HI Pat-- I am still on private insurance from my job so do not have to deal with the medicare limitations-- but I reuse catheters and have not had a problem. I had my RC in 8/00 and in the 5+ years I have been performing unnatural acts in public restrooms [ha ha], I have only had one UTI. I have managed clean technique in planes trains and autos, and at the beach, and in some fairly primitive bathrooms on the road.
Several other pouch women and I wrote the Post hospital survival guide on the webcafe site and there is a section on the care and feeding of catheters which you may find helpful. Also-- I only use the clear catheters-- either the mentor or the Rochester Medical-- so you can see if it is clean or not.
You can point out to your medicare office that if you get an infection it will be much more expensive to treat than more liberal dispensing of cathethers. A friend kept ending up septic and getting rehospitalized-- and her insurance company recognized that authorizing boxes of single use catheters were much cheaper than a week in intensive care on some very expensive antibiotics.
Life is certainly different now right-- but still good. Karen
Having just turned the magical 65 and had to go on medicare as my primary insurance i am doing battle with them over their allotment of......get this....4 catheters a month. How ridiculous is that....i ask them if they could manage voiding 4 times a month...apparently they do not hire anyone with a sense of humor. Anyway i see this as almost a feminine issue as mostly women get the internal pouches which require catherization 4 to 6 times a day. Even the manufactureres say..."One use Only".... never mind that maybe you can get them cleaned out if you just happen to have an immaculate bathroom and sink...its still a guessing game whether all that muucous sticks to the sides and breeds whatever and leaves you with a kidney infection. Just wondering if there are any other people out there who have had the same problem? I'm fighting them but i'd like to know i'm not alone in the battle.......HELP.....Pat