I had a good run with the no-pain thing. Thirteen, fourteen months? In mid-October I started to feel little flits of something in my left side, but work was so busy that I kept myself running and ignored it when I could. Then around the start of November the dull ache returned. Off and on, nothing more than a bruised feeling, until about a week ago when it increased to some real pain. It’s still nowhere near where it was at the start of 2013, but it’s back to what it had been for the two years prior to that – on-again, off-again aching with the occasional sharp twist that takes up my left side and exhausts me.
I had a follow-up with my urologist scheduled for September, which they cancelled (by letter—who does that?). I rescheduled for this past Thursday. Very much like my first appointment with him, my urologist was dismissive.
“Kidney stone pain is constant. If it was a stone you wouldn’t be feeling it here and there.”
“Well, could it be an infection?”
“If it was an infection you’d have other symptoms.” Which I don’t. Just the pain. Which is true of the last time I had an infection in August 2013.
Literally could have just cloned his response from my first appointment. It’s not your kidneys. And what happened following that first appointment? He did further testing and discovered ten kidney stones—four on the left, six on the right—one of which was sitting right over the highly-situated, problematically-narrow opening in my left kidney causing on-again, off-again blockages thus my on-again, off-again pain.
And yet here I am, still with a dull ache in my side.
He sent my labs out for further testing since their in-house labs were inconclusive re: infection. I had the results of those labs in my online system yesterday morning. When I got out of work I called the doctor’s office, because I had some pretty significant pains through my side yesterday and knowing my history and being very thorough about understanding my own test results (I’ve armed myself with knowledge to the point that I’ve had several nurses and doctors ask if I’m a med student), it looks like—hey, I was right—there is an infection there.
“It takes 48 hours for us to get lab results, so we will have them for you on Monday.”
“They’re already in my file, though.”
“We won’t have them until Monday.”
So I get to spend an additional 72 hours with a possible infection because this doctor’s office is not up to speed with electronic systems and I can’t impart my own lab results to them.
I don’t understand the medical community. For the record, in my poetry workshop this past semester I wrote a comical free verse poem called, “My Urologist is a Prick.” It will win no awards, but it keeps me amused.
On a high note, I was in and out of my ultrasound and follow-up with my urologist faster than I’ve ever been called from the waiting room.