Sunday, May 1, 2016

It's all fun and games until someone trips over their pee bag...

Flashback to two weeks ago:  

I'm at the hospital, hanging out in the waiting room, waiting to get a pre-surgery ekg.
I'm extremely annoyed.   I'm annoyed because I have to get an ekg, I'm annoyed because I'm having to sit in the waiting room for over an hour because the hospital can't find the order.  I'm irritated because there are gross people who may or may not have Ebola wandering around aimlessly coughing in my air space. I'm ready to bitch slap the old lady spewing mucus and phlegm every 8 seconds while she hacks up a lung and loudly discusses her bowel habits with her gal pal from the senior center who can't hear her and keeps asking her to repeat herself.  Most of all, I'm super fucking pissed off at the elderly man who walked in carrying his urine sample in his hand, sat next to me, and then set his exposed pee container on the arm of the chair separating us.
Seriously, who does this?  Who pees in a bottle and then drives to the hospital carrying it in their hand?  Who wouldn't put it in a bag, or have their (much more compassionate than I would be) wife stick it in her purse?  Or, I dunno, buy a man purse for urine toting purposes?   There are thousands of options, all of which make more sense than carrying your pee jar in your hand and walking around in public with it.   I mean, why not just wait until you get to the hospital and pee there??  That's what I always do.   Then you just stick the pee in the slot next to the toilet, wash your hands, and go your merry way.
I sit there, actually seething with rage over how little thought and consideration Urine Sample Guy put into this whole pee thing,  and kind of want to burn my arm off when I get home, just in case some of his pee germs escaped the jar and landed on my skin.  I'm contemplating all the scathing things I'd like to say, only I don't want to risk opening my mouth just in case there are vapors or something.  (Other people's pee is not to be trusted.)

This hospital waiting room is literally my interpretation of Hell, as brought to you by my Karma, who thinks it's funny to put me in these situations and watch me slowly but surely lose my shit.

Or so I thought, until this week when Karma decided to up it's game.

I have been bitching about Urine Sample Guy since the moment it happened.
Urine Sample Guy prompted 27 text messages, 6 phone calls, several Facebook posts, and numerous retellings every time I encountered someone who needed to hear the story and express outrage with me.
Urine Sample Guy has made appearances with me at the hair dressers, the grocery store, the bank, the post office, the local market, work, a team meeting, a family get-together, and at the doctor's office when I was asked if I'd gotten my ekg.   He showed up at the hospital in the recovery room when I felt compelled to tell the recovery nurse about the trials and tribulations I'd had to overcome on my road to surgery, and possibly even during my operation, which may explain the fat lip I can't figure out (more about that later).
(Okay, I'll tell you now:  I came out of surgery with a fat lip that looks like I went a few rounds with Mike Tyson.  A week later and it's still puffy and sore.  The fuck?  It was vagina surgery.   Wrong end, assholes.)

Urine Sample Guy made a huge impact on me because who the HELL wanders around carrying their pee?  Just out in the open, in public, in your bare hand... WHO FUCKING DOES THAT?

Urine Sample Guy was almost my last straw.

(Fortunately, shortly after he sat his pee bottle next to me, my name was called and I left the room before my head shot off my neck and I beat him with my chair, but the potential of what could have happened stuck with me.)

A few days after the ekg/pee bottle incident I had a complete hysterectomy, during which they removed all of my internal lady parts, including my cervix (noteworthy, because for some reason I didn't realize they weren't leaving that behind.  My knowledge of female anatomy is woefully ignorant.  When I asked the doctor why she took my cervix she looked at me as if I were stupid, which it turns out I am, and said, "Because it's part of your uterus, which we took out..?"  Huh... who knew?  Everyone but me, apparently.)

One of the perks of surgery is that you get a morphine pump, which is super awesome (except for the part where it makes you feel like it's 7000 degrees and millions of bugs are crawling all over you).   I happily pushed my little button which sent trickles of morphine surging through my veins and left me blissfully unaware of all the other tubes and things that were performing services for my body that I usually handled on my own.
Several hours after surgery the nurse popped in and told me I had to get up and walk around.
"No problemo!" I sang, and made some random moves to try and hoist my ass out of bed.  (In other words, I laid there like a slug and wiggled my toes.   This is not an effective means of removing oneself from one's bed.  FYI.)
At that point I realized I had a tube inserted into my nether regions that was draining my bladder and more or less (more) peeing for me.

"Do I have a catheter?" I asked, even though it was obvious I did.

