By Nolan Trowe: For Complete Post, Click Here…
It costs me around $1,000 a month to urinate. That’s more than $30 a day. My catheters are just one of the essential medical devices that I need to survive. Since having a spinal cord injury in 2016, I have what’s called a neurogenic bladder. I can’t relieve myself without the use of an intermittent catheter, which means I have to make sure I have enough of them to get me through to the next shipment from my medical supply company.
The anxiety of rationing how many times a day you can urinate is exhausting. Imagine you only have enough supplies to go five or six times. Sure, there are the obvious physical dangers of such rationing: higher risk for urinary tract infections, dehydration, autonomic dysreflexia and so on. However, the worst part of all of it is the anguish and despair that one feels when they are running out of something that they quite frankly cannot live without. No exceptions.
In March 2020, as people scrambled about buying up all of the hand sanitizer, wipes, toilet paper, gloves, and God knows what else, I really only had two things on my mind. One, my catheters and two, my nerve medications. The pandemic highlighted for me, as it did for many people with disabilities, just how vulnerable we are when it comes to disaster preparedness. My mind reeled as more and more establishments shuttered their doors. Was the world ending? And if it was, how in the hell was I going to get my catheters? How would I survive?