Friday, April 7
A Reality Check
Take a long look at this picture here, hopefully it will be the last you see of one of these in your lifetime. Its a catheter, and yesterday I was told I will have to use this to pee as I cant do it for myself anymore. I had thought Id got away with it, I really thought this was one indignity I had been spared. I was so smug about it, catheters were not for me, oh no. Well to be honest Ive been feeling unwell for a few weeks now, and I did notice that things in this area werent great, but I didnt actually realise the total extent of the problem, because you dont to be honest. And of course a little bit of you hopes its going to improve and go away anyway.
So I had a long and miserable hospital appointment where first of all I had a full neurological examination. As was expected I was not the star pupil in this area, and it just confirmed that things are as they are. Next I had to go and pee in a jug, and this was measured. Then I had an ultrasound scan on my bladder. Its the same as when you have a scan when you are pregnant. This then told the doctor that Id only managed to get rid of 10% of an already fit to burst bladder. So that was that.
The options were very simple in that there was no option but to go down the route of self catheterisation, which means doing it at intervals during the day. If I dont my bladder will fill up, the contents will start to back up into my kidneys, Ill get infections, kidney failure and maybe die. The time scale is now as in has to be done within days not weeks as it can all happen very quickly.
I was sent home feeling ready to shoot myself. I also had with me the above sample and a booklet full of euphamisms about 'freedom and security' Should I laugh or cry at this point? Anyway you can see this in the next posting. The booklet is also sponsored by spinalnet.co.uk 'Spinal cord injury SCI healthcare information in one site' so says the blurb on the cover.Might as well slap me around the face really. Not much subtlety here.
I actually wanted to cry, and I mean really really cry, but I was so stunned that it just didnt happen. Im not sure why I was so stunned as this had been in the back of my mind for a while so I suppose deluded is a better term.
This morning I was phoned and told to go for an 'emergency' scan of my kidneys. this is not very cheery, I could do without it. And also my consultant rang... er which one was this, I have so many these days!! Anyway I have a full afternoon ahead on monday when I will get to have more tests done on my bladder and of course be taught how to use a catheter. Well what can I say about that? For once even Im rendered pretty speechless!