View Full Version : Potassium challenge test
09-17-2009, 11:43 AM
I am a newbie and have a Potassium challenge test scheduled for Tuesday. I'm worried about this test and would like to hear your experiences.
09-17-2009, 05:57 PM
Hello and :welcome: To the ICN..
I have never had this test done but do know it is less invasive than the cysto/hydro..
Hope everything goes well..
09-18-2009, 02:52 AM
You'll be catheterized for this procedure. They will first infuse 40ml of sterile water into your bladder, and ask you to rate your level of urge to urinate/pain level. They then drain the water, and infuse the potassium solution. You'll be asked to rate your level of discomfort again. It's positive for someone to have a change in urgency with the potassium in 70% of IC patients. I know I did! I responded within just a few ml of the potassium solution! The nurse never made it to infusing the entire solution...
09-18-2009, 03:07 AM
Oh, and if you're worried about pain, Kim, I didn't think it was too bad, considering the test itself. The catheterization is what I find most painful (for the split second it takes to get it into the bladder.) If you're in pain already and are very irritated down there...ask them to numb you up a little first with a topical anesthetic. That's what I do. It doesn't completely get rid of that split second of pain, but it makes it bearable. And try not to tense up...I know it's hard but the more relaxed you are the quicker it's over with. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!!
09-19-2009, 03:01 AM
I really appreciate your replies. My friend had this done and said it was the most painful thing she's ever experienced, so I'm worried. My test is Tuesday, I will post a follow up. Thanks again.
09-19-2009, 03:33 AM
In all fairness I have heard answers ranging from horrible to just a bit uncomfortable regarding how painful this test is. I don't know if this wide range of experience has to do with our individual conditions when we go in for the test, the doctor or technician's skill level, the size of the equipment used, or what?
For me, the worst part was the insertion of the catheter which on my pain scale (-1...10+) I'd rate at about 4. Netgrrl mentions, "try not to tense up". I didn't know that and think a large part of the discomfort I felt may have been my own making! -I was sucked up super tight!
When the potassium hit the bladder it did hurt. Instant full-blown flare! But the moment I reacted the solution was drained and a numbing solution put in it's place which worked instantly. The time frame was so short for this pain that it wasn't worth rating.
My biggest fear then, was that once that numbing solution wore off I was going to be in a world of pain again! That didn't happen. I was a bit irritated for about 24 hours afterwards but it was not enough to matter.
Yes, do post a follow-up after your test on Tuesday!
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