The catheter for males was invented in 1760 by the Marquise (or Marchioness) de Sade for her husband, the Marquis, for his twentieth birthday as a gift. It is said that he enjoyed it so much that it soon became the law of the land that whenever a guy had problems urinating, a catheter was inserted. Therefore, what started out as a sexual aid soon became something not so nice.
I can vouch for that wholeheartedly. When I got back home from a wonderful 14-day cruise in the Caribbean all of a sudden my prostate decided to become enraged at the treatment I’d been giving it for the last 70 years and swell up to the size of what felt like a basketball.
This, naturally, impeded the flow of fluids from my bladder outwards. I can definitely tell you that not being able to pee for what felt like two days (but was only two hours) is NOT FUN!
The first doctor in the emergency room (a female Major) was either unsure of how to go about inserting the catheter, or was a devotee of the Marquis in some way because no lubrication or other deadening agent was used in the attempt.
I did a LOT of high-pitched singing while simultaneously trying to push down further into the bed I was lying on. Finally, she gave up and called another doctor – this time a male. His first question was: “how much lidocaine did you use?”
Her answer: “Lidocaine?”
After the generous application of a deadening agent, the catheter was finally inserted. For those of you who haven’t had this pleasure, just imagine a #2 pencil about a foot long being inserted up your urethra. And, get this; once it is inserted all the way into your bladder, a balloon-like section is inflated using distilled water to KEEP it there.
Suffice it to say that once it was in place, the pressure was off so to speak and they gathered nearly 900 milliliters that first time. Now, I am walking around with a bag strapped to my leg. The best thing: I can pee whenever I want to!
I am reminded of the clip from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels when Steve Martin’s character asks “Can I go to the bathroom?” When the person responds “certainly”, Steve gets a very satisfied look on his face and then says “thank you”.