Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When Will I Pee Again?

Sorry for the title, but one of the most frustrating area of recovery has been my bladder.  Not being able to urinate was the actual trigger that caused me to go to the emergency room.  They inserted a Foley catheter, and that remained in me for about a month. 

I thought when it came out, I would be able to urinate naturally.  I wasn't.  So, the nursing staff started cathetrizing me manually 6 times a day, manually.  At least I had the urge, and was told that was a good sign.  Before it was time to cath, I tried all sorts of positions, on the side "sitting up," and nothing helped.  In time, the nursing staff told me I would have to learn to cath myself because I'd have to do it myself once I was discharged from the hospital.

I did learn, and not only did I have to learn to do it in bed, but also while sitting in a wheelchair just in case I would have to go while outside.  But, in truth, I had no intention of leaving the house for any length of time until my bladder problems improved.  Of course, it wouldn't turn out that way, because I had to go to physical therapy as an out patient. Fortunately, I timed my catheterizations well, and did not have to cath while out in public.

While in the hospital, I used a cath kit, which was an all-in-one, and easy to use. However, this was expensive and the insurance company didn't cover it for home use, so I had to use a standard cath tube and re-usable urinal.  I had to learn how to use this before I left the hospital.

I was discharged on August 1, 2012.  By October 1, I was still using the catheter. I would pray to the Saint, usually St. Jude, and ask for the ability to urinate naturally.  I made an appointment to see a urologist.  By the third week of October, I was really frustrated.

Then one day, while I was doing my stretching exercises, I leaked. I went to the bathroom, and I dribbled.  And I dribbled constantly.  About 5 or 6 times within a 5 minute period, then 10 minutes later, another 5 - 6 times, then 10 a ten minute reprieve, before having to go again another 5 or 6 times within a five minute period.  This went on for a couple of months.

Then I started wetting the bed while I slept.  The male guards I would wear wouldn't always absorb all the urine.  I then discovered vynal undewear, which usually kept my outerwear dry.

Slowly, the control has returned, but a sneeze or a cough sometimes will set off an accident, and I still have accidents in my sleep almost nightly, but now it is usually confined to between 3:30 - 5:00 a.m. 

I used to have accidents within walking two blocks, but that has now lengthened to about ten blocks.
If I carried something heavy, that was a automatic trigger for an accident, but I now find myself carrying heavier loads for longer distances.

It's okay if I have to go after ten blocks, sometimes, before I got sick, there were times when I had to go after walking a few blocks - the prblem now, is that I can't hold it in - but that, too, seems to be getting better ever so slowly.

If I had to put a percentage on it, I'd say I'm about 80% better now in this area, but with a 20 % "error rate," I can't say I'm ready to acclimate back into society "normally."  It requires a lot of adjustments, and timing.

It's an embarrassing subject, but this is one of the reasons why I decided to write a book about my recovery - it is really difficult to find information regarding this issue - and I still haven't found any satisfactory information.  My experience is the only reference point I have, so if I can provide some information of the chronology to someone else who is experiencing this, then I'm happy to be able to provide my experience as information.

No comments:

Post a Comment