My Bladder and Me: The Second Visit to the Urologist

My appointment was for 10:30 so I’d let my boss and her secretary know I wouldn’t be coming in until after it was over. I hadn’t counted on everything though.

I’m like one of my co-workers who likes to allow plenty of time to get somewhere and I ended up at the office ‘way early. I signed in, and, after the person at the window made sure of who I am, she had me sign a form consenting to today’s procedure(s). It was pretty much standard but I scanned it, anyway. I was to have dilation, a scope and possibly a biopsy. I understood there could be complications including a resulting infection, etc., etc. I didn’t see it mention death anywhere so I signed. I told her that I no longer have Medicare Part B, wrote a check for $50 and sat down to wait. Being always prepared, I pulled out my netbook and started blogging.

You can read about my waiting room instruction on my weekly blog post after I publish it Saturday night.

The nurse came and called me back. She asked if I could empty my bladder. Could I empty my bladder??! Problem is, I can do that just about any time and that’s why I was there. I went into the bathroom and did as instructed.

She had told me to go into the last room straight ahead and when I got there, it looked ominous. A small autoclave sat on one counter of the larger-than-the-last-time room and instruments that looked like they were for medieval torture were precisely laid out. A spotlight on an adjustable arm sat next to the wall and the exam table was another one of Those That Humble Women. There were a couple of chairs—do some people bring observers?—so I sat down on one of them and pulled out my netbook. I’d just awakened it from standby when the doctor walked in.

He commented on my computing and I told him what I’d been doing in the waiting room. He wasn’t aware there was guest access in the building. I told him it didn’t reach back where we were. As a matter of fact, the strength is very low in the front.

Not wasting any time, he told me to strip from the waist down (he said it more nicely), cover with the paper sheet and sit on the table. He’d be back with the nurse and we’d get started. I told him the lubricant from before had been irritating but he said the only kind he would be using was what would numb me.

I’d barely had time to do what I had to do and seat myself when they knocked and walked in the door.

Moving efficiently, they prepared the Instruments of Torture. The nurse pulled the spotlight over where I would be the center of attention. Before he could scope me, the doctor had to dilate my urethra and before he could do that, everything had to be cleaned. I appreciated his appreciation of cleanliness. The nurse hung a bag of fluid on an IV pole and I wondered if I would have an IV, as well, but it was for the scope.

Taking a bottle of Betadine, he thoroughly swabbed my exposed parts. Then he put some gel into a syringe and explained that it was to numb my tender region. Inserting it, he emptied the syringe.

He picked up the first of the Instruments of Torture and said that he would begin dilating me. It didn’t hurt at first but then it began hurting a little bit as he was inserting it farther. He pulled it out and picked up one that had a larger circumference. That one hurt worse. I guess the look on my face gave me away because he said he needed to do one more larger one and would I be able to withstand the pain. I told him I would. That one didn’t hurt quite as much as the second but it isn’t something I’d want to do for fun.

He hooked the tube from the IV to the scope after he’d cleaned said scope thoroughly. When he inserted it, I felt nothing. He looked around briefly and then pulled it out. He said that my bladder looks fine but the urethra shows signs of chronic cystitis and that’s what causes my frequency. Since the opening to the bladder was (past tense) so small, it didn’t empty completely and that allowed bacteria to build up. He wanted me to take an antibiotic. I asked him if there were any way around that. He said we could treat the symptoms. Well, I don’t like treating the symptoms so I agreed to the first antibiotic I’ve had in five years.

When he left the room, the nurse told me she was going to clean up while I got dressed but she would keep her back to me. I told her she’d seen everything and she agreed. She said she was nervous the first time she assisted but now it’s no big deal. I wiped up as best I could and got dressed. She’d warned me about the Betadine but I knew what to expect. I thought.

I stopped by the restroom on my way to make my next appointment and when I wiped, I found that the pee had turned the Betadine black. That was interesting.

The lady at the desk and I agreed on a date and time a little over a month away and I left.

I hadn’t intended to go to Wally World but I hadn’t known I’d have a prescription to fill. I turned right and went clear to the other end of town. It’s quite a little distance.

The prescription counter was my first stop. I asked the woman if there were a generic for the medication and she said yes. I told her that’s what I preferred. She took my birth date and told me to give them about 45 minutes. I shopped to kill time. At least I only bought good whole fresh food except for a bag of frozen mixed fruit. Oh, I got Twinkle a new stainless steel food bowl, too.

I was glad I got back to the pharmacy a little early. There was a long line. Finally, after many many minutes, it was my turn. The woman couldn’t find my prescription. She searched and searched and came back with it only to find it was someone else’s. Back to Square One, she went through a couple more bins and there it was. She said, “It was in the last place I looked!” As my mother would have said, why would you look after that?

