Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dirty Jobs: (Don't be Pissed at Me For This One)

For all of you who were jealous of my TUESDAY, here's a little glimpse into my MONDAY. It might relieve a few of those jealousy pangs.

Ok. It's the bodily fluid post. Everybody does one eventually. Possibly not for the squeamish - proceed with caution. You've been warned.

On Monday I underwent the procedure known as a Urodynamic Evaluation. If you hear it without reading it it sounds sort of neat. Seeing the words in print makes it a little less so. Understanding the procedure itself makes it exponentially less so.

The Free Medical Dictionary defines it as:

a battery of clinical tests used to assess neuromuscular responses of the bladder to filling and emptying.

I don't think you'll be needing more than that. I might inadvertently give you a little more, though. Sorry in advance.

So to assess those neuromuscular responses, the nurse inserts a couple catheters. Yes I said a couple. I'll spare you more details. For now, at least, no promises.

This involves a torture chair of sorts.

I really didn't start this post with the intent of forcing you to visualize - stuff.

So I'm UP in this chair - I mean high up! And sort of half inverted. And the nurse says something about a fellow she had last week and I'm thinking "Holy crap! Boys do this, too? Oh dear, that can't be com..." she interrupted my thought train - or perhaps completed it - by saying, "of course a woman's urethra is only about an inch and a half long, whereas a man's is considerably longer." Heck yeah, it is! (my brain said).

So as the procedure went on - and it took almost an hour - every time I thought about how uncomfortable I felt - both physically and emotionally - I thought about how it would be way worse if I were a boy. And I took a little comfort in that. Usually boys just have nothing to compare to our uncomfortable procedures. This was - well - new.

As the test went on, I was supposed to tell her when, if I were on a road trip, I'd start looking for the next rest stop. I told her. She didn't let me pee.

She told me to tell her when I was getting pretty desperate for a rest stop. I told her. She didn't let me pee.

She told me to tell her when I'd need to pull over and duck behind the bushes. That was the part - the imaginary part, anyway - where I thought, well, we're back to the boys having it easier again. I told her and she said I could pee. IN A MINUTE. As soon as she set up this beer bong sort of apparatus under the chair, closed the curtain for privacy, then started a little tabletop fountain for modesty. Then she left the room.

Now this woman had recently inserted various catheters into various orifices and taped them down. She had just pumped my bladder full of liquids taking the direct route, all the while chattering cheerfully with me as an attempt at distraction. But she thought maybe I'd be too shy to PEE in front of her? She'd just made me admit I would've peed on the side of a busy highway by this point. I would've gone out in the lobby and peed in front of the reception desk at this point. But no, I got a privacy curtain and a little fountain.

As I waited for her to return, I wondered: What sort of person goes through their rotation in nursing school and gets to this part and says, "Yeah. This is what I want to do every day for the rest of my life."

Which was sort of a natural progression to "Mike Rowe should totally do this for his show."

Which led me to being alternately horrified and thrilled by the prospect of her coming back through that door with Mr. Rowe in tow.

See? My life isn't ALL freebies and funk. Sometimes it's downright pissy.


Pam said...

Oh no! That sounds absolutely horrible. After that on Monday you so deserved your awesome Tuesday. Very funny imagining the nurse PLANNING to spend her life this way. LOL!

K said...

That is definitely a pissy day.

I could never be a nurse - I don't have teh stomache for it.

Hope it all works itself out.

mama-face said...

Haha..."dirty jobs-nurses edition". My daughter just graduated with her BSN. I will have to ask her. :-)

haha again...I had that procedure done. You brought back some great memories. Like how my urethra went into spasms and how that wasn't a "normal" reaction and how I didn't realize how it much it would hurt when your urethra spasms, or that it was even possible for an urethra to spasm until that moment.
I also remember being pretty pissed at my nurse for letting that happen.

And I am sending my daughter off to a world like that. uhoh. She'll be paid well though.

Gibby said...

Oh man, that sounds like a torture chamber. A version of waterboarding!

I have to say, though, I chuckled at the fountain. For real??

I had to have an ultrasound a couple of years ago for unexplained pain. They told me I had to drink the equivalent of an ocean before I came, which I did. I got there, on time, even early, and they were LATE. 35 minutes late. The nurse had no sympathy for the fact that I was about to explode.

Ahhh, medical science...

Anita said...

Oh dear, what a horrible test, I'd be pissy too!!
There are many medical jobs I could never imagine doing, this would be one. Danny Devito was on "Inside The Actors Studio" and he was asked what job he would never want to do? His reply, Proctologist.....right up there with this nurse.

Mimi Lenox said...

Oh that hurt me to read it. How uncomfortable that must have been!

FranticMommy said... least for a colonoscopy they know you out. I'd peed on the nurse from nervousness before they even put the catheter in!! I agree about choosing that in nursing school (how they pay well). I've always wondered that about Proctologists too (did I spell that right? You know, a BUTT DR!)...but I am just not goin there!

MaryRC said...

as soon as you said she closed the curtain, my brain said "wasnt it already closed?"