European, I’m a-peein’ … oh wait–scratch that


Yes, that lovely day came when I got to visit my surgeon to have my bladder evaluations done before my hysterectomy.  These evals (ha!  The newly-automatic web browser spellchecker-slash-annoying-autocorrector turned “evals” into “evils”!) are supposed to tell us which flavor of surgery I will need, i.e. which combo of procedures I should have done while he’s in-nair.

That day came yesterday.

I was not prepared for this.

I went downtown by myself.  I successfully reached the place (act of Goddess).  I found a parking spot (another blessed act).  And it was close by!  (Is Her Highness going for a hat trick?)  I only had to wait about half an hour (what’s with these conventional docs and the waiting?  Wow, no wonder why our new patients think it’s no big deal to be 15 mins late – at any other office, they wouldn’t be seen for another 15 mins!)

Anyway… then the fun starts.  Weight: I lost 4 pounds!!  Dunno how.  Blood pressure: Wrist-based blood pressure cuffs suck.  The readings are inaccurate.  Take 20 points off of each of the numbers, both top and bottom, and you’ll have your actual blood pressure.

Then, a private room.  Strip from the waist down.  Everything.  Lie back on the table, put your feet in the stirrups.  (Yeah, that’s always fun.  Stirrups are never a good sign, are they?)

Then I was told I’d give a urine sample.  No problem, just show me a cup and a restroom.  Nope, completely passive process – you lie there.  At first I was like, oh good, because I don’t think I could pee right now.  I was OK with letting them just take the urine from me.  So she siphons it.  I feel burning and stinging pain.  Not too bad.  Not something I’d like to repeat, but it could’ve been worse.

Then we need to fill the bladder with water and look around inside with a tiny camera.  Supposedly looking for abnormal cell growths (early cancer) or whatever.  Yes, the ridges mean overactive bladder.  Overactive?  You’re talking to someone who could hold a gas tank in her kidneys.  I mean, when I was a kid I peed maybe every 12 hours.  Seriously.  Consolation prize: I got to see my urethra and bladder on a video screen!

It went downhill from there.  They moved me to another room where I sat in some reclining birthing chair (hard as hell), put my feet in stirrups (again), and had another instrument (a catheter) inserted into my urethra (joy) only this time, it was in there for a while.

FunFact: when you’re talking about something inserted in your urethra, 2-5 minutes is a while.  A good long while.

There was a catheter and some electro leads and pads in areas I never imagined you’d ever stick a lead.  They measured pressures in my urethra.  I have irregular tension on my urethra – normal is 20–20 of what, I don’t know.  Mine was between 11-14.  This means that sometimes, when I cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard, I pee myself.  Well hell, I already knew that.

They did give me a local anesthetic.  Only a partial, though, not complete, because they wanted me to feel pressures and report back about different things as they tested.  Yay.  I would’ve preferred the total anesthetic!

They warned me that I might feel burning pain and tenderness in that area for a while.  Heh.  Try, I can’t pee for the whole day.  No, really – my body would not let me void urine for the.  Whole.  Day.

Now these days, I’m used to peeing every 2-3 hours or so – sometimes less often.  My body did not even crave water at all.  I am used to existing in a relatively perma-dehydrated state, so that wasn’t a problem.

But by nightfall, I tried to pee…and couldn’t.  It wasn’t a physical blockage, but rather pain too great to allow urine to flow.  So I abandoned the idea, took a whack-ton of natural muscle relaxers, and dropped like a rock in a urinary anti-gravity position on the sofa.

Only at 7am this morning was I able to pee.  For the first time since noon yesterday, mind you.

I’ve never been so grateful to be able to drink (and even to crave!) water.


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