--Lena Horne --
I mentioned in a previous post the hospital roommate, and her telling the surgeon on Tuesday about how she'd been complaining of bloating and a "wrong" feeling in her abdomen for almost a year, and how her complaints had been ignored or attributed to whatever was convenient.
Her situation is much more serious than mine, with lethal consequences, but the story is similar.
Over at least the past year and a half, close to two years, I'd been complaining that my morning urine was very dark, and smelled very bad. It lightened after I'd been up for the day and drinking water, but the strong "wrong" smell remained. It was so bad smelling I was almost ashamed to use public bathrooms. No other symptoms.
I'd use those urine test strips occasionally, especially after time with The Man, just to check, and they'd say UTI, so I'd go to the doctor, they'd use the same strips and say "UTI", and prescribe four or five days of twice-a-day antibiotic, and that would be it. It didn't fix the darkness or the odor.
The darkness and odor had started shortly after I started taking the thyroid supplement, so I thought maybe that was it. On the trip to Morocco last April, I didn't take the thyroid pills with me, because it was easier not to take a prescription through customs, and because I thought I'd find out if that's what was causing it. Oddly, it turns out, the odor did lessen. It shouldn't have, but it did, so of course I thought I'd found the cause. When I resumed taking the thyroid pills, the odor came back.
At least twice, possibly three times in the past year I had pain in the same area as last Saturday's, with a bit of bowel and bladder urgency and some nausea, but it wasn't so bad, and it went away after a few hours. It usually occurred after I'd been lifting and loading boxes for the move, so I naturally figured it was just my back. And, it was simply too low for kidney, so that never even entered my mind.
For the past six or eight months I've had a feeling that there was something very wrong in my abdomen. No particular reason, just that feeling of something "off", of foreboding, of impending doom. And for no reason in particular I settled on my liver and kidneys, instead of any of the other vulnerable organs hanging around in there.
I mentioned it to my doctor this past February. She poked at my tummy, and that was it. I walked out of there with another 4-day prescription for a UTI antibiotic, and she took me off the thyroid suppliment, saying I didn't seem to need it any more.
The urine darkness and odor continued, and the feeling of impending abdominal doom increased.
I don't think my complaints of the constant dark color and odor, or my concern that something wasn't right in there, were taken seriously. I did ask once if it was the thyroid supplement doing it, and was told no, but there was no further attempt at explaining it.
I'm a bit annoyed by that.
I've probably had the kidney infection (not just bladder infection) for two years, and stones for at least the past year. Luckily, the doctors said that the kidney seems to be functioning even though it was blocked and very swollen, but I wonder how much longer I could have gone with the infection if it hadn't gotten blocked by a stone and thrown a fit. How long before the kidney died.
Moral of the story - when your body says something's wrong, something's wrong! Kick and scream until someone helps you figure it out.