I know what you’re thinking? I’ve got blood in my pee what the hell is happening to me? What can I do about it? What will happen when I go to the doctor’s? What will happen when the doctor sends me to hospital for the tests? Have I got cancer? Am I going to die?
All these thoughts have happened to me recently and let me give you my experience of what happened.
It’s a Sunday night and I’m getting ready to go to bed. Just have a pee before I get in bed and as I’m stood at the toilet there’s a lot of blood coming out of the end of me and into the toilet bowl. Not a pretty sight and I admit to feeling instantly shocked. This is immediately backed up by my girlfriend who says “Are you okay babes?” Pardon the pun but she said the colour drained from me and also she was shocked to see the blood in the toilet.
I stay awake for a little while longer until I need to go to the toilet again and again there’s blood in my pee but its very little blood in my pee compared to last time, so I retire to bed. My girlfriend wants me to go to A&E immediately!
The following morning my pee is clear there’s no blood in it at all but I still phone the doctors and ask the receptionist to put a note on my record that I have pee’d blood. She asked whether I wish to see the doctor to which I replied I’m unsure because I’m not peeing blood anymore. She says she will log my call and it will be put on my record.
However, my doctors think otherwise and I’m called back within a about 15 minutes asked more questions and am then given an appointment for later that morning.
Off to the Doctors!
I sit down to speak to the doctor at my appointment and the questions begin.
How much blood in my pee?
Am I in pain?
What was I doing prior to passing blood?
Has it happened before?
Has it happened again, etc.
I also had to provide a sample of urine which was sent away to be tested for the presence of blood in my pee, a cursory test with testing paper shows little blood in my pee at that time.
The doctors tells me I need to go and have some tests and I will hear about this in the next two weeks.
Two days later I’m sat in Macclesfield hospital waiting for the first round of test. So Kudos to Cheshire Health Authority for getting me sorted so quickly.
Procedure #1: Cytoscopy
First off what is a Cytoscopy? This procedure is actually an examination of the inside of your bladder, apparently this is one of the most common areas were blood in the pee can occur. So they have to check inside.
The actual procedure itself involves sticking in a camera into your urethra (down the end of your knob if your a bloke) and along into your bladder. The procedure itself wasn’t too painful for myself and involves the following process.
First of all trousers down and lay on a operating table, no anaesthetic, and then a technician grasps the end of your penis and firstly injects lubricating jelly down the end of your penis. This for me was the most unpleasant part of the procedure. It feels incredibly strange as the lubricating jelly runs along your urethra to your bladder. It being cold made it feel very strange and not an experience i’d wish to repeat anytime soon!
Next, they take the the camera and insert that. The camera is on the end of a long flexible stalk and it is controlled by the operator and can be made to go in certain directions with controls on the handle of the device. (I’m sure it has a name, perhaps its called a Cytoscoscope!) This is pushed down your urethra to your bladder this feels incredibly strange but the only pain I felt was when the camera actually reached my bladder and there was a slight pain as it was pushed by the valve into my bladder.
All the time that this is happening you can see the progress of the camera as it goes down your urethra and into your bladder as there is a large TV screen which the operator uses to guide the camera to its final destination, your bladder.
The next part of the procedure was the one I found the most uncomfortable not painful just really uncomfortable.
Prior to the procedure you are made to empty your bladder, so you are made to pee so you have an empty bladder. And now here is the technician injecting water into your bladder via the camera tube. Because your bladder it is empty all the side walls are all crinkly and to get a better view water is injected until your bladder is full and all the sides are smooth.
This to me was the strangest sensation and also a problem after the procedure as a bladder full of water was extremely painful to get rid of. I’ll come on to that in a second.
Your bladder is filled and a technician uses the camera to look around even looping the camera background to see all of the bladder, again I can see this all on the large screen TV.
Thankfully, mine is ok and showed all clear during the examination. Phew, but still don’t know what’s wrong. Hmmm!
The camera is removed very slowly and your left to wipe yourself down as your covered in lubricating jelly. In other scenarios this might be pleasant but alas no!
You are then shown the door but after the procedure your bladder is now completely full, in fact painfully full. So, before you are allowed to go home you have go to the toilet and hopefully flush out fluids and/or any possibly infection that the procedure may have left behind.
This is where the pain starts.
Your absolutely busting for a pee as your bladder is full. You just want to get rid and relieve yourself. You stand there and first off its difficult to pee but as soon as your start to pee the pain I can only describe is like peeing broken glass. “AHHHHHHHH”
I’d also been told as I’d left that unless I drink lots of water the risk of infection is quite high and I did end up with a urinary tract infection later that week!
You drink to avoid an infection but when you pee its like peeing broken glass!
My issue with drinking lots was that anything I drank would pass straight through me. This was further exacerbated by being told to drink at least 3 litres of liquid during the day. Although I went for a pee immediately after the procedure I didn’t leave the hospital for a while and ended up hanging round the public toilets as one of the side effects for me was the almost constant feeling of needing a pee. Constant!
Which I knew would be painful and this cycle continued for about nearly 5 days.
