Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The system let me down...My confidence is shot.

On my bucket list - drive a big truck- these are BIG!
Regular readers of my blog will know that for nearly four months I have been wearing a catheter and bag system while waiting for surgery which will hopefully solve my prostate problems.  In that four months apart from an infection over Christmas/New Year and one or two little hiccups every thing has gone smoothly.  Yesterday we went into town to make a purchase then called at my favourite hardware store to look for a couple of items to put a finishing touch to our holiday renovations.  The car park was fairly full and the store quite busy. I walked in and went straight to the area where the item I was wanting would be. As I stopped briefly checking out the displays, I felt wetness around my groin area. I looked down and there was a large coin sized wet patch on my fawn coloured trousers.  I knew immediately that something must have come unplugged in my plumbing system.  Holding my hand over the wet patch I went to the isle next door and informed my wife that I had a plumbing problem.  "Pop over to the toilets to sort yourself out." she suggested. The toilets were in the diagonally opposite corner of the store. It was quite some distance away and I would have to work my way through crowds of people. I pulled my hand from my groin and the wet patch was now nearly as big as my hand. "I don't think so!" I replied. She took one look and said, "No!"  I was uncontrollably wetting my pants in this crowded store!  I squeezed my hand against my trousers on top of the leaking tube hopefully to stem the flow, and ran to the nearest door. (thankfully there was a door without a checkout.) I ran across the car park, unlocked the car, unzipped my trousers and reconnected the broken connection.  I sat there in the car in my wet trousers feeling as silly as can be. "Who saw me?" "What did it look like?" "Did that couple coming in the door see my wet pants?" I was aware from the cars in the car park there were a few people I knew in the store.  "Did they see me?" I drove home feeling frustrated, sad and depressed.
It was during the drive home that the consequences of what happened hit me. What would happen if that happened while I was standing in front of the congregation leading a church service? Imagine if I was talking to one of the managers in one of my chaplaincies? Then what about if it happened while I was leading a wedding? - or worse still, leading a funeral? By the time I got home I felt like ringing the powers that be in the church and chaplaincy and telling them that I would not be starting work! I could take sick leave until the operation - I thought! My confidence was really shattered. It was a good thing that I am still on holiday and did not have to lead a service today. Since then I have calmed down. It has nearly been four months and I have done heaps of services, a couple of funerals, two weddings, been running, walking, tramping, working hard physically and have been out and about doing my thing amongst people and nothing like that has happened before.  There probably are checks I could do to lessen the chances of it happening again. I will cope, but I was really struck by the way it hit my personal confidence. I know that even when things are going well, I am aware that I am "different."  All the time I am conscious wondering if my "pee bag" is obvious. So it does lessen my confidence when I am out and about. This event though knocked it big time ... for a while. 
Then I heard of a colleague who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and needs a fairly urgent operation.... as far as I know I don't have that.  I read on the net of a man who had been wearing this contraption for thirty years!  I am not badly off really! I am just used to thinking of myself as bullet proof. Currently I am wearing this constant reminder that I am not.

There was quite a number of these working. They really work hard up this hill.
The hole in the ground in this gold mine is massive. This is just a small segment of it

We think it is an old lodge for skiers. There is an early ski field on the mountains behind.
Today my wife insisted that we go for a drive out of town, with it being the second to last day of our holidays. We headed off originally intending to go south of Dunedin, but on the southern motorway, I decided to take off to Middlemarch, an inland township amongst some high country.  We had lunch in a garden cafe there and continued to "go where ever the car took us". I remembered coming across an old stone building at the completion of a tramp on the Rock and Pillar Ranges so we went down a track and hunted that out. We checked out the MaCraes Flat Gold mine, and drove to the main road into Dunedin. On the way through Waikouaiti I decided to explore some country roads near a farm I used to holiday on as a kid. Today, though, I got lost on this mountainous track. The poor car ended up bottoming out on the road in several places. We stopped and turned around, had a drink while looking at a magnificent view, then drove on home. We had done a circuit. It was one of those sorts of rides. We had no time schedule and no particular place to be.


Keith Harris said...

Many years ago, we knew this as "the bottom hut". Imaginatively named, I'm sure you'll agree, as was its counterpart near the summit of the Rock & Pillars - "the top hut".

Dave Brown said...

Oh... I went tramping with some firefighters and a dog up to top hut a couple of years ago. We actually headed up the hill a few k's further down the road and walked across the top to stay at top hut the night. Then came straight down the hill ending up at this hut. Would be a great place to have a "blob out" type holiday.