Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Curse of the Catheter.

I underwent major vascular surgery in my pelvis last week, huge stents in arteries to both legs. Now--I understand they had to thread a catheter up my penis so I didn't accidentally pee all over the doctor's gown during the operation.

     But--the operation was over, I spent an hour in the recovery room, ate two meals, had a decent night's sleep, and not even a drug addict would be peeing all over himself on the amount of drugs I had in my system. It was high time this catheter came out. I told the nurse and she agreed to make it her first request when the doctor showed up.

      Okay. But I had periodic burning sensations, and I thought the tube to the urine bag might be twisted or kinked, so I plucked the bag from under the bed and switched it from hand to hand as I untangled the tube with the other hand. The tape holding the tube against my thigh came off so that my penis stood up and followed the tube around like a bird dog on the hunt (a pointer), a very unpleasant sensation--when it didn't involve a woman.
      Finally sick of the process, I carried the bag into the bathroom (just in case I squirted when I yanked out the tube), and gave the tube a healthy pull.

       Yow. That hurt. And the evil tube stayed in place. Something was holding it in, so I went back to the chair in my room and tried to be patient. But, the burning sensations kept coming around and I couldn't tell whether I was peeing or not. Where the hell was the doctor? Where's the nurse?

        Fed up again, I went back to the bathroom with gruesome determination. I grabbed my penis in one hand, the catheter in the other and pulled firmly in opposite directions. Aha, I observed, I could see the tube exiting the end of my penis, so I kept going and it looked like I was making progress. But, ow,ow,ow, no undocking. The only thing I accomplished was to compress my penis into a little stub of wrinkles resembling a small stack of coins (about $3.50 in quarters). At that point, I wanted to go into the hallway and howl like a coyote until relief arrived.

        Luckily, the nurse came. I gave her a grim look and said, "This catheter has to come out."
        She almost smiled when she conceded, "Okay, I won't wait for the doctor."
        She had me lay on the bed and started to manipulate the catheter.
        "What's the trick?" I asked, after confessing that I had tried to pull  it out.
        "Oh, you can't pull it out. There's a balloon on the end of it that has to be deflated."
        A balloon!
        "Are you ready? One, two, three...."
        I have never been to a hospital anywhere, at any time, for any purpose, for anyone when I didn't think the nurses were angels. Thank God for the angels, and may my penis rest in peace.

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