I've been using a catheter for several years now. I can't fully empty my bladder on my own, so using a catheter gives me more freedom away from the john. I had botox injections a few months ago to further quiet the bladder, and I now self-cath 5 times daily, 4 times during the day and once at night.
It's inconvenient sometimes, especially at night when it takes longer than a quick trip to the bathroom (it usually takes me about 5-8 minutes total).
The trick is cleanliness, otherwise I risk picking up a urinary tract infection (UTI) which will need antibiotics to clear. I wash with several products to clean before hand, using hibiclens and povidone iodine swabs, and I take cranberry capsules and d-mannose several times a day to prevent an infection.
It doesn't hurt, it actually feels really good to take an unobstructed pee, but the feeling of inserting a catheter does take a little getting used to, no pain but the feeling is unusual.
I use and recommend single-use Foley Coudé tip catheters with hydrophilic coating. You open the catheter package and insert a little water to activate the coating. The catheter is then very easy to insert after the coating is activated.
CCSVI Procedure 9/16/2009 at Stanford
Stent in left and right IJVs
Former Ampyra User
Regular Botox Bladder Injections
300mg d-Biotin / day