Today was the big day. I had an appointment with a urologist. It was something I’ve put off for years and now I was Going In. I could hardly believe it myself. DS1 had asked me several times when I was going to get Something Done. The Front Office staff had about given up on me. But it was reality.
I left work in plenty of time to get to my appointment. Since I didn’t know exactly where I was supposed to be at 2:15 CST, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance. I had my Google map I’d printed off with the address and phone number. It was all of maybe 30 miles. I was allowing an hour and 15 minutes.
The place wasn’t hard to find. It’s in a large medical building right beside the hospital. I signed in, got my insurance cards copied and sat down to fill out the papers I was given. When I got through, I asked to go to the bathroom. The woman at the desk asked if I couldn’t wait because they would need a specimen. I told her it had been quite a while since I’d last relieved myself—at least 45 minutes by then but I didn’t say so. She bade me to come on in.
I was shown to the bathroom and the stack of cups on a little table. The nurse said she wouldn’t need much. I felt like I could fill them all. Closing the door, I did what had to be done, cleaned up the splatters, washed my hands and went back to the waiting room.
Feeling much better, I got out my computer (I always go prepared) and found the “guest” wireless. I needed to catch up on some things and intended to use the time I had to wait to do it. First, though, I went on Facebook and left a message that “Tommie is sitting in the urologist’s waiting room wondering what the outcome will be…” Just as I was headed to this very site, I was called in.
I was duly weighed and I hoped I had on at least 10 lubs of clothes. Then the nurse directed me to the exam room that looked for all the world like it belonged in a gynecologist’s office. She checked my blood pressure and left me to my own devices.
Getting my computer back out, I started trying to find the elusive wireless again. There were two secure networks but nothing I could access. No problem. I opened WordPad and typed away.
The doctor walked in after a few minutes and introduced himself. He took a detailed history of my bladder problems and I gave him the short version. He then explained that he would need to check me before he could proceed with treatment. He got me one of those flimsy paper sheets and said he would be back in with the nurse in about five minutes. I was to take everything off from the waist down, get on the table and cover myself with the sheet.
He left the room so I obeyed and he and the nurse returned as he said they would. First, he listened to my heart and lungs and then having me lie back on the table, I had to assume that most humbling position that most of the women in the “civilized” world have at one time or another. That’s when I wish for an out of body experience.
He prodded my abdomen to see if I had any tenderness (he’d done the same to my kidney area while I was still sitting up). I didn’t. Then he lubricated his gloved finger and checked me internally. He told me to bear down hard as if I were trying to have a bowel movement. By then, I really needed to go to the bathroom so I didn’t bear down as hard as I could have because I was afraid of what might happen.
During the Q&A, he had asked if I had problems if I coughed or sneezed and I said no. The next thing on the agenda was for me to cough. He had me do that several times before he was satisfied that I didn’t have stress incontinence.
The exam over, he said he would give me time to dress and then he’d come back in to talk to me.
Sitting in the chair again, I recovered a little of my dignity. He came back in and sat on the stool he’d used previously. The first thing he told me is that my bladder hasn’t dropped. That was a relief because that would call for a surgical repair. He said my muscles seemed to be in good shape and everything was where it was supposed to be.
The one thing that caught his eye was that the opening of the urethra seemed to be very small and that might be the cause of my difficulty. He explained that it’s sometimes the reason the bladder won’t empty completely. So…I’m to go back the first week of March for a scope. Then, if that’s what he thinks it is, he will dilate the urethra.
He went on to say that if that didn’t “fix” me, we could go to medication. I protested. I do not want to go that route again. I’ve been there, done that. He didn’t have anything to urge. I asked about the pelvic floor stimulator but he said if I had stress incontinence, it would be good for that but not for urge. The interstim implant is for urge incontinence.
However, he advised that we take it one step at a time. Less is more. I appreciated that. And I do feel better now that I have taken the FIRST step to be able to go places without having to map the bathrooms.
When I went to the desk to make my next appointment, the woman asked me if I’m a nurse. No, I said. I’m supervisor of admitting and registration. She exclaimed that it sounded like fun. I guess, if you’re a glutton for punishment. We settled on a date and time and I left after telling her I’d been to the bathroom so I’d be okay until I got to Walmart. She laughed. What she didn’t realize is that I was serious. It’s clear across town and, sure enough, I had to head for the bathroom when I got there.
My next appointment is in the first week of March. I’ll be back with another update then.