May 9, 2010

Tracts of My Tears

Posted in Life's Little Moments tagged , , at 12:52 pm by autismmommytherapist

Apparently, I have the bladder of an eighty-five-year-old woman, or at least that’s what my fairly handsome urologist is telling me as I lay splayed on his examination table. The shame of this is completely offset however by remembering that it was only a few years ago that my equally handsome fertility doctor informed me I had the ovaries of a seventeen-year-old (I require my specialists to be eye candy, as I need them to distract me from the procedures they’re performing, and those island photos pasted on the ceiling don’t cut it for me anymore.)  Bet you’re wondering how I’m going to tie this into autism, aren’t you?

For the last six months I’ve been awakened rudely by my pea-sized bladder multiple times during the night, forcing me to pay homage to the porcelain god mere steps from my bed, and I’ve truly begun to resent this organ. Once I’m up it’s almost impossible for me to quiet my mind and resume slumber, as I perseverate over the dozen things I should do the next day and recognize I have no hope of retaining them unless I remain conscious. After one evening where I was up often enough to celebrate dawn in every time zone worldwide, I realized I’d had enough. After all, both my autistic kids usually sleep through the night, for God’s sake, why can’t I?  I’m not even drinking that much wine at night anymore. In theory.

So, I bit the bullet and made the requisite preliminary appointment, which of course then required booking four subsequent appointments, which I resented making almost as most as my nocturnal toilet visits. After all, I have a child to care for, and by God, a blog to write. Who has time to attend to an unruly body part?

But at heart I’m a good girl, so I’ve attended all of my appointments, ranging from mildly unpleasant to downright sadistic, and I’ll soon have my answer, if there is one, as to why the woman who crawls upstairs to bed most nights by nine has suddenly become a night owl. The last appointment even included some bonus time as the doctor was running a half-hour late (shocking!), which enabled me to organize my wallet and purse, and dispense with coupons for shopping I should have conducted during the Bush administration. I could have read my book, but instead I chose to purge. I have thirty women friends who would gladly have done the same.

My next-to-last rendezvous with Dr. Handsome did include a nasty bonus surprise, however, as it seems in addition to the ancient bladder I also have the urinary tract of a ten-year-old girl. Not only do I have a housing issue, I have a transportation issue as well. It seems my plumbing sucks.

So as I lay on the unforgiving examination table awaiting the possible solutions to my problem, I wondered how one individual could have so many disparately aged body parts. I also considered that if I averaged them all together I might actually be thirty-five again. That actually made me forget I was uncomfortable and half-naked, and not in the good way, for at least thirty seconds.

Eventually, I was brought back to harsh, freezing, stirrup feet reality, and I was afforded two options. Dr. Heartthrob could send me to an outpatient clinic where he would stretch my slender urethra, which could offset some of my issues. It would require sedation (which immediately garnered bonus points for this option in my eyes) and would make me fuzzier than usual for a day. It would also require Jeff to lose a work day, shuttle me back and forth, a babysitter for Zachary, a backup babysitter able to pick up Justin from school should he fall ill, and a considerable amount of accompanying agita. My other option was to suck it up for five to ten seconds without any type of anesthesia, let myself be stretched, and cry every time I peed for the next twenty-four hours. Apparently most women indulge in the former option, but my urologist offered me time to think about it. He would step out of the room and, supposedly, return momentarily.

I would not consider myself to be a woman who has a high threshold for pain, although I’ve improved over the years. There was a time when a bad paper cut could conjure up a moderate level of hysteria, but years of fertility procedures involving medieval torture instruments and two C-sections (the last was complimented by a tubal ligation and scar tissue from the previous baby…good times), have toughened me up in all areas except for this one. I have always had a completely unprecedented fear of catheters. This may stem from the story my mom told me about my premature birth and the woman channeling Nurse Ratchett who butchered my mom when inserting hers, but perhaps it stems from a more primal place. At times, the bathroom is the only place I can call my own, my only haven. Things should just flow freely in there. Christ, I’ve made a crapload of sacrifices in my life, something should remain sacred.

But I knew, as I completed my first sit-up in six months and practically vaulted off the table to prevent that doctor from leaving the room “for a few minutes”, that I did not require time to ponder my choices, that of course I’d opt for the latter. Ten seconds of torture versus the phone calls, the rescheduling, the knowledge that at least one of my children will manage to contract pleurisy the very morning of my procedure just to foil my plans. In my world, with two children with disabilities, hell, two young children in general, reducing time and stress is my priority. So, I gripped the table, cajoled Clooney into my happy place, and let the man do his job.

His job sucked.

But it’s over, and the experience made me think of all the women, working, stay-at-home, with disabled children or not, who gladly sacrifice their time and extend their pain threshold just to make life simpler, and better for their children. This post is for them, for us, for continually sucking it up and moving on with our lives and the next challenges, whatever they may be. Here’s to moms. Period. Happy Mother’s Day, my tired but admirable people.

Next I’ll be seeing my allergist. Don’t worry. He’s hot too.