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Portraits in Indignity: In Which I List the 25 Steps to Collect a Urine Specimen
- WRITE NAME ON CUP.
- Open cup.
- Place cup and lid on nearby sink or counter. If unavailable, place on floor near the hand that doesn’t hold catheter.
- Unwrap and lubricate catheter.
- Hold catheter in teeth like knife-wielding pirate boarding an enemy ship
- Clean bits according to clean catch instructions.
- Insert catheter just a little.
- Attempt to grab cup with non-dominant hand.
- Knock cup over.
- Praise the heavens that cup is empty.
- Grab cup successfully.
- Place cup near end of catheter.
- Insert catheter fully.
- Move cup into stream (again, according to clean catch instructions).
- Remove cup quickly but carefully when just over half full and place on floor.
- Applaud self mentally for how little pee was spilled.
- Finish emptying bladder.
- Put lid on cup.
- Wipe down hands, cup, toilet seat, floor, etc.
- Sigh heavily.
- Wash hands thoroughly.
- Stand awkwardly in hallway looking for appropriate surface for specimen until nurse says–“Just place it on the counter in there. We’ll find it.”
- Think, “You’ll FIND it?!?!”
- Place cup on counter.
- Exit office, mentally drafting complaint letter. And blog post.
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