Skip to content

define “tolerable discomfort”: the exciting conclusion

March 23, 2012

In my last post, which I accidentally published Tuesday night, I was  hopefully

regaling you with a tale about my recent cystoscopy.  The urologist had just

stuck a tube the size and shape of the Exxon Valdez in my urethra and we had

visual on screen.  Let’s pick up the action there:


Another jab of the tube and we were beyond the squiggly things.  We then passed

what looked to me like a gold nugget — or perhaps my little brain, the cause of so

much grief in my life as a young man.  It was neither.  Doc said it was nothing to

worry about, so I went on to worry about the next thing.

A final assault and we reached our destination, my bladder.  It was like peering

into a great black void, like a scene from The Abyss.  And, fortunately, nothing

was what the doctor wanted to see.  He withdrew the tube and told me we were



The pamphlet assured me that “there are no restrictions on your activity after 

the assessment,” so Jude and I went about the rest of our day.  We ate lunch.  I

peed twice at the restaurant and the “mild burning” I was told to expect showed 

up on cue.


We bought blueberry bushes at a nursery, where I peed once, again burning

mildly.  We stopped at a vet’s office for some cat food.  No peeing, no burning.

We stopped for gas.  As I was filling the car’s tank, I emptied mine.  I had no

time to get to a washroom.


I was hoping that it would be just a trickle, since I’d been voiding so much.

You know, a humorous dribble like the one I told you about at the Jimmy

Buffett concert.  No such luck.  I’d had plenty of fluids at lunch, just as the

pamphlet encouraged.


The pamphlet, by the way, made no mention of the possibility of post-op

incontinence.  Severe bleeding, fever and chills, yes; but not pissing one’s



I finished at the pump as a brisk breeze accentuated the wetness running down

my leg.  Brave Marines don’t abandon their post.  But when I got back in the car,

I told Jude we’d have to cut our errand-running short.  “I pissed myself,” I ex-



“Does it show?”, she inquired.


I showed her the five inch (12.7 cm), strangely straight dark line running from

my crotch to the left cuff of my jeans.


“Oh,” she said.


So, after stuffing some emergency socks in my skivvies,  we headed more or less

straight to the ferry terminal.  I showered and changed as soon as we got home.

We started speculating as to how soon it would be before we would laugh about

the incident.  Then we started laughing.


We have a souvenir of that day.  This is a shot of me in the exam room right after

the procedure.  I’m holding what I believe to be the instrument the urologist

shoved up my wang.  Jude insists it’s just a shoehorn.                      


P.S.  If you enjoyed this account of my humiliation and this report from last May,

keep checking back.  I’ve got an ultrasound scheduled in April, and I’ll gleefully

report any significant injuries or body parts falling off.    

  1. March 23, 2012 10:08 pm

    Oh dear. I didn’t mean to laugh, but … you made me.
    Sorry you’ve had such an ordeal. Glad it’s over.

    • March 24, 2012 10:37 am

      Please do laugh, Julie. That makes my experience more valuable to me.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    March 25, 2012 6:17 pm

    Hey, that was Kate who laughed. I, on the other hand, vowed not to laugh but a few giggles did sneak out. I hope you will soon forget the pain. I find lots of your writing funny as well as meaningful.

    A week ago, at work, I slipped on some melted snow and fell right in front of a receptionist’s desk. I went down so fast, it must have looked like I had totally disappeared behind the counter. My co-worker didn’t want to laugh, I told her please do, I’m not hurt. You can enjoy this, guilt-free!


    • March 26, 2012 9:43 am

      I’m sorry about the mix-up, thankful that you enjoy the blog, and happy that you got a chuckle as well. Please be careful with your Buster Keaton homages.

  3. Gordon permalink
    March 26, 2012 3:18 pm

    Where else can we find humor in having prostates and becoming prostrate. Can I order one of whatever instrument is shown in your photo (shoehorn says Jude)? I have an intended use for it the next time I visit my urologist.

    • March 26, 2012 4:49 pm

      I assume an upscale shoe store would stock them. Don’t you prefer these old guy probes to the sexual humiliations of our youth, Gordie? At least the doctors don’t point and laugh — until we’re unconscious.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: