As you may know I’ve been having some prostate pains these past two years. Two anti-biotic treatments did help, but my personal physician wasn’t happy. So she sent me to see a urologist in hospital, with a sneaky grin accompanying me out the door. Oh my, such embarrassment.
So three weeks ago here I am waiting in the corridor of the Urine Department – I am sure they call it different – for my 1:30 pm appointment. It is running towards 1:45 and no doc in sight. At 1:50 a tall guy in sneakers walks up the corridor and goes into the receptionist’s office. He comes out again in a white doctor’s coat. AHA ! Late lunch, eh, Doc !? Nice for the waiting patient, bathing in nervous sweat.
Anyway, after a first anal exam, oh joy, and a long talk about his lack of typing speed and the need to do so much administration …. oh, and yes, on MY situation …. he decides that he wants to do some more tests. Oh, really? Ummmm… I’ve heard about those, and nothing good.
Now watch it, this gets very personal and contains nudity, so you may want to skip to the end.
If you’re a male approaching 50, you may not want to read this and spoil your happy future.
If you’re a female, you may balk at so much weakness of the male species, or have a good laugh at us, or me.
Anyway, they gave me two brochures. One explaining a peeing competition – officially marked ‘urine throughput measurement’ or something, and one about Cystoscopie. Now that sounds interesting, doesn’t it? The ‘scopie’ part I get, that’s from ‘looking’. But Cysto… ummmm… looking at WHAT and more importantly, through WHERE????
Yup, you guessed, a guy’s worst nightmare. There is only one way OUT of your gallbladder, and apart from your kidneys, only one way IN too….. oh noooooooo !! Maybe I misunderstood. Maybe the stories from friends aren’t true.
THREE WEEKS of sleepless nights follow !
Because I am a Coward Grade #1 !
I can’t stand doctors, I can’t stand hospitals, I can’t even stand my own body…. by now, at 56, it is fat, untrained, flabby, with spots all over and in general not good for anything much anymore but to sit in front of a monitor.
What’s worse, ever since I was 4 or so my parents taught me NOT to pee in public, close all bathroom doors tight, never TALK about these things (today is a clear exception, which I won’t repeat for the next 50 years) and not to kill trees in a macho fashion, like dogs do.
That means that I can’t stand American bathrooms and especially ‘stalls’ that have a large crack on both sides of the door (what’s up with that !!). It also means I have never or seldom relieved myself anywhere NEAR other human beings…. And I even got attacked by a bull once when finding a hidden place… which happened to be in HIS meadow!
I admit this blushingly to the doctor.
“We’ll give you some privacy”, he says. Oh well…. Sleepless nights !
They also tell me I need to show up next time at 9 am with a FULL bladder.
Now I don’t know if you‘ve ever paid attention to the effects of how much you drink and how long it takes for the residue to come out again? I didn’t. So how the heck am I going to PLAN for this??? If I don’t visit the bathroom before going to bed it should work…… but……. ouch ! I test this for 3 weeks, but in spite of my well-trained muscles, I can’t seem to get the timing right. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This is going to be hit and miss on that hospital day ! More sleeplessness!
The other thing causing me not to function at all anymore, after reading the Cystoscopie brochure, is the sheer terrifying thought of someone pushing large tubes through my extremely narrow and sensitive addendum down there. It already hurts just THINKING about it, sending shivers down my spine, and since I unfortunately am a creative person, meaning I have an extremely vivid imagination that is not always geared to reality, maybe you can start gauging how I felt.
Yup, pretty damn scared and in complete panic.
I have about 5000 conversations in my mind, about that approaching day, imagining what I am going to say when I can’t pee, when I wriggle and scream on the operation table, when people laugh at my obvious coward composure and exaggerated fantasy, etc. Maybe 6000 even.
I can’t concentrate on work. I don’t eat well. I am not nice to my surroundings and Nina. I don’t sleep well. Miraculously my tennis game greatly improves…. I am so off-minded that I am not paying any attention to ‘how I should play’ as I usually do. Now all of a sudden I just hit all the balls I usually miss because of wanting to over-achieve ! Go figure.
So, Roger Federer, if ever you are expecting to lose again from Nadal, have a Cystscopie appointment a few days AFTER the match… and you’ll be the world’s #1 again before you know it!
The day is there
The evening before I am so nervous that I can’t control my bladder, and have to visit the bathroom at 10 pm. Darn !!! Now what !? I drink more apple juice and water… and can’t sleep. At midnight I already have a great urge to go to the bathroom again !!! Why can’t we all just be Robocop? These bodies and especially their sensors are totally worthless !
