Monday, December 13, 2010

It's True, I DO Want a Bladder Infection

About two weeks ago, something felt a little off. Nothing I could put my finger on. I woke up one morning and noticed the slightest change--barely noticeable, much like the carefully shifting cylinders in a lock. Something was clicking in my body. A sensation of things falling into some kind of predisposed pattern. I felt something going on.

I shook it off. I'd been sick for quite some time at that point with a case of bronchitis that was lingering. I'd been on several different meds and I brushed my concerns away, blaming it on my body being out of whack.

But the uneasiness persisted.

I know my own body and I knew something felt off.

Last Friday, I noticed an uncomfortable sensation in my bladder and my pants felt uncomfortably tight. There was a dull ache in my kidneys. And there was some swelling in my left leg. My blood started running cold. They were all the same symptoms I had a year and a half ago. I tried to quiet my nerves, telling myself maybe it was just a UTI, a bladder infection, maybe a bladder infection that was creeping into my kidneys.

I couldn't help it. I started to cry. Just an infection, I prayed. Please. I want to have a bladder infection, nothing more.

I made myself go to work, but I called my primary care doctor's office the minute they opened. My own doctor is on maternity leave, but the doctor who has coordinated all of my care, fought with the insurance company and provided all of my referrals--he was there that day. In a shaking voice, I asked for the nurse. I got her voicemail and left her a message about my symptoms. I found myself trying to reassure her on the voicemail, saying I was sure it was just some early symptoms of a bladder infection. Could the doctor send me for labs and call in an antibiotic? Or would I have to come in for an appointment?

She called back a short time later. No appointment needed, they didn't want to waste time. Go straight to the hospital for labs and they'd call me with results as soon as they were in.

I went to the lab, peed in the cup and then just waited. I wanted to make them analyze it right that second, but I knew I'd have to wait. It takes a few days to culture and stain it. I spent a lot of time shopping and spending money on Christmas gifts this past weekend, trying to distract myself from the anxiety of waiting.

Today, the nurse called me at work. There is an infection. A raging infection. She was faxing the order for an antibiotic to the pharmacy as she was giving me the results, telling me that I needed a double course and then I'd have to repeat the labs because... She didn't finish. I waited for a heartbeat before asking, "An infection. And?"

There was a pause. Silence. Then she asked me when my next appointment is with Hottie Doc (my term for the good doctor, not hers). I swallowed hard. "First week in February for my next scheduled procedure. Do I need to get in sooner?"

She was very kind. She said not yet, they don't want to make me needlessly worry. For now, I need the antibiotics to clear up the infection. My body is doing nothing to fight it. I don't actually feel sick, I'm not running a fever, nothing. She told me to prepare to feel worse before I feel better. Fair enough. I can handle that. But the repeat labs? Is it just to make sure the infection is gone? Or is there something more?

Some cells, she said. Unusual, a little abnormal. No clear cancer cells, but some things the doctor wants checked after the infection is gone. If the results come back the same, we'll get you into the specialist sooner.

The cells popping up are identical to the cells that were passed in 2009. The same cells, the same symptoms, the same blood in my urine that landed me in Hottie Doc's office. Hottie Doc monitors me very closely and during the last two procedures, he's looked even closer for something, anything unusual. The blood popping up in my urine had him worried, but he couldn't find anything. He's been hoping it's nothing. I've been hoping it's nothing. He commented that my body is sensitive, so there might be something going on--something on a cellular level that they can't see yet. If there is something, it'll make itself known.

Right now, I'm hoping nothing is making itself known. I'm hoping I have just a bladder infection. A bladder infection would make me very happy right now.


Catherine said...

I'm sending you the Force. Although, to the untrained eye, it may look like I'm practicing to compete in tai chi in the Special Olympics. But I swear it's actually the Force!

Martha said...

Thank you for making me laugh! It sounds rather like dad doing his n'sync dance.

Margaret said...

Wait. Where did my hard-to-treat fungus comment go? That's what my neighbor hopes for when she's not feeling well and her cancer worries crop up.

Marylou Thomas said...

I do wish the same thing for you. I hope it's nothing serious and it's something that will just go away on its own or may be treated for a shorter period.

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