Saturday, February 25, 2006

that's my bloody vagina!

-- warning --
--- graphic entry ahead ---

finally, after 18 years of painful recurring cystitis, a urologist sends me for cat scans and a catheter-into-bladder-xray - it has a far more glamorous name which i cannot recall at this point of time as i was too busy staring aghast at tube about to be inserted up my precious 2mm urethra and could not focus on the specific name of the x-ray. purple coloured shoes of consultant radiologist also distracted me.

anyhow, i removed everything except my psychedelic undies and put on the glamorous clinical robe, looked at nipples through robe and thought to self, "aaaah, that's why all the women outside are sitting with arms across chests or backs hunched so far forward you'd think they're there for spinal x-rays." ridiculous, everyone has nipples, so i sucked it in, walked past 10 pairs of frozen nipples, gawking men and uncomfortable men to the other side of the room where i was to go for my cat scan first.

my, what a cute radiologist i got. oh, but i wont go into details over his neat combed back hair, kind eyes, strong aquiline nose, comforting smile, bullish neck, tough wide shoulders, v-backed, tight waist, taut ass - and strange brown shoes. never met a radiologist so nice, so pleasant, so sincere. potential husband material for all you lonely chicks out there. he casually mentioned that i have a high threshold for pain, what he does not know is my ego and pride is far bigger than my threshold for pain. what they didn't tell me before signing me up for the x-rays was that they'd inject a dye into my veins, letting it circulate past my heart, to my kidneys.

"you'll feel some pain, a warm sensation."


"ok," was all i managed instead.

the dye started pumping into my body, he came out to check on me and i said "i dont feel anything, is this normal?"

"oh, yeesss."

and then my throat was hot. then some sensation came over my eyes and i had to close my eyes. then my tongue went slightly numb, it felt foreign in my mouth, then i felt tingling in my groin.


started panicking and wondering if i really was allergic to any medicine and simply forgot about it. but of course, i am just an anal hypochondriac at times. people get cat scanned everyday, right?

so that's over in a jiffy and handsome radiologist gently explains that he will bring me to the other x-ray room for my (dreaded) giant-catheter-up-microscopic-urethra-x-ray. i sit there, and it is immediately clear to me that the nurses had no idea what they were doing. worse, they were touching all those sterile stuff with their bare hands which routinely touch unclean keyboards, toilet doors, weeks-old x-ray files, loose shoelaces.

and then the doctor asks for this, "we dont have this here", then that, "oh, dont know where", how about this, "i think over there got", and this one, "i'll look for it now".

my bladder and urethra were in excellent hands.

eventually, after 30 minutes, everything is sorted out and they are finally ready to start. purple-shoes doctor explains the procedure briefly to me and i yelp, "you're inserting that into my 0.5cm urethra???!" the tube was one helluva mama of a tube. dr purple shoes narrows his eyes and asks "how do you know so much? do you have medical training?" this is when it's always embarrassing, when the patient confesses to reading far more about her condition than is healthy. and i see this bubble over his head "great, i got one. she's never gonna stop asking."

but i do.

i'll shut up so he can concentrate on his job, so he wont be like that german guy who flirted with a customer of the bungee ride he was in charge of and forgot to strap her in properly - she flew up, and never came back down in that chair, if you get my drift. i get up onto the cold x-ray table and become quite the model x-ray patient. till they realise i am still wearing neon green/pink striped undies. it gets removed and placed safely by my left ear (!!!).

cold alcohol swabs over vagina is extremely cold and cruel. like placing cold pack over vagina in winter. but it was very comforting to know i was being sterilised. and then came the real challenge.

looking for the elusive urethra.

you see, the initial diagnosis by prof urologist 2 weeks back was that my urethra is placed deep/high in the crevices of my lovely *cough* vagina instead of closer to the outside like all other women. this was probably the reason i often got cystitis.

but this was also the reason that dr purple shoes was not able to find my urethra for a good 5 minutes. then he did. put some lube on, started inserting the tube. after about 30 seconds of painless insertion, i think of the handsome radiologist saying that i have a high threshold for pain. you see, i was forewarned that it can be painful.

dr purple shoes starts pumping a 50/50 sodium chloride solution into my bladder while the x-ray runs. and then he makes a funny face. my heart skips a beat. and then he asks the most dreaded question.

"is that her bladder?"


where the hell did the tube go into if it wasn't into the freakin' bladder? the nurse and dr purple shoes stare at the screen while the sodium chloride solution keeps pumping into my god-knows-what.

