Saturday, 13 February 2016

Blood In The Toilet

When my Dad was in the end stage of his multiple cancers, shortly before he died, he was in the hospital for a short period of time. During that time he had a catheter inserted into his penis. They took it out when they sent him home. The first time he went pee, it was filled with blood. His hands were shaking, so it went all over the toilet and nearby floor. My brother, Adam, and I went in to clean it up. Adam said to me, "This isn't normal, is it?"

It isn't. It isn't normal with a healthy person. The catheter procedure in my Dad was the likely culprit. As far as I know, the problem went away soon after, but I never found out for sure. Seeing blood in your urine, or in your stool, is a clear sign of a serious problem.

As a man, it is a scary thing to look in the toilet after relieving myself of my colon contents only to see that the water is bright red with blood. I can only imagine what it must be like for a young girl going through menstruation for the first time, especially if she has not been educated in any way around the subject. For me, it's just plain wrong.

In my case that bright red blood is a sign of hemorrhoids, those thinned blood vessels or small lumps of skin just inside the rectum. I have them thanks to the wheelchair. I sit all the time, putting continuous strain on that part of my anatomy. My rear end hurts all the time from sitting. On top of that the loss of core muscle forces ever increasing strain when I void my bowels. This also increases hemorrhoidal tissues and the associated bleeding. Add to that the pressure of my additional weight plus the impact of the anti-coagulants and blood thinners I have to take, and you have a sure fire combination for blood in the toilet.

Katherine tells me it's time to get a donut cushion to relieve the sitting pressure; she also assures me I won't die from it. I think it's a sign that I need more fibre in my diet. Either way, it's another one of the indignities of this disease, at least the way it's working in me. I suspect other PALS go through this indignity too, as do pregnant women, people over 45, overweight people, and all kinds of other people. Since about half of Canadians will experience hemorrhoids at some time in their life, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I get them.

It just freaks me out to see all that blood in the toilet.

1 comment:

  1. So what is the diet? Fiber sounds to caustic, not that I know are you a fan of blueberries. cranberries? Salmon?

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