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How do I impress on RNs the emotional trauma I have re: catheterization?

I was raped/tortured at 15 including items being inserted into my urethra. I long since dealt with the emotional trauma but I've been fighting prostate cancer and I’m absolutely terrified of being catheterized. I mentioned this to. friend who is an RN.  The friend told me to basically "just get over it."  Easier said than done.  TYIA
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207091 tn?1337709493
I'm so sorry this happened to you. It's so understandable that you have fears around this.

Since you can plan ahead of time for scheduled medical procedures, and use medication as part of your strategy, maybe you should also find a strategy for something unplanned, like if you are in a car accident. Maybe you and your psychiatrist can develop a plan with coping strategies in a controlled setting now so you're prepared if that ever happens. Maybe planning for it will give you a sense of control, and if you have one hospital you use regularly, they can add something to your file.

"that I thought I'd dealt with admirably" - you probably have dealt with it admirably. I mean, you're here, reaching out for help, right? That's coping. That's dealing with it. That's strength. Dealing with it doesn't mean you'll never have to feel it again. It means you learn better ways to work through it each time it comes up.

A therapist once told me that this isn't something we ever "get over". We learn how to "get through". You're getting through admirably, for sure.
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Thank you.  I guess at 15, 20, 25, I just didn't think that some day I would have to go down this road.  I thought that once I'd done the therapy and "slayed the dragon" so to speak, I was good.
Yeah, it sucks that the dragon is never really slayed, and that part isn't really explained.

Don't hesitate to get what I call a therapy booster shot, either, if you ever need it. You may or may not, but it's there if you do. :)
20620809 tn?1504362969
When we have an intense fear or phobia, that's hard to get over.  Since it is situational, what about something like a half of a xanax before they insert it?  Dentists use laughing gas for a reason!  Doctors and nurses don't, but you may need 'something' to get through this.  
Helpful - 0
Nitrous oxide would be a marvelous adjunct to many procedures.  I already take xanax. And your right, it's old, very intense stuff that I thought I'd dealt with admirably.  It's kinda like playing, "What's Your Worst Bad Memory? OK, Let's Try It!"
I understand you completely.  Something to zone you out a bit as it starts seems like it *might help but it's not going to be easy.  
I find it helpful to take an extra half of my clonazepam before I have to face a medical or dental thing.  Wasn't my idea, my psychiatrist recommended it, and I won't say it eliminates the problems but as GuitarRox says, it does help.  Never had laughing gas, though.  
Also, there's an herb called Holy Basil that is an adaptogen that helps control cortisol release.  This also helps me some.  Peace.
Avatar universal
Obviously, this will not be easy.  You're right.  If you have surgery, you will wake up with a catheter, but I have an out of control anxiety problem and I didn't find this to be a big problem.  If you're talking about having to use one on a regular basis, that doesn't have to happen.  It might, but I know several folks who have dealt with prostate cancer and none of them ended up needing a catheter regularly.  But to deal with the fear, well, that takes therapy and maybe drugs.  But again, what I wouldn't worry about is the one they put in you after surgery, if that's what you're concerned about, because you won't be awake when they do it and you won't really notice it until they take it out, which is pretty quick.  Are you facing surgery?  
Helpful - 0
Fortunately I am not facing any imminent surgery. I've managed to go all my life (59), including 7 years with ST IV, Gleason 8, mets to lungs PCa, without reliving that experience. My urologists and the rest of the team is aware now after a bad experience with a urethrogram pior to some radiation. My fear is being in a situation where the attending team is not as aware of the history as my own medical team now is.
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