05 August 2014


Okay, after a few scary moments and an emergency hospital admission, Joe has had the operation to widen the neck of his bladder. And guess what … he can now pee like a man should and has said goodbye to the catheter. Fingers crossed this is a permanent situation. Although he gets a bit fed up at times he doesn’t seem to mind the nephrostomy bag now he’s got used to it, and let’s face it those catheters did get in the way of normal life and movement.

I have to say that the UK’s National Health Service reacts to all emergencies in the most efficient manner. I was kept fully informed of developments by phone. For instance the emergency situation resulted in him being transferred from Good Hope Hospital to Heartlands Hospital (a ride of about 20 to 25 minutes on a good day) and then to be returned the next morning in time for the operation. That was to take place in the Day Care Centre, which closes at eight o’clock at night. Consequently they had to find him a bed on which to recover and if that didn’t transpire he would go back to Heartlands. Fortunately the Bed Manager did find a bed so I was able to go and see him at the hospital nearest to home. I had so many phone calls I was on Christian name terms with folk at both hospitals!

There was one little bit of humour that’s worth relating.

When one nurse couldn’t insert a catheter she called for an ‘expert’ to do the job. The ‘expert’ was a middle aged black nurse who had a sense of humour as well as being highly efficient. She introduced herself to Joe. Leaning in close she said ‘My name is Vilma, V-i-l-m-a. I tell you that because you and I are going to get very personal so you need to know who I am.’

Joe is home now and looking much happier and I know he joins me in thanking you all for your love and good wishes. 


  1. I am glad to hear Joe is doing good. I pray he continues to improve.

  2. I am so happy to read this. I hope Joe is out of the woods now. Take care, both of you!

  3. yay i am glad that it is in...and that he can pee like a man...that probably helps the self esteeem a bit...and smiling at the nurse...ha...quite personal...

  4. I am glad things are looking up for Joe and you. A good nurse is priced above rubies.

  5. Dan. Thank you for your prayers.

    Mersad. He's not completely out of the woods since he still has to wear a nephrostomy bag ... but that he can cope with.

    Brian, you're right, it does help the self esteem. He looks like a different man now, one who smiles a lot more.

  6. BS. 'A good nurse is priced above rubies' ... what a lovely expression. I haven't heard it before. I must pass that on.

  7. Yahooooooooo...what GREAT news, Valerie!

    And you can tell, just from that photo, Joe looks happy and well. He looks GREAT!

    "I tell you that because you and I are going to get very personal so you need to know who I am."

    Bwhahahahahaha! She sounded like a GEM of a nurse!

    Thanks for the update, dear lady. Know that all of us here are keeping you and Joe in our thoughts and prayers.

    Have a lovely week!

    X to you both!

  8. God bless his cotton socks! Glad to hear the news after such a scary time for you both. Loved the story of the nurse, she sound like gold. Please give Jo a hug from me and here is a hug for you too :). I am at the airport waiting for a friend who lives in Shrewsbury. She is staying with us for a few days and will be heading for California, then up to Alaska, then back home to the UK.

  9. Good (late) afternoon, Ron. Wasn't that nurse a hoot? I would trust her with my soul, you know. I've told everybody about her. Thank you for your support x

  10. Hi Denise, thanks for the hugs. Oh wow, a friend from Shrewsbury. How wonderful that you are still able to get together. I hope she has a great time in all the places she's going to.

  11. Good new indeed. My only experience with a catheter still make me shudder. Ouch....

  12. That is such good news Valerie, I'm so pleased for Joe. xxxx

  13. Joe looks great! Isn't it amazing how a simple thing like urinating can get us all excited. I say, "Yippee to pee!"

    Love the Vila story. HA!

  14. Prayers sent your way that all keeps getting better for Joe.

  15. Holy crap....what scary moments for the both of you. And thank G-d for the good humoured nurses of the world. They rock.
    Got my fingers crossed that this works for the long haul!

  16. TB, every time the word is mentioned I feel like 'ouching'.

    Pearl, thank you. Joe is definitely looking and feeling better in himself, but there's still a way to go.

    Larry, thanks for the prayers. I hope so too.

    Mel, scary is the right description but, you know, that nurse made me feel better. Not sure how it affected Joe but he did smile when she said it.

  17. So glad things are going well with Joe, and I hope he continues to improve.
    That's funny what nurse Vilma said to him. LOL
    Hope he could appreciate her humor in a delicate situation.


If you're new to A Mixed Bag you might find something to interest you, a bit of mirth, a story or two, or some pictures. I'm so pleased you popped in, do leave a comment if you have time.