“Hi, Mr. New,” said a new voice. “Come on back. I’m Tech 3. Here, we need another sample for a UA and C&S. Wash off with the wipe and collect a clean-stream, okay? I’ll take your stuff and put it in the first room on the right. Okay?”
“Sure.” I nod. I hand her my sweater, book, and the lunch container I’m carrying; take the offered still-bagged collection cup and wipe, and head into the restroom.
In the examination room, I place the filled, warm, urine cup onto the counter atop a paper towel.
“Thanks, Mr. New. Here, sit on the exam table. How are you feeling today?”
“Do you have any pain anywhere?”
“Are you urinating okay?”
“Yes, no problems.”
And so on for a few more minutes, Tech 3 asks the usual rudimentary questions. I provide the usual rudimentary answers. Nothing new here.
Doc comes in. “Mr. New, glad to see you. I saw on the report there was a small problem with getting the BCG treatments because of a UTI. But everything is fine now, correct?”
“Yes. Things got a bit frustrating for awhile, but finally came together. I finished the last of the antibiotics this past Saturday.”
“Great. Now, we need to talk a bit about the stone removal. You remember, there is a small one up in your left kidney,” said Doc.
“Yes, I remember.”
“We are going to use ESWL, that’s Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. This is the concussion technology we use to bust up small kidney stones, those that are about four millimeters [0.16 in] to two centimeters [0.8 in} in diameter. Small stuff, okay?”
“You say so.” I’m hedging here, avoiding full agreement. I’m the one who has to pass the small, sharp fragments.
“ESWL is performed as outpatient surgery. You’ll take the day off and go home afterwards to rest. There may be some pain after the treatment. In a worst case scenario, the pain may feel like someone’s hit you several times with a baseball bat on your left side, where the stone is.” Then he grinned and said: “But that’s only five percent of the cases I’ve treated.” Smile.
I smile back. Uh-huh, the other shoe is about to drop.
“Here’s hoping you’re not in that five percent.”
“Amen to that, Doc. I don’t like pain.”
“Who does? Anyway, someone will call you from the scheduling office to let you know when to be downstairs for the procedure.