I’m in The Chair. I’m gowned and bootied with nothing in between. The room feels airy. Through the door come PA and PA 2.
“What’s this? Both of you are going to work on me?”
“No, Mr. New,” said PA, grinning. “I’m here to observe how PA 2 does this as a refresher course. Next week, I do you by myself.”
“Tech 2 is on Christmas vacation. I’ll be there next week,”said PA 2.
“Great! Any time, for any reason, you can get away from work is exciting. Well, for me it is.”
“And here you are, Mr. New. You worked today, then you come over here on your off hours for the treatment,” said PA.
“Yeah, I’m a trooper.”
Both of them pull on the gloves.
“All right, Mr. New. You’re familiar with the procedure, correct?”
“Yes, ma’am. Please proceed.”
After three iodine swabs, ten milliliters of numbing jelly, two minutes by the clock, PA 2 slips in the French 16 catheter. Ah, yes, pressure followed by pressure.
“That part always hurts,” I say. “Too bad the numbing juice doesn’t effect the prostate and bladder spinchter valve.”
“Don’t be a baby, Mr. New.”
“I’m not, I’m just saying—”
“We understand, Mr. New.”
I’m talking to two women. They do not have a firm and unyielding prostate gland surrounding their urethra. They do have a bladder spinchter valve. And both of them are old enough to have children, which means they may have passed something bigger than a French 16 catheter.
I keep my mouth shut.
“Touchdown!” PA 2 announces. “We have urine!”
Touchdown? “Are you a football fan?”
PA 2 glances at me. “Only when they’re winning.”
“Oh yeah, she’s a true fan,” said PA.
PA 2 directs a scolding look her way. PA grins back at her.
“Uh-oh. Mr. New, I’m seeing a color change on nitrates and leukocytes. What do you think?” This last was directed at PA.
“I’m not sure,” says PA. “Hey, he’s the lab tech. Let’s ask Mr. New!”
“Sure guys, hold the Dipstick for me to see.”
PA lifts it up where she stands.
“Bring it closer, please. And pull this mask out of the way. The plastic splash shield distorts my vision.”
PA bends the plastic shield out of the way and holds the Dipstick closer for my inspection. Sure enough, both the nitrates and leukocytes are positive. Bummer.
“Yep, you’re right. The UTI is back. Or one similar.” I’m crestfallen. Another setback. I was hoping the UTI was done for.
“Sorry, Mr. New. We have to stop here.”
I sigh. “Oh, all right. But I was really hoping to get on with this.”
“‘Fraid not. The law prohibits us from going any further when a UTI is present. We don’t want to overtax your system, you know,” said PA 2.
PA 2 pulls out the catheter. “Well, we’ll leave you to clean yourself up with the towels here. Get dressed and open the door, but don’t leave yet.”
“Sure.” I do as I’m told.
Lounging against the doorjab, I wait for either of the PAs.
PA 2 returns. “Mr. New, sorry about the false start. However, I believe you have the same bacterial infection.” She shrugs. “This happens sometimes. My thought is, the first antibiotic, the Ciprofloxacin, was not strong enough. Even though the susceptibility test showed it to work against the bug, well, it didn’t as well as we’d hoped. Therefore, I’m prescribing you a different antibiotic, a sulfa drug that also showed the killing ability against Enterobacter aerogenes. It will be a stronger dose for a longer period. By the way, I’ll send this current urine for C&S again, just to make sure it’s the same bug. Okay?”
“We’ll add another week onto the tail end of the schedule.”
I am on my way home, when my cell buzzes. I pull it from my pants pocket, thumbing it on. “This is your Walgreens Pharmacy,” says a recording. “We have your prescription ready at such-and-such location. Thank you.” Click.
Wow. I am impressed. Not more than thirty minutes have passed since PA 2 sent in the ‘script.
I stop at the store for the drug: ‘ Sulfamethoxazole (800 mg) with Trimethoprim (160 mg).’ Twenty pills for ten days. Okay. Like PA 2 said, this is a different drug, a sulfa based one in combination with another, it is stronger per dose with twice as many pills for twice as long. Yeah, this should do the trick.
Final Result: BCG #2 on Hold while I pop pills. Again.