So this is more of a venting blog than anything else. So be warned, I’m grippy! Doctors shouldn’t feel awkward.
I’ve been sick this past week. I have managed to live to 53 without experiencing a UTI. I have had irritational bladder issues after surgeries and childbirth. That burning feeling from having a catheter removed. Those kinds of things. Never was I diagnosed with a UTI. That streak ended this last Monday when I woke up to go through my usual morning routine. Most folks head straight to the toilet. I did just that. What happened next felt like the equivalent of eliminating acid. It was pretty clear there was something seriously wrong. Now, in these days of insurance woes, and me being self-insured, I usually avoid the doctor appointments as long as possible. So in my usual fashion, I waited until Wednesday to go to the doctor.
By the time I made it to the emergency clinic I was in pain that I can’t remember feeling in a long time. Urinating was a tearful event – no lie – actual tears, and a weak attempt at not screaming out loud in pain. Not to mention the blood, which is more than unsettling. I was also experiencing leg pain. This was weird to me and I didn’t make the connection. I thought I was sore from shifting in my chair at work and trying to hold my crotch off the chair. I was a mess from the waist down.
I go to the same emergency clinic when I need to do so. They are really efficient and I’ve never had a problem. They are always very nice and willing to stop and listen and help me figure out what is wrong, and they are also really good at keeping things as low cost as possible. This time was no different. For some reason, I was embarrassed to say I thought I had a UTI. I know that is silly. I didn’t want them to think I was dirty or didn’t take care of myself. I know that is stupid, but that is where I am right now. Everything is my fault and could be avoided if I … fill in the blank. So I replied, when asked what brought me into the clinic, I think I have a UTI? My voice lilted upwards in that childlike way. The triage nurse (a man) smiled and said well let’s see what we can do about that. He then preceded to say he had one and aside from kidney stones and his wife talking about childbirth, he couldn’t imagine anything worse. I felt a little better.
Vitals taken (yes, even the evil scale which has set me back a little), and the handoff of the cup for a sample. I almost cried at the thought of having to pee. I hadn’t gone all day because I didn’t want to. Everything was swollen and blocked and sore so not peeing seemed the better option. The gathering of the sample went ok. There were tears but I screamed into my sweater so hopefully, no one heard me.
The doctor came in and introduced himself. He didn’t shake my hand, but it’s flu season so that is fine. He turned his back to me and stared at the computer. He asked why I was there. I repeated, “I think I might have a UTI”. He turned around and said, “yes, your urine has blood in it. I’m giving you Bactrum.” OK, so he was giving me an antibiotic which made me feel wonderful. That would mean relief would be on its way. I asked if there was anything he could give me for the pain. (I honestly didn’t know). He simply said, “No”. He didn’t even look up from the computer. This bothered me but to be honest, I was in a lot of pain and pretty irritable. I started explaining my symptoms. I was getting into detail because, well, I have never had one of these and I want to make sure that everything happening to my body was due to this UTI and that the medicine he is giving will take care of it. He seemed extremely uncomfortable. I was using medical terms because he was a doctor. I didn’t talk about my pussy, I talked about the swelling, the difficulty in urinating. He got awkward and I think he almost blushed. He didn’t want to have a conversation and seemed to not get me out of there fast enough. Fine, whatever, I have my medicine and I can go home and start to feel better.
I cross the street to Walgreens. The pharmacists assistant was amazing. Walked me right over to the section that had Azo, a urinary tract pain medicine. She explained there was a prescription that was a little stronger but to try this first because it is all natural. There is a prescription? Funny, the Doctor didn’t know about it. I thank her, and limp home to crawl into bed.
Friday, two days later, I am not feeling any better at all. Still painful to pee, still swollen and my legs feel like I have just run a marathon. (Not that I have any idea what that feels like I imagine its pretty painful). So, uncharacteristically, back tot he clinic I go. I called first and they said to come in and they would take another sample. Frustrated that I couldn’t just get more antibiotics I dragged myself back to the clinic.
Same doctor. Damn it! I was hoping for someone different that wouldn’t be embarrassed about talking about my issues. He walks in and pretty much does the exact same thing he did on Wednesday. So, maybe it was pissing razor blades and acid all week, and maybe it was because I was tired and cranky, but I took a different approach.
“I am pretty sure this UTI is going to ruin any chance I have of ever having sex again. I am swollen, irritated, and I can piss. When I do muster the courage to attempt to pee, I have to push to get the urine out, with the force I would use if I were constipated. This is not a good feeling. I still don’t pee as much as I should. It is painful. I don’t like not being able to pee, and I am really going to be disappointed if I can never have sex again.”
He looked at me, paused, turned back to the computer and printed out my scripts.
I know some men are awkward about talking about female issues. But when you are a doctor, you have to find a comfort level when you deal with female patients. I gave the benefit of the doubt the first meeting. Okay, maybe I was a little harsh, (couldn’t have been worse, I thought I was taking it easy on him), but his job is to be able to talk and communicate with his patients so he has a real account of what is going on. I got more support from Maxine, the pharmacist assistant! I did ask him about the prescription strength Azo and he gave it to me. When I went back to Walgreens, Maxine told me to google a coupon for it to get half off the price. I love Maxine!
Bottom line and the random point is, talking about body parts opposite of your own when you are a doctor is something you just need to get over!
Final diagnosis, bladder infection, UTI, and Kidney infection. New antibiotic started yesterday, hopefully, things will start getting better. While I really do hope to have sex again someday, I’d also like to pee without crying.