Monday, May 11, 2009

When Ya Gotta Go....

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in my third trimester and had been dealing with preterm labor for months. I was on bedrest and was only allowed to take a shower once per day and use the restroom. I had been in and out of the hospital six or seven times for unexplained, too-early early labor. During this particular visit, they put me on a smooth muscle relaxant called magnesium sulfate and started pumping me with fluids. It wasn't as effective as they'd hoped, so they decided to transport me via ambulance to another nearby hospital, which had a neonatal intensive care unit, just in case. Great.

As we readied to leave, I told them I needed to "go." (From here on out, I'm just going to say "pee," because I'm not really the fancy type.) Because they didn't want me up walking around, the nurse told me that I needed to use a bedpan. Hmmm. This was a new experience for me, but I had to go, so I complied. It took 15 minutes for me to relax enough. They readied the equipment and such, and we prepared to leave. I soon found myself having to pee again, but it was too late to wait for me again, so they put me in the ambulance and again placed a bedpan beneath me.

If you've never been in ambulance before, it might come as a surprise to you to know that when you are lying in one, you can see right out the back window, right into the windshields of nosey truckers who might be following you! Plus, you are surrounded by medical people (I think there were two in this one, one of whom told me to "pick a focal point," in response to my cries of pain. What?! That's what they say in delivery rooms!! I was freaking out, not just because I had to pee (and couldn't) but because I thought I was going to deliver my son far too early. I was in excruciating pain from the contractions and uncomfortable beyond measure for having to pee. Grasping at straws, I said, "I've heard that if you stick someone's hand in warm water when they're sleeping, it makes them pee. Can we try that? Please?!" And that sweet ambulance man went along with me, God bless him! However, it didn't work; I still had to pee BAD and was out of my mind in pain.

Mr.4444, meanwhile, had gone ahead to the hospital to meet us. His story is that when the ambulance arrived and they wheeled me in, I was "screaming." I'm certain that while I was probably loud, it was actually moaning. Regardless, I made a grand entrance. They wheeled me into a room, and I suddenly found myself surrounded by about ten people in scrubs, hooking up monitors and whatnot.

Working her way through the masses, an angel of God (it seemed) approached me and called through the melee, "Where does it hurt?" I wailed, "I have to peeeeeeeeeee!" The next thing I knew, she had catheterized me, and I began to sing, "Oh, my God! Oh my God! This is even better than sex! It's better than sex! Thankyouthankyouthankyou." [Yes, Mr.4444 remembers it fondly.] If you've ever had to pee really bad and can remember the feeling of relief you get when you finally do so, take that feeling and mulitply it by 100, and that's how I felt in those moments.

I can illustrate the magnitude of this crisis with one final fact: they drained 1000 cc's of urine from me in the next several minutes. That's a QUART, people! As soon as they did, the contractions stopped, and I was sent upstairs to spend the night in observation. Then next morning, the first nurse who stopped in said, "Oh, you're the one with all the urine last night, huh?"

So, yeah. I'm famous at Albany Medical Center. I probably have the record for Most Pee in a Single Catheterization. (I'm sure there's a plaque up there somewhere.)

And just so you know, all of this is leading somewhere....I'm having a Giveway soon. I'll bet you can't guess what it's for.

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