PART 13 of My PC Adventure (read the full story HERE)
The 18-year-old occupies a mystical place in the minds of baby boomer males, because of a piece of supposed medical science that emerged when, for us, it was already too late.
According to this story, men at 18 were at the peak of their sexual powers: from then on it was gradual decline. The same story said women reached this stage at 35. The fodder for fantasy was extensive.
But 18-year-old males have another attribute, much under-appreciated by them - they can pee highest up the wall (even over it).
In the post-RSA generation of testosterone-driven management power games (the days of the Brierly boys) the epithet about young male managers competing to piss highest up the urinal wall ruled supreme. Metaphorically speaking, everybody in the board-room was eternally 18.
Now I’ve discovered a way to get it back: have a radical prostatectomy.
Surgeon Rod said this would be the case (although we didn’t use the 18-year-old simile), but I may have overlooked his advice on one of the better side effects of the treatment, because I was preoccupied with scoping my fears about incontinence and functional dysfunction.
My first pee after getting the catheter removed was spectacular. If you can stand the sight, click on the arrow:
UPDATE: You Tube has removed this video, citing it an offence against their community guidelines. Here’s a still from it:
Getting to this milestone, naturally, was not uncomplicated.
After six days of Mr Catheter, Bob Hale rang from the Wellington Hospital urology clinic to say they’d successfully completed the move to the new building and my tentative appointment for 1pm was confirmed. I got there to discover I was his first ever patient in the new quarters.
I hid my terror beneath talkativeness. How was he going to get this thing out of my thing without it hurting like hell?
First things first. I laid on the bed and he prepared to remove the clear plastic dressing from my wound: “Open your eyes,” I was instructed. “There’s a bit of hair regrowth…” Off it came. No problem. No pain. Every gain.
He had a young Indian med student with him, so Lin and I got a good running commentary on procedure.
Next job: to very gently pump 150 mills of water up the tube and into my bladder. Lying back on the bed, I was unaware of the process.
Then: “Open your eyes.” He was going to withdraw the tube. Oh shit!
But…nothing. I FELT NOTHING! And then it was out. Big phew! What a master.
Okay, says Bob, gently sit up. He held a pad beneath my willy. Nothing leaked.
Okay, now sit on the edge of the bed. Same. No leakage. “Excellent.”
Now stand. Just a drip or two.
Okay, here’s the bottle. He turns on a tap to run water, and he and the student retire behind the curtain. I think to myself: ‘It’s okay, Bob. I’m not piss proud any more.’
I pee. “Listen to that,” says Bob. “That’s a very good stream.”
Exactly 150 mills in the bottle. Splendid.
Next, he fits an absorbent pad to the inside of my Dan Carters.
It’s there to take any “accidents”.
It has a sticky side which adheres firmly to the material of the underpants. Ingenious.
The pad he uses is bulky and I immediately think of Elizabethan gents and their cods-wallops.
Later I discover that pads come in various sizes.
I’m able to switch to slim versions that are barely noticeable.
I also discover by accident just how clever the mechanics are.
I drop one into the toilet pan and when I fish it out, there isn’t a drop spilt as I transfer it to the rubbish bin.
Now that’s absorbent!
Women readers (if there are any) will be smiling, I guess, since I now realise their knowledge of absorbent pads is a lot greater than that of me and my male peers.
Next, Bob runs through the exercises.
Exercises? Yep, I will need to learn to flex my pelvic floor muscle.
Let’s give it a try. Yep, I’ve got it straight away: feels like tightening the rectum, while the willy gives a little twitch.
Practice at this will be needed over following weeks so the sole remaining sphincter (valve) at the foot of my bladder isn’t required to do all the work when it comes to damming things back.
A well-trained pelvic muscle will complement the process, and stop me peeing myself at the wrong times, such as when I cough, sneeze or get up suddenly from a chair.
It will take about three months, apparently: clench and hold for up to 10s, do it 12 times, with rests between, and keep breathing. Then 12 short ones.
Takes about five minutes a day, and later I find myself doing it on walks, sitting in the car, lying watching telly.
Back home, I get the urge to have my first try at freelance peeing.
The result is a shock.
I’m used to hunching above the pan with my left forearm leaning on the wall, but now it’s an entirely inappropriate stance – my urine emerges in such a rush of fire hydrant power it hits the back of the seat.
I reel back and find I can get it in the pan from a metre away.
I let out a whoop that has Lin running into the bathroom in panic. Wow, the sheer joy of it, after years of struggling to get a stream.
A friend told me before the operation he had seen men in tears at the urinal of his club, desperately trying to have a leak. If any of them are reading this, think about it.
If this is “quality of life” change, then I’ll take it, thanks.
NEXT: Bloody disaster!