Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Correct Diagnosis

I had a bladder infection last week, which meant a trip to the doctor's office with all three children in tow.  Not looking forward to sitting in a waiting room full of sick people with the kids, I opted to make an appointment at the Walgreen's Pharmacy Walk In Clinic.  I alerted the children to our afternoon activity while they were eating lunch.  Tyler, age 5, was immediately concerned that I was going to have to get a shot.  Not wanting to upset him, I informed him that more than likely I would just have to pee in a cup at the doctor's office.  I realized my mistake the second the words were out of my mouth and his little eyes lit up like Christmas morning.  Five year old boys are obsessed with bodily fluids and bodily functions.  Up to this point, he was blissfully unaware that urine could be placed in a cup for medical purposes.  Knowledge is powerful in the hands of a 5 year old, so I was asked a series of follow up questions:

Tyler: Does the pee come out of your Pa-Gina?
Me: Yes.
Tyler: How do you get it in the cup?
Colin (age 8, also obsessed with bodily fluids): Does it require a special contraption?
Me: You just pee in a cup.  It's really not that exciting.
Tyler: Do you pee all over your hand when you do it?
Me: Sometimes, I guess.

At this point, the conversation came to an abrupt halt because the baby required a new, less fragrant diaper.  Once the baby smelled better, I loaded the children up and headed to the doctor's office.  I noticed that Tyler had a particularly thoughtful look on his face as I was securing him in his seat.  As soon as I put the van in drive, he asked, "Mom, have you ever pooped in a cup?"  At this point I knew we were headed down a dangerous path.  I had to be very careful how I answered this question unless I wanted to walk into the bathroom one day and find a cup full of poop sitting on the counter.  I considered my answer carefully before informing him that, while I'd never pooped in a cup, sometimes doctors did take stool samples from people.  I then told him that I was pretty sure they only did it in hospitals and that I thought it was really painful. Thankfully, silence ensued for the remainder of our journey.

We arrived at Walgreens, and I went up to the kiosk to check myself in via the automated system at the check in counter.  As it turns out, there is also a phone next to the computer for people who need assistance checking in.  This phone also has a button, that when pushed, turns on the store's intercom system.  I'd been to this particular clinic at least 6 times, and I never knew such a button existed.  I was alerted to its existence when I heard Tyler and Colin's voices broadcast throughout the store.  Interestingly enough, the button that turns on the intercom is not the same button that turns it off.  I managed to shut the intercom off and instructed the boys to go find a seat before I killed them.  I finished checking in and turned around to discover three empty chairs where the kids were supposed to be sitting.  Apparently I hadn't been explicit enough in my directions because I found them moments later sitting underneath the chairs.  Deciding that there were worse things they could be doing, I ignored them.

Thankfully,3 we were called back into the exam room a few minutes later.  The doctor listened to my symptoms, did all the normal doctor stuff, and asked if I'd mind providing her with a urine sample.  She handed me a wipe, a cup, a brown bag, their attempt at discretion, and offered to watch the kids while I went potty.  Tyler, not wanting to miss the moment he'd been waiting for all day, refused to stay.  Annabelle also insisted on accompanying me.

We made it into the bathroom, and I managed to collect a sample despite the fact that my efforts were being closely monitored and inspected.  I put the lid on the cup and put it in the bag.  My attempt to exit the restroom was blocked when Annabelle held out her little hand and demanded to carry the bag.  The last thing I wanted to do was walk back to the exam room holding a bag of my urine while Annabelle screamed bloody murder, so I handed her the bag.  She carried it back to the exam room with a look on her face that clearly indicated she thought she'd been handed something far more valuable than a bag filled with pee.

Once back, the doctor confirmed I had a bladder infection and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and one to ease my discomfort.  As we were walking out the door, she told Tyler, "Hey buddy one of those pills will turn your mom's pee orange."  As I walked past her, she winked and said, "I bet its at least a week before you get to go pee without an audience."  I don't think I've ever received a more accurate diagnosis in my entire life.


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