Anyway, I've been feeling even more put upon recently with endlessly numerous trips to the toilet, before taking even the shortest journey. It's been getting harder and harder to leave the house, especially if I (or we) need to be anywhere at a particular time. And I can't remember the last time I was able to sit through an entire film at the cinema without having to nip out. Frustratingly, when I do go, although I do GO, it never feels like I've GONE enough.
As I've had the same issues and have been "dealing with them" for at least three years (if you can call planning all travel by toilets along the route "dealing with things"), the fact that I haven't had a UTI by this point is frankly miraculous.
I've recently been through a period where I've had to get up to use the loo in the night. But I've always been able to put this down to a variety of other things - too much booze, drinking anything too late, work-related stress. Even taking into account the fact that I haven't had any "accidents", it needs sorting out.
So earlier this week I found myself back at the QMC in Nottingham. The MS nurse I saw last week had suggested that I might be able to increase the dosage of Solifenacin which she thought might go some way to solving the issue.
Now bear in mind that before my appointment I had been to the toilet:
- Twice at home
- Once at my parents' house on the way
- Once at the hospital
So I'm sure you'll appreciate how surprising it was to hear the urologist say that my bladder was close to full - holding around 380ml.
The long and the short of it is that there's no benefit from upping the dosage of Solifenacin and no other drug options.
So in January I'll be visited at my home by a nurse who will talk me through intermittent self-catheterisation. Not really what anybody wants to hear.
But the urologist said that these issues won't go away, not the way I've been managing them anyway. And using a catheter once a day should give me a bit more control and maybe get my life back.
(I know that sounds dramatic but even at this stage it really has had a massively limiting effect on my life and the life of my family)
Even so in the walk from the clinic to the front of the hospital I went from frighteningly stoical about it all, to depressed, to full-on enraged, all in the space of 2-3 minutes.
I'm writing this with a couple of days distance. Now? I'm still pissed off about it.
I can talk a good game about certain things being necessary tools to get my life back.
- Walking sticks? I have used at least one every day for the past 5-10 years. But I still really hate them.
- Wheelchair? Sometimes necessary and often totally life-enhancing. But I hate it and will do anything I can to avoid using it.
- Self-catheterisation? I can see that this could really be beneficial - plus I know all too well the affect these issues are having on my day-to-day life. But I can't imagine anyone has ever been overjoyed at the thought of doing it.
More than anything I feel bad for Little Steve. We've had good times over the years!
I feel like a guy who's looking fondly at the family dog, knowing full well that in a couple of weeks I'll be taking him to the Vets to get his nuts snipped off. Does he even know what's going to happen to him??!
Whatever. Like always I shall prevail!