On Wednesday, January Twenty Third, I had an another outpatients appointment at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke on Trent.
I was sent a letter informing me that I had to go to the Department of Anaesthetics. There was a map included, but the map gave no indication of the building I was supposed to go to. First of all, I was somewhat puzzled as to why I was going to that department and second of all, I reckoned it would be a darned good idea to find out where I was actually going to.
So, I phoned the hospital and asked why I was going to that department and where the department actually was. The lady I spoke to didn't have a clue why I was going there, but luckily, she did tell me the location. With limited information and thinking it must be an ultrasound test, I headed off. And before you ask, I'm reasonably confident I'm not pregnant and if I was, I wouldn't want to know the sex of the baby.
From Leek, Staffordshire to the hospital is about a twelve mile drive westwards. Upon my arrival, much to my surprise, I found the correct building. Inside the building, I was directed to the Central Treatment Suite. In the first reception area was an old dude sitting there. He asked me if I was the ambulance driver that was going to take him home. I told him I wasn't an ambulance driver and I'd had enough trouble remembering which side of the road to drive on. He muttered something about, "I know what you mean...bloody drivers these days!"
The receptionist in the first area told me to go over and push a green button. Upon pushing the green button, the receptionist in the actual waiting room, let me in. I showed her my appointment letter and she asked me to take a seat. And no, I'm not that pedantic. I didn't walk out with a seat.
I looked around and observed there were a lot of really old dudes. Suddenly, I felt real young. I also realised it was pretty darn warm in the waiting room. I noticed that a lot of the old dudes were getting cups of water from a drinks machine. I thought, "How nice of the hospital to supply water to cool down the old dudes."
I sat there for about fifteen minutes. "Mr. Perrick!?", yelled out a nurse with a very strong Northern Irish accent. "Ah, do you mean, Mr. Pennick?", I responded. "That's what I said, Mr. Perrick!" Anyway, I'm figuring this nurse is gonna' rub some jelly on my belly or whatever. "Mr. Perrick." At this point I give up correcting my name. "Mr. Perrick, your urologist has asked us to get you to do an urinary flow test. Please go to the drinks machine and have some cups of water. We'll see how you're doing in half an hour."
Then it all became clear. Old dudes drinking cups of water. If only I'd known beforehand. So, off I went to the drinks machine and topped myself up. One cup of water became twenty cups of water. "Are you ready, Mr. Perrick?" "I'll give it my best shot", I replied. I was led to a room and told to go urinate into this weird sink that had monitoring lights to the side of it. I then remembered that I don't 'POD'. Which is, 'Piddle On Demand'. Twenty cups of water were having none of it. I tried and I tried. Nothing. The nurse knocked on the door and asked me how it was going. Well, it aint going, nurse.
I was taken out of the 'piddle room' and told to go back to the waiting room and drink some more cups of water. "Drink some more and jump about a bit", another nurse told me. Ten cups later and after a bit of hopping around, I was taken back to the 'piddle room'. Now I had thirty cups of water churning inside me. And yep, still nothing.
At this point I was taken back to reception and another appointment has been made for me for February Sixth. I have to do it all over again. You guessed it, as soon as I left the clinic, I headed straight to the public toilets and yes ah yes....
I got back in my car, right in the middle of "rush hour". Why do we call it rush hour? No rush at all. Just a long line of vehicles seemingly going nowhere. The only 'rush' I got was, to my horror, the other twenty eight cups or so of water, were begging to get out. There I was stuck in traffic and my guts were busting. I thought I was going to wet the seat. I held back knowing that my car was going in for servicing the next morning. Can imagine the mechanic wondering what the strange smell was. By the time I got back home, I was in agony. Back in Leek to take a leak.
Now I should hopefully be ready for the next time at the hospital. I shall avoid going to the toilet before leaving my home. Knowing my luck, I will sit patiently waiting my turn at the Central Treatment Suite, note the old dudes drinking cups of water and promptly pee my pants!