February 07, 2005
Little soldiers
Today, I had an interesting look into the world of the urology unit at the local hospital. Yup, today was [drumroll, please] Cystoscopy Day!

I arrived, slightly freaked at the thought of a 20" tube going where tubes don't go. The doctor had given me some Valium to take, but I didn't in the end as I was sure it wouldn't really be that big o'deal, right?

At admitting, I caught the eye of a VHD (Very Hot Dude) checking in. Forgetting completely why we were there, I gave him a smile. Turned around the corner to find that VHD was actually checking in Grandpa. [music screeches to a halt]

We're all just numbers, right? So the admitting clerk looks at me and VHD Sr. and starts peppering us both with questions as we're apparently both there for the same test. I cringe as I feel VHD's glance while I mention my, um, #1 problems. The clerk hands us our gowns and slippers, explaining it LOUDLY and slowly as if speaking in a foreign language. Then he points to two cubicles where we can change. VHD Sr. slyly looks at me and asks if we can share the same one. Um, no, I'm on my own on this one, thanks. VHD shot an icy rocket glare at Grandpa, and then excused himself and left.

Into the separate presto-chang-o-cubes, Grandpa and I go. I go about my business, quietly folding all my stuff into small piles. Can I fold my own laundry this nicely at home? Not in this lifetime! Then Grandpa starts to have trouble. Out under the divider, shoots his gnarly yellow-toenailed foot. Have we not seen Dirty Dancing, folks? 'This is YOUR space...This is mine'. Then his bag-o-catheter juice comes undone and flings to the floor. By this point, I'm outta there, Gap-folded clothes done or not.

I am directed down a hallway to the chairs where there are about 10 others waiting. Trying to look as dignified as I would wearing a Vera Wang, I sit in my chair, cross my legs and begin the wait. Of course, people watching being my next favourite sport, there was a lot to keep my interest.

I was the youngest by about 50 years. The couple beside me were nervously eating candies as they waited for his test. I thought, how sweet...so nice to see her there supporting her aging husband. He was in a wheelchair, apparently getting to some sort of stage of dementia. Or at least I hope. Until suddenly, he looks up and says 'Ginnie, where'd that Chinaman chap get to?'. Not using his inside voice, he continued to rally on about the Chinaman and how he needed to get his act together and work on his catheter. Cue the rest of us politely looking away, trying not to hear. An Asian family waiting actually got up during this time and disappeared for a while.

Dignity, people, is it that hard?

Then a man leaves the procedure room, and I can only describe him as Fat Bastard from Austin Powers fame. Trust me when I say, hospital gowns are not one-size fits all. The poor man was wearing what ended up being no more than a micro-mini, and he did NOT have the legs for it. He was reunited with a lady that I swear looked like Olive from On The Buses. I had long forgotten that old BBC show from my childhood, but suddenly it was being replayed in the hallway of the hospital. Imagine stong Scotch accents as they wrestle with his clothes...

"Ae tol ye ye shuda brought the big pahnts."
"Well, if ya'd just lop your gut up a bit I'm sure I could get it on ye"

Slowly, the people ahead of me went in and came out clutching their backsides and covered in soaked gowns. Yeah, can't WAIT for it to be my turn.

The intern came out and said 'Well, sweetie, we're keeping the best for last. Give the doctor a treat.' Let me tell you, that is NOT what you want to hear when you're about to be laying in stirrups for the world to see.

Finally, it was just me and Grandpa left. He moved down and sat across from me, obviously looking for a friendly face to chat with. I understood, as it's never fun to be in there, and especially when you're by yourself. So he started telling me about how much he hated to be getting old, and that he knew he worried his son (guess he had VHD rather later in life). I commiserated. I nodded, and empathized as he told me all about his medical woes. Then he told me he was Veteran of the 2nd World War. Giving it an opening, I mentioned my guy was currently deployed in Iraq. Well, that opened up the floodgates. War stories galore, home fires burning, you get the picture. Anyway, as I look at him, I realize he's now relaxed a bit in the chair and well, back to that hospital gown issue. 'Basic Instinct' only works for Sharon Stone.

By the time I was called in for my go, I had already been witness to some pretty delicate visions, smells and beyond.

The good news is they were able to find the source of my problem rather quickly. I did not have to endure the kidney biopsy either, as it was not required. My issue was a bit of a scar tissue vs. plumbing disorder and the best news, I guess, is that they were able to do the surgical procedure right then and there. Because of the layoff, the doc felt that we should just get this done rather than rescheduling. The bad news is it was pretty damned painful. I felt like I was giving birth without the birth part. The nurse held my hand, while I did that stupid deep breathing crap. Still not sure how that is supposed to help, but not like there is another choice. In the end it was like a 45-minute continuous pap test. I'm now relegated to a 1 week recovery and should be back to normal in 2.

The fantastic news is that they are almost positive that the issue was the blocked kidney and NOT lymphoma that was being bantied about. When the doctor said that, I nearly lept up and hugged him. Of course, while attached to 3 feet of tubing, my leash didn't really allow me to do so.

So onwards and upwards from here....but that's enough for tonight. My mom's tests came through very well too, but that's enough for tonight. Very tired now.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cdnsue. Make your own badge here.

Steal this button and link to me!
Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie