05 March 2008

My Giant White Whale

After back surgery, which was intended as an outpatient procedure, the first thing I noticed upon regaining consciousness was the absence of back pain. After years of agony and months of crippling spasms, it felt like nothing. Okay. That's cool, but how about walking? For the first time ever, both my feet pointed straight ahead as I took those first tentative steps. Steps toward freedom, steps toward home. Steps toward the bathroom.

Do you know what you have to do in order to be released after surgery? Pee. After hours under anesthesia, hours with a catheter taking care of your every urinary need, it's time to be a big boy again. Walk ten steps, step up to the plate, and... Here's the deal: it's a go/no-go decision based on your ability to go/no-go.

The last time I was in this hospital I'd had my gallbladder removed. Nasty little bugger, it wouldn't let me eat like the Tudor king I've always aspired to be. I'd scheduled a lap choly for early January, but that stupid sac had ideas of its own. It wasn't going without a fight. The Monday morning between Christmas and New Year's it had me on the ropes and I had to be admitted to the hospital and the soothing delirium of a morphine drip. Two days later - two weeks earlier than planned - that vile bag of bile was permanently removed from my body. And then began the road to release. Could Little Richard pee?

I thought I was doing okay. By the second night after surgery, I'd peed a few times. Things were going great, right? The doctor did not agree. So he had one of the two very lovely night nurses with whom I'd been unsuccessfully and unsoberly flirting come into my room and take an ultrasound of my bladder. It's an especially large bladder - the blame for which I place squarely on my father's shoulders for all those long, meandering car trips in my youth - and even though I'd let loose a goodly amount, the doctor wanted more. Lovely Night Nurse Number Two had the solution I'd never have proposed to a problem I'd never have acknowledged: a straight catheter. She lubed. She inserted. I emptied. I did not flirt with her again during my stay.

So as I walked toward the bathroom door, ecstatic that my feet pointed the way and my back pain was but a memory, I pondered my giant white whale: my small white penis. Could I pee? Frightened of what I might find in that small, tiled room, I glanced back at my wife. She looked on nervously. I opened the door, stepped across the threshold, closed the door behind me, and assumed the position. It was do, or die of embarrassment. I stood for an eternity. I thought of waterfalls. I thought of rivers. I thought of Billy Ocean. I counted ceiling tiles. Finally...ahhhhh.

16 comments:

sme said...

It's not often you read stories about peeing. Very refreshing. Keep those ideas flowing.

R.A. Porter said...

As long as my prostate doesn't become enlarged, the ideas should keep flowing. I had some asparagus last night so they might not be the freshest of ideas today, but they're flowing, alright.

Dee said...

This is hilarious and worse it is something I'm sure many can relate to especially the aah part.

2old4this said...

I've never had any major surgery, so this was quite the instructional tale.

Thanks for sharing!

R.A. Porter said...

Oh, it was my pleasure. Besides, after your tale of the prostate check, I figure I still owe you half an embarrassing medical story!

Michele / akkasha said...

I am glad that the surgery helps your back pain. That is good news. Hope you are feeling 100%.

R.A. Porter said...

So much focus on the back pain. So little focus on the peeing. People, really. It's all about the peeing! ;)

Anonymous said...

If hat was suposed to be funny, it wasent't.

R.A. Porter said...

"hat" "wase" "suposed" to be funny. But thanks for your very valuable and useful criticism. I'm sure you could teach me much about comedy writing.

I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

robininseoul said...

That was funny! Most of MY tales have to do with the serious need NOT to pee. Ridiculed by friends and family alike, I am known far and wide for the tininess of my bladder. In preparation for my trip, which includes a 2-hour bus ride to the airport, I drank nothing after 8PM last night. I still had to run to the restroom as soon as we arrived. I'm just now, at 11AM, enjoying my first coffee! Ahhhhh!

R.A. Porter said...

@robininseoul, you might consider the Lisa Nowak approach. I hear it's good for long car rides. Should work like a charm on a bouncy bus.

robininseoul said...

Dammit, Open ID ate my comment.

Anyway, yeah, that was hi-larious!

My stories usually involve a serious need NOT to pee. I am ridiculed by friends and family, and known far and wide for the tininess of my bladder.

In fact, in preparation for today's trip, which included a 2-hour bus ride to the airport, I drank nothing after 8PM. I still had to run to the John as soon as we arrived. I am just now enjoying the day's first coffee. Ahhh!

robininseoul said...

oh, look at that. shite.

Dragon Blogger said...

This is a good story, I have an anesthesia story, but not nearly as funny.

tjonsek said...

funny.

I had a friend who worked as a nurse in the urology department. You'd be amazed at the men who would still try to flirt, even after such a catheter.

She could handle herself however. Not too many men would publicly admit that a woman dissed their manhood in an indirect way.

R.A. Porter said...

Which works better, the essay or the reading of it?