 10 x 10 flat with 2 pre-school kids, a park is S-P-A-C-E, shade, color, room to play, to move, to think outside 4 walls that feel like they're shrinking.

    Disassembling the public-welfare net & expecting "private charities" to take over is as asinine as Prez Ronnie's idea that churches would take over feeding the homeless & the working-poor. The number of mouths to feed is far-greater than the number of churched citizens who tithe. The math just doesn't work.

    sadly,
    - terry

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  10. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    My personal life is on the skids, & accelerating downhill fast. :(
    * My hourly job ended with 2-weeks notice.

    * The weekend client hired a new PCA, a woman, & fired Henry - why, I don't know. He was rarely late, seemed to do the job well; no idea. :( 2-weeks ago, when the new hire was training, the client's wife told me to come in at 6-pm on Friday, not 2-pm - the new hire covered those 4-hours. Once she completed training, on her 3rd shift last week, the new hire phoned 30-mins B4 she was due to say she was sick.

    * In the past 3 days, the client's wife hired an agency - I can understand wanting relief coverage for shifts.
    However, per PCA Cleire, the client's wife has allotted some of my hours to the agency aides; she texted me to say that "we're doing TWO 24-hour shifts this weekend, 8-pm Friday to 8-pm Sunday. Please confirm."
    I've lost not only hours, but a bed for Sunday night, yet I'm working late - I can't START WORK at someone else's home at 9 or later, after a public-transit trip! I either need to stay the night, or leave sooner - 8-pm isn't do-able for me.

    Being assured of at least 3 live-in nights weekly is my only hope of covering my housing, if / when i'm forced to use Air-B-n-B rentals; I can just barely cover 4 nights a week, & at that, only cheap places. If it's 5 nights, I'm doomed.

    I feel sick. The text came Thursday around 5-pm; i didn't get to sleep until after 4-am, worrying uselessly.
    - terry

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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I *was* working 66-hrs a week, tho my on-call overnights were not paid time.

    The hourly job was 28-hrs / week, 56 hrs per pay period; that's $668 bi-weekly - gone.
    Two, 24-hr shifts will net only $810 bi-weekly, or about $1,600 / mo. My rent will now be over 40% of my entire income, before i pay anything else - mobile, food, MBTA-pass, anything. :eek:


    I was earning about $550 / wk net, or $1,100 bi-weekly, from the 3-day, 3-night live-in.
    My total income has fallen from $884 / wk net, or $1,768 bi-weekly / $3,500 monthly, to less than half that.
    I'm in trouble.
    Moving will be expensive, for me; i must hire someone to move my stuff. Most folks want over twice what i earn per hour, just to drive me & my stuff in their van or SUV where we're going; I pack, they drive, i unpack & haul, & they want $30 an hour & up.
    My rent will soar - especially if i can't get more live-in work, but even for a few nights a week, it's gonna climb -- a lot.

    Gee, maybe i can get food-stamps again! - the prospect does not make me happy. :( I feel so discouraged.
    - t

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  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    a rare possibility has appeared - a PT job that's full-time live-in.
    An elderly lady with dementia & her hubby live with their adult kids - the lady has dementia, & awakens confused in the nite, not every nite, but a few times weekly. [Her hubby is compos mentis & active.] She also cannot safely get out of bed, solo - I don't know the details; could be balance, weakness, who knows?
    They use a baby-monitor in the parents' room to awaken them if she's restless, talking, etc.

    They want a live-in person, 6 nights per week, 8:30-PM to 7-AM next morning.
    There's just one hitch - they also want to charge rent for the 3rd-floor room. It's fairly nominal at $150/mo, but still - i'd be working for nothing, on call 6 nights of 7, for a 13.5-hour shift each night. That's a lot. // I applied, & we'll see how it goes.

    All digits crossed,
    - terry

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  13. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Good luck!
     
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  14. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Let us know how you get on Terry. Fingers crossed it's a good job with good people...;)
     
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  15. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    i'm exhausted. I mean, so tired that eating is 'hard work'; my client's p**** retracted today, not once but Twice, from his Texas-catheter. :( The 1st time, he was seated in his power-chair, he'd just had lunch & was about to get his teeth brushed, then switch to the lounge-chair & recline.
    I had to quickly swap him into the bed [inflating it B4 he could lie on it], then mop the lvg-rm, hall, & bedrm floors, as the chair had dribbled urine, & his wife is OCD about hygiene & "clean". That was 1-pm; at 2:15, i sat down for the 1st time today, having stripped, washed, & re-dressed him with a new cath, new Y-fronts, new slax, put his Hoyer pad, drawsheet, pants, & wheelchair-cushion into the washer, & sanitized the floors. :rolleyes:
    He was relaxing in the lounger, the washer was running, dinner was planned, & i could breathe for a while.

