Monday, June 9, 2008

Flexible Cystoscopy - Ow!

No articles have been posted recently, which is probably a relief to many, but I apologise anyway. I've not been well, you know.

No, a couple of months ago I was struck down - fine one minute, then in a hospital bed the next. I woke early that day with a pain in my back and great need to pee... but unfortunately there was nothing to pee. It went away. Then it came back. And got worse and worse till in the end I found myself lying in a hospital bed pretty much begging for a pain killer.

Eventually they jabbed me with morphine and dosed me up through a drip. Relief came.

Next morning, the pain returned, and so did the jab... and then I got better. Three days of hospital food later (well, actually after the first day I opted for sandwiches... it seemed safer) I was released.
Despite many tests and scans and x-rays, nobody seemed too sure what had gone wrong, except that my kidneys had clearly got infected, and maybe the bladder was to blame.

So, I was booked in for a bladder inspection. I'd never really thought about such a thing before, but as soon as you do think about it, and you consider the best way to get into your bladder without resorting to a knife... well, you can't help but fret a bit.

It turns out they use one of these things, see left.

Yes. They use that flexible 'thin' bit to go up your, well, let's say "old man", and enter the bladder for a jolly good root around.
It's possible you've found this article because you too have never heard of a 'flexible cytoscopy', and you're just about to have one, and you've gone on t'internet to find out more.

If so, I'd probably stop reading now.

I mean, you know I'm still alive, aren't I? So you will survive it. But I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's anything other than extremely unpleasant. They gave me a little booklet, which implied it wasn't that bad at all. Walk in the park. In and out, bish-bash-bosh, no problemo. The liars!

It was made worse for me, as my doctor was called away to an emergency just before it was my 'go'. So I had to stew for 2 hours beforehand. By the time he came back I was a little freaked out. But I kept thinking of the reassuring noises the booklet had made. If I'd known, I would have fled before the doc came back!

Lying on my back, legs akimbo, everything exposed, complete strangers wandering around in great numbers, the doctor eventually slapped a bit of 'anaesthetic' on the end... on the, er business end. I really doubt it did anything, it didn't have time, because the guy immediately inserted the thin end (he said it was the thin end... it felt like the thick) - and did that sting!

Actually 'sting' doesn't really do it justice.

And then he had to get it past the sphincter (yes, there's one in their too, apparently), and on into the bladder. And just to make it worse, all this was visible just above me on a great big wide-screen colour monitor.

"This may be uncomfortable" he quipped. He wasn't kidding.

Oh... I can still feel it now.

I'd like to say it was a great relief when it was withdrawn, but in truth it remained just as painful for some time without it there at all.

If I had my time again, I'd tell them I felt great and run for it. Very luckily for me, it showed up no problems, so in a sense it was a waste of time/pain. There is still no explanation being offered for what went wrong.

Though, this incident is a cracking ice breaker at parties - to be able to say you've seen the inside of your own bladder, well, I guess not everyone could claim that.

Mind you, next time (not that there will be a next time!) I will keep my eyes firmly shut.

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