How do I put this, pleasantly?
I had been experiencing some pain when I would ‘go’ since about Wednesday night. When I finally told my wife about it on Saturday morning she encouraged me to go see a doctor. So, I drove to the local Minute Clinic only to be greeted by a very friendly, but completely helpless, young lady who informed me that they were closed. Apparently it’s cheaper to pay someone than to put up a sign (your insurance dollars at work). Next, I drove twenty miles south to the next Minute Clinic. They were open… but don’t screen men for UTI. Much angrier now, I drove to yet another clinic (thankfully, a mere four blocks away). They were open. They do see men. They accept my insurance! Bingo.
Long story short: it wasn’t a UTI. It was urethritis. Do you know how they screen a person for urethritis? I’ll tell you what they do. They take a small cotton swab and shove it up your urethra (that’s the hole at the end in case you were wondering). Now, they can’t actually lubricate this swab because that might adversely affect the lab results; so it goes up dry. Then they twist it. Then they hold it there for about a minute and make small talk (“nice weather, huh? You do much hunting? What were your plans today… beside this, I mean?”). I would have divulged any information he wanted. Name, rank, serial number, launch codes, location of the rebel base, anything to make it stop. When the Q and A does finally come to an end the doctor unceremoniously yanks the Q-tip from your urethra. You might ask, was that painful? The doctor actually asked me if I was going to pass out.
Now for the best part! After having an extremely sensitive tip of my body jabbed at they asked me for a ‘sample’. But the Doctor couldn’t find any cups in the room so he walked me around, all bow-legged, on a little tour of the southern wing of the clinic. At long last we found the cups – in the bathroom of all places! There he left me to build up some courage. I’m nearly 35 years old and I have no problem admitting: I was afraid to pee. It was a sensation unlike anything I have ever felt or would ever like to feel again. The room went completely white and, for a moment, I thought I had gone blind. It stung so bad – I wouldn’t have been surprised if the lab results indicated pure lemon juice. I’m pretty sure I overheard some nurses down the hall questioning if there was, in fact, a birthing ward somewhere in the clinic.
The walk back to the room was awkward and humbling – me, with my little sample cup. At this point it occurred to me that the cup is actually a very odd size. Far too small to hold ‘everything’ but much too large to cleverly conceal while walking down a busy hallway. I assure you: attempting to hide the cup results in you looking not unlike a palsy patient.
Upon returning to the room the Doctor explained to me that urethritis is typically caused by chlamydia. I assure him that I don’t live a lifestyle that would result in me contracting any STDs and he tells me that women can carry it for years without infecting anyone else. Awkward pause. Did he just insinuate something about my wife?! Once the lab results indicated a “non-specific urethritis” (meaning, test results are negative) the Doctor explains that getting soap or perfume into the urethra could also be a cause. I’m sure the current statistics lean heavily toward the STD angle… but I’d like to thank that doctor for taking the low road right away. Young guy, certain symptoms, STD. Oops, oh no, wait, soap.
Thankfully, the medicine was very simple (and painless). Four pills, once.
Oh… and apparently I need to be more careful when washing down below the Mason-Dixon line. Lesson learned.