Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Brachy Chronicles 5--Clippety Clop Clippety Clop

Ah, Dear Gentle Reader(s), there's a good deal associated with brachy therapy. At 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon prior to the procedure, one is instructed to ingest 10 ounces of Citrate of Magnesium (n.b. It's a lot easier to take than the Milk of Magnesia my mother used to use with draconian mein, "I'm tired of standing here. DRINK IT! NOW!!!"). Then one waits.

A nurse said to expect results in 12 hours; it began to "work" in 8. It continued for 3. Oh, well. Consider the alternative.

The first stop at the pre-op room was a pleasant young woman who issues the uniform of the day, assigns a "facility" in which to change clothing, and, as a parting gesture, says, "Oh, by the way. You'll need (her voice dropped to a whisper [Really! She whispered! Why?]) a Fleet enema. Do you want me to help you?"


The procedure for brachy therapy itself is rather uneventful. At least for the patient. Some major z's. Afterwards, though, more voiding fun awaits.

First, the bladder doesn't realize that the plumbing down the line is temporarily skewed. It continues to send signals which don't get a response which causes more signals and more no responses and then the signals become rather frantic. As an observer of all these signal/response back and forths, one is at first amused, then bemused, then slightly frantic as well.

Drip. Drip. Dropdropdrop.

Drip. Drip...

A 1/2 second prrrrrrt becomes a "consummation devoutly to be wished."

And so it goes for 24 hours.

Then one is encouraged to partake of some over the counter voiding assistant--to prevent the necessity for "strain"--which ultimately produces a perfect storm in a 12 hour process. It begins with a gentle nudge, then there is a recession, then another nudge, another recession, then a veritable hurricane of super nudges, which lasts for hours before receding, slowly, and not without a moment or two of additional terror, to a mere rumbling.

Oh, DGR(s). What joys await the aging. Bette Davis was so on the mark with "Growing old ain't for sissies."

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