Hello again! I'm back from the land of Demerol. I got home yesterday, and I think I might live. My bladder is stitched into a good place. I no longer have a uterus, or any dignity, but hey, those things are highly over-rated.
I think I still had a shred of modesty and a good helping of dignity going into the surgery. It's been 2 years since Boy Terror was born, and I've had time to get over the humiliation of having everyone wearing a lab coat peering at my crotch. I might still find some modesty, somewhere, but the dignity, it is gone.
Dignity reducing incident #1: I met a really, really, really cute male nurse on the second morning in the hospital. Not my best time, appearance wise, but at least I had the "helpless female" part down pat. However, I think he might be gay. If he wasn't before, he is now. I gave him that push to the other team when he had to pull down my panties (hospital issue mesh) and remove my catheter. He figured since he was already in the area, he might as well replace my giant maxi pad, too. He may never want to see another "hoo-hoo" (as my friend Scott calls it) again.
Dignity reducing incident #2: Having my doctor, a nurse, and yet another nurse tell me to try to pee in the shower. Everyone was very interested in my lack of peeing. Everyone and their mother-in-law has a solution.
Dignity reducing incident #3: The nurse crouched in front of the toilet, aiming a squirt bottle at my crotch, and clutching a cup so she could first of all coax the pee out, and then catch it to measure it. Nothing like eyes at the level of the toilet seat to bring on a bit of stage fright.
Dignity reducing incident #4: Having yet another nurse re-insert the catheter. Then, she held it in place and slid a bowl underneath to catch the pee as she drained it out of me. Yes, I was awake.
Dignity reducing incident #5: Repeat #4, but with a new nurse a few hours later.
Dignity reducing incident #6: Having the catheter put back in for the night. This nurse either had no feeling in her own crotch, or she liked inflicting pain. My roommate called out to me from the other side of the curtain "Oh, please don't cry! It will be over soon!" Did I mention the roommate? Nice lady. By the end of our first hour together, she had seen enough of me to feel free to pee with the bathroom door open. Her personal contribution to the "Make Tammy pee, damn it!" campaign.
Dignity reducing incident #7: Baring my ass at 3 am for a pain shot, and falling asleep before covering it back up. The dignity was lost the next morning when my roommate rolled past in her wheelchair and woke me up by saying "Whoa! That's a lot of butt crack for first thing in the morning!"
Dignity reducing incident #8: Telling the nurse, the janitor, the meal-delivery lady, and anyone who phoned me that "Woo hoo! I peed! By myself!"
Dignity reducing incident #9: I don't want to go into all the details, since I still have some shame, apparently, but here are the key phrases: Must poop. It's not enough to pee. Shall I stick this up there, or can you do it yourself? Adult diaper. Sticky tabs in the back..yada yada. Oh! You have kids! So you're familiar with diapering! You don't want help? Are you sure? I can help...Okay. No help. Got it.
Dignity reducing incident #10: Starting the day by telling the nurse, my husband, etc, that "I pooped! By myself! In the TOILET! I made it!"
There were other moments that stand out, of course, and some of them are even non-toilet related. I'm sure someday I will recover, but it won't be today. Perhaps we need to develop a pill that numbs pain AND shame.