Hi Sylvia-- funny you should mention the public restroom visibility issue. I know it is off the topic of medicare and the number allowed...
In all the years I have been cathing in public, I have only been asked once about what it was and why. I find it interesting, but I guess people are used to the veil of privacy of restrooms even if they see what you are doing. I make no secret of what I am washing. Sometimes I even get provocative [about bc advocacy] and emerge from the stall with my surgilube packet in my teeth as I head for the sink... I must look deranged-- no one has ever asked... so I cannot tell them!
I have had an Indiana pouch for soon to be 10 yrs. I can't help you with the medicare insurance because I don't have it. However, I discovered that I can get my catheters through my K-Mart pharamacy at 1/3 the cost of a medical supply house. They have to order them, but the savings is definitely worth it. I have bought my own all these years. I use the latex catheters because the clear ones seem to irritate me more. I have never had an infection and I simply wash them with warm soapy water and let them dry. Like Karen, I have learned to deal with public places even though I have had a few odd looks.
Karen told me about your post and suggested I share my experience with medicare. Medicare is now my secondary insurance since I work for a larger company than I did previously. When medicare was primary, I asked my doctor to write a letter for me which I sent to the medical supply house that I ordered from. The letter said that I had had a cystectomy with Indiana Pouch placement and the date of the operation. Then it added: "Due to difficulty straight catheterizing in the morning the patient at times requires a new catheter. Used catheters become softer and make the catheterization process more difficult for the patient. as evidenced by tissue trauma and bleeding. The patient also has chronic urinary tract infections and I have encouraged her to change her catheters more frequently. Please allow one box per month." Hope this is helpful! Good luck,
I have had to self-cath my neobladder every time I void since May of 2005. I have used the same BARDAM 16fr for over four months now. I have only had two UTI's since surgery and blame them on chemo. I clean them with BIO soap after each use.
I have a neobladder but since November have had to cath whenever I need to void. I reuse them by washing with hot soapy water and then boiling for 10 minutes. I have had one UTI and felt that this was from having to cath in a public bathroom at an airport. I purchased a box of 30 @ $1.75 each. I was told to not use any for longer that a month. I use ten each month over and over.