Friday, August 24, 2012

You Should Know

Most of the time I try to steer my blogging conversation toward subjects that I think might be interesting to others, i.e. subjects other than me. But if the occasion arises to share a lesson learned, even if it involves me, I’ll do it.

It was last Saturday morning. About five in the morning. I stumbled out of bed and lurched straight toward the toilet. I raised the toilet lid and proceeded to urinate. At least I tried to urinate. The feeble stream of urine barely made a splash. I knew I really had to go so I impatiently tightened or loosened or whatever one does to whatever muscles to get down to some manly peeing. That was a mistake.

I want to say that it felt like hot razor blades prevented me from peeing. Maybe it was more like hot razor blades coated in acid sitting on a bed of fiery red coals. And a few drops of urine dribbled.

I leaned forward with my hand on the wall behind the toilet and gasped for breath. I tried to think it through. What? Why? What was I to do?

It was early Saturday morning. The time of no doctors.

So I plopped at my compute clinching my gut because I still had to pee but couldn’t and figured ‘this is a hell of a fix’. Impatiently my fingers fumbled across the keyboard until I found Google. We all know the source of all knowledge is the internet – so I needed to tap into that knowledge. Before I could conjure up the right phrase to search for, I needed to make another lurching dash to the toilet. I really had to pee. I gritted my teeth and pushed forward, and too my horror (and my pain), my few dribbles had blood in it.  I did the best I could in front of the toilet and rushed back to the computer.

‘Painful Urination with Blood’, I typed into Google.

After surveying three articles I concluded that I a kidney stone had lodged in my urinary track and the roughness of the stone had scratched the wall of my urinary track thus causing the blood. With this new found knowledge I marched back to the toilet. With determination I planned on peeing hard enough to pass the stone and solve my problem.

Wrong strategy.

I cried out in agony as I got a crimson stream of blood for my effort.

I woke my wife up and explained my distress. What to do. Who to call. We finally concluded that I needed to go to the emergency room. But I demurred. I did not want to go to a crowded emergency room and have to wait to be triaged. I needed to see someone right then.

Then we remembered a standalone 24-hour emergency building that wasn’t part of a hospital and that always seemed empty.

I jumped in the car and rushed to it. They admitted me right away.

The doctor came in and asked what the problem was. I told him that I had a kidney stone lodged in my urinary track that had scraped the walls of the urinary track which made me pee blood and it hurt like hell. The doctor nodded knowingly and asked it I had any back or abdomen pain. I told him no. He then asked for my symptoms, rather than my diagnosis. I told him about the acid hot razor blades (except I also threw in something about a fire breathing Beelzebub) and my crimson red urine. The doctor nodded knowingly again and said, “I think you have an infection. I need to get a urine sample”.

I think I was abrupt what I barked, “Urine sample. Did you hear me. I can’t pee. I gotta’ pee and can’t do it!”

He calmly replied, “We only need a couple of tablespoons of urine.”

I took the little cup to the bathroom and gave him his two tablespoons worth. I was tempted to yell out in agony just to emphasis my point – but I figured that I shouldn’t overdo it.

So I waited in the little room sitting on the edge of that hospital bed for thirty minutes. Then a nurse came in with a needle and two bottles. I asked what it was she was going to shoot me with. She said that it was a powerful antibiotic and some Lidocane (I guess that’s how you spell it) to make the shot not hurt so much. After she jabbed me in the butt with it the doctor came in and said that I had a high white blood cell count which points to an infection. He gave me a prescription to take 100mg of something twice a day. He also gave me the name of an Urologist to see.

Before I left, I went to the restroom again. To my relief, I could urinate a little better.

I took my prescription, and I got better and better. The blood stopped Saturday afternoon. By Sunday, I was almost back to normal as long as I didn’t try to push my urine through too hard. By Monday morning all the pain was gone.

I saw the Urologist on Wednesday and told him my tale of woe. He asked me a lot about any medicines I had been taking, both prescription and over-the-counter. I gave me an exam and checked my prostrate and then sent me to the restroom to urinate, then had a nurse give me a sonogram to see if any urine remained in my bladder. There was.

