/ multiple-sclerosis

A visit with Urodynamics

On Thursday I had an appointment at the Urodynamics department in Bronglais. I actually managed to park in the hospital car park for once (yes, I drove the mile there. You try walking that far in an urban environment with a bladder that gets upset by walking!) so was already entering the hospital via a route that I didn't know. I eventually found my way to the usual outpatients entrance to find it all being refurbished and closed off. After around 15 minutes, and being guided there, I was in the right place. One great things about these appointments is that there's no wait at all so I was straight in with the nurse. We had a brief chat and then scanned my bladder, she sent me off to the toilet and then scanned again. 130ml residual this time, which is better than when I was scanned at Morriston and really isn't much (neither is 169 really) retention. After that we looked at my intake/output diary for the previous 3 days (yup, that means recording volume of drinks and then volume of urinations too), she was pretty happy with the quantity I output in one go. I seem to average 250-300ml which is fine. We discussed cutting out certain drinks, mostly my coffee habit. Caffeine irritates the bladder so we decided that I'd only have 1 coffee a day - a strong one in the morning to wake me up. I'll also only have one cup of tea a day, I'm ok to drink decaff tea n coffee though. We got onto the topic of intermittent catheterisation, she isn't sure it's going to do a lot for me and neither am I. Regardless, we decided that I should give it a go and see if anything improves. Intermittent catheters (at least of the type I've now got) are for getting rid of retained urine. You insert it, drain off the residual and then remove it again. She got an intermittent catheter for me to look at and it didn't look too scary and was very, very slippery. I was also armed with a booklet and a DVD on how to go about using it. She said that she could either make an appointment and we'd go through everything and she'd help me the first time or I could just take a few with me and do it myself if I was feeling brave. I figured that there can't be much to it so took them with the intent of reading the information and watching the DVD before having at it. I tried it for the first time on Friday morning, I was expecting a bit of a struggle to insert it into my urethra but it just went straight in with no bother. Didn't hurt at all either, could barely feel it. UNTIL it stopped and I couldn't get it go further, not that I tried very hard, I wasn't about to try forcing anything... It didn't hurt but as a I pushed a bit I felt very nauseous and quite light headed so I pulled it back out again. I didn't fancy throwing up with it in place! Some googling has suggested that it got stuck at the prostate/bladder entrance and to try relaxing those by changing position and/or trying to have a wee to open things up. I tried again Saturday morning and got the same result. I decided to take a break on Sunday and tried again the Monday night, thinking maybe things might have relaxed during the day. Nope! Same problem but at least no sick feeling this time, just the feeling of resignation when I had to give up. I stopped after that attempt and now have an appointment in a couple of weeks with the nurse and we're going to fit it together. That'll be different...

A visit with Urodynamics
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