British Lung Foundation
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" Most of them are idiots and not medically qualified " - This was the response of my furious Doctor when telling him I rang the now

INFAMOUS "111" MEDICAL PHONE LINE for help . - But, lets rewind, and see what actually happened. Two weeks ago, I wanted to have " Pee" in the morning about 4AM, - but could'nt, and it was getting quite painful, as we all know, when your " BUSTING TO GO " but can't because there's no Loo available etc etc. .After an hour or so, the pain really was getting a bit much, so in desperation I rang "111" - told them my predicament , then spent ELEVEN MINUETS giving details of my name, phone numbers etc etc, I was then told a "Medical adviser" would ring me back shortly "

And so this most "Learned Medical Adviser " rang me back - And what was the Advise given, bearing in mind , the pain really was getting awful = " SIT IN A WARM BATH AND IT MIGHT COME OUT - BYE . - I could'nt believe it.

After a few hours of terrible discomfort I got a taxi straight round to my Doctor and asked to be seen as an Emergency.Having heard my story and a brief examination he gave the response above and ADDED =" YOU COULD HAVE SAT IN A HEATED ATLANTIC, AND THAT LOT WOULD NEVER HAVE SHIFTED - CLEARLY YOUR PROSTRATE GLAND HAS EXPANDED BLOCKING THE FLOW OF URINE - GET TO A@E IMMEDIATELY, I WILL GIVE YOU A PRESCRIPTION FOR THEM TO SUPPLY YOU WITH AND GET AN EMERGENCY CATHETER INSERTED TO GET THE URINE OUT. " And so I did - and that in itself is quite painful, but the relief was out of this world - a real NIAGARA !

For a week I had to " wear " this contrivance " to monitor my progress by a Specialist Nurse, then finally removed by - yes, ANOTHER FEMALE - what the hell !, - yes, a bit embarrassing but I'me sure they have seen many Blokes " Bits and pieces " in their careers! AND , yes, it is also quite painful having it withdrawn - about NINE INCHES OF TUBING AND A DEFLATED BALLOON ON THE ENDED OF IT which spent much of its time in my Bladder, first having been emptied of water by a large syringe - OUCH !

So my advice on calling " 111 " ? - NEVER AGAIN FOR ME - "999" EVERY TIME .....! ANY VIEWS ON THIS FOLKS?

12 Replies

How awful, I have never rang them I always ring 999, so many bad stories about them, glad your ok now! Take care x


My view never again after a day spent getting nowhere.

1 like

I'm glad to see you've kept your sense of humour throughout your post, in between giggling I was going "ouch" "ooo" and "noooo"! Oh you poor thing, what a week, hope it doesn't happen again but if it does, you know what to do - ring 111, sorry 999! All the best. Libby x


Its make your own decision when no one can tell how much pain you are in. Community matron did an emergency catheter at home for me before I finally got the op that put things right again (tube in was nothing compared with the op cut out water infections that tube had) when not as fast moving as I used to be.


How painful for you Vittorio, made my eyes water. Actually, Pete has also had problems with his prostate and after several ops he had trouble peeing as blood clots shut off the flow. He also had to be catheterised for a while. I would always ring 999 as they are the best and will actually help rather than do nothing. Hope you are doing well now. xxx


...Thanks folks ! , I did wonder how common this is, actually just before the Catheter was inserted at the Hospital, the Nurse smeared jelly on the lower part of my stomach, then moved across it a sort of "Mouse" whilst looking at a screen - even amid the pain, I could'nt help asking " HOW'S MY BABY COMING ALONG ? " ! , She had to stop and burst out laughing , that half of @ and E must have heard, and this morning I saw a " DINA ROD " van go by - felt quite faint !! - Most things have a funny side to them - don't you think ! - Merry Christmass !.


LOL! Yes, thank heavens! Merry Christmas to you too. x


I am very fortunate in that I have the services of a Community Matron. Only contactable during office hours but she gave me an Urgent Care phone number of an team within the NHS who will attend 24/7. She tells me to use that number if I have a serious problem, to phone 999/112 if I have an emergency but NOT ever, under any circumstances, to phone 111. I don't think that the Community Matron service is available throughout England, but it works very well in the "South of the Tyne" area.


Vittorio. Oh awful for you. This kind of pain is always an emergency and fairly common amongst men; really, they should've booked you in straight away. I'm glad it's sorted out.

By the way, when I went to hospital, I had my genitals looked by a Muslim woman - I really didn't think a Muslim woman would be allowed to do this according to her religion, but there you are! she was good but did painful manipulations!

I take Tamsulosin to relax the bladder, Furosemide to increase the flow and Finasteride to shrink the prostate. all this works well

It's good you have a good doctor.



I am certainly no expert in these matters but please see your Doc for a PSA test.

My husband experienced similar problems which got a lot worse - they were horrific. Three years of treatment and then Prostate, Bladder and other "bits" removed. PLEASE don't take any chances and get to A & E asap if anything untoward happens again. Better to be safe than sorry.

Tale care xx


Very similar happened to me over 40 years ago in Toronto

After a few days of being in pain and desperate to pee and not being very successful the pain started to become horrendous. I ended up in the Emergency Room and it was found I had a kidney stone causing a blockage.

Not being able to pee, I was told, can be serious as it causes the backup. Not rocket science even for the 111 staff!


I had a Catheter for over a month in ICU and on the removal day the mail nurse re inflated the balloon on removal by accident with my shriked swear word. He apologised profusely. My problem was similar my body had forgotten to go on its own, Until they said unless I go soon (some hours had gone by) they will have to re insert. That was enough to get me to try harder. I was going so much I said I think I need another bottle! the nurse said no you'll be fine no one fills them WRONG! a lot of mopping and muttering "no one has ever filed one before" :)

With regards to 111. I called NHS direct as it was and they were brilliant I explained what had happened to me and they insisted I went to the A&E instead of wait for my wife to come home from work and take me. they called me back as my wife had walked in and said if I do not go they will call an ambulance. I found I had had a heart attack. So they had wise words for a stupid stubborn man.


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