"Yep!"  replied Nursey Nurse, who gets mad props for bringing me bottles of iced tea when I cried over the orange Jell-O and chicken broth they brought me for dinner.  (Orange Jell-O?  They're kidding, right?)  "We will remove it tomorrow and make sure you can pee before we can send you home."

*queue generic movie music for impending doom*   Dun dun dunnnnnnn...

Me:  "What do you mean, make sure I can pee?  Why couldn't I pee?"

Her, perkily:  "Oh, sometimes we need to send our patients home with a cath after this type of surgery.  Because of the swelling, bruising and trauma to the urethra or because the mesh is too tight we can have some problems passing urine.  Don't worry, worse case scenario we teach you to self-cath and you would do that yourself for a while."

Oh HELL no.


I stressed about that in between pumps of morphine, and found myself grilling every nurse who came in to check on me about how frequently patients had to go home with a pee bag.  (Coincidentally, my vital checks went from every hour to every three hours.  Hmmm.)
They had different stories and didn't seem to want to talk about it, so I took to the internet, which is always a great idea when you want to find out worse case scenario for medical issues.

As it turns out, everyone on the internet has never peed again after the exact same procedure I'd just had.

I texted my sister, my sons, my friends, and my husband about the possibility of not being able to pee.   My sister sent me back horror stories about people she knows who didn't pee for a month (I love my sister)  and I obsessed into the wee hours, vaguely remembering a story I may or may not have heard about how that's possibly what what may or may not have killed my father's mother, until a nurse came in at 4 a.m. and told me my morphine and my catheter were going bye-bye at 5, so I needed to start clicking that little button before they took it away from me.

(I was distracted for the next hour by clicking my morphine pump every 10 minutes.)

Promptly at 5:00 (the only time they showed up when they said they would, by the way) all my tubes were removed.  I was given a jug of water and encouraging words that I'd better pee by 11, or the catheter was going back in.

I gave it my all.

I didn't pee by 11.  

I used my bitch voice on the nurse, so she extended my pee cut-off to 12.

I didn't pee by 12.

I refused to cooperate at 12 so they gave me until 1.

I didn't pee by 1.

At 1 my tears, my tantrum, my threats and my begging did not deter the nurse from her duty.  Catheter went back in while I sobbed like a big fatty cry baby, discharge papers were drawn up, and I was rolled out of the hospital on a double-wide wheelchair, like the ones you see on My 600 lb Life, which was like adding insult to injury and probably a pay back for being a pain in the ass, over staying my welcome, and being a bitch to the staff.   (Mea culpa, really. You guys were amazing and it's only partially your fault that I couldn't pee.  Honestly, if you'd never told me I wouldn't have stressed so hard about it and it might have been a non-issue.  Or not.  We'll never know now, will we?)
Also, my wheelchair pusher was an old dude named Chuck, who literally rammed me into every wall and door and hit every bump as he huffed and puffed in my ear and hustled me out of the hospital.
As he pushed me up to my mother-in-law's vehicle waiting curbside, he managed to get the wheelchair tires stuck in a giant crack in the sidewalk and almost dumped me out, right there, on to the cold, wet pavement.  Instead, he knocked the pee bag out of my hand and on to the ground, and ran over it.
He then backed up, announced "You dropped your thing," and waited for my poor mother-in-law to get out of the van, walk over, and pick it up.

(Chuck is an asshole.  Don't be like Chuck.)

That was the beginning of my long journey into the 7th Circle of Hell.

The catheter and accompanying pee bag have been hanging around for a week now.  Every attempt to pee on my own has been unsuccessful, and between the crying, the emptying, the discomfort, and the despair, I've found dragging it around not only humiliating, but also challenging.

I've tripped over the tube, stepped on the tube, had to stop the cat from pouncing on the bag and batting it around, didn't clamp the nozzle on one very sad occasion and dribbled pee from the bathroom to the kitchen, hooked it to my pajama bottoms and inadvertently pantsed myself in front of an audience.

And then yesterday, I had an epiphany.

I was walking down the driveway, getting some fresh air.  I kept hearing something that sounded like someone dragging a tarp across pavement.  Every time I stopped walking and turned around too see what was making that noise, the sound would stop.  I was getting really pissed, thinking one of the neighbors was messing with me.  (My neighbors are jerks.)
I walked faster and the sound got louder and closer.... so I whipped around without stopping.
And that's when I realized I was dragging my pee bag behind me, like a sad yellow shadow.
And right that second it occurred to me:

I am Urine Sample Guy, only on a grander scale.

Karma:  56,864

Dani:  0

1 comment:

  1. Urine sample guy had zero excuses, that we know of. You only offended your driveway!