Ya, no …

Ya, no … That is pretty much what I thought when the resident on call suggested a catheter with a pee bag attached to my leg for the next week or so.

I don’t think she really heard me right. I said I was having difficulty urinating, but I am still doing it! There is still pee coming out of me … perhaps not as much as should be.

Over the phone she diagnosed me with post-operative urinary retention. It is not uncommon. Actually, a quick Google search shows that it is the most common side effect for anesthesia. I was hoping to be given some anti-spasm drugs (like you sometime get with a urinary track infection), no such luck. The problem is that the involuntary muscles aren’t working properly. The way the resident explained it, is that my bladder is still ‘asleep’  – it has not yet woken up from the anesthesia.

Sensing my non-compliance, she asked if I was OK with the plan. I said no, how about we watch and wait – cause I am passing some urine, I’m not completely blocked – it is just taking time and not flowing properly. I don’t completely trust the resident’s opinion. I want to hear it from someone with more experience. I have an appointment with my surgeon (whom I trust) tomorrow at 10am. So, the resident and I negotiated a plan. I would watch and wait, but if I have a window of 6-8 hours where I don’t pass any urine or if I feel my bladder is full/distended, then I’m to go to urgent care and ask for a catheter and leg bag. I must give the resident credit for detecting by the sound of my voice that I had no intention of just going in and getting the catheter and bag. We spent a good few minutes discussing the watch and wait option, so I know what signs mean I need to go and get it deal with.

Now that I’ve had a little more time to process the idea, I can deal with it. If my surgeon says I need it, I will get it tomorrow, and deal with it while travelling (oh joy). The resident said that it would stay in for a week, and then they would do some test to see if my bladder was working properly (voiding properly) such that it could be removed.

On the pain front, I’ve started to wean off the pain meds. I’m on a lower dose, less frequently, and so far it is working out OK. I caught myself last night unconsciously doing my normal inspection/feel of my breasts, I accidentally squeezed one of them a little. Hurt like …

… won’t be doing that again anytime too soon!


  • Becky

One Comment

  • We should start a book of catheter anecdotes:-)
    In the “Advice from Residents” section I once had my catheter removed by the Ward Resident against the advice of the floor Nurse. Getting up to go pee I collapsed and had to listen to a long lecture on removing them too soon. Never know when a learning opportunity will arise.
    Second time after listening to a long warning from my Daughter about getting out of bed with separated ribs from resuscitation plus dialysis tubes everywhere, I just had to get out of bed to see if the so-called catheter was working.
    The urge to pee is beyond the best of us to resist. Like a threshold concept implanted in us by our parents during potty training, it sadly remains unstudied:-(

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