"is that her bladder or her vagina?"


i scream silently in my head and try not to swallow my panty. as the solution slowly fills up my god-knows-what, it becomes clear that they have inserted the tube into my vagina instead of up my urethra and into my bladder.

great, i have a doctor who cannot tell the difference between a bladder and a vagina, and now, a very salty vagina.

i start wondering if the vagina will now expunge all that liquid when i stand up. or if i now have a flooded uterus. and then i think to myself that i am just being ridiculous.

no wonder i felt no pain, the tube was inserted into my vagina.

dr purple shoes respectfully pries open my vagina once more to look for the elusive urethra with the nurse at the footboard of my feet, head on hands resting on footboard. meet dali, specimen a.

"is this the one?"
"no, no ..." she replies with a strong filipino accent.
-fuck, he doesn't know where my urethra is-
"where is it? it's so deep inside?!"
"oh, that one, i think, that one!"
"oh yes, i think so."
-he is getting help from the nurse?-

he promptly inserts tube into what he thinks is my urethra. it was unexpected, and i yelp.

it hurts.

"oh, this must be it," says dr purple shoes.

i can see his heave-ho action while inserting the tube further up my urethra. for 2 seconds it's ok, and then for 5, it isnt. i yelp again.

"oh, this is definitely it."

if i were not too busy yelping or squirming in pain, i might have thrown my Blush panty into his face. but i must maintain that despite the pain, there was a very endearing quality about him. i don't know if it was his purple crocs or just his blur-cock-ness.

once the tube was inside my bladder, i was horrified to see a squirming little snake-like item in my bladder on the screen. looked bloody unnatural to me. then he asks, "what is that?"

my heart skips yet another beat, i seem to be suffering from a series of mini strokes this morning. he turns to me and asks, "have you had an IVU done recently?"

what the fuck is an IVU?

"an IVU, did you do an IVU?"
"well, i did do an x-ray earlier next door."
"was it an IVU?"

one more time, do i look medically trained to you? what the fuck is an IVU?

"what's an IVU?"

dr purple shoes realises that if i didn't know what an IVU is, then i probably didn't have one. but then again, i didn't know the name of the procedure that i was going through right now, except that it starts with an M and an R.

i had some liquid in my bladder (although i had pee-d just before the procedure) and dr purple shoes explains that it's leftover from my previous x-ray. uh-huh, then stop asking me if i had a recent IVU, dammit.

my bladder starts filling up, i see the level rising like you were pouring juice into a glass. i found it fascinating - because i was lying horizontal, and you can only see the level of juice increasing in a glass because it's standing vertical. with a tube up my neneh and my bladder increasingly filled up, he asks me to turn left, turn right, this and that and takes several shots. then he says i have to pee. i have to tell him when i am reaaaally full and feel like i have to run to the toilet to pee.

dr purple shoes: "can you stand up and pee?"


"i'm sorry, you want me to stand ON this thing and pee, in front of you?"
"this procedure gets more and more exciting by the moment. how humilating is that? to stand up and pee?"
"hmmm, we do it all the time."

he still has the time to make me laugh. oh, the gall of this one.

"ok, i'll pee."
"only when you are really, really, really full. i know women can hold a lot of pee."

uh-huh, but you don't know where their urethra is. as i watch my bladder filling up on screen, my annoying quotient also increases.

"i gotta pee."
"no, not yet."
EXCUSE ME, so now you're the professor of i-know-when-a-woman-needs-to-pee?

"i gotta pee."
"no, not yet."

"doc, i gotta go."
"you must feel like you reeeeeeeeally gotta get up and run."

"er, doc, i have to pee."
"not yet."

"doc, i gotta pee."
"are you sure?"
"i am pretty sure."

and then i realise, i don't actually have to stand up. they rotate the 'bed' 90 degrees so i don't actually have to get up with a tube hanging out of my neneh. then they hand me a petri dish thingy attached to a bag. i have to put it between my thighs and grip it tight with my thighs or we'll have my salty bladder insides all over the floor.

and then, i fail to perform. i can't pee. i get vaginashy when he has already pried open my vagina just 15 minutes before. i look at him in panic and say "er... why can't i pee?" like it's the bloody tube's fault.

dr, "no problem ... sssssssh ... ssssssh ... "
me, "er, stop that."
dr, "oh, sorry."
me, "it only works for boys."
dr turns to nurse and nurse concurs with me.

a few drops of solution drip out, but i still can't pee.

