Thursday, 10 March 2016

$40 Urine Containment Vessel

I broke my jug last night, my urine containment vessel to be more exact. Actually I broke the lid, not the jug itself. I had to go pee last night, something that happens to all of us at some point. So I reached for my jug, did what I had to do, then went to return it to the dresser. Except I missed, or at least didn't get it all the way onto the dresser surface, and down it went. Fortunately there was no apparent spillage, not that I could see. Unfortunately I need to replace the jug, or, if possible, the lid alone.

This annoys me on so many levels. First of all, why the hell do I need to go pee into a jug at night? Of course the answer to that is so that I can avoid transferring to and from my wheelchair multiple times in the night. I could do as others do and just get up in the night. But if you have ever seen what it takes for me to get in and out of bed, you would understand why that is a non-starter. And the root cause of all of this is ALS.

Then there is the cost of these things. This is not your ordinary jug; it is a hospital grade urine containment system. That means it is sturdy, durable, and designed to reduce odor. It also means a simple plastic jug costs about $40. Part of the cost is the catheter tube which comes with it, something I don't need yet. Sure, I can look for a cheaper jug. I have looked for a cheaper jug. But I drop this thing on a regular basis, so I want to be sure I have something which can take the beating. The last thing I want to risk is having it break and leak all over my bedroom floor. Even when the lid broke last night, there was no visible leakage thanks to the jug design.

On top of the cost, there is the effort involved in going out to get a replacement. You can't just by these in the local Pharmasave. I have to go across town to a specific medical supply store, the kind which sells ostomy supplies, where they carry this kind of medical equipment, because that's what it is, medical equipment.

I will look to Katherine to help me with this, to go with me to the store, to find a less expensive way to solve this problem. Most likely the only, and best way to solve this problem is simply to make the drive, and buy it. Or get up several times a night, make the wheelchair transfer and go to the bathroom. It's probably worth the $40 no to have to do that.


  1. Is there anything like the ALS Association in Canada? In the U.S. the Association has chapters in most major cities, and in Minnesota the local chapter has a sort of "lending library" of durable medical equipment for PALS. The equipment is purchased or donated and available at no charge, as available. When the borrower is, um, "finished" with the device it goes back to the chapter for others to use.

    1. Yes. I was about to call them, especially when I found out the replacement kit now costs nearly $80. But then Katherine came up with a solution which costs nothing. She found a lid that fits perfectly.