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...

22 comments:

clairedulalune said...

Oh Rudee, what a nightmare! I am really sorry to hear this, uncomfortable examination! I hope you are feeling better for the holidays!

Joanna said...

Dear Rudee, I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through such awfulness, but Thank God it's fixable. I hope it passes (!) soon so you can get back to normal.

SkippyMom said...

boatloads of water, gatorade and BEER? sounds like a pretty good thing to have there girlie. ;)

I have never heard of having to drink beer for a health ailment, but HEY! I could get on board with that.

Now, that I have that out of the way - you know that I wish you a speedy recovery and not too much pain passing the stone. Take care and get better soon. We need you.

Hugs.

sapphireblue said...

Do you get to be off during this time? I hope so. I hope you feel better soon!

Brenda said...

Your descriptions cracked me up! I have had 5 surgeries and lots of strange tests done here and there, but a stone is something that I have never had to deal with...yet. I am glad that you went to find out before hand though because I have heard passing these are extremely painful. Hope you have more than a few of those Vicodin, just in case. I will be thinking of you and hoping everything comes out pain free.

Lisa L said...

ouch! wishing you all the best for the 'passing'..people say lying in a hot bath helps with that particular pain. oh, and the vicodin. if it doesn't pass easily, remember they can go in and laser the sh*t out of it...will be thinking of you..enjoy the beer...that would be my fluid of choice..

Gail said...

You said this so well, unfortunately, I felt I was with you all the way! I was even wiggling in my chair to escape the described discomfort.

I had guessed stone so do I win something?

Vicodin AND beer, this could be a weekend you won't forget...or you might.

Silliyak said...

I thought there was a treatment using shock waves in a tub that could break up the stones to make them/it easier to pass? Anyway, sorry and glad for you. For some reason I have an ear worm of Jimi Hendrix "Like A Rolling Stone" now.

Quiltluver said...

Owwwee! Looking at the bright side, now you can be proud of how good the inside of your bladder looks. And they can't send you out to work with beer and vicodin in your system, can they? Seriously, I hope the worst is behind you and that you feel better soon. Take care, Karen

Sandy said...

Oh ouch!!! Glad it's a stone (not that this is an easy thing) and not something more serious! Take care and drink that water...

Rose said...

Ouch, that sounds horrible. I'm so, so sorry. My youngest is stuck in Blacksburg due to a snowstorm and she's pretty sure she has a bladder infection; I told her to see the clinic on Tuesday, but no, she was too busy and now she's stuck there, in pain. She's making me crazy....

Rose said...

I'm sorry, that was supposed to be about you! Gatorade, beer, and vicodin? That should help some, no? Hope you feel better fast.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Ooh that hurt. Gives me the chills. I hope your get better now. Get better before the end of next week.
QMM

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Well hey at least you got compliments on your good-lookin' bladder.

Small comfort ~ but it's nice to be told that your innards are attractive.:) Hope it passes quickly and quietly without any drama.

distracted by shiny objects said...

You know, in some circles Vicodan, Gatorade, and beer is a breakfast of champions...
Here's a little something to give a laugh, but NOT on a full bladder. Hope all passes smoothly(and quickly!!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m64cy1MMPg ***
***might only be funny if you've worked in an ER.

Miss 376 said...

Made my eyes water,not sure if it was in sympathy or laughing at the description. Hope it passes very soon and you feel better

laurie said...

oh the more i read, the more i worried this was what it was. i'm so sorry. i hope it passes soon and isn't too bad. i have a friend who was at Mayo last week trying to find out how to prevent these (she is cursed with many and frequent). no almonds, spinach, and i can't remember what all. i'll send you the list of forbidden foods if you like.

Rudee said...

I don't know if it was all your well wishes, all the lemon water, cranberry & blood orange tea, gatorade, probiotics, luck or vicodin, but I feel so much better today.

I didn't try the beer because I didn't want to mix my poisons, but I'm stocked up and prepared to try if necessary.

Thanks for all your comments!

Rositta said...

Oh man, poor you. There is never a good time to have a kidney stone but Christmas has got to be the worst. I had one in my twenties and do remember how bad it was. I've also had a couple of cysto exams but my uro doc is young and handsome and there is no numbing injection, just a little spray of something that is pretty useless. A friend of mine had them last year and they had to stent the urethra. I feel so sorry for you and I hope it all comes out alright...ciao

Stephanie V said...

Coming late to this party of yours - internet service interrupt - and I find that it's all over. I'm so glad that it all turned out well. I remember a man in the next ER cubicle screeching - well, he was a man. - with his kidney stone. I was very glad that all I was trying to pass was a gall stone! That was enough for me.

Kathleen said...

SOOOOOOO glad to hear you're feeling better. What an ordeal, Rudee! I totally know what you mean about the pressure v pain thing. Passed a stone about 10 years ago, and lemme tell you, I drink A LOT of water still! Yep, worse than posterior presentation childbirth (had one of those, too). And the cystoscopy. Had one of those last year, too, thanks to benign hematuria that no one knew was benign before hand. Loads of fun, eh? "A little pinch now." Uh-huh, excuse me while I hyperventilate. At least the lidocaine had a chance to work for me. Whew! Did you keep the stone? Take it easy, k?

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