Day 53

Rough with the smooth

One of the most common issues stemming from spinal trauma is bladder and bowel control. The sphincter muscle that controls the release of urine from the bladder is rendered useless, sometimes leaving it loose but more commonly leaving it shut with your brain unable to tell it to open when your bladder is full. If your bladder overfills it can not only stretch leaving permanent damage but cause serious trauma to your kidneys. For these reasons I have had a catheter in place since day one as it bypasses the sphincter straight into the bladder. Luckily I was still under anaesthetic and had no feeling when it first went in, but let me tell you a lot has changed!

Last night I was moved out of the relative luxury of a side room on to the main 8 bed ward. It was unfortunate but I can’t get annoyed because it is a clinical decision and somebody obviously needs an isolated room more than me. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m now sleeping one thin curtain away from constant nurse activity and a symphony of snoring and farting that could wake the dead.

After a distinctly average nights sleep I was woken up to my catheter being removed. I had managed to progress over the last few weeks from an open bag to a flip flow as sensation was returning, and now finally it was time to get it out. I was over the moon as this was the main thing standing between me being here and going home. However the celebration was short lived as my first attempt at going oui oui proved futile. This isn’t uncommon but meant that I was back to bed to have the catheter refitted. 2 nurses, 1 matron, 1 doctor, and a consultant each had a go but couldn’t get the job done. My bladder had clearly decided it had seen enough of catheters and no amount of stabbing was going to break it through. Five hours and six catheters later, a senior urologist came to save the day.

Safe to say I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, it was horrific…. It feels like I have taken my first backwards step in a while but we march on…. Besides there’s nothing a little beer in the sun can’t sort out.✌️🌞

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