“…que sera sera.”
I’ve now got two young children. To be honest, that surprised me as much as anyone. As a life-long catheterizer, I’d had a whole host of health ponderings, quandaries, queries and downright never-gonna-happens. I was always told growing up, “No children for you.” Well I wasn’t always told. It would be a bit harsh to hear that daily.
But I was always dimly aware that children were probably not on the horizon – whether for biological reasons (if my dodgy innards were too dodgy) or for social ones (catheter woes bring dating disasters and limited opportunities). Yet I dated, and had girlfriends, and eventually a wife. Throughout all this, I knew kids looked unlikely. I knew, my parents knew, and my wife knew, because of course I told her, at the altar. (You have to pick your moment.)
So, having grown up with no bellybutton, I now have two. They’re just not on me.
With children, came a host of questions – and new potential embarrassments. I’ll never forget my then three-year old son and I using a public toilet. “Why are you putting that into you, Daddy?” he asked. In the next cubicle, I heard another young voice ask his own dad: “What’s the boy next door talking about, Daddy?” The dad replied waveringly: “Er... I’ve no idea.” They left in a hurry.
My kids are growing up seeing my condition as normal – though now we have to convince them it’s not as normal as all that. My daughter once noted, “When I’m a man, I’m going to have a tube like Daddy.” I don’t know where to begin with that.
I guess if I’ve learned anything from the mix of parenthood, urology and a stand-up comedy career, it’s that I’m now unembarrassable. The social perils of school life fade into obscurity. My kids could say anything now – out me as a catheterizer, distribute caths down the street, whatever. I will never blush. Challenge extended...
The opinions expressed here are of a personal and anecdotal nature, and are in no way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.