Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Ramblings on Living with Multiple Sclerosis

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (DESPITE HAVING MS)

No.5


I was diagnosed just as the age of the smartphone was dawning


One of the most frustrating features from the list of annoyances that MS has brought into my life is the difficulty I have with the task of peeing. Simple, straightforward, something done without thinking for the healthy individual. Anything but for the MSer. Some live in fear of pissing their pants. Must be awful. Others, like me, face a different battle; the fight to get pee from the bladder into the toilet.

You tell people about your difficulties but you get the feeling that they don’t really understand, right? How could they? It’s as automatic to them as breathing. They don’t stand there over the toilet at four o’clock in the morning, desperate to go but unable to go, longing to get back into bed but knowing that this task has to be completed before that can happen.

It’s a very lonely place that requires all sorts of bizarre techniques to escape i.e. various stances, facial expressions, stimulation of nerves, to try to get a connection that will allow your brain to unscrew whatever valves need loosening to get that piss out of you.

But, during the day, there have been some unexpected benefits. Not long after I was diagnosed, Apple launched the first iPhone. I resisted the smartphone for some time but eventually succumbed. Now my phone is an invaluable companion to my toilet visits. I realise that many men like to have it with them for their sitting down time but I bet not many feel such a great need to have it with them for their number ones. I prop it up on the cistern and settle in for some quality reading. Emails, social media, even books. I have the Kindle app on my phone and I’ve got through all sorts of titles in this way – books that I would otherwise have struggled to find the time for.

Before I joined the smartphone revolution, I was restricted to playing very crappy golf games on my Sony Ericsson and that was mostly for sitting down time. My peeing problems weren’t too bad then. Now I can be there for a full five minutes trying to discharge my cargo. Maybe that doesn’t sound that much, but if you’re lucky enough to have no problems in that area, try timing how long it takes for you next time you go. Maybe a couple of seconds to start, then another twenty to completely empty yourself? It can take me five minutes just to squeeze a drop out.

Having something to distract myself, to immerse myself in that diverts my thoughts from the fact that peeing is still not taking place is a significant help. I’m certainly more well read. I bet, though, that when these authors were sweating blood as they carefully crafted their words, they never thought they would be getting read by a man who was standing over his phone with his cock out.

If that’s how people choose to read by book, Balls to MS, I’m cool with that. Being read is being read. If you haven’t already, buy a copy today.

TAKE ME TO AMAZON LISTING

[TO READ FURTHER POSTS, CLICK ON THE ARCHIVE AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THE PAGE ON DESKTOP, OR THE HOME BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE IF READING ON A PHONE]

3 comments:

  1. chief - first up thanks for commenting on my l'il ol' blog - much appreciated.

    secondly - hate to say it, but what you're describing is pretty much exactly what i was going through before an MS nurse recommended i start self-catheterising... (apart from the fact that i couldn't stand for all the time required)

    spending twenty minutes pushing my bladder to squeeze out a couple of drops? yep. and then having to go to the toilet again almost immediately after? plotting journeys via known public toilets? or even worse, just not going out at all?

    self-catheterising is a bit of a thing to get your head around - up to this point, this has been a strictly one-way street after all.

    but as soon as you get it, and deal with the logistics, it can be - genuinely - life-changing.

    it has been for me, anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i should probably also mention that there are other options - which make catheters seem like a walk in the park...

      https://itsashitbusiness.blogspot.com/2013/06/sixteen-and-time-to-pay-off.html

      Delete
    2. Hi, Steve. Fortunately, I'm not tied to the toilet myself, unless you count the amount of time I spend standing over one. I'm still able to empty fully and don't need to go any more urgently than any other middle-aged man. So the catheter will have to wait.

      Delete

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