The doctor then started talking about inserting a camera into me so he could see if there was any problems in my urinary track or bladder. I asked him exactly how this camera was to be inserted. He said through my penis. I jerked back and told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t going to stick an alien probe into my dick! I needed to know Plan B. He laughed and then scheduled me for a CAT Scan. He wanted to find out if something else was going on. It seems that bleeding while urinating is not a normal thing for a guy.

This morning at eight o’clock I was sitting in the imaging place drinking two big containers of…I think it was barium. The taste reminds me of Milk of Magnesia. The first container wasn’t so bad. The second was a killer….I counted down the sips remaining and had to keep telling myself I could do it. I did. Without throwing up or anything.

Then after I sat around for twenty minutes and they called me back to where the donut machine was. Then he connected a IV to me to feed in some kind of iodine stuff into my bloodstream. Then he zipped me back and forth through the donut a few times, and that was it.

So now, here I sit. I can urinate with ease and have been zapped by the big machine. I now have an appointment back with the Urologist to on September 6th to review the results. Presumably if there is something bad they will call me in early.

The lesson I want to share with you. Oh yeah.

The internet is not the source of all knowledge. 


  1. Yep. My son finds, when he searches the Internet with his symptoms, that he a) has cancer, b) is pregnant, and c) is dead. I don't search the Internet for questions like that. I just don't trust myself enough to be my own body plumber. Now when one needs to learn how to insert a left handed widget into a counter-bored flange adapter, the Internet is the bomb.

  2. Ouch!
    I'm really sorry you had to go through that. It sure doesn't sound like any fun at all...
    I went to the doctor a few years ago because (after consulting the internet), I KNEW I had chlamydia! After taking the appropriate tests, my doctor walked back into the exam room laughing. He said "there is nothing wrong with you and I have two bits of advice for you."
    1. Go directly home and clear your browser.
    2. Don't EVER use the internet to try and diagnosis yourself again.

  3. Poor fellow. That was a really bad trip. Actually that camera thingy isn't so bad. It sounds much worse than it is. It really is tiny and I have had about 30 of the proceedures over the years. For a female, it is easy peasy. Thankfully it sounds like the problem was found and cured. Hopefully the results of the scan will prove that. Let us know.
    I also tend to let my computer do the diagnosis for me. I ususlly find it comforting that SO MAMY people have the same problem I have and I usually pick the least noxious ailment to be mine.

  4. Oh Jerry, you have had a time of it lately, haven't you? Yes, I would agree - stay away from Google when it comes to diagnosing yourself.

  5. When I started reading this, my first thought was kidney stones too. So in your place I'd have made the same wrong assumption, even without Google. I'm glad it's not, and I'm glad that you have a doctor who's taking all the precautions. Healing healthy vibes.

  6. Yes, I was thinking Kidney Stone too. (I've had several of them). How great to have a 24-hour emergency building nearby.

  7. I thought kidney stones too. I've had lots of urinary tract infections over the years, though, and they are hell. Not being able to go when you really really need to is the worst!

    I hope everything comes back clear and that it was just the infection causing you the trouble after all. You may have to cut back on the coffee. :(

  8. Ahhhhh, Je-suz! My wife has had numerous kidney stones. Considering what she's been through, if I ever get will be a choice between the pistol or the bottle.

    I really, really hope you're feeling better, Jerry.

  9. Oooohhh my LORD!! That sounds horrible!! I'm glad you're able to go easier, and hope everything shows up clear...I will definitely keep you in my prayers!! Mr. Lockridge is right, my boss is a little bit of a hypochondriac sometimes and goes on the internet and finds the same thing - cancer, pregnancy or death... LOL She seems to be getting better about just going to the doctor now :) However like he also said, it did help me fix my dryer AND washing machine! :)) Anyway you are awesome and I hope you feel better 100% soon!

  10. I'm sorry about your poor bladder. I'm glad you were very specific in your Google search! Googled body parts (especially those you mention in your post) can yield some 'scary' results! Please be all better soon. By the way--drink distilled water! It should keep you from ever getting kidney stones.

  11. I feel so sorry for you. My husband had a similar problem and went straight to the internet for answers. I suggested to go to the hospital but what do I know? After spending hours at the emergency room all we got was an appointment with an urologist in a few days. Hopefully he'll be able to tell us more and we can stop worrying. J.B. thanks for the tip about drinking distilled water. I never knew that could help prevent kidney stones.