Today I received a letter about my forthcoming appointment at the ‘Continence Clinic’. (This was following my ‘frequency and urgency’ problem described in post 20)
As if this were not bad enough in itself, the letter contained something which I am supposed to complete in advance of the appointment. It is entitled ‘Continence Chart’.
The instructions read as follows:
‘You need to get a jug which measures in millilitres.
You should use the jug to measure your urine each time you go to the toilet from when you get up in the morning until the next morning.
Put the time in the 1st column and the amount in the 4th column.
Everytime you have a drink, you should put the amount in the 2nd column and what kind of drink it was.
Everytime you become wet/damp you should write this in the 3rd column. You should also write down if you need to change your pad or clothes because of wetness.
Please complete the chart for 3 days and 3 nights.’
Upon reading these instructions I was faced with more questions than I was answers;
‘You need to get a jug’ – a jug?! Surely they don’t expect you to measure what goes in and what comes out with the same jug?! Surely that should read ‘You need to get two jugs’ – clearly marked Jug 1 for liquids in and Jug 2 for liquids out – and even then they would need to be purchased, after all it hardly seems appropriate to pee in my kitchen jug then measure out the milk for the yorkshires, even if it had been through the dishwasher in the intervening period. And what if I were caught short and needed the jug when it was otherwise engaged on legitimate kitchen-business?!
‘You should use the jug to measure your urine each time you go to the toilet’ -so every time I need to pee, I have to pee into the jug. Whilst this could be quite handy on long car journeys, it does not seem to be particularly practical in everyday life. For one thing it means that the jug would have to be available each and every time I need to pee. Which means carrying it with me at all times whether that be to the office, to court, to the supermarket, a restaurant a friend’s house … and call me fussy but I don’t fancy that much. And even my huge Mary-Poppins-style-work-bag does not have sufficient capacity to accommodate a jug.
Plus, not only would I need to pee into the jug, note down the amount of pee within in the jug and pour the pee into the toilet, I would then have to wash the jug out in the hand basin! Again far from ideal when one is in public convenience. ‘Look at that nutter with the jug’ people would think whilst slowly edging back towards the hand driers.
‘Everytime you have a drink you should put the amount in the 2nd column and what kind of drink it was’ – This presents it’s own difficulties it seems to me. There would, of course, be no difficulty in recording a pre-packaged drink because the volume is always printed on the packaging – 330ml for a can of diet coke for example (as long as I drank it all). I could even measure the capacity of my favourite mug at home and record that everytime I had a cup of tea. No, the problem would come when having a non-pre-packaged-drink when not at home. Can you imagine ‘Excuse me Mr Barman, exactly how many mil is that Porn-Star-Martini?’ or when at a friend’s ‘I’d love a coffee thanks, but could you measure the capacity of your mugs first please?’. Can’t imagine I’d have many bars or friends left to visit. Unless of course I took my own jug with me (jug number 1 used exclusively for ‘liquids in’ you understand) and emptied the contents of every drink I was about to consume into it first …. no, I can’t imagine that would go down very well either.
‘Please complete the chart for 3 days and 3 nights’ – 3 whole days and 3 whole nights. So it wouldn’t even be possible to complete the task over a weekend having cleared my diary of all social engagements to spend the weekend in the privacy of my own home with my pair of jugs.
As with a lot of things to do with MS it seems to me that the ‘Continence Chart’ isn’t designed for people who have a job. Or infact any sort of social life. The walking test I can cope with, the peg test I can manage, but the peeing-into-a-jug test is step to far. And I’m simply not doing it. I am rebelling. Staging a protest. (Even though I am a little bit scared that I will get in trouble when I go for my appointment ….)
Anyway I have to leave this there ….. I really need to pee ……