Archive for July, 2007

Pedantics and Fancy Passing

Note: The following contains graphic descriptions, scatological references & and material that may be offensive to sensitive individuals. Immature individuals may snicker at some of the passages. I think the whole thing is hilarious.

Note too: There may be some departure from absolute veracity with minor hyperbolic enhancements, for the purpose of conveying the gestalt.

Also note: I’m fine – no cause for alarm or anything like that.

Hi All,

Been a while since I’ve had chance send out news from Frogtown.

Last month I took a very part time job teaching at ITT, in Grand Rapids. Mondays 6 –10:30 PM I attempt to warp eager young minds about the existential joys of multi-media.

A brief detour. If anyone asks you for advice – tell them “under no circumstances send their kids to ITT.”

Many reasons I’ve discovered – but it all comes down to ITT is a “for profit” institution. Education isn’t secondary goal. I’m not sure its anywhere on but on the marketing materials. Lots of procedures and infrastructure to keep kids enrolled – and borrowing $$. Most of the kids seem oblivious to fact that they will have to pay back the loans.

Lots more reading by googling

ITT Tech under federal investigation

Sallie Mae

I could rant for several more pages about the subject – but suffice to know I’m attempting to undermine the place by teaching.

Back to the tail.

For past several months I’ve been experiencing symptoms associate with enlarging prostrate – frequent and difficult urination, especially at night, sudden onset of need to urinate (including near misses). Not to be unexpected. Dr. D has been keeping an eye (or his finger) on things for quite some time, and he even subjected me to a precautionary ultrasound/biopsy last year. Results were good, from a medical point of view.

Things came to a head June 18 – 20th. I spent most of Monday night on the can, with less than tablespoon for my efforts. Julie decided we should pay a visit to CCH ER, because I was in violation of Fudd’s First Law, “What goes in, must come out.” I was too groggy to disagree.

After the usual preliminaries the Doc confirmed that I was in fact retaining urine. He did this by pressing on my abdomen and listened to the waves breaking in my bladder. This also intensified the urge to go, but nothing to facilitate the processes. He said he’d send a nurse in to mitigate the situation, then left to attend to more urgent matters.

After several hours by my mental chronometer (few minutes real time) Brunehilda the Nurse came in dressed foul weather gear, full face shield & carrying several plastic packages, 4 buckets and a mop. She was petite – for a Marine.

After setting up her equipment, she asked “ever have a Foley before?” I admitted I was a virgin. She grinned. She snapped on thick rubber gloves that had No-Slip strips on the palms and fingers.

She leaned over and grabbed me with her left hand, and a garden hose in her right. “Mr. Happy, meet Mr. Foley. Mr. Foley, meet Mr. Happy.” She spit on the hose for luck – certainly wasn’t for lubrication. Then she brought her hands together with a smack.

OOff!” I said – eyes bulging. I acted like a man, only whimpering quietly as first eighteen inches went in.

Then we got to the road block. Brumehilda grabbed Mr Foley with both hands & heaved. Her face turned red. Mine went white. Julie turned blue.

Suddenly there was a breakthrough. “We have a gusher!” Brumehilda yelled, pumping her fist and jumping up and down.

Staff came rushing in to see the sight, and give Ms B congratulations and high fives.

I lay there panting and enjoying the feeling. Brought back memories of Saturday night keggers.

10 minutes later I felt drained. It had taken a lot out of me. About 600 ml.

The Doc returned – now that it was safe, and gave me a couple of pills to reduce bladder spasms. He mentioned a minor side effect. The meds would color the urine. “Not to worry”.

They fixed me up with two plastic baggies – one for walking around, and one for bed time. The bed time one was extra large. The walking around bag had Velcro straps to hold it to my leg. It also had a quick release valve at the bottom, so I could empty it through out the day. Down for drain, up for closed.

They duct taped the hoses in place, and sent us home. “Ya’ll come back. Hear?”

Two days later we went to see the urologist for a follow up. I was wearing white sweat pants – despite the heat. Julie thought the baggie might be offensive to some folks. Oh did I mention the pills did color the pee? Like orange. Day Glo orange. It looked like I was carrying nuclear waste.

When we got into the exam room, I noticed my right pant leg was discolored. Orange. Day Glo orange. Seems the quick release valve decided to release.

Dave – the PA came in and decided that I didn’t need the plumbing. I dropped my trousers. He ripped off the duck tape, grabbed the hose and pulled. Hard. After about 10 minutes he managed to haul Mr. Foley back out.

