Can Pee, Won’t Pee

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 urethraokay, 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.

8 comments on “Can Pee, Won’t Pee

  1. Bourbon says:

    Oh that is so shameful that the NHS aren’t helping you with this. What are they there for if not for helping those with problems that distress them?? I’m sorry you are being let down here. I can really grasp how much of a weight this is and rightly so. I wish I had some good strong advice x

    • Thank you for taking the time to read it, Bourbon. Sometimes, we don’t always need or want advice. Having people who read, listen and try to understand is very satisfying. It’s reassuring to realise that you’re not all alone. 🙂

  2. meandanxiety says:

    I can see how the anxiety with this condition is causing you grief and it’s not fair. 😦 Again, I can’t really offer any proper advice because I don’t have the same equipment but the only thing I can think of is doing the technique that your doctor suggested but go into the cubicle instead of the urinal so you can do this everytime without worry of people seeing you? Or maybe you could even sit down to try and avoid spraying? I dunno, you might have done this already.

    Honestly, i don’t think you’re alone with having some drips in your underwear or whatever, cause I think a lot of guys have that and from what I’ve seen, it dries pretty quickly. I wouldn’t be worried about what May thinks as hopefully she should be understanding if you explain your situation. Good luck anyways and I hope the NHS can help you! x

    • Thanks, Maxi.

      You’re right that it is something which commonly affects men of all ages, but so frustrating that they won’t even lift a finger to help me because it’s “not that bad”!

      I need to think about going back to see my GP, I reckon. He seemed very positive that they’d be able to do a lot more than they have (I’ll spare you the details this time! :-P).

      It’s more to do with the smell that I’m worried about. I notice it when I change my clothes (even daily) and it sometimes carries on to a shirt, if I have it tucked in (although, I have to press my nose to smell it and, to be honest, nobody has ever commented).

      It is probably in my mind, for the most part. Perhaps exaggerated through my childhood experiences. My counselling could help with that and it’s nice to have someone to talk to who kind of understands so, again, thank you. 🙂

      • meandanxiety says:

        I know, it’s very annoying that they won’t seem to help you 😦 Hah, yeah maybe and maybe try to bring up the fact this it’s causing you mental stress as well?

        Honestly, I can say that I’m sure it’s probably in your head because you’re conscious of it. If you’re drinking enough water, your pee shouldn’t actually really smell of anything. When we’re conscious about something, we definitely notice it so much more, so if no one has ever commented, then you’re probably right that it’s in your mind. I know it’s hard to tell ourselves this, but it’s likely it’s true!

        You’re welcome! 🙂

  3. I did mention about the psychological side of things to my GP once before. We talked about my fears and why I only wear dark trousers (for example) and he did go on to suggest that CBT might help. But then, it wasn’t something he could really help me with and, if I was to go down that road, there would be a long waiting list.

    Other people I’ve spoken to (even away from the blogosphere) seem to speak very highly of CBT so, that’s one of my long-term aims through counselling; to get in to that. I start to feel as though I need to take this blog with me to each session as I keep realising all the topics I need to talk about! 🙂

    You might be right about the dehydration aspect; I’ve heard that before and, although I seem to drink enough water in summer, I’ll keep at it for the rest of the year, even though I tend to pee more frequently when it’s cold.

  4. mmaaeeggss says:

    I can relate to this. I almost went into kidney failure due to never wanting to pee. I can only use the bathroom at home. My organs started to shut down and I had such a bad infection. My fever was 103 for a few days as well. That is the month my phobia of doctors ended though.

  5. […] there’s one thing that feels impossible to accept then, it’s my previously-discussed problems associated with weeing. I don’t believe it to be natural. It’s not something I can easily control and, […]

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