I’ve got my penis back. Yay!
Literally. This isn’t a shocking opening line I’m using to get you to read this post!
Late last month, while I was traveling, I stopped urinating, and I had to go to a hospital emergency room and have an internal catheter put into my penis. I normally use a catheter, but it’s a condom catheter – and for good reason.
I use a catheter – a condom catheter – because it’s convenient, because it lets me pee without waiting for one of my attendants to assist me, not because I don’t have feeling in the area (or anywhere else). I have complete sensation.
Because of this, having an internal catheter inserted into my penis is incredibly painful. It is a slow, deep burn going into my penis, like the wall of my urethra is being torn little by little. Sure, this is okay for a guy who has no feeling below the waist or neck (and therefore doesn’t feel when he is peeing and needs a catheter), but it’s no fun, to say the very least, when a guy can feel his dick.
Once the thing – it’s called a foley – is in, the pain subsides eventually, but it’s not comfortable at all, and a tube coming out of your dick looks like a Dali painting. You worry about the tube being pulled – will it come out? (No, there’s an inflated balloon inside your bladder. Dali again.) – and it hurts when you get a hard-on, with your penis squeezing the hard tube. Like I said, no fun.
There’s also the fact that pee can and will come out at any time, so the tube pretty much needs to be attached to a bag at all times. And, as with pee coming out, things can go in at any time, so there’s a high risk of infection.
Because of this – I got a bad urinary tract infection – and because of some traveling I was doing, I had the catheter in me for more than two weeks this time. I’m still dealing with the infection, but at least the fucking catheter is out.
Yes, this time. This was the third time I couldn’t pee and had to be catheterized. The first time was in 2000, and the second was about ten years later. In all the cases, I was traveling, and not only did I not pee for 18 hours or so, I felt no urge to pee. It was like I, my body, forgot about peeing.
I can’t get an answer about why this – it’s called urinary retention – happens. When I look online, it appears that it’s not uncommon for people with Cerebral Palsy to have urinary retention, but the few urologists I have seen say they don’t know. They don’t appear very concerned and act like it’s not a big deal, like it’s another thing I live with, like not walking.
But it’s a big deal for me – a huge, traumatic deal. I don’t like worrying about when or if I pee, and I wish I knew why this happens and how I can make it not happen. (I’m now taking Flomax, and I’ll see if that helps, but what about the C.P connection?) I don’t like not having my dick and all the fun things it can do. Or, really, not liking my dick.