I resist and finally fall asleep only to wake up at 7…..
an hour and a half to go before I must leave the house.
10 minutes more to clean the ice off the car windows.
2 hours before I have to present myself at the reception.
2 hours and 5 minutes before I must start trying to pee in a funnel with 100 people anxiously waiting for me to finish AND an apparatus registering every drop, its speed, its volume and telling the world about it via a long paper sheet….. showing exactly how BAD I can pee !
Which I already know and told the darn doctor.
If anything is classified as mental harassment, this is it !
Everything goes according to plan, until 9 am. Then the fun starts…. And I have a conversation that wasn’t in the 6000 previous ones, how could I have missed this option???
Receptionist: “mr. Dumas, you are here for the urine measurement, right?”
I mumble “yes, madam”.
The six or so other ‘victims’ sitting only 4 yards behind my back in the little waiting space, get attentive.
“Do you have a full bladder?”
“ I think so, that’s what I was told to have”.
“ So do you think you can pee?”
“Errrmmm… I don’t know, frankly”.
Receptionist (looking up from her scribbling): “What!? Do you have a full bladder or don’t you. Do you have a clear URGE to pee?”
<Scream it through the entire hospital, you b…ch !!!>
“Yes, but….”, (why didn’t the guy make a note, dammit!), “… I am not very good at pee-ing on command, you see”.
Receptionist is now getting angry at ME.. am I not supposed to be a CUSTOMER here??
My mind registers chuckles from the audience.
“Well are you going to pee or not !!??”
I can just FEEL the grins burning in my back.
It must be wonderful if you don’t have these problems and watching a guy getting talked down at that way, especially if you are waiting for your OWN Cystoscopie !
Alright, she takes me into a little room and adjusts the apparatus underneath the funnel. It is connected to some electronic device with a roll of paper in it, registering my hesitant progress for the world to see.
By now it is 10 past 9 and my bladder is really exploding….. lucky me. I can pee!
This sounds like a musical, eh?
When I’m done I press a button and she comes back. I need to lie down on a table (you only get to lie on tables in this hospital, they don’t have beds apparently), to measure if anything is left in my bladder. She uses an echo-thingy, the same they use to see what a baby inside its mom looks like!
She is a little kinder now too… maybe glad I peed in record time after all, so she can go and have her coffee break ! I wish I already was having mine.
And I get to go back and sit in the waiting room once more.
I don’t look at the other occupants, the ones who all must have been grinning behind my back earlier! Or maybe they didn’t, maybe they’re as nervous as I am!
Another lady comes along to call me, or should I say ‘nurse’. I’m not good at these things.
She tells me to undress and come into the adjacent room.
For people never visiting hospitals and even seldom visiting doctors or dentists, this is pure shock treatment!
Dressed only in a sweater and my white socks I walk into a room full with angry looking equipment hanging from the ceiling, standing around and jumping at me. A large sort of table – another one – with all kind of extensions towering above it is in the center of the room.
I must go and sit on the edge, then lay back, with my legs in two supports, like women do when giving birth to children. Super exposed and alone in the room with this nurse.
Don’t worry, by this time I am so embarrassed and nervous that you could have introduced 10 nude Playboy bunnies in the room with me, and nothing would have happened. Well, not with me, at any rate.
How embarrassing is it to have a strange woman ‘clean your tools’ in preparation for the doc to come and have a look ! And it bloody hurts too! Did I tell you I am super sensitive!?
I am sure those of you who have never experienced these things yet are now swallowing with a dry throat, just from reading this ! There, my revenge to the world!
The nurse then puts up a plastic bag on a pole filled with more than a liter of distilled watert…. they’re going to PUMP that into me so the doc can see the bladder better. YIKES !!! I know the nazi’s did these things to their victims back in WW2. Is this really a hospital !!??
“And now we wait for the doctor”, the nurse says, “he’ll be here any minute”.
I don’t believe her. It’s the same guy that takes late lunches. I bet he has long breakfasts too!
Now, the weird thing is that after all this, I start talking with the nurse. We discuss moving, selling houses. She asks about my work. We get to discuss the global economic crisis, its causes and how it may go on.
In all my 7000 imagined conversations over the past 3 weeks, this one I didn’t plan either!
This all goes to show that it is simply dead silly to worry so much up front and try to imagine what will happen. You can’t.
It also shows to me that the first guy finding a medicine or other remedy for doing so, will strike it rich, global crisis or not!
On one of the monitors overlooking this victim is a piece of paper from a printer. Printed is “the worst suffering is the fear of suffering!” How very true. Solution please?????
Sure enough, the guy is late again.
