The tour of my ‘Navelless Gazing’ one-man comedy show may be over – in fact, it was only a dozen or so dates. But while I return to doing my more generic, jokey stand-up act, the urological comedy show is in the back pocket. Along with the catheter.
I might have a chance next year to take the show to a youth camp for kids who catheterize, which would be a good chance to once again help normalize things.
The major impact though is the surprise content for those who’d never considered bladder issues, let alone ever seen a catheter. There was a mix of responses at the shows (although I don’t make a habit of loitering post-show to see what the audience thought – that’s like reading Amazon reviews of a book you’ve written. Look the other way!). But sometimes as you’re packing away, you’re cornered.
Or worse, after performing, if I pop to the bathroom and am in the one stall, I hear exactly what they thought of the show, whether I want to or not. Worse still, sometimes there’s only one stall so I can’t just wait in there till they go because they’re waiting for me to emerge. So I have to embarrass them by revealing that the subject of their critical review was listening in the cubicle all along.
That said feedback for my catheter material was good. There was a woman whose husband had just got bladder cancer, and now needed a catheter for the first time, so she’s been learning about caths the hard way through him. There was a man who’d been using a cath for 10 years since a road accident, who appreciated a chance to hear stories like his. There was a nurse who encountered this stuff all the time, and was glad to hear from the user’s angle (and had some bizarre stories herself).
One chap said that he enjoyed the show, but would have preferred it without the catheters. Well to be honest mate, I’d prefer life without the catheters too. But fair play to him – bladdery talk is rare and icky, and perhaps unexpected (though I tried to ensure the posters told them to expect medical ickiness).
For me though, life without catheters wouldn’t last very long. So long live the catheter. And long live us. And while we’re living, occasionally it’s nice to talk about it. Just occasionally. For now I’ll go back to doing jokes about fitness apps and Starbucks coffee names now.
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.