    At 4-pm, he was back in bed. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:... Retracted, again. :Crying: Strip him, wash him, new cath / undies / slax, more stuff for the washer, move his chair-cushion cover to the dryer... Hang his Hoyer-pad up to air dry. :( Wa-ah-a-a-a-ah! This is H***.
    I have never in my life had a client do this - of course, only male clients would have this issue, but U know what i mean. My brain is fried, at this point. // I can't find anything in the medical or nursing-notes to cover this, i have no idea how or IF it can be prevented.
    I put an elastic strap on his upper thigh - his wife complained that she "thinks he needs more room" [???...], that he was getting pinched. But his male organ retreating inside his body has zip to do with "room" in his pants - a Texas cath can't stay on something that's half the size of my thumb, & moreover, is actively "pushing it off" as it turns inside-out. :confused:
    Now what? -- I'm at a loss.

    & i still need to strip my bed & pack, for my 8-pm departure.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 6.06.47 PM.png

    I need my nap. :(

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  16. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Blimey. Do I have that to look forward to in old age? :(:(:( Hope you feel rested soon.
     
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  17. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    thanks, ARH. // I slept like a felled tree, from 11-pm to 10-am, with a single potty-trip in the aptly-named wee hours to interrupt my coma, :lol: .

    Everybody ages differently, & this gentleman's retraction, for all i know, may be another side-effect of his quadraplegia - i just don't know, i can't find anything in the Lit that mentions it, let alone explains it.

    The whole thing is very frustrating, more for me, i think, than him - he chuckled repeatedly, both times, as i stripped, washed, & re-dressed him. o_O Of course, while i was busy, he was watching the wall-mounted TV; a real-life murder case was on; when none of his sports-teams is playing, he often watches dramatized murder-cases, with real-life defendants.

    Lest anyone think he's incommunicado or not quite right, he's totally cognizant & can speak, tho his voice is weak & many words are difficult / can be misunderstood; he uses a marvelous communication device to create text on an electronic screen, & it works very well.

    [his EYE GAZE at a colored dot on his side is used to create letters & numbers on a small electronic screen; the whole device is about 12 x 18", with a 'window' to frame his face as U hold it at a comfortable distance.
    U hold the Megabee to watch his eyes move & halt thru the frame; a letter or digit is created by 2 taps on whatever color combo of keys: black/black is Y, for instance. There are blue, green, yellow, white, black, & red keys, so there are many possible combos.]

    So no, this is not something i'd predict for many people - I've known many elders who were both mobile & mentally alert, but they aren't my clients, of course. :D Unless these mobile, active, cognizant folk had a temporary problem - recovering from surgery, after a fall, healing a broken limb, a serious illness, or summat.

    - terry

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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  18. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've been looking for how other caregivers & male patients themselves, cope with retraction & external catheters - it seems to be a pretty common problem, altho his wife keeps implying that i'm incompetent, or just doing it wrong, somehow.
    ["It never happens to anyone but YOU..." :( ] Gee, thanks. o_O

    Elijah, their sainted male PCA of a 6-year stay, did say that it had happened to him, but not often. He had no suggestions on how to prevent it, however, nor any idea what caused it.
    I do know erections can cause the cath to loosen, later, when they fade, so i give a break to let it relax B4 applying the cath - maybe a cool cloth would help to literally cool things down?
    But the retraction itself actively SHOVES the cath off, as a fat little roll of "empty" skin accumulates as the shaft retracts into the groin - like this:

    Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 4.00.07 PM.png

    these 2 sox represent the issue - the near one is retracted, the one behind is relaxed.
    The purple toe is the glans, & all those skin-wrinkles push the cath right off. :confused: :(

    There's a urinary pouch, which surrounds the entire penis, but it attaches via a flat adhesive ring to the body-wall, & no way my client will wear that. Without even asking, i know he won't.
    Blast. No idea what to do.

    - terry

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  19. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    Many years ago as a young nurse I worked in a geriatric hospital and this occurred more times than I can count. This was in the late sixties.
    I hated it so switched to midwifery, at least catheters in women are a lot simpler.
     
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  20. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    thank God, i'm not imagining it, & other ppl DO have this problem, :lol: - his wife makes me feel like a total failure, as if it's all my fault, somehow. :(

    thanks so much, @Nanny71 - U really made me feel better, it's a huge relief. I try very hard to care for my clients capably, not just adequately, & this is getting me down. It's intensely frustrating.

    I got some tips from a men's forum of catheter users, but each of those posters were guys coping with retraction, & i don't know just how common it is, in the M popn as a whole, among quadraplegic Ms, or among aging Ms over 55.
    For all i know, every one of those are different fractions. Couldn't find any stats on frequency, or risk factors.

    - terry

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