"doc, i'm full, but i can't pee."
"ok, let's try some running water."

he walks off to the toilet, opens the door to turn on the tap, then i exclaim, "i'm peeing!"

and boy, was i peeing.

"STOP PEEING!" dr goes into full swing panic.
"what! stop peeing?"

and magically, my pubococcygeal muscle kicks into gear, and i actually stop peeing like the good girl that i am and he positions the x-ray in place.

"ok, pee."

and i perform like a superstar.

"ok, turn to the right."
"what! you want me to pee AND turn to the right?"
"yes, people do it all the time."

no wonder public toilets are a mess.

"ok, now turn to the left."

and wouldn't you know it, i pee turning right, left, back, centre. and i still had pee.

and then he finishes off, "alright, pee it all out, all of it out."


i sounded like a running tap. dr purple shoes with little discretion skills looks at my face and says, "wow, how much can you hold?" while i am peeing into a small petri dish with growing bag of 50/50 solution between by thighs. i only reply, "how much did you put in?"

700ml. and that wasn't even the max i could hold, we women have expandable bags in our bodies.

it seems like an eternity before the last drops can be heard. then i take the bag out and all three of us look at it amazed.

dr how much is that?
nurse: i think 700 mills.
me: a whole bagful.
dr wow.

and i start wondering if he had ever passed med school.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


after crying like i have the hiccups (cry-stop-laugh deliriously-cry-stop-laugh deliriously till it stops when you forget about it) while scourging the web for a jong kong recipe, then dusty springfield tunes, then realising that having your curls brushing your naked waist is a very satisfying feeling, then thinking that you're now going to go blind because you use ReNu's MoistureLoc*, then cursing that makciks (older women, usually associated with housewives accompanied by delicious smells of rendang, festive foods) of the world don't think of posting jong kong recipes online, then singing Beatles at the top of your lungs, then praising self that self has excellent voice today and switches to Alicia Keys for self-gratification, then reading, then looking down at rotund tummy and wishing i bought another slice of Bengawan Solo's pandan chiffon cake, then switching to happy BlackEyedPeas (don't you just love listening to Sexy?) songs, then cursing that the clouds look ominously bulky and dark and i may get caught in the rain if i make the much needed trip to Great World City for my hair conditioner, then baulking at vain self over prospect of frizzy hair day tomorrow without hair conditioner,

that my brain's in an overdrive and i need it to stop lest i need someone to pick my wrecked self off the tracks.

*it has been reported in the papers this week that some 30 people in Singapore have fungal eye infections, 3 so bad that they need corneal transplants - but it has yet to be proven that the one common factor, MoistureLoc, is the reason for an unusual spike in fungal eye infections. 30 out of a few hundred thousand, is it just being overcautious? or am i just being too careless in not plugging the use of MoistureLoc?


you guys out there who have globetrotting spouses, it doesn't get any easier with another goodbye, does it? after 80+ gruelling days without each other, finally, we had a sniff of one another two weeks ago. i was late in welcoming ravi, he jumped me from the back and gave me a tight hug. i was to find out later that he was the first one to run out of the arrival hall.

yes, honey, i missed you that much too.

i thought i was supposed to be happy, but the tears came down in torrents, and i mean in absolutely embarrassing torrents like ravi was rolled over by a plane in front of me or a crow flew into his face and knocked him dead. something about seeing his magic again brought out all that compressed loneliness. the relief came like a boulder was lifted off of me. i was happy. i'd never been as happy like that as i would be when i am sad.

but two weeks flew. it's almost cruel how time doesn't seem to give you enough hours in a day when both of you just have so much more to give, when both of you just want to keep giving like every breath you need. sometimes, in my own moments, i clenched a fist. it gets too intense, even for me.

and today baby, one more time, you have to go. but i know, you are doing this for us. and i love you even more for it. for every intolerant cell in me, you are the more tolerant half. i don't know how you keep up with the imbeciles you meet. and i know, somehow, that it's for us, for me.

cos baby, i guess this is it. aren't we the lucky bastards? that we have both found someone we can respect and love, someone we live for, someone we go against the odds for, someone to sacrifice for, someone to keep giving to, someone to start a family with, someone to push us when we need a shove, someone to slap us sober when we forget, someone to die for, baby.

never knew how deliciously agonizing love can be.

and i do not know anyone else better to share this pain with.

cos baby, in all your imperfections, you are simply perfect.

you're my magic.