Monday, January 16, 2017

RotoRooter and the Prostate

Some years ago, I came of age to start being "dribbleptic," I offer this for a first hand (first shlong?) account of having your prostate treated so you can pee better.

I had an office procedure called TUNA (trans urethral needle ablation) More commonly it's called needle micro wave. The theory is a needle giving off micro waves is inserted through the urethra into the prostate. A short burst of radio waves or some such is fired and a little area around the needle is literally cooked.
Over the next three months, the cooked bits are reabsorbed by the body or flushed out and the pressure around the urethra is relieved.

We shall see. 

 The urologist who performed this on me had it done to him about 6 weeks ago and he says he's seeing (peeing?) some improvement.

Anyway, the adventure began at 5 AM when I had to give myself an enema in anticipation of an 8:30 AM appointment. Isn't that the wrong end you ask? Ah, but we have not gotten to the "alien abduction" part of the operation.

At the urologist's office, I was ushered into a lab room full of important looking equipment (I have important looking equipment, too, if I do say so myself) by a blonde nurse in her mid 30s. She had a very long name with almost no vowels and a strong accent. I could not resist asking innocently if she were from Kinston or Goldsboro, NC. She looked at me oddly and said no. "Okay," I teased just a little further, "I'll bet you're from Garner." She looked at me very seriously, saying, "I am from Poland. One time, I live in Zebulon."

I decided it would be unwise to continue teasing a woman who would shortly be squeezing tubes of "nut numbing" into my plumbing and prepping me for the doctor.

Anyway, I got undressed from the waist down and she handed me consent forms to read and sign. I reflected on the fact that when I was younger (much younger) when I was stripped from the waist down in front of women it would have been considered illegal delay of the game to read and sign forms before getting down to business.

I read and signed and she gave me two Valiums and an antibiotic pill to swallow.

 She had to dim the lights now so I could relax and she could finish doing her job. Did I like rock music or Christmas music to listen to? 

 I am thinking there is something so very wrong about this; an attractive woman; I'm half naked; low lights and music...Where is the wine? The script is familiar from my dim past, but why does she need to call the doctor. Oh, yeah. Now I remember. I am not a twenty-something stud. I am really a gray haired, stoned guy with a prostate the size of Nantucket and this sweet woman from Garner? Poland? Zebulon? just wants to help.

Then the doctor walks in. Damn, Oh yeah, that's why we're here. He's a very nice fellow who is roughly my age, so his body's falling apart at roughly the same rate as mine. You want that in a doctor.

He is quite careful to explain everything he's doing as he goes along.
First there's the anal probe. That's why the enema. He's using an ultra sound anal wand to get a good look at my prostate. (It is shy, and does not look back.) The doctor determines my prostate is still where it is supposed to be, not decamped to Hoboken, New Jersey.

The real fun begins.

He pulls out a glitzy, polished stainless steel and plastic pistol. Several mysterious cords and knobs are attached. Honest to God, it looks like something designed by a man who read every Buck Rogers on Mars comic book ever drawn. If Klingons burst through the door we'd be safe, or, at least, have a fighting chance. The business end of this thing had a loooooooooooooooong thin, silver probe about fourteen inches in length.

I wasn't sure whether to be intimidated or flattered.

"Are the drugs taking effect?" The doctor asks the nurse. "Well, he is talking a little slower," she answers. This is hilarious for anybody who knows me. Maybe I'm just waving my hands less.

Then he stuck the Buck Rogers gun's needle up my urethra, commenting quietly, "The first three sticks you'll feel the most heat."

"Okay," I responded. "Pricks and heat. So much of urology is about that."
So, for a hazy amount of time after that, we discuss the state of medical care delivery in the USA as he merrily zapped more and more of my prostate to the strains of Jingle Bells Rock re done as Muzak.

When he finished, he called for a 16 gauge catheter; inserted it and attached a urine bag. For the weekend, I'll wear the urine bag strapped to my leg.
I got dressed (careful to keep the urine bag inside my long pants--don't want to start a fashion disaster with teenagers--they're already wearing their underwear on the outside) and called my wife to come pick me up.

The doctor gave me a doughnut and coffee while we waited and chatted. Evidently, morphine makes some people nauseated faster than a Congressional speech on health care. I must be one of them as I threw up the doughnut when I got home.

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