Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dr. Kidney

See if I care that only two people commented on my last post. Because you know what? I don't care. Not one bit.


Obviously, no one wants to read about Vermont or see how beautiful it is, so instead, I will talk about something else today.


Today, you get to learn all about my pee. Ha! Take that! See what happens when you ignore my posts? You get gross-out medical posts. Just remember this the next time you choose not to leave comments.

Where should I start? Hmmm. I know. Let's start with the fact that this poster actually means something to me today:

Because for me, it is indeed a urinal. You see, doctors keep finding an excessive amount of protein in my urine, and they can't figure out why. So after 3 dip-stick tests and a catheter experience, they still can't figure out what's wrong. That means I have to go to the next level of testing: I will be spending all of Sunday filling up this weird-looking brown jug with my pee. The pee has to stay cold, so I will either keep it in a sealed bag in my fridge or in a styrofoam cooler. I haven't decided which is worse/grosser. Then, on Monday morning, I will drop off 24 hours worth of VB Pee at Dr. Kidney's (the urologist's) office so they can run more tests. Yippee. Nothing like saving your own pee to make the weekend exciting.

And when I bring in my jug o' pee on Monday, I will probably get more stares from the old men in the waiting room. Sitting there with their enlarged prostates, they were all looking at me like, "Why are YOU here?" -- It was very surreal.

Oh, and as for the PSA portion of this post, let me advise my female readers: If you ever have to go to a urologist's office and wait in their waiting room, bring something to read! My only reading options included: golfing magazines, parenting magazines, entrepreneurial magazines and brochures about overactive bladder medications. Ugh. Obviously, I was not the normal patient. Great.

Anyway, after peeing in yet another cup, even Dr. Kidney seemed baffled about it. "I just can't tell from this. It's probably nothing, but just to be sure...."

And that's when he introduced me to the weird brown jug.

Being both a librarian and paranoid, I of course looked up stuff on the Internet so I could attempt at diagnosing myself.


According to what I've read, high levels of protein indicates kidney damage and is usually found in people with diabetes.

I know I don't have diabetes. It doesn't even run in my family. I mean, if I were diabetic, I'd know by now, right? I mean, I need to lose like, 15 pounds. That's not enough extra weight to give me adult-onset diabetes, right??? I'm not especially thirsty or anything.....

But maybe, just maybe, I have somehow damaged my kidneys. I did have a kidney infection once. And I think I got into a fight with my brother when I was little, and he punched me in the ol', wait. I think I punched him in the kidneys.


*Overactive Imagination presents VB with mental pictures of the Worst Case Scenario: "I'm sorry, Virginia, but not one of your family members or wonderful friends is a match. You have extremely difficult-to-match kidneys, in addition to have that incredibly rare kidney disorder for which there is no cure. You're going to have to be placed on a kidney transplant waiting list. At the bottom. It will probably take about 18 years for you to get the kidneys you need. Until then, we're just going to have to remove your breasts and eyeballs, and put you on this special medicine, which makes you go bald permanently and barf a lot. We're also going to have to start dialysis. You might want to think about moving back in with your mother so she can take care of you. It will be very painful and incredibly expensive. You've got insurance, right? You might want to call your provider about this." says Dr. Kidney.*

I have talked to dieticians, nurses, friends and hypochondriacs. (You think I am kidding....) I have heard everything from, "Just drink more water!" to "Are you sure you don't have diabetes?" One person is convinced it's the dietary supplement I'm on (biotin-- it's good for your hair and nails!). Another person is sure it's because I've lost weight. Yet another person thinks there's actually nothing wrong with me at all: "What if your body is just like that, and it's 'normal' for you?"

Of course, I'm convinced some crime from my past is catching up with me, in some sick & twisted karmic revenge. It's a result of the MRSA I had this time last year. It's a side effect from the vicodin. I smoked weird, kidney disease-laced pot in college. I've caught some kidney disease from one of my stupid ex-boyfriends. This is my body's reaction to my being mean to old people. Or this is my body's way of saying to me, "You eat entirely too much sugar! I tried to warn you, but now it's too late! You will never eat ice cream again! Hahahahahahahaha!!!"

Much to my dismay, MJ won't pee into the jug for me. I tried bribing her with pumpkin bread, but unfortunately, she doesn't like pumpkin. Some friend she is. I would pee for her. *grumble*


Jonathan Zero said...

Your pictures and description of Vermont left me speechless. No really it did. Cool weather would be so nice with the heat wave we are having in the Carolinas now.

I grow kidney stones so I know the whole too much protein etc story and actually have heard all the same things you have from friends websites doctors and etc. But I tend to believe it is from the weight loss and really means nothing but better to have it all checked out just in case.

by the way, the word verification for me was eyaadrs hehe

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday. Hope all goes well.

I have a few guy friends that would think peeing into a jug would be awesome. They could spend all Sunday on the couch watching television and not have to get up to go to the bathroom. Come to think of it. I may manufacture pee jugs with different college and pro football logos. Guys could sit there all day watching their favorite teams. No trips to the bathroom. Just pee into your brightly colored Carolina Panthers pee jug.

