A Very Special Anniversary Gift

Heaven preserve us from really good doctors…

What am I going on about, you ask? Isn’t having a good doctor a good thing? Well, most of the time it is. But sometimes meeting a good doctor who doesn’t know you can lead to situations that can best be described as “interesting.”

Those of you who’ve read my book know that one of the side effects I’ve experienced from the Biologics is bladder spasms, likely aggravated by fibromyalgia. And if you thought that’s TMI, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Essentially, it feels like I’m brewing a UTI at all times. Not actually the full-fledged version, but that background irritable muttering that is so often the sign that a dose of antibiotics is in your near future. I’ve learned to manage it, most of which means filtering out the persistent whingeing from my nether regions. Much like I suspect mothers of teenage girls learn to filter out 80% of what comes out of their child’s mouth. That is, until the whingeing — of my nether region, not the teen — develops into something a bit more insistent, going from the usual irritation to the unmistakable symptoms of a bladder infection. Once you’ve had a bladder infection, you know the signs.

Last Monday evening, such signs appeared. I did what I usually do: Peed in a cup and went to see my doctor. As she was away that week, the nurse did the initial test which showed that yes, there were some signs of an infection, so we send it in for culture. She then had me see another doctor in the practice, because thems the rules. If I wasn’t already permanently attached to my own wonderful family doctor, this is the one I would choose. She’s a very good doctor and also has a terrific and empowering way of connecting with patients. We had a very short conversation, in which she reminded me to drink a lot of water and I went home to do just that. And also to visit the washroom a lot. It is a particularly perverse fact of UTIs that just as you need to consume lots of water to rinse out your system, your bladder can’t hold any of it.

The very next morning, I get a phone call from Wonderful Doctor #2. She tells me that the culture is negative and we have a chat about whether I should trust my symptoms, which have already been helped somewhat by the antibiotics, or the test. She asks insightful questions that could lead to an alternate diagnosis, but I have none of the symptoms. She suggests that perhaps I might have interstitial cystitis, saying it can be common with chronic pain syndrome. However, she does feel it’s important to rule out one more thing.

And this is when she tells me I’m going to be tested for chlamydia. (This may also be the point where my blog loses any family rating it may have had)

I wonder about the dormancy rate of this particular STD, as I have been in a monogamous relationship for five years. Quite exactly 5 years, as The Boy and I celebrate our anniversary today. She thinks we should proceed, just the same.

And I understand, I really do. I’m sure there are tons of people out there who believe they are in a monogamous relationship, yet find themselves with unwelcome visitors and it wasn’t from sitting on the seat in a public washroom. But not only are The Boy and I still head over heels for each other in what could be to others a quite nauseating fashion, he also isn’t fully joking when he claims he can’t keep up with me. 

In general, people. That wasn’t a specific remark about our sex life.

Anyway! I went to the lab where a male lab tech gave me very specific instructions on how to perform this type of urine test. Biting down the impulse to tell him that this was just to exclude a particular condition that no one really believed I had, I listened closely. Not one drop could escape the cup and you have to fill it up to a space between two lines, approximately 8 millimetres apart.

Oh, sure. May I introduce myself? My name is Lene. I have a disability that renders me physically incapable of doing this test. I do have attendants, but even so. It’s just not going to happen successfully. I took the supplies, threw them out when I came home and finished “ the course of antibiotics, which dealt nicely with the problem.

And then I naturally called The Boy:

Me: “it’s all your fault.”
The Boy: “what did I do now?”
Me: “you gave me chlamydia!”

And then we laughed for a really long time. It’s become our go-to joke.

Happy anniversary, my love!



Wren said…
What a fantastic photo of you both! Happy Anniversary, Lene and Boy!

This may also be TMI, but it's worth passing along, I think. My elderly mom has frequent UTIs--and frequent false alarms. The other day we saw her nurse-practitioner, who suggested that the false alarms might actually be caused by incomplete bladder emptying. When retained urine sits in the bladder for any length of time, it can cause irritation (and often, eventual infection). She gave mom some advice on how to fix that problem, and she's now giving it a try. She was astonished to discover that she was, indeed, retaining urine without being aware of it. Seems the bladder can develop a fold...

Anyhoo. If you'd like more TMI, Lene, email me. I'll be glad to share. ;o)
Bonnie said…
Happy anniversary! I think the Boy should give you a really nice present. You know, NOT chlamydia.
AlisonH said…
You two are adorable. Happy Anniversary!
Carrie Beth said…
Happy Anniversary!! And on a similar note, I asked my OB/GYN a few years back whether I still had the possibility of getting pregnant with all the heavy medications I have taken since college. She said she would do some tests, like hormone checks, etc and let me know the results. A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail for my test results. Needless to say when I opened the letter and saw the words syphilis and chlamydia in large print I almost passed out. Thankfully the words next to them were "negative" but I quickly gave a phone call to my doctor and told her I almost became a cardiac patient because I had no idea she was testing me for STDs. I then found out it's common practice for fertility panels but she'd make sure to let other patients know so they didn't freak out like I did. I mean seriously, when you get a letter for labs with the word syphilis in it, it's an eye opener!
Anonymous said…
What a funny, touching, sweet post !!! Thanks for bringing us all a gentle smile today !!!
Leslie said…
I love this post. Happy anniversary. Isn't it great that through all the serious stuff, we sometimes get a good laugh?
Anonymous said…
Happy anniversary, indeed! Sometimes you just have to use common sense. Wonderful pic. Thanks for the great post and the laugh.
LynnM said…
How funny, and Happy Anniversary! And I'm with you in spirit, er, somewhat. The border collie is being treated for a UTI. Yup, had to get a urine sample from the dog (and it was 4:50am and still dark when she decided to give it!) Along with the twice a day antibiotics-- which she obligingly takes unlike a cat-- I'm brewing her parsley tea. She takes hers with chicken.
Cindy said…
Unrelated to anything but found this today and thought you might find it interesting.


Aubrey Holloway said…
This is one problem when the doctor has no prior background with the patient. That being said, I think Doctor #2 was just closing out all of the bases to make sure he gets the correct diagnosis. I'm sure your original doctor must have ruled out Chlamydia, so this should just have been a misunderstanding.

Aubrey Holloway @ Primary Care Associates
Alice said…
Happy anniversary! This is just so adorable and hilarious. Regardless on how bad the situation is, LAUGHTER is still the best medicine. Thanks for sharing your story.