Diagnosis: Neurogenic Bladder
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities –
Brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
—John Gardner 1
That Monday, I came to work full of trepidation. I had become exasperated over the weekend as I fumbled and said words that I should not have said, all because I had spent long hours in my home bathroom learning to use a woman’s intermittent catheter. I cried several times out of the sheer frustration. My new toileting routine took so long. I felt like I had been given a life sentence to a porcelain throne.
Today would be my first day to use a catheter at work. I had only minutes to find a private place and wash my hands; only then could I struggle to unwrap the lubricant, unwrap the catheter, and then finally find the small orifice on my body to insert it. Thinking about finding that spot on my body made me sweat, though the day was cold.
Walking through the halls of the high school that day, I felt like a freak. I chastised myself for drinking the extra cup of coffee at daybreak. There was little time to catch my breath let alone use the restroom, even on a good day. Worrying about how I would manage emptying my bladder within a fifteen-minute time frame was not what I wanted to think about as I started my day.
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