Signing for the prescription, I told the woman I’d pay for it with my other purchases. Not so fast. The pharmacist wanted to talk to me. She called him and he came over. He was pleasant, tall, bald and nice-looking. He said, “Tell him he needs to take this twice a day for a week and then once a day for the rest of the month. Oh, and tell him his urine can be either blue or green.” I said, “It’s me.” He looked puzzled and I said, “I’m Tommie.” He backed up a little and said, “Your water may turn blue or green.” I don’t know why a male has urine but I have water but, okay. He told me to take it with food and wanted to know if I had any questions. I asked what when he would suggest I take it and he said breakfast and supper for a week and then breakfast only. He said the breakfast dose would be flushed out of my system by my intake through the day. He handed me the bag and I put it in the cart.

I went to check out. I had to wait in line AGAIN but that particular WW is very busy. When everything had been rung up, I was given the total and I about fell over. I asked what was so expensive and the cashier said she was wondering the same thing and looked at the sales slip. It was my prescription. Almost $64 had pushed the total ‘way up there. I had already scanned my credit card so she told me to take it to the pharmacy and ask about it.

Going back to the pharmacy, I pushed the buggy with the load of bagged groceries. I didn’t know if I should or not but I wasn’t going to leave them behind and I’d parked in the back 40. There was another line so I went to the consultation window. After what seemed like half an hour (I know it wasn’t but I was getting tired of that WW by then) I asked one of the girls if I could speak to the pharmacist. She said to go to the other consultation window. I had met with him at the one I was at but I obeyed.

The pharmacist came over and I told him I’d asked for generic but this was almost $64. I told him I wanted to put it on my Blue Cross card. It was no problem. He credited my credit card and “filled” the prescription. One of the girls would take care of the rest. She was going to have me sign for it again and then stopped and said I wouldn’t have to and I was good to go. I told her I needed to pay the copay. She laughed and said she guessed so. It was $10. A far cry from $64. Later on, I looked at the slip and it is the generic but it isn’t on WW’s list for $4 prescriptions. I’d hate to see the price for the name brand. As it is, it’s over $1.50 per capsule.

Settling into the car, I knew the last place I wanted to go was to work. For a wonder, I got a signal for my cell phone and called to let them know I was coming home. The registrar wanted to know how my appointment went. I told her it was fine but the prescription mess about had me wrung out. Guess my patience had worn thin.

A big mistake. I failed to let them know I don’t care if my child gets into my meds so I got the “takes a world class body builder to get into the container” container but I’ve taken my first capsule. My pee isn’t blue or green yet but I guess it hasn’t been long enough. I do know it hurts like the dickens, though. Not as much as after I’d worn the Foley catheter for all that time following the incident with DS1’s birth but bad enough. According to what I’ve read, I can expect it for several days. Mercy! At least it only hurts when I go.

I posted a short message about my experience on the forum and Shari is advising me to take PRObiotics which doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I’m going to call the only health food store in the area to see if they carry them. I’ll have to leave work early if they do but maybe my boss will say okay.

DS1 called me this afternoon and wanted to know where I’d been. He’d called the hospital several times. I told him I’d been to the urologist. His reaction? “FINALLY!” I told him this was my second visit. Now we all get to hide and watch and see what happens.

Postscript: I wrote this last night while everything was still fresh on my mind (aren’t you glad?!). Since then, I haven’t noticed my pee is a different color but when I flush, the porcelain is lightly stained. The pain is somewhat abated. Frequency is still there because my urethra is swollen and it’s hard to empty my bladder. However, I am hoping that will go away and I can average longer than an hour and a half between trips. My longest reprieve last night was two and a half hours. Fortunately, I went right back to sleep after every visit. I don’t usually wear a panty liner to bed but I did last night so I wouldn’t stain the sheet. I guess I’ll be doing that for a while.

After work, I went over the mountain and got a bottle of probiotics to the tune of $40+. (The place closed an hour later than I had thought.) I got home too late to take a capsule since it’s supposed to be taken between meals. It was time to eat so I could take my antibiotic. I’ll have to take a probiotic capsule to work with me tomorrow. BTW, I looked up the average price of the name brand antibiotic and, for 40 capsules, it is over $127.

4 Responses to My Bladder and Me: The Second Visit to the Urologist

  1. Mary Jane March 5, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    I cringed all the way through!

  2. Lila March 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Tommie, I laughed at your “Those That Humble Women” line, but how true that is! I know it was not a fun experience, but how great that you are getting the help you need.

    • Tommie March 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      It had to be invented by a man, eh?

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