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Holy Jumpin' am I sick
posted December 09, 2003 at 13:56

I think I've probably mentioned several times, if not several hundred times that I have been sick recently. Flu-type stuff. But in addition there have been strange aches and pains, unexplained back and neck aches. I've basically felt like crap for about a month or so.

My doctor thinks I'm nuts. I can see that in his eyes. I had this bizarre chest pain a few weeks ago, that was probably from Madison kicking me. But it was REALLY painful, so I decided he should know about it. Yeah, he didn't think much of it. Ran some tests, yadda yadda yadda, I'm fine.

So for the past ten days or so I've been feeling ill, like I have a stomach flu…. only it seems a little too long lasting to be a simple little flu bug. I went to the doctor again yesterday to try again. Now mind you, I don't want him to find something wrong with me. I just want to be able to sleep through the night, which currently I can not.

I give him the rundown - I've been sick-feeling since Turkey day. No fever, no sore throat. No vomiting, more of just a general I'm-sick-aches-pains-and-chills thing. I have had a loss of appetite and heartburn with some acid reflux, but I guess when you're not eating a lot that starts a vicious cycle. One other thing I did notice, and this may seem a little gross, for which I apologize, is my urine, a/k/a pee, seem to be darker than normal.

Well, this is what I should have said all along. Immediately the nurse runs me to the bathroom for a sample. I guess I should have figured they'd want one of these, but due to my total lack of sleep the night before, I wasn't thinking at the top of my game and failed to drink anything. So I was poised to give the world's smallest urine sample ever. It took me a ridiculous amount of time to finally get something going, and then I had to deal with whole "mid-stream catch", as they call it, but I got them a nice little cup full. Whew.

There is a hefty set of directions you have to follow these days when you do the urine sample. I was reading the instructions on the wall between running water and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star about the steps they want you to take. For women, it's crazy, there's all this stuff about holding flaps and they expect everyone to clean the area with an alcohol pad first. Paragraphs and paragraphs on how to pee into a cup.

Anyway, once again the pee was a nice dark color. To be quite honest it looked like blood. And that got everyone all kinds of worked up. The nurse was waiting for me in the room - I guess I was taking way too long. She grabbed the cup and ran out of the room. A few minutes later my doctor came in. "So, you have some blood in your urine, huh?" I guess so, if that's what you think. Great.

I've read books and Web sites about this stuff enough to know that blood in the P ain't a good thing. Cancer is the first thing that comes to mind, although there's a laundry list of other bad things I wasn't interested in dealing with on a Monday morning.

He begins the list of questions to try and figure out what the deal is, and to each I give the wrong answer. After about ten minutes of trying to figure out what would cause the blood, he says "Well, maybe it's not blood". Okay. that's strange. I guess he just took a look at the jar before he came in and thought that's what it was. He then went to look at it under the microscope and left me to peruse the flyers from Pfizer and read all about Diabetes from the colorful posters on the wall for the hundredth time.

After about ten minutes he comes back and lets me know that it's NOT blood, although it looks exactly like blood. And he is not certain what it IS, but it might be cause by some other medication. I tell him I haven't been taking any other medications. He tells me then I have a urinary tract infection, which seems like a really girly thing for a guy to get… plus, how does that get infected? Yikes. But he says that's probably a lot to do with the other odd aches and pains I've been having.

I get me a prescription for everyone's favorite anti-Anthrax drug CIPRO and head to the lab for a few more tests. He says he's betting I'll be all better in a few days. I was trying to figure out the last time I felt good, like really good… I can’t. There have been many days where I've felt decent, but never completely, 100% great. So I'm wondering if I've maybe had some type of oddball infection in my system since I was doing the interferon shots.

To anyone reading this, that probably comes across as a totally load of crap, but looking back, as I was about to end my treatments in the summer of last year, I had a few sores on my tummy from the frequency of the shots. One of which has left a nice bruise… but these were really gross, and probably should have been looked at in more depth at the time. I remember the one actually looked like it was an open portal into my stomach for a bit. In case anyone needed to peek inside, I guess. I just wonder if maybe some type of crazed parasite made it's way into my abdomen then and has since been running wild in my system. (By the way, I did show those gross lesion-y things to the nurses in the chemo lab before we moved from California, and although they thought the looked really bad, they didn't seem to think they merited a closer look by the doctor)

Well, I guess we'll have to just see how this anti-biotic does. If that doesn't work in a week's time, I'll head back in for a CT scan of my kidneys and some other tests. Probably more poking with needles and certainly more time in those backless hospital gowns. So far though, I'm relieved that it's only an infection, and hope that he's right. It would be nice to feel good again.

One nice side effect of this whole ordeal, and when I say ordeal, I'm being a total wimp because it has not been an ordeal at all, is that I've lost about 15 pounds, stopped drinking carbonated beverages, caffeine, and coffee and started eating decent food again. I think this is where I go back to being a vegetarian, too. I dusted off my tofu cookbooks last night. Rock.

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