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define “tolerable discomfort”

March 20, 2012

Last week I had a cystoscopy because my primary doctor is concerned about

my PSA levels.  It was my first, and I earnestly wish I had read the informative

pamphlet the urologist mailed me a bit more thoroughly.  I didn’t really grasp

that he was going to stick a tube up my Willy Johnson (TM).


I did notice that the pamphlet stated “any discomfort should be tolerable”, but

I didn’t notice that it had been written by the Marquis de Sade.


Jude took time off from work to hold my hand during the procedure.  I wish

she’d held both of the urologist’s hands, instead.  Everything went as described

in the first four paragraphs, including me being “awake and aware of being



It was actually a congenial atmosphere as they male nurse chatted and prepped

my packet.  I was as relaxed as I’ll ever be under fluorescent lighting with my

pants off and my feet in stirrups.  The pamphlet stressed the importance of that.


Then he walked in the room, and — with precious little foreplay — inserted the 

aforementioned tube.  I thought I was going to go through the fluorescent

lighting.  The stirrups held me in place.


The urologist said “you may feel a slight sensation” as he started pushing the

tube toward my bladder.  I wanted to be a brave Marine in front of my sweetie,

but all I could think about was why was the tube wrapped in sandpaper.


Another shove and I decided that he was using equipment originally used to

dig the Chunnel.  The only thing that saved me was the distraction of watching

the jaunt through my johnson on a monitor.  I think I saw some squiggly things

much like these from a Donald Fagen video.  (“Yes, we’re gonna have a wingding.”)

In the classic word of Rick Perry, “Oops!”  I was working on this post for Friday

and accidentally pushed “Publish” when I meant to hit “Preview”.  I’ll have Part

Two Friday.  

  1. March 21, 2012 7:42 am

    Egads! Did you go to Dick Cheney Diagnostic Center? That should have been your first clue!

    • March 21, 2012 12:56 pm

      Now that you mention it, the urologist did have a Wyoming accent and kept saying that if I didn’t hold still, the terrorists win.

  2. Gordon permalink
    March 21, 2012 8:13 am

    Now this is the first seldom heard discouraging word I’ve heard about the Canadian health system — and it’s enough to give me second thoughts. Here — at least based on my colonoscopy experience of some years ago, as well as several more recent “procedures,” they would have accompanied the tubing with excellent drugs that lead one to ask the doc when he’s going to get started after he’s already finished. I keep picturing James Bond in “Goldfinger” with the lazer headed toward his “packet”. So that’s a cystoscopy! Forget the Marines, man, you were James Bond and you won and you had a Bond girl (er woman) there with you the whole time, which even JB didn’t pull off. Congrats.

    • March 21, 2012 1:01 pm

      Apparently the system doesn’t cover the Xylocaine jelly. I wish I’d thought of the James Bond fantasy rather than the James Cameron one. Just what kind of drugs did you get with your colonoscopy?

      • Gordon permalink
        March 26, 2012 3:09 pm

        Well it was in pill form and I didn’t ask any questions beyond making sure there would be something in pill form. Maybe valium or something along that line. They got me on the table…I remember looking around the room at a lot of gadgets…then the TV screen where they were going to watch the camera probe the bowels of the Raley..then asking the doc when he was going to get started, when he told me they were finished already.

      • March 26, 2012 4:44 pm

        Jude reminded me that I had a colonoscopy not too long ago. I must have gotten excellent drugs, as well. I don’t remember a thing about it.

  3. March 23, 2012 8:05 am

    Ooh … your mention of the sensation of sandpaper reminds me of giving birth. To a bowling ball covered with sandpaper. Why oh why do women put themselves through THAT torture more than once!!

    • March 23, 2012 9:05 am

      The cystoscopy has made me much more sympathetic/empathetic for women regarding the invasive procedures and natal pain they endure. I can’t believe the backward leap some of the U.S. states are doing or considering with these transvaginal ultrasound laws. Very 19th century.


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