Urinary Tract Infection: I ended up with a Urinary Tract Infection and within 24 hours I was back in hospital as my temperature went through the roof and my girlfriend said I was extremely hot and appeared dazed and confused. I ended up on anti biotics to quell the infection which took over a week to clear up.
Bleeding: sometime bleeding can occur as soft tissue damage can occur
Pain: While passing water, this can last for over a week.
Procedure #2: Prostate examination
This only applies to men as women do not have a prostate.
The prostate is a small gland only found in men. About the size of a walnut it surrounds the first part of the urethra that carries urine from the bladder along the penis. The prostate produces a thick, white fluid which mixes with the sperm from the testicles to make semen.
The Prostate examination is for men only and can only be achieved by inserting a finger up the rectum and feeling the prostate from inside the rectum.
When you have a prostate examination you will be asked to curl up almost into a ball when lying on your side. This makes access easier and the clinician will insert a lubricated finger into your rectum and feel forwards towards your penis.
Depends on the skill and experience of the Proctologist or clinician this will be either very quick or can take a little time. The prostate exam I had at the same time as the Cytoscopy was incredibly quick and took less than 5 seconds however the previous prostate examination at my doctors I think he was searching for gold as it took him about 30 seconds. Either that or it was a very through examination.
This is not painful however it is slightly embarrassing especially if the clinician or proctologist is a woman.
Side effects: You may feel pain if you have an inflamed prostate but for most men the procedure has no side effects
Procedure #3: CT scan
Or Computed Tomography Scan which makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce a cross-sectional image of specific areas of your body.
Here’s what happened.
On arrival at the Radiography department I was told to strip off and put on a gown and then had a cannula put into the vein in my right arm which would be used to inject the dye used to detect blood flow around my kidneys.
The CT scan I had was on my kidneys and how well they function and for this dye is injected into my body while the CT scan was undertaken. The die shows up on the x-rays during the CT scan and lets the technician see how well your kidneys function.
As the procedure works your kidneys you need to drink and I’m told I need to drink and I’m given 500 ml of water to drink as I wait to go into the theatre. Pity its only water!
Time passed and eventually I go in to the scanner room and again the process is explained while I get comfy on the CT scanner table and am wired up to a pump which will be used to put the dye into my blood stream as the machine is in operation.
The procedure works that there will be a number of scans, the first is without any dye in my blood stream, the second will be with 75% and the last with remaining 25%.
I am also told they have injected a substance in my blood stream which makes my kidneys run faster than normal which helps with the CT scan. They also tell me of the side effects of the dye they will be injecting and these include a metallic taste in the mouth and a feeling like you’ve wet yourself or a warm sensation in your perineum (the area between your anus and scrotum/vagina) this feels very strange indeed.
The examination ends and the first scan is over and done very quickly and I have to hold my breath for 5 seconds during the scan. You have to do this so the x-rays aren’t blurred by your body moving too much.
Injection of dye no 1 done, now I have to wait a few minutes before we start on scan no 2 as the chemicals in the syringe are injected and I immediately feel like I’ve set myself but it’s the side effect of the chemicals I’ve just been been injected with.
Scan number 2 and this time I have to hold my breath for 8 seconds.
Again a short wait as more fluid is injected.
Scan no 3 and again I feel like I’ve wet myself and the metallic taste is much more prominent this time. On scan number 3 the breath holding is 10 seconds and then 15 seconds respectively. Yes you have to do it twice.
The scans are over. Time to kick back. No.
Time to realise the chemicals in your system have made my bladder fuller than it’s been in a week because of a urinary tract infection due to the Cytoscopy last week! So queue the painful process of emptying my bladder.
I’m led out of the scanner room and back to the changing rooms and told to use the toilets. I still have the cannula in my arm and am now accompanied by a thin tube and the remains of the container which held the 125 ml of dye which was injected into my blood stream during the CT scan. A little keepsake maybe!
Then i’m informed I have to wait a while and pass water a few times before it will be removed and once it is removed I have to stay in the hospital for a short while so they can keep an eye on me incase I have a reaction to the chemicals, I feel faint or there is some other complication.
I pass water 3 times and I mean alot of water which probably accounts for the litre I drank before the scan and the chemicals injected to speed up my kidney functions.
About 20 minutes later the technician turns up and removes my cannula and I wait for the wound on my arm to heal a little before I get dressed. I go outside for a brief phone call to my girlfriend before returning for 30 minutes as the hospital says they need to make sure I have no adverse reaction . Once this is over I am free to go.
- Reaction to injected chemicals, feeling like you’ve wet yourself
- Increased need to urinate
- Abdominal Cramps
I had to wait a week for the results of my tests and the good news is that I have the all clear and there is nothing serious wrong with me and that the blood was from a minor herniation in my bladder which when I was stressed has burst or bled.
The CT scan didn’t show any anomalies so my kidneys are working perfectly and I’m free to run a few more pints or glasses of wine through them.
I’m relieved but its also opened my eyes and I’ve made changes to my life and now live a bit healthier.