After laying there for more than 10 minutes in all my embarrassing nakedness, feet pointing to the ceiling, I am getting cold as well! And angry. Bloody doctors!
Then he comes in, 12 minutes late and starts talking softly to the nurse, while getting his gloves on. I HATE that! Are they talking about what to do to me !? Grinning about my, now tiny, ‘thingy’ ????? Planning how to torture me ? Grueling minutes follow.
In our first discussion I asked the doc if it would hurt.
“Nah,” he said, “it doesn’t hurt, it is more like an unpleasant feeling. We use some anesthetic gel too, it will anesthetize it”.
The bloody liar !
I brace myself on the table and look at the ceiling, fearing what is to come.
“I will now introduce some anesthetic gel”, he announces.
Go work in a circus, you clown !
Hhhhhgggnnnnnnnnnn !!!!! That is NOT a nice feeling….. !!
But, I reassure myself, at least I won’t feel much anymore after this.
Well, think again, buddy.
Instead of waiting for the stuff to work – and I seriously doubt now that it was supposed to work at all – he just continues 5 seconds later by grabbing my ‘thing’ and push something into it.
They can’t use this table anymore after I’m done !!
When the pain slowly eases, I feel the lukewarm water starting to come in…….
AAAAAAHHHHHHHRRGGG. That feels soooooooo bad. It also runs down my legs and bottom….
“Now this may hurt a bit,” I hear the guy say….. I thought he was coming out the other end already with whatever he stuck in….. but no, it gets worse….
I am loudly moaning, trying not to, and not looking at either of them, ashamed.
MAN, that HURTS! Anesthetics my ass !
I feel more water coming in and have to pee… which I obviously can’t because a very large man has stuck something large and obtrusive inside my outlet! Aaarrghhh!
Through a mist of various thoughts, ranging from wanting to cry, scream and kill something I hear him say ”Okay.”
Is he ready !!?? Already? Must have been only 5 minutes or less, although it seemed like a decade or two! Alright then, my man, get it out of me…..
“You want to have a look for yourself?” he asks.
Are you stock raving mad !!?? Do you seriously expect I want to look through my thing inside of myself !!!???????
I wanna get out of here, erase my memory and get back to my beloved PC’s in my office and hide for the outside work for the next 10 years!
“No thank you”, I reply. Did I tell you I am a shy sort of person?
“It really is interesting” the nurse tries.
I shake my hade vehemently, unable to speak in complete astonishment over such naivety!
He pulls his torture equipment out…. AAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHH !!
Water sprays everywhere.
Shouldn’t you have STOPPED the bloody thing before pulling it out, you idiot!
Does this ever end !!??
The nurse now tries to wipe me dry. More embarrassment.
She then helps me off the table, and I manage not to break any of the things attached to it, while the doc leaves the room without saying anything.
Uh? Am I going to die? Am I okay?
I get to dress in the little toilet adjacent, where my trousers are. The nurse hands me some ladies stuff to put in my underwear…. “it will leak for awhile”.
Yeah, after you pumped all that water into me, I bet it will!
I look down and see blood drops all over the floor. Coming from ME !!!
And I put on WHITE socks for the occasion…… they now have red stains. So has my white t-shirt!
I get dressed with trembling fingers – mine! – closing my zipper, wipe the floor with another lady’s tissue, and go back to the waiting room.
I can feel the pitiful looks of the people present. Some of them KNOW what I’ve just experienced, others maybe suspect it….. I feel for all of them!
It must be time for coffee because the doc re-appears within only TWO minutes and calls me in. Wow! Record time!
“You’re okay,” he says, ”nothing in your thing, no problems in the bladder, the blood and urine tests are fine”.
The first good news of this century! I swear!
So now what!? He gives me some pills to ease pee-ing, tells me to come back to report in two months and then lets me go.
It is now 10:15, I walk through the freezing air to my car, my mind – and a certain other part – numbed.
I remain numbed the rest of the day… and I wished that other part would too. But peeing is extremely painful now. I was fine BEFORE I went to the hospital…….. !
So the moral of this story?
Men: don’t get old.
Better kill yourself while flying an aircraft into the ground, or drilling your car into a bridge pillar on race day, when in your best years with no worries in sight!
Women: I fell for you. I truly do.
My advice? Forget about getting kids, it absolutely isn’t worth it. I know, I just did something similar, only hundred times less painful and taking only an hour instead of 9 months!
Kids: be glad you can’t read this story yet!
True men of course just laugh at all this. It took only an hour in hospital, you pee a bit, show off your wonderful genitals to an properly impressed nurse and have a large colored man do his thing for 3 minutes and in the end have a great story to tell to your friends.