Friday, December 18, 2009
Flair for Drama
Since Wednesday, I've known my urine culture was negative. There was no bacteria causing my misery and microscopic blood in my urine, so it had to be something else. Let's see, what disease can I give myself that would be the most complicated and life threatening, or cause me the most disfiguring surgical outcomes?
Because you know that's what I've been doing since it became clear that although I wasn't going to die of sepsis, severe sepsis, shock and multi-organ failure, I was going to suffer and likely from something far worse.
Some of you know I used to work for a huge urology practice. My best friend is still an office manager for this gimongous practice. For the past two days, we've been talking that I definitely need to see someone, but who? I mean I don't want just anybody to see my 52 year old coochie and stick a cystoscope into my nether regions. It had to be someone who could, a. keep their mouth shut and b. not judge how age and menopause have not been kind. Additionally, I told my friend that I was sure that what's going on isn't good and I want no bad news for the holidays. It could keep until January.
The past two nights have been completely miserable. I awaken in the middle of the night feeling, what I'm sure by now is a giant ulcer or tumor deep within my pelvis causing pressure. I wouldn't call it pain, because, well, once you've labored on three separate occasions with children who all had a posterior presentation, you have a pretty high benchmark for what you call pain. It's pressure.
This morning, I couldn't stay away from the bathroom for more than 10 minutes. Bad news and the holidays? I couldn't wait any more. I called my friend who squeezed me in today with one of the female urologists. I called my boss and got the day off to see to this bit of business. I loaded up on water because I was told they'd do an ultrasound, hopped in the car (praying I wouldn't sneeze and there'd be no traffic to delay my ride across town) and headed off to learn the bad news.
Resigned to the fate that I'd be having an office cystoscopy (no pain meds, no anethesia), I tried to prepare myself emotionally. Let me just say, there's no such thing. Now I don't know who dreamed up this particular exam, I can only say that it's, um, uncomfortable at the least and not the way I'd originally planned to spend my day. The exam starts when the doctor injects numbing medicine, and before my urethra has even had an opportunity to get acquainted with the lidocaine, a rather large, flexible tube is inserted hot on the heels of the numbing medicine--yes, that's right--before I'm numb. That's just the beginning, because while my mind is wrapping itself around the fact that tube is way too big for that particular space, the assistant opens up a connected bag of sterile saline solution and upon command of the doctor, Lord help me, squeezes the saline in. I can honestly say, my bladder has never felt so violated or full.
Since I know this doctor well, I felt inexplicably at ease. She chattered the whole time about her kids and mine. I was with her at an investigator's meeting in Montreal when she learned she'd passed her boards and was now a board certified urologist. Out of all 30 docs in that practice, she was my first choice. Still, I wasn't prepared for the oohing and ahhing about how good my bladder looked. I think I heard her say, "gee, things look as good on the inside as they do on the outside." She saw no tumors and no ulcers, but she did see something else: a dilated ureter. My poor kidneys have been trying to pass a stone since last weekend, and there my friends, is the source of my misery.
My prescriptions include a script for a CT scan and blood work, and advice to drink boatloads of water with lemon juice, gatorade and beer. I have a script for Vicodin, which while I told her it's not pain, it's pressure, she just smiled and said, "oh, don't worry, it's going to be pain."
To be continued...