My summer of my discontinence: Day 5

By Michael Owen

OK, to summarize so far: Blood in urine, doctor one, CAT scan, doctor two, biopsy, emergency room catheterization. Back home, but fairly uncomfortable.

Being catheterized and wearing a leg bag pretty much sucks, but it has its moments. It’s kind of funny to be standing there talking to someone and thinking, “This person has no idea I’m pissing like a Russian racehorse.”

But you REALLY have to remember not to do that after the catheter is removed. Especially if you’re wearing khakis.

Anyway, two days after my ER visit and catheterization, I went back to the urologist for an “evacuation test.” If I passed the test, the catheter would come out. And believe me, I was ready to be shod of it.

Again, a nice young woman came into the exam room and told me to strip completely from the waist down. This was starting to remind me of college.

I reclined on the exam table and draped the paper blanket over the area she was about to uncover and once again pondered why we go through this façade of modesty.

She came back in, removed the leg bag and discarded it into one of those red hazardous waste receptacles, which I tried not to take personally. Then she held the end of the catheter upright and, using a funnel, poured a measured amount of distilled water into my, uh, bladder.

Again, this used to be a one-way street.

Once she was sure I had a full tank, she said she was going to remove the catheter. Flashing back to Nurse Briggs & Stratton, I braced myself.

“On three,” she said as I gripped the sides of the table, and the middle too, truth be known.

I didn’t hear her say one, two or three, so moments later, I nervously said, “I’m ready.”

“Oh, it’s already out,” she said.

I was so relieved I almost said, “I could kiss you.” But considering my lack of pants and her alarmingly immediate proximity to my lack of pants, it probably would have been inappropriate.

Then she had me sit up, handed me a calibrated stainless steel can and said, “I’ll leave the room while you see if you can teetee.”

Teetee? Tee? Fucking? Tee? I was about to tell her that 58-year-old Southern men do not “teetee.”

We pee, we piss, we take a leak, we bleed the lizard, drain the dragon, see a man about a horse, punish the porcelain, drain the radiator — whatever — but we do not teetee, I wanted to say.

But she’d already left the room.

So I teeteed.

And saints be praised and dragons be drained, I put out almost exactly as much as she’d put in. Now, while that just made perfect sense to me, it seemed to impress her mightily.

“You did great!” she gushed, sounding a bit too much like a kindergarten teacher.

At least she didn’t stick a little gold star on … well, anything.

(Tomorrow: “Shut up, doc. I have to call Allison”)


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