My first post on this site was one where I explained my experiences throughout life with one form of Toilet Phobia. While I am now far and beyond the majority of the problems and complications I suffered with this through childhood, there is another issue that bears some relevance. It’s something I’ve lived with for over ten-years now, perhaps even longer. I’ve spoken to my GP about it on several occasions and I’ve even been referred to a urologist twice in three years. But, I find myself suffering alone with this, several times every single day.
It is suspected that I have what’s known as a narrow urethra – okay, I should mention that this is a “man problem” and, although I won’t be adding photographs, I’ll also try not to delve in to too much detail, for the sake of my female readers! When I go to the toilet, I can empty my bladder fine and I’ve even been tested (twice) to clarify that my bladder is empty after weeing. My main problem is that, although I feel empty after I’ve been, I’m not… It is suspected that the last few drops of urine get stuck or lag behind somewhere, thanks to a possible constriction along the urethra. This results in a ‘spray’ effect as I wee, as well as those last remaining drops finally finding their way to the exit as I’m off and away.
When I first spoke to my GP about it and my fears of how it affects me, he seemed quite optimistic that I could find help. I even went through an uncomfortable (although, I wouldn’t call it intensely painful) prostate exam just to rule that one out. Really, it’s not something to be feared. I didn’t enjoy the sense of ‘WTF is that, I’ve not felt anything there before?!?‘ but it ruled out one serious issue.
My main fear with this is that it stains my clothes (I often tend to wear darker trousers), from both the spraying and the ‘leakage’ afterwards. But also, I’m concerned about the smell. I tried explaining this to my GP but, he kind of laughed at me – “Why would you think that it would smell?!” …Erm, because urine does smell?! I hope I never have to set foot in his bathroom! 😛 Anyway, each time I’ve been back to the doctor’s (including brief discussions of depression and anxiety), I make sure I can see someone else.
This is something I’ve been aware of for over ten-years. In that respect, it seems kind of daft that I only seriously began to address the issue by speaking to my GP in 2009 – I remember that day well; my first visit in ten-years and I’d written down a list of six items that were troubling me! 😀 (Which reminds me, I haven’t seen my dentist since 2005…) I can recall using the toilet at school once (during my A-Levels) and noticing that I’d splashed or spray my trousers (they were a lighter colour) around the inside leg. No-one ever said anything or made any comments but, with my awareness, I was very concerned.
This ‘fear’ has been in my mind for many years. I have times now where I’m less concerned and afraid of someone noticing (my job’s very practical and, well, I work close to someone with atrocious personal hygiene!!) but it still gets me down. This is still a situation that I have to face at least six times a day. Even more so in the winter, when it’s cold. The last urologist I saw gave me one suggestion to try and, to his credit, it does seem to help. It’s just not the sort of thing you want to be seen doing in a public toilet… If I try to describe it, it sounds quite perverted but, it’s actually no different to the way a farmer milks a cow.
On my first visit to the urologist in 2009, we started off with a simple flow test and bladder scan, to ensure that it was emptying correct. It was painless, with the only discomfort coming from the sixteen cups of chilled water I needed to swallow before I felt a desperate urge to urinate! I was then given a simple of visual/physical examination by the urologist and he tried to ask me about the symptoms but, he didn’t seem too concerned about it and only seemed to suggest that I make a return visit if the situation worsened. I returned earlier this year simply because I was (and still am) fed up of living with this. But, again, he didn’t seem to think much of it.
Prior to this second appointment, my GP suggested that they could (positively) perform an endoscopy, which basically means inserting a camera to find and inspect the damage. But, in my case, apparently it wasn’t worth the ‘risk’ of causing further damage… To me, based on another personal experience with someone I used to know, it just sounds like another excuse from the NHS trying to save a few pennies! Was there really nothing that they could do?!? It’s no wonder we feel so lost and helpless at times when we’re let down by the very services that are there to help us (allegedly)! He tried to convince me that it is a natural consequence of the size and shape of my urethra. Yet, I didn’t suffer from this as a child.
So, right now, I’m not sure what to do. This is definitely an issue right now and I’m not convinced that any psychological coping technique would be enough on its own. Another fear I have is of being close to someone, in bed. There have been a couple of times where ‘May’ has signalled her intentions for us to spend a night together (nothing physical; just company). It hasn’t yet happened and we haven’t discussed sleeping arrangement but, I worry about the embarrassment of a few drops soaking through my underwear, if we were to snuggle up close, for example.
Apparently, this narrowing of the urethra is quite a common thing. If you believe all you can find on the internet then, it doesn’t take much effort to cure it, either. Unless you’re in the care of the NHS, perhaps…
I think about going back to my GP to see if I can try going to a private clinic but, I’m not sure.
Thanks for reading.