Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday's Pity Party

My Monday pity party went like this: After I actually showered - yay Jean! - I headed off about 1:30 to the oncology clinic to give a urine specimen because I  had burning with urination. My nurse last week said come when you can so I came when I could. Oh horrors, no doctor's order! The receptionist, a woman about my age, said my full name and spelled my last name three times in front of the other patients in the waiting room while on the phone to someone else in the clinic. HIPAA, schmipaa. Finally she got the order.

I took my teeny tiny container into the restroom and opened it, opened the wipe, lowered my pants, used the wipe, let a little urine flow then tried to stop it (right!) and then positioned the teeny tiny container. But Pavlov’s dogs were with me the entire time and so I peed up a storm: on the toilet seat, in the toilet, in my adult diaper, on my pants, down my leg, onto my shoes and the floor - everywhere but in the teeny tiny container designed only for men and for skinny young women without bellies who might actually be able to see what they are doing down there. I turned on the faucet for any assistance running water might provide but all the urine was out and Pavlov’s dogs were long gone. 

I began to clean up myself and the room, and to cry. Which apparently cancer patients are not allowed to do if I gauged the receptionist’s response correctly. I thought I had my tears under control but when I came out of the restroom with the empty container I started crying again. I said to the receptionist, “Sometimes having cancer is a real pain in the ass.” She looked at me while glued to her chair three feet away and asked if something was the matter. Should I have said “urethra” instead of ass? I don’t know what I replied to her incisive question because by then I was bawling. Fortunately she got the lab woman back, also a woman about my age, who was wonderful, “got it” immediately and said soothing things without patronizing me. She noted that men have it so easy with their apparatus. She gave me a new teeny tiny container and told me to return it when I had an inch of urine in it.

I started to head home but determined that I was not driving all the way there and back, that I was going to park in the lot shared by a nearby coffee cafe and pasta place, drink the pint of water in my car and get this done with. After 45 minutes of no response I figured I’d eat at the pasta place and take in some more liquid - a pint of really tasty lemonade!  

After another 45 minutes I felt an urge - yay! - so I took my bag of goodies which now included a plastic “hat” to put under the toilet seat if needed to catch my errant urine. But I thought if we are looking for bacteria here, urine from the hat will be per se bacterial so maybe I’d do it the intended way. But I couldn’t get the door closed before Pavlov’s dogs raced in and so I had urine in all the same places as at the clinic.  

I didn’t cry this time. Big girls don’t cry. Cancer patients don’t have sudden, unexpected expressions of emotion just because they are urinating everywhere.

I came back to finish my delicious pesto pasta only to find the bottle of lemonade standing in lonely sorrow because they took my pesto to the mass pasta grave.  At least I’d eaten the chicken. But having been toughened by Ms. “Is something the matter?” and motivated by the grieving lemonade, I called attention to my plight and they immediately made me another dish of pesto pasta. Things were on the upswing. I changed tables to a booth nearer the restroom so I had a better chance of beating the Pavlovians. Upswing, schmupswing. The configuration of the booth bench to the booth table was perfect for allowing the pesto to plop right onto my newly washed linen-colored (hmmm, maybe egg-shell white) sweater.

I went home, what was the use.  After three tries and by 5:30 PM and with the help of the hat, I finally provided a worthy sample in the teeny tiny container designed only for men and for skinny young women without bellies who might actually be able to see what they are doing down there. 

Anybody ever thought of a sterile little funnel for women to hold in the general vicinity and aim down into the teeny tiny container? How about the configuration of my husbands mousse container: two inches across and two inches deep? Doesn’t anybody remember how much easier it was to fill a wide-mouth canning jar than one with a regular-sized opening? Aren’t there any women in these design departments?
© Jean DiMotto, 2011
Website: www.jeandimotto.com

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