Ok so this test (urodynamics) is not for the faint hearted. It’s worse than the surgery in my opinion. Because you can feel it all, it’s uncomfortable and for those of an easily embarrassed nature, mortifying.
The good thing about it is simply this. It proves beyond all doubt whether you have a problem.
So the first bit is straight forward. You drink a lot, you wee into a special toilet that measures your wee while the consultant and nurse leave the room for discretion. This is about as ridiculous as the idea of a modesty sheet during a internal examination.
After that it gets unpleasant. Essentially they fill your bladder from the other end than usual. It’s quite the oddest sensation I’ve ever had the misfortune to endure. Throughout the process my consultant asked me how desperate for the loo I was at regular intervals and tried to distract me by discussing her holiday to Cannes and whether or not to neuter her son’s male rabbit.
I told her I was desperate for the loo almost straight away. She told me she hadn’t started filling my bladder yet.
So it went on. Until my bladder was full and I burst into tears. (You probably wouldn’t, it’s just my default reaction to stress).
Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse she asked me to get off the bed and stand up. This was a significant challenge.
Then she asked me to cough. Sufficed to say it didn’t go well.
After what seemed like an eternity she said I could go to the loo and asked if I wanted them to leave the room while I did it. Because clearly them watching me wee on the loo is way worse than watching me involuntarily wee on the floor.
I muttered something along the lines of, “I don’t care”. They were lucky I didn’t garde past them shouting “get out of the sodding way”.
So it proved three things. That I don’t have an overactive bladder. That my body is failing me in the pelvic floor department. And that I can easily wee in front of strangers, especially if desperate enough.
Afterwards we talked at length about the procedure and there was a lot to think about. My consultant explained that she was hesitant only because of my age. The operation lasts about ten years and I would need it doing again several times in my remaining life. Each time it would be less effective than the last.
But (while I don’t feel it) I am young. I am 38. With two young children. Now is the time to be able to run, and giggle, and climb, and dance, and chase.
So onwards to surgery at least with the confidence to know I needed to try and get it fixed.
You can breathe out now. That was the worst entry I promise.
In case you have forgotten, please do your pelvic floor exercises.