A roommate had a knee replacement. In constant pain, like he was forever on the verge of passing a kidney stone, the man had been on the fence for yeah-many months. For just as many of those, he’d been bitching, so, I took the damn thing in my own hands, i.e., found a doctor, squared it away with his insurance, and voila, easy as pee, the man had a partial knee.
He bounced back faster than the veteran nurse on his floor expected, and they told him he’d be discharged in two, instead of three days.
In the evening of his first day, they pulled his catheter out. And that’s when the fun part began.
The piss wouldn’t come. Apparently, in newly catheterized men, it can happen. He shouldn’t worry, all sorts out naturally, wouldn’t you know? How would you feel, all blase?
He would stand over the pot, straining, and I would be listening through the heavy hospital door. No cigar! We tried the old hand in the warm water trick. Nothing. Enter a more direct application of water to the spout itself. Not even close! The poor guy drank like a Bedouin camel fresh from a Safari jaunt. Not even a flicker of an idea anywhere below the belt. He even took a shower, thought expressly forbidden, his cut-up knee sticking out over the rim. Not a chance!
Fresh from his surgery, he spent the better part of the next 24 hours trying. Who woulda thunk how much I would miss that little tinkling sound? And in light of it sorta being my fault…
Discharged now, cue continued trying. Then, straight cath to drain the bladder distended to what the home care nurse said was a good 72-hour output. Straight cath meaning a quick in and out, the wham-bam-thank you, ma’am, if you’re into gory details.
More frigging trying. More cath. An emergency room. A urologist visit. Another ER trip. A few uncertain drops making it out. For volume measurement, piss being collected in the toilet brush bowl, one without a lid. Did I mention the situation stank?
A permanent catheter put in to get the bladder down from where it got distended and now exhibiting the tendencies of a lazy relation mooching off a softhearted retiree.
Knee exercises a requirement at that point, they put a damn new meaning into jumping through hoops — or, at least, over a catheter leash.
Another trip to a urologist on the far side of town. Catheter out (about time, it being 3 days). Nada! Zilch, for my non-Spanish speaking groupies. A urologist visit. Catheter in again, and hello, Thanksgiving weekend! As you can imagine, a gravy boat-full to celebrate. Or, rather, there was — a more portable, even more permanent catheter. Stop by after the holidays, and enjoy your Flomax and turkey! Your prostate is losing its youthful figure, but you don’t need a surgery, not yet, just check out this photograph obtained…yep, through more straight catherization. The one immediately proceeding the permanent cath.
The man’s Thanksgiving came later. 6 days later, to be exact. That very permanent catheter was out.
New batch of free-flowing piss started making it into a toilet brush bowl. And the output left some to be desired. But it was there, which yet another urologist visit proved via their benighted ultrasound.
And then, that sound resumed, the audible kind, the one I was actually missing (no, not a golden shower fan, thanks very much). The melody of piss tinkling into a toilet bowl, hitting the water with a crystalline tone of a self-assured stream, the droplets drying on the black lacquer toilet seat into lemony polka dots.
I used to rage. Used to demand the guy, at least, get the toilet seat UP, like a normal male persuasion pig, not splatter the thing.
I am doing it, again, on the eve of the man’s well-check urologist visit. In fact, I will be doing it just as soon as I wash the seat clean and use it myself. Well, I will as soon as he wakes up, because it is 2 in the AM, and I like my victim lively when I go all nuclear on their chauvinist ass.
But just then, for a few weeks following Thanksgiving, the man had a carte blanche.
And now, let me post-face. This ain’t a Flomax commercial. I’m not even sure that is what specifically helped. But it was there, as were the urologist, the nurses, the concerned surgeon, the toilet brush bowl, the re-baptized seat, the catheters, the turkey, the… Everyone, please, take a bow!