Wednesday, 19 June 2013

sixteen and time to pay off

A relatively quick post because yesterday I had another appointment at the Urologist.

Which meant that the weekend of my 40th birthday (which was lovely, thanks), I had to fill in another VOIDING CHART

It was no biggie really - the nurse told me previously that it was more as a guide to frequency, rather than setting a gold standard for accuracy

Anyway, since our last meeting I've been trying to go for a little longer and to ignore my pesky misfiring nerves - and the nurse was pleased with my progress. 

The following conversation is pretty much verbatim:
Nurse - You've basically got three options now. One: you can keep doing what you're doing now, trying to go a little bit longer when the initial urge hits, in order to try and make the volumes increase when you do 'go'. 

Stevedomino - OK. So that's the 'less easy' option...

Nurse - Two: there are drugs which you can take that can support the bladder retraining process. I know you're taking Oxybutynin...

Stevedomino - Actually I stopped taking that a few months ago. One day I just forgot and I decided to keep going. Anyway, with my Rebif and Gabapentin, I tend to think that I take enough drugs. So if I can avoid taking MORE that might be best. 

Nurse - OK, well that's fine. There is a third option. Have you ever heard of a TENS machine?

Stevedomino  - Oh yeah, my wife had one for use during the early stages of labour. 
(As an aside, I remember thinking at the time that a machine which gave me short bursts of electricity was some kind of IDEA OF HELL - I have enough trouble with pins and needles and spasms. But anyway...)

Nurse - So you know what they are and this works in just the same way. You have to use it for so many minutes a day, ideally for a period each day.  And in collaboration with all the other things you're doing, it can have a positive effect on bladder control...

Stevedomino - Well, that sounds pretty interesting...

Nurse - However, you can't wear the machine in the same way your wife did. Because it needs to affect you bladder, the electrical current is transmitted via a large probe which you insert into your back passage...

[epically-long pause] 

Stevedomino - Oh... So tell me about the first option again?
I must say it gave my wife quite a laugh when I told her about this option. And she has already said that she might give the nurse a call the next time we have a falling-out:

Actually, Steve has been thinking and he would like to try the anal probe... no, he can't get to the phone right now... no, just send it for my attention...

I hope my rampant oversharing has spread a little sunshine in your day too!

Also, the nurse was a firm believer in the theory I was talking about last time...

5 comments:

climbingdownhill said...

I hesitate to post this, but want to help - guess you have the option of deleting. Frequency is common in MS and can be caused by retention (not completely emptying). There's a simple test to find out if retention is the problem. It can be managed by self-cathing, which might sound overwhelming to consider; but once adapted to it, is much less invasive than 100 trips to the bathroom. I had a lot of anxiety when it became necessary for me to do this, but it has given me a great deal of control and freedom.

stevedomino said...

hey - thanks a lot for the very helpful comment!

i am little bit squeamish about this but if it helps... at the moment i am managing it and it's not too invasive (although family members might disagree).

it's certainly something to keep in mind - i'm glad that it's helping you!

swisslet said...

this is increasingly an issue for me, actually. I'm not at the point where I want to do anything like this, and I'm not sure anyone would really notice the difference to my normal routine, but I know something is changing and it's just starting to play on my mind.
Self-cath-ing sounds horrenous though!

Ms. CrankyPants said...

I've already worn a path between my cube and the bathroom at work, and I've been there less than a month. It's exasperating.

I read your conversation out loud to my husband; we both had a good laugh. Thanks for oversharing!

stevedomino said...

anytime my dear, anytime!