Wednesday, 23 January 2008

More scaredy wuss-ness

I'm not sleeping brilliantly these days, plagued as I am by images of catheters plunging into the depths of my uterus and spewing twin jets of dye into its every crevice.

And it's just occurred to me that my grand masterplan of chomping a fistful of ibuprofen an hour or so before the pingu-pillage might be foiled by the hospital's somewhat lackadaisical attitude to timekeeping.

Before I went for my pelvic scan in March, I was issued with written instructions urging me, several times and in block capitals, to drink copious amounts of water beforehand. Having a full bladder evidently pushes all the relevant organs to front stage, thus making for a clearer picture. I followed the instructions to the letter; my mum, who accompanied me to the appointment, adopted a military attitude towards my water consumption, even bringing a bottle in the car with us to "keep me topped up".

The scan was scheduled for 9.20. Had it taken place at the appointed time, everything would have been fine. Unfortunately, we were still sat waiting at 9.55, by which point I can confidently say I have never needed a pee more in my life. You have to wait for such scans in the radiology suite with all the pregnant women - which was nice - but my stomach was so distended by my groaningly full bladder that I could easily have passed for six months gone.

Nerves didn't help - this was my first diagnostic test in a properly clinical setting. I suppose I was scared the scan would reveal some sort of gurning gremlin, squatting in my tubes like a germ in the S-bend of a toilet cleaner ad and chuckling malevolently.

By the time we were eventually called in, I'd taken to dementedly pacing the corridor and thinking for the first - and hopefully last - time in my life that I wished I'd brought some Tenalady. It's actually quite painful to need to pee that badly. I'm certain that had I laughed - admittedly unlikely in the circumstances - coughed or sneezed, there would have been an embarrassing accident.

The nurse who scanned me actually had the gall to tell me off for having "too full" a bladder. She said she was scared to press on my tummy with the scanner - presumably in case the slightest pressure caused me to issue forth a steaming geyser of wee. This was a fear I wholeheartedly shared. She instructed me to go to the loo and "pee a bit - but not a lot" - a feat which requires a pelvic floor like a steel trap. However, I managed it - but not before having to hop off the bed and hobble down the hall clutching my aching bladder like Gollum. "Tricksy little nurses - they advises us to drink but they lies!"

Anyway, to return to the point - my latest witching hour concern is that, should I be compelled to wait an age for the pingu-pokery, my painkillers might have worn off before I even go in. Argh and thrice argh.


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