It All Depends!


I want to take you back to a couple of procedures ago on the timeline. Do you remember when I wrote that right after they admitted me in to the hospital the first thing they did was to implant stents for my kidney’s? Let me tell you what that is like. Aside from how they get them in there, the sensation they bring is interesting. The stent is made to open the plumbing between the kidneys and the bladder. It’s like a little tube that has a pig tail curl at each end. One to keep it from slipping out of the kidney and one at the other end to keep it from coming out of the bladder. The little pig tail in the bladder is constantly sending a signal that says… “Hey you gotta go!” That’s what my mind and bladder was telling me 24/7. You basically lose you normal control faculties. When you really need to go, it feels like a little bell rings and you’d better be close to the facilities. Another sensation that stents bring after you go is what they call spasms. Right as you are finishing it feels like it takes your entire insides and wrings them out like a wash cloth.

They have a medicine that helps knock the edge of the discomfort called pyridium. I have to say it does help but it turned my urine bright orange. Didn’t think anything about it until I had a accident and it stained the tile in the bathroom floor. I couldn’t believe it. Let me talk a minute about accidents. Not long after I had the stents put in I was visiting with one of my urology nurses about having some near misses. She said, ” you really need to start wearing ‘protective under garments’ ” I’m thinking, “oh no way”, and Melanie was saying, “yes way”! I’ll never forget when she brought the first package home. I pulled one out and said, “oh great, Pull Ups for Papa’s!” You know why they call them “Depends” right? Because the decision to wear them really “depends” on how far you are going to be from a bathroom! In all honesty and embarrassment during the first 3 months I wet myself more than a toddler confused about the concept of potty training. I can’t tell you how many times the bell rang right as I got my hand on the door knob… too late! It was humiliating. The most embarrassing time however had to be an accident while my brother was with me. If you remember, I told you he flew down every time I started a cycle of chemo. On my last cycle he came down  and we decided to give Melanie a full week vacation! Every morning Jeff and I would head out for the Mayo Clinic for my treatment. The floor where they administer chemo has several little rooms. Only two chairs fit in the room and barely enough room for a nurse to turn around. The treatments last from one to two hours. They got me hooked up and the nurse left the room and Jeff and I were just chatting and all of a sudden….. unexpectedly my bell goes and I’m trapped in this chair with these tubes hanging out of me. But what’s the worry? I’m wearing my Super Duper Daddy Diaper! All of a sudden, Jeff was looking at me and my eyes must have gotten gigantic because I realized I had just sprung a leak. Oh my Lord what a mess. Remember the mentioning of the color orange? Well that was the new color decor for that room. Jeff, in all the excitement, got up and said, “I’ll try to clean the chair before that nurse comes back”. So here I am dripping wet, hanging onto the pole where all the chemo is attached to and he is going through every cabinet trying to find something to clean the chair with. Fortunately, it was vinyl or nogahide and he thought it would clean up with no problem. There was a sink in every room and cleaning wipes that are supposed to kill every disease known to man so he was armed with the best cleaners. I didn’t tell him about my previous experiences with the orange stuff because I really hoped he would get it cleaned. After scrubbing a bit he looked at me like, “what is this stuff?!” it ain’t coming out. And it didn’t. We had to fess up when the nurse came back and she relieved us when she said that housekeeping knew exactly what to do. Through those months I did carry my own “Diaper Bag” for just such an emergency and I reached a certain time after I began to recover, when I was expected to change myself! The next several weeks i was just trying to maintain all the changes that were going on. Finally, the urology surgeon began talking about taking out the the source tumor in my body. When they said things like, “we may need to bite the bullet and go ahead and do this surgery” , they didn’t really mean “we” they really meant “me”…

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