He prescribed some meds, FlowMax (cute name, huh?) and brought out a slightly smaller gage 18” tube. “Mr. Happy, meet Cathy. Cathy meet Mr Happy” The instructions were until the FlowMax started working, or when ever, I was to insert Cathy myself, effecting drainage. Doc also mentioned that FlowMax could lower my blood pressure, so I might feel dizzy if I stood up too quickly.

I was to return in a couple days, and they’d check to see how things were going.

Cathy and I became very close. We shared some intimate time together. She seemed to bring out the best in me. But it was painful when we parted. So I tried to see her a little as possible. The FlowMax helped ease things.

When I went back to the urologist, he did an ultrasound to see how thing looked. My prostrate was about 2x normal. The Dr recommended that I sign up for a Transurethral Resection of the Prostrate (aka TURP; aka Roto-Rooter)

There are No incisions made (at least on purpose). And not all of the prostrate is removed. A cystoscope is inserted in to the urethra. The Dr said they then remove excess tissue from the inside. “like coring an apple”, leaving the prostrate a shell of its former self, but pretty much functional.

“You’ll be able to pee like you were 19 years old” the Dr. said. Something to look forward to.

Eventually the prostrate will enlarge again, and procedure will need to be repeated. Generally about 15 – 20 years.

For more reading

I hope this is a lot more information than you’ll ever need.

Looking for the silver lining – I came across this site with an animation of the procedure.”135957.html”

I’m not sure if it would make a good example for the class on how multi-media can be used to explain medical procedures. My hesitation is the reflex response from the guys. Women seem to be more objective about this sort of thing: “You think that’s bad? Try having a baby!”

The Doctor assures me it is relatively painless (as compared to what?) and should be sent home next day (baring complications). About 2 weeks for complete convalescence is anticipated.

So back home – waiting for procedure to be scheduled and trying to avoid Cathy as much as I could. I know it sound heartless, but nothing last forever. We did get together before bed time for a quickie. It helped me get longer sleep.

A few days later I started feeling dragged out, and sweating a lot. And was running a low fever. Not a big deal.

I was scheduled to substitute Saturday morning. Julie decided she’d go along, and hook up with her sister in Grand Rapids for some power malling and good gossip. We paused at a couple of rest stops for a wee bit.

About 15 minutes out side of GR – I asked Julie to pull into one more stop. I took Cathy in with me. I went into a stall. Not that I’m particularly shy about our relationship, but it seems to freak some folks out. Maybe it has something to do with my facial expressions and vocalizations.

I got things in place, and began lightening my load. there was some blood in the urine – I’d seen it before, and had been told not to worry unless there was a lot, &/or clots. Seemed like some clots were coming out now. Then Cathy clogged up. it had happened before. Back out – clear the clots and back in. Good thing Mr. Happy had developed calluses.

Things had just started flowing, when the FlowMax decided to lower my blood pressure. Not only did I get dizzy, but was a nanometer from blacking out. Not sure how I remained on my feet. I was stumbling around in the stall – Mr Happy & Cathy hanging out, spitting blood and piss. Not much blood. Probably a few ccs max. We donate more to the mosquitoes. But it doesn’t take much blood diluted with urine to be very impressive.

Kept thinking to myself “Not like Elvis. I don’t want to go like Elvis.” I mean, how humiliating to be remembered as the last Elvis impersonator.

Several minutes passed before I got it together, and found my way out of the stall. I had a major cold sweat going and staggered towards the car.

Julie was pretty cool – under the circumstances. I tried to tell her I was fine, but the stains on my pants and shirt did little to reassure her. She said we weren’t continuing our journey, I wasn’t going to substitute, and we were going straight to ER. And she was going to drive. If I had felt better I would have argued.

She did agree that we should go back to Chelsea Community Hospital – they were familiar with us and the situation.

When we got there, I met Mr. Foley’s bigger brother. Not much left in me, but enough to tell them I had a good urinary tract infection going.

Antibiotics & rest prescribed. And Silicon Sally to replace Cathy. Sally is larger than Cathy, but with less of a bite. Also detailed and extensive lectures on hygiene.

We went home.

Phone calls made, and we finally got a scheduled for the roto-rooter @ CCH. July 26th.

As I lay in bed, I realize that the next person who walked into that stall is going to freak out. I felt bad for him, but not bad enough to go back and clean up the mess.

I also thought “what a great scene for a horror flick (rated R).” I mean – some guy staggering around spurting blood from his Johnson. What a concept. Way better than chainsaws hacking off limbs.

I gotta go,

All the best from FrogTown



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