Thursday, October 3, 2013

Quoth the Narnians

Another venture into the physical, rather than the spiritual...

So, I'm definitely a member of the "Cath Club" now. Sticking a straw into... oh, as they named a "similar" object on the Venture Brothers, let's call it The Nozzle. You know what I mean.
A few things to share that may come in handy for some of my fellow MSers... especially since my urologist says that eventually, everyone with MS eventually gets full-on bladder "issues" and has to deal with this sort of thing.

First thing: There are several kinds of urinary catheters (plus different models for men and women due to different "roads" needing to be traveled between the bladder and the Outside World—Being a Guy, that's the kind I'm familiar with). The kind that YOU need is the kind that works best for YOU. If the insurance company (or whoever) tells you that they know what's best for you, just throw it back in their face—no, they do NOT know. My insurance company wanted to know if the model I wanted was necessary, couldn't I use kind "X" instead? I told the person at the cath company, if the insurance company insists on using their model cath, they're fucked. They're not "wrong," they're fucked. Because I tried the model they like and it does not work. My doctor is asking for the model he's asking for because we tried all of them and the one he's asking for is the only one that worked.

What else do I wish I'd been told? Everyone tells you "you get used to it," but to my experience, you don't "get used to" it, your urethra stops complaining as loudly—which means it gets used to it—and if you have the right model of catheter, it goes through the Prostate Gate easily and does not hurt when it makes that transition. The wrong-model catheters all hurt, and none of them would go through the Prostate Gate, even when the nurses were doing the shoving. I got cathed last week at Urgent Care, and that definitely was no fun at all... But I'm doing it to myself now, and the straw being inside The Nozzle is still definitely more than "a little odd," but that's as bad as it gets, and going through the Prostate Gate is completely painless, quite a nice surprise, actually, as suddenly all that urine that the bladder was unwilling to void itself without help suddenly finds the exit through the straw and away we go!

So always be gentle but always be insistent, that catheter is definitely gonna go deeper in but it doesn't "need to hurt," if you're doing it compassionately enough. Keep breathing! Take it easy, keep relaxing... relax more with every breath, "ouch" or no "ouch" from the catheter being inside. Keep breathing, keep pushing gently but firmly. With kindness! And when you make it through the Prostate Gate (which you definitely won't unless you keep pushing, and also definitely won't unless you're using the right-for-YOU catheter), bladder finally gets to empty itself, which both it and you have been waiting for it to do!

So, my MSer friends, if you get stuck having to do this, which I'm told you all will eventually have to do... just remember the important things: Use the right-for-YOU catheter, keep breathing, keep relaxing, keep trying to piss around the catheter (helps you make and keep yourself internally "open"), and as you gently but firmly but always compassionately keep pressing the catheter inwards—as the Narnians said so enthusiastically during The Last Battle as they headed towards Aslan's country:
Further up! Further in!

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