Monday, April 10, 2006

The Dignity Reducing Diet

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.

8 comments:

Raehan said...

Hope you are feeling better, Tammy.

You never fail to make me laugh.


Your birth mother has your sense of humor, I think.

carol said...

Happy to hear you're home and survived the ordeal.
It sounds like the surgery was a breeze and the aftermath is the tough part!

Don't nurses love to talk potty??!!
What fun conversations they have!

Good for you to be home.

tales north said...

welcome back tammy, hope you are feeling better each day. Yes it is sherlyn, reanne and that bunch of girls. Tomorrow should be interesting - they are going to make their corner dolls.

Beth said...

Thank goodness you're back - I posted a message yesterday to let everyone know you were home - thought I had finally figured it out, but no .....don't know where it went, but it's gone somewhere else.
Boy, I remember the pee obsession from when I had the same surgery!! I was in a room with four others and we each had this plastic thingie that we were supposed to fit over the toilet seat whenever we tried to pee. Then we had to save it so the nurses could measure the amount. The nurses called them 'texas hats'. I managed to do my duty the same day the catheter was removed ........probably because one of my room-mates had to have hers put back in. Her crying probably scared the piss right out of me!! Us four actually had a lot of fun in that room - nothing like shared indignaties to bond ladies together. The night nurse loved us because we were always cracking jokes - called us her 'catheter crew'.

Mary P. said...

What an ordeal! Aren't you glad you're home, where you have no audience for peeing.

Oh, wait. You have small children. You still have an audience. But given what you've done for them, you're way ahead on the dignity stakes with those two!

Prego said...

(laughter subsides...) I was particularly amused by your giving your roommate the brown-eyed wink first thing in the morning. My wife and I like to say, "Crack kills" to each other whenever our butt-crack makes an appearance.

Anyway, all the more reason for my request to my wife to put me out on garbage day if I ever get sick. Glad you're back on the saddle, though.

Love,
p (no pun intended)

Bari said...

Welcome back. Missed ya and hope you are feeling better. Laughter helps. Believe me.

Jeannie said...

#1 on my list of things to avoid!
Glad you survived!