No really, you bladder me. (or, “TMI, MS!”)


I have terrible penmanship in the dark as well as in the light.

If pee is TMI for you I suggest moving on from this post. Otherwise please know I have no standard cultural shame when it comes to openly discussing health issues; I was born into two generations of RNs, I’ve been a sexual health educator and worked briefly in the adult industry (as a graphic designer). There is precious little that makes me uncomfortable, but I bet you $50 I know or have seen something that will make you squirm. Please do not consider that a challenge, and I apologize if any squirming is already happening.

After 48 hours I am officially retrained to look first for the chart thumb-tacked to the wall beside the toilet instead of the toilet paper. I remember having some issues with my bladder as far back as my over-a-decade-ago trip to Italy; today I have a knowledge of most working public restrooms in my current county of residence. This is to say, I have to pee a lot.

Well, tell us — we all have to know how often do you try to not fall off a toilet in two days, Kathy!

The answer is a resounding 64 times in 48 hours.

Long have I referred to the imagined geometrical shape between my legs as “The Pentagon.” What goes on there is highly classified and information is on a need-to-know basis; I have a marginally lower clearance than Colin Powell when it comes to knowing what plans are being hatched in my drawers. Though there were painful nights of a resounding, shearing pelvic paralysis between the ages 12-15 years old, I didn’t start menstruating in earnest until I turned 20. After that it was irregular until I started injecting Betaseron at 28. I now very rarely wake into needles that cut into my panty line like thousands of slicing knives. Coincidence, my uterus.



I’ve got easier access to intel from my bladder. There’s always chatter — it actually never seems to shut up, and while I appreciate the transparency from this office in the agency there has to be some easier governance here. I’m thrilled to be addressing this issue somewhere a little more effective than a blog (at a doctor’s office), but it’s hard to not want to brag a little about one’s treatable freakishness.

It’s also important to note that the Pentagon does such a good job at hiding things from me — its Pub(l)ic — that when I walked into the Urologist’s office to discuss medications and seemed surprised to be asked to undress from the waist down, the nurse laughed and said, “Well if we told people about [being catheterized], they’d never show up!”

Well played, Pentagon. Well played.

I thought back on my time in the adult industry and tried to channel hilarious memories of seeing this horrible thing done for fun and money; then I was sad for those performers who were by now most certainly in diapers, but not for fun and money. By the time this entire disturbing dissociative¬†reminiscence had completed, so had the catheterization. Ok, ok. Could have been worse. The doctor wasn’t cackling maniacally or anything.

I’m done keeping a urine hat journal, have a leftover urine hat in the bathroom and I’m into the first day of Toviaz. I could see improvement “in as little as two weeks,” reads the sample package. So looks like I’ll only have to pee “as little as” 448 more times before this evens out. If I just pretend Toviaz is the Congress to my Pentagon the numbers seem to make more sense. Whatever it takes to keep the Pub(l)ic calm.

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