When I was a kid, I didn’t care if I was sick. It was simply the way it was. If I had a fever, I kicked the covers off. Runny nose? A haphazard swipe with the long-sleeve temporarily took care of the problem. I didn’t seek out help or care.
My mom had to pay detailed attention. “How long have you had ‘that’?” She interrogated me, referring to the pussy wound I’d gotten falling on rough asphalt. Several layers of skin had been pared away from my knee. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I had hoped it would go away. “You’re limping!” My mom would exclaim.
Same thing with a fever. “You have a temperature,” she’d sigh as she pulled the thermometer out of my mouth. I’d sit and shrug. What was I to do?
Fast forward to 2007. I’m a zinc-sucking, pseudoephedrine-popping, Neosporin-applying fiend. If I’m sick, give me something! This weekend was no different. In addition to a cough and cold, I had another health issue.
I’ve had them before: urinary tract infections. You have this awful feeling of always wanting to go to the bathroom, but when you go, only a few drops come out. And it’s tainted with blood.
I called my friend, a gynecologist. I had recently transferred my records over to her care after she started with Kaiser following her UCSF residency. I couldn’t have timed it better. This is my college roommate. The same girl who watched TV all day long, but easily managed to make Phi Beta Kappa. She knows her shit and I trust her. You can’t go wrong with her credentials.
“I have a UTI. I need you to call in antibiotics to the main pharmacy STAT.” She asked me a few questions, then said she was prescribing me antibiotics plus something for the pain. She said something about urine discoloration. The pharmacist reiterated ‘discoloration’ when I picked up the drugs.
A few hours later, after dinner, I let out a gasp when I looked at the toilet. My pee was neon orange–the same color as orange Pine Sol. I wish someone had told me my pee would turn this color. I could have prepared myself. Does everyone’s urine turn bright orange, or is there a unique neon hue for every individual? I ponder this whenever I flush the Pine Sol away. I’m just happy the Pine Sol meds are doing their job of disinfecting.