Monk (tommy_the_goat) wrote in playdoctor,

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Not exactly "playing" doctor, but let me tell you a little bit about my most recent experiences with catheters and urethral sounds and the like.

In early May, based upon my described urinary habits (he asked, I didn't volunteer), my urologist became concerned that the surgery in February to remove my cancerous prostate might have resulted in the formation of scar tissue on the inside of my urethra and decided that a cystoscopic examination should be carried out to determine if that was indeed the case. ["Cystoscope" is from the Latin meaning "camera that gets firmly shoved up your dick".]

A partial blockage of my urethra was confirmed by the fact that the urologist could not even insert the cystoscope up my dick as far as the expected site of the scar tissue. The urologist then stated that any further evaluation would need to be completed in the hospital under a general anesthetic and that his office would be in touch with me to make the necessary arrangements for that procedure. He then used a different instrument to "stretch" my urethra for the interim, told me that I would probably be sore for the rest of the day (how's that for stating the obvious) and that is how things were left.

The examination, however, had so irritated my urethra that it was blocked for the rest of the day. By 8:00 that night, I still had not been able to pass any urine and I was getting increasingly uncomfortable. Also by then, I was experiencing muscle spasms in my bladder about every 3 to 5 minutes. A call to the urologist's answering service and a short discussion with the on-call urologist resulted in the instructions, "Go directly to the hospital emergency room; do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars".

I checked into the emergency room ("Would you care to sit down while I collect the necessary information from you?" "No, I think that I'll stand if its all the same to you.") Muscle spasms. I am shown to "my room" and given the ubiquitous hospital gown, told to disrobe, lie down on the exam table and wait. More muscle spasms. This wasn't "fun" anymore.

An emergency room nurse trundled the ER "cath cart" into my assigned room and tried for more than ONE-HALF HOUR to insert a catheter. She tried two different sizes (a 14 and a 16, whatever the hell that means) each multiple times before deciding that she should stop trying before "causing any additional trauma" (nurse speak for, "I've already caused a lot of bleeding here and I don't seem to have made any improvement in the situation"). The nurse then proceeded to leave me by myself after assuring me that she "would be right back".

More time passes, more muscle spasms, increasing pain, and the first nurse returned with the head nurse (no, that's not what she does). After conferring for a bit and looking the situation over, the head nurse (who kept calling me "Hon") decided that the first nurse was indeed right and should stop before "causing any additional trauma. After some additional discussion, they jointly agree that one of the ER doctors should be brought in.

More time passes, more muscle spasms, increasing pain and I have now started groaning with each spasm. An ER doctor came in, was briefed by the first nurse and decided to try a different instrument, again multiple times, again with no success. By this time, so much lubricant had been forced into my dick that it was oozing out in large amounts. This, in combination with my loose foreskin (I am not circumcised) made for a very poor grip which the doctor addressed by calling for a towel, taking a much firmer grip, and shoving EVEN HARDER; but, alas, with no better results.

The ER doctor now decided that a specialist should be called in (doctor speak for, "Well, I've managed to increase the bleeding, but that's not the real reason you are here, is it?). By this time, I had been in the ER for about 3 HOURS and my initial discomfort had been replaced by REAL pain. While awaiting the arrival of the on-call urologist, the nurse shot me up with some pain killer; which turned out to be the first really positive step that anyone had taken since my arrival. (I LOVE the pain medications that are provided in the hospital; morphine is my special favorite!)

The on-call urologist (this was the front side of Memorial Day weekend) arrived and called down a stand-by operating room nurse who brought with her a rather large cart full of specialized urological surgical instruments, a number of which the urologist proceeded to use until he could finally insert a wire (?) through my dick and into my bladder. (By this time, there were two large instrument carts, two nurses, and two doctors in the room with me. I was beginning to fear that I might be asked to stand up while I was being attended to.)

The urologist used the wire that he had inserted into my bladder as a guide for the insertion of increasingly larger urethral sounds (18, 16, 14, 12; again with the numbers) into my dick until he had finally stretched me out enough to insert a PEDIATRIC (little boy's) catheter and told me that I would probably be sore for a few days. I limped rather gingerly home to await the end of the three-day Memorial day weekend. My wife was somewhat peeved with me since she had already compiled a list of yard maintenance tasks to be "accomplished" over the weekend.

On the Wednesday morning following Memorial Day weekend, I checked into the hospital and had the scar tissue removed with an instrument affectionately referred to by the hospital staff as the "roto-rooter. This was followed by the placement of a "big boy" catheter and I was sent home, again with a noticeable limp and a list to one side, again to recuperate over the coming weekend (another weekend of yard work lost), again told that I would probably be sore for several days (..if I had a nickel for every time...). The following Monday, the catheter was removed ("you'll probably be sore for several days").

So, how did you spend your Memorial Day weekend?
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