Monday, September 8, 2008

Public Discloser

Not to be gross or crass here, but I go to the bathroom fairly often. Chalk it up to the MS slowing my bladder down. My urologists calls it something cute like incomplete voiding. Sounds more like Star Trek than medicine, but hey I always loved a good tribble. Although I am not peeing tribbles, no nothing hairy here, just your average refuse passed through the kidneys. Anyway, the reason I write today is to give you all a little thought next time you head into the public restroom.

As I have stated here before I am currently a bit under the weather with some sort of relapse. I have a slight limp on my left side, and since the relapse, said limp, is much more pronounced. In trying to compensate for this limp, or forgetting to compensate for this limp, which ever, I will often list to my right side. Perhaps bee lining for a wall (this always gets the co-workers wondering) or just looking like I had one too many cocktails at lunch (this generally gets a nod of approval from the co-workers, strange.). Either way it becomes rather precarious when I enter the restrooms.

Now picture it if you will, (gentlemen I realize that you are fully aware of how a men's room is set up, however like snowflakes there are really no two alike, and ladies I'm sure you can use the visual.) here, where I work, the men's bathroom is quite vast. You enter with about 10 hands free sinks split up on either side of you, those intense mirrors so that you can stare into infinity for a good long while as you wash your hands. Then you can pass (get it pass) into the area where you do your "business", 15 urinals on your right, and about 15 stalls on your left. Now this is where the interesting thing about having MS plays out.

At any given moment there are gentlemen using the "facilities". Some at the urinals, others in the midst of lets just say number two. Now, I am aware that my limp will take me toward the urinals, I however, need to judge just how close I will come. You see, I could end up by no real action of my own just bee lining to my right hand side. This could be a problem as most guys would find it rude, inconsiderate, or just down right icky if some bald guy would come up behind them and give them a little goose while they were in the midst of lets call it number one. Furthermore, it isn't all that easy to recover from listing to your starboard side and I would inevitable take out a few more fellow urinators as I tried to regain my balance. In order to protect myself and the gentleman with their valuables in this vulnerable state of exposure, I try to over compensate by shoot far left. This leads to another problem.

Now I am up against the stalls with guys in there doing God knows what. So not only do we have the obvious olfactory problems to contend with, but now I might look like the odd bald lurker. The weird guy who is in the bathroom often and likes to creep up on dudes who are.....lets just call it in a state of disrepair. Not to mention if I get side tracked looking for a urinal to use and somebody opens a door to the stalls in front of me. SMACK!!! Sadly it's almost happened a few times.

I write to tell you these things because these are the trials and tribulations of those of us with MS. I'll bet you never thought of it like this. God knows I have. Anyway, it's on to the good Doctor tomorrow to get the results from this weekends MRI. Hmmm, I gotta go use the men's room. I'll bet you saw that coming. Unfortuanatly it's true.
p.s. the above picture is not of my work, I figured it would be just as strange to have a bald guy in the bathroom taking pictures.


Heather said...

So just exactly where did you take this photo at then? I bet you googled it, but can you imagine had you taken it in a random BR at say, Wawa, where you thought you were alone. Meanwhile someone is in the stall thinking you are some serial killer and praying to God for his life? Good going, Ben.

Good luck today with your appt. Prayers and hugs.

Anonymous said...

Stick with using the stalls!!

If you bump into anything in there, we are gonna have a talk about your men's room activities!!

Hope the MRI results are fast for you. I usually have to wait at least 3 days to get a call. I go to JEFF in CC.

Good Luck,

Anonymous said...

Incomplete voiding was the first sign I had to figure out I was not emptying out completely. To help, I used some ergonomic tricks for over 10 years to stave off cathing.

It may sound silly and look absolutely absurd, but who cares, it works. More with females than males, but it works. Use a stall toilet and sit down.

1. Relieve yourself as usual but in sitting position

2. Bend forward to a 45 degree angle and hold for 60-90 secs. Do not tense up, relax. See if any urine releases. Then,

3. Lean to your right side lifting up left buttock. Do not tense up, relax while leaning. Hold for 60 seconds, and release any urine. This works for more than 50% of MSers.

4. Lean to your left side, lifting up right buttock. Do not tense up, relax. Hold for 60 seconds and release any urine. This works for most MSers.

I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous. But, believe me, this works.

You will be good for at least two hours (or longer) because you are empty.

Try not to drink tea, coffee, juices, alcholic drinks, or energy drinks.

Stick to water, no more than 3 sixteen ounce bottles/glasses per day. Your body will adjust to the new intake. Milk is ok with meals, but limit quantity.

As for gait dysfunction, it comes part and parcel with MS. To avoid bumping into a nearby person at a urinal, use a stall. It will save you alot of embarrassment and will be more comfortable for you.

Take care,