BCG Launch

Three pm. I clock out and walk over to the Urology Clinic. Tech 2 calls me and I follow her down the hall. We pass the Foley Extraction room—yea!—and enter the next room beyond it.
Divided in half by a retractable curtain, the room’s first half contains some wall cabinets, a heavy plastic chair, and another cabinet next to a large, legged sink. This sink is similar to the kind found in garages and washrooms for rinsing off large items.
On the other side of the curtain is a most curious chair: Covered in blue padding, it first reminds me of a dentist’s chair—although it’s missing the long leg rests for you to relax on as the dentist lays the back of the chair downward for him to work on your teeth. No, this is definitely a different kind of chair.
Tech 2 turns towards me. “Okay, Mr. New. I need you to remove everything but your shirt and socks. This floor is cold sometimes, so keep the socks on. You can place your pants and such on this plastic chair. After you do that, put on this hospital gown and tie the neckties, so it doesn’t fall off, then have a seat in the blue chair. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Gotta check on something.”
I do as I’m told and approach the chair. Draped in absorbent padding, it does not look too ominous. I turn around, my rear side breezing through the air, and schooch up onto the chair. The seat is only half as deep—front to back—as it should be. Placing my arms on the armrests, I lean back against the chair’s back. Off to my right is a console with three footpads at its bottom front. Cabling runs from the back of the cabinet along the floor to the chair’s bottom. There is a large IV bag hanging from a pole. My feet hang down the chair’s front. Stirrups reside on each front corner.
The door opens and Tech 2 returns. “How are we doing, Mr. New?”
“Okay, I guess. This chair has only half of its seat. What’s with that?”
Tech 2 smiles. “The half-seat allows me room to do things. Besides, your upper thighs are resting on seat material. What’s missing is the seat-center. It’s a U-shaped opening. This is for urinary purposes. Don’t worry; you’re in good hands, Mr. New.”
Uh-huh.
“Sit back against the back rest, Mr. New. That’s it. And lift your feet, please.”
I do so.
She busies herself with something below my feet. “Now, lower your feet onto the supports.”
Oh. There they are. My feet no longer swing free, just everything else. I hear a motorized hum and the chair back leans backwards, carrying me down with it. The hospital gown slides up and over my knees.
Tech 2 hands me a mask, one of those cloth, stretchy things you place over your nose and mouth. It has ear loops on each side to hold it in place. This one has a clear, plastic eye shield attached to it. “Keep this on during the entire procedure, Mr. New.”
“Okay.”
Tech 2 puts on one also.
“Now, Mr. New, just in case you were wondering, we are not going to use the stirrups for this procedure.”
I can tell she’s grinning at me. Her eyes have that certain smile about them, and her voice contains a hint of laughter.
“I was wondering.”
“No, you do not need them, not for this procedure. I’m going to explain what happens as we go along. Okay with that?”
“Sure thing.” Whatever she is going to talk about, I cannot see any of it.
“I’m opening a sterile urethral catheterization kit. In it are several items we will use today. I’m placing a pair of sterile nitrile gloves on my hands.”
I hear the snap-snap of these as she pulls them on.
“Mr. New, lift your bottom, please.”
I do and feel Tech 2 slide another absorbent pad underneath me.
“And lower. Thank you. Now the chair is covered in absorbent padding in case there are any leaks.” She returns to the table she has pulled into place. I cam barely see it around my left knee.
“Now, I will cover the penis tip—called the glans—with iodine.”
I hear ripping sounds. Three of them.
“These are Providone-Iodine Swabsticks, Mr. New. I will use three of them to sterilize the tip.”
Three times, I feel her drag something cool and damp across and around myself.
“Want to see one?”
I nod and she holds the last one up for me to see. It looks like a gigantic Q-tip; the business end is dark brown in color.
“Next, I’m filling up a syringe from the kit with some lubricating jelly. The jelly has a mild anesthetic mixed with it.”
I feel her take hold of me as she presses the syringe against my penis’ tip. I feel the jelly injecting into me. It’s not exactly pleasant.
“How much of that goes into me?”
“Ten milliliters. There, now I’m removing the syringe and I have to hold the jelly in place for two minutes.”
Hmm. Ten milliliters is not much volume. There again, my urethra isn’t that large either. I fell her squeezing and holding my tip shut.
“All right, Mr. New, we are ready for the catheter.”
She holds it up for me to see it.
“This is a thin, plastic tube, sixteen French wide.”
“Sixteen what?”
“Sixteen French. That’s how they gauge catheters. It’s really only a sixteenth of an inch in diameter, with a denser, narrowing tip to help thread its way up your urethra, slip sliding along the jelly. The length is sixteen inches long, which gives us plenty of length to reach your bladder. I’m slipping it in now.”
I feel her do something. Its not entirely pleasant.
“Keep breathing Mr. New. If you hold your breath, everything else holds too, causing all the muscles to tighten up, which only makes things worse.”
I deliberately keep breathing, forcing myself to take light, measured breaths.
“Much better, Mr. New.”
Suddenly there is pain, a bit intense, which eases off, followed by the same intenseness again.
“That’s just the catheter passing through your prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra, Mr. New, followed by the bladder’s sphincter valve. Ah, there we are, perfect. I’m collecting some urine into a container. How are you doing, Mr. New?”
“Fine, I guess. That is the most difficult part, getting past the prostate and the sphincter valve.”
“Yes, it is.” Pause. “Uh-oh. Mr. New, I’d placed a Dipstick in the collection container. It is showing positive for Nitrates and Leukocytes. It seems you have a urinary infection.”
“What now?”
“I show this to Surgeon and follow his directions. I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” She smiles at me as she leaves.
She is back in less than a minute.
“Sorry, Mr. New, but we can’t go any farther today. Surgeon thinks it’s best for us to get the urinary infection under control first, so we don’t overtax your system with the antibiotics and the BCG.” She glances at me. “Okay?”
“Well, I guess so. Have to follow doctor’s orders. Now what?”
“I’m going to pull out the catheter (I feel something, not sure what)—there—and you can get cleaned up and redressed. Here are some washcloths to wipe yourself off and I’ll start some warm water flowing in the large sink. When you’re ready, just open the room’s door, but don’t leave yet.” She leaves instead.
I clean myself and get dressed. Great, a minor Hold in the proceedings.
I open the door. In a few minutes, Tech 2 reappears. “Surgeon wants to do a C&S (Culture and Sensitivity) on your urine, to see what kind of bug grows. You’ll get a call when we know what kind of antibiotic to prescribe for you and we’ll call it into your pharmacy. Okay?”
“Um, okay, I guess. Well, you have a nice week.”
“Why, thank you, Mr. New.”
Final Results: Procedure on Hold. Awaiting antibiotic.

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