Alan. Yup, his name is Alan, the balloon who's in love with the cactus. But that's another story...
As you can see, Alan is not always happy. When Alan's happy, playing the Cath Game is not just easy, it's trivial. This? This, I was worried about even trying? Or so I'm thinking...
When Alan is ready to, well, go, everything is wonderful. If he's unhappy, just... wait. He'll smile again, soon enough.
But one thing he's not at all good at, is telling me exactly what's going on. Full? Empty? Desperate? Bored? Every time I pick a message and act on it, it's not an accurate report of his actual state. I've gotten "Empty me! Empty me! Now now now now now!" screams from Alan, but upon cathing, he gives up a coffee-cup-sized amount. Not a Starbucks "venti" cup, a grandmother-grade-tea-cup size. Then again, there are times where he says nothing, clock says yeah why not give it a try? And upon trying, oh my GOD how much he's been carrying and is so enthusiastic about letting it go.
Is our spiritual life not very much like this? Oh yes, there are things that need to be let go, and blessed as we send them out on their way, with thankfulness for letting go of what we no longer need. But we're always perplexed by I have to get rid of what, now? or I thought I had taken care of that already or I had no idea that was still waiting to be let go or all sorts of things along that line.
The Good Book says, "Pray without ceasing," but it's hard to carry that metaphor into the bladder-catheterization world. We MSers live in the world of "Pee without stopping" or "Pee without starting," or bouncing pretty much instantly between the two extremes. We form new relationships not with pointy things (like Alan's friend the cactus) but with what are basically straws. But, just like friends, once we find the right one, it's quite wonderful to hang (as it were) with them. Heavenly, even.
So now then, how do we deal with Alan? Carefully... he is, after all, just a balloon. But, he does have a nice smile when he's happy. So, don't be afraid... Alan is nice. Just talk to him.
Treat him kindly, with respect, and honor. When he does something right, anything right... thank him. And as Kathryn Kuhlman said at the end of her weekly address to which my maternal grandmother listened (as it were) religiously, "Everything will come out... all right."