A couple of years ago, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I got really sick with the worst flu ever. Once I recovered and started eating and drinking again, there were some… symptoms.
My pee was funny; it smelled weird and looked weird. I attributed it to the fact that I hadn’t peed in four days because I was so damn dehydrated. I figured if I flushed my system, it would go away; a couple of days of drinking water and it did.
A couple of weeks later, I went over to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner. It was a particularly snowy year; K picked me up in her AWD vehicle, so I didn’t have to drive my car. We also dug my car out because it was buried deep.
After dinner, we went for a walk in a park through the snow. I started getting this strong abdominal pain; the pleasant walk became a death march for me.
I slept over at K’s house; the pain persisted through the night, but when I woke up, it was gone. That night for dinner, we had… you guessed it, leftovers. Yum!
Shortly after dinner, I developed the same abdominal pain.
I was certain it was indigestion; we attributed it to the stuffing: Uncle Barrence uses roughly 20x more poultry seasoning than most people. I was convinced I was simply experiencing a sage overdose.
Again, the following morning I woke up and the abdominal pain was gone. I went home; that night, I noticed the same change in urine. I thought I might have a bladder infection and I would see a doctor the following day.
I next morning, I woke up sick. Really sick. Really, really sick. I felt terrible. I had a lot of pain and needed a doctor fast. I went out to my car and it wouldn’t start. This car has always started for me; I was crushed.
I called a taxi and one didn’t show up for 45 minutes and then when he did show up he went in the opposite direction of where I told him to go. Fortunately, there was walk in doctor in that direction. Unfortunately, that walk in doctor was closed.
I walked to the Safeway so I could use one of those free taxi phones because I didn’t know the phone number by heart. An hour and a half after calling first the taxi, I finally got to a doctor.
The receptionist asked me why I was there. I told her I thought I had a bladder infection. Here, pee in this cup. I did and then I waited for the doctor. He came in and told me that my urinalysis came back negative and asked why I thought I had a bladder infection. I told him about the pain, the changes in urine and said I felt terrible. What kind of terrible? I’m nauseous, I’m lethargic and my back hurts. Your back hurts? Yes. Where? I showed him.
He started hitting me in the back: Does this hurt? YES! He started looking at the chart again. I looked at him questioningly. He said he just wanted to review the urinalysis again. But, no, there were no signs of infection. I was sitting there feeling miserable, wondering why he was wasting my time going over test results that he already said were negative. Either they’re negative or they’re not – get on with it!
Doctor: This is odd. You have no sign of a bladder, or urinary tract infection, but I think you have a kidney infection. It makes no sense; in order to get a kidney infection you have to have a UTI and you have to let it go untreated for weeks before it’ll move up to your kidneys.
Me: Maybe… I got the bladder infection weeks ago… after I got sick… and it moved up and now it’s in my kidneys???
Doctor: The infection would still be in your bladder, it would be throughout your entire urinary tract. Your urinalysis would be positive, really positive; the infection should be rampant. *shakes his head* Bizarre…. Almost no one gets a kidney infection without having a UTI first.
Almost no one? Like maybe 2% of the population? Sounds about right.
I’m a medical marvel.
Big thanks to my special guest animators: JArt and JCart for providing the illustrations.