I am the biggest hypochondriac. I would have convinced myself that this excess protein was the result of the Ebola Virus.

Phantom Hater said...

Dude, are there really that many jugs of urine littering the highway that they drafted a PSA for it? That's pretty nasty. You know there is always some overspray, so think about how many carseats probably have dried urine on them.

Some girl recently was telling me about how she had a BF who peed in a bottle at Mardi Gras because there were no bathrooms around, and he made her hold the warm bottle for him while he went. She dumped him right after the trip.

I am the opposite of a hypochondriac.

I think I'm invincible and rarely go to the doctor unless I'm vomiting blood.

Haven't they tested you for diabetes at this point?

~lowtide--I love the pee jug with football logo idea. Go with it!

Alison said...

I agree with the friend who mentioned your supplement Biotin. Have you mentioned that to Dr. Kidney? If there is an excess amount of something in a vitamin or supplement you're taking and your body doesn't need all of it, it makes sense that you would pee it right out.

cmk said...

Won't go into any details, but hubby went through the kidney thing almost a year ago. He did the pee-bottle and I just had to remind myself that pee REALLY is sterile when it comes out of the body--the only way we could keep that bottle in the frig! :)

Don't freak yourself out by doing too much research. Hubby had himself dead and buried before getting his diagnosis and he NEVER even came across what he has while looking for answers. Try to stay calm and wait for the drs to find answers. Yeah, easier said than done. You're in my thoughts, my dear.

RWA said...

I've been through the exact same thing - brown jug and all. But mine were caused by excessive uric acid rather than protein.

I had to take some medication (that I probably am supposed to still be taking today) to help control the acid build-up, but I quit a year or so ago.

I'm sure everything will be fine.

And, hey, instead of complaining about the few comments, how about some props for those of us who DO/DID comment?


Petra said...

Hey VB - I think the cooler thingy would be less gross to store your pee-jug b/c you could get one of those disposable styrofoam ones and fill it with ice - all of which can be disposed of easily and not need to be anywhere near your food.

I hope it works out for you - could be like one of the other posters here said, just normal for you.

kimmykins13 said...

I'm sure everything will be just fine. Don't stress yourself out about it, it may very well be the biotin - and if you don't have a history of diabetes in your family then it is unlikely that you have contracted it.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

OMG!!! Have our overactive imaginations met, because they seem waaaay too much alike!!!!! I am STILL laughing about the "kidney-diseased laced pot" line. I would totally think the same thing. The boy "K" from my Ireland trip (remember that post on my blog?) smoked some kind of crazy laced pot in college and because of that he said he had visions of hell that would make him go seriously crazy. I never smoked pot again after kidding.

As far as your kidneys go, maybe you should go somewhere else for a second opinion.

* meish * said...

your Overactive Imagination sounds just like mine. i'm a total paranoid hypochondriac when anything seems off in my body. but so far, so good. good luck with all the peeing. but sterile or not, i'd put it in a cooler.

Shut My Mouth said...

OK, OK, I'll de-lurk. Vermont is beautiful, isn't it? Went there six years ago. Did you notice how clean the air smelled? Ahhh...

If it makes you feel better, I have a condition that causes me to have a little blood in my urine every time I pee, and I am just fine! TMI....

FRIGGA said...

Gross post. But I bet you're just fine. :P

Virginia Belle said...

jonathan -- i know! it really was a nice break from the blazing inferno that is a Southern summer...thanks for the reassurance, btw.

lowtide -- see, it's thoughts like that which make me question my sexual orientation. ugh. men are gross. why do i like making out with them??? and i hadn't thought of ebola yet. thanks a LOT.

PH -- ah, back to your old self i see. :) no, they haven't tested me for diabetes. i think i'm actually more at risk for kidney stones...i dunno. i'm just ready to hear: "oh, you're fine! we figured it out. it's nothing!"

alison -- yes, that's what i'm saying! i can't remember if i told him about the biotin....his medical history/info form was surprisingly short and vague.....

cmk -- thanks. i'm calmer today than i was yesterday.

rwa-- yes, you definitely get credit for commenting on what was apparently a boring post! thank you!! good to know i'm not the only brown jugger out there....

petra -- yeah, but then i'd have a special pee recepticle, which is just as gross to me. "oh that? that's for my pee," i'd have to tell people. EWWWWw.

kimmykins - thanks, girl. i'm trying to stay calm. :)

meghan -- OMG that story in your blog was so freaking funny! and actually, dr. kidney IS my 2nd opinion. kinda. i think.

meish -- thanks. yeah, i need to go get one of those cooler thingies. ew. a pee cooler. blech.

shut my mouth -- no, that's not TMI! it makes me feel better, actually. thank you. and i didn't notice a big difference between the VT air and the air at my mom's house in rural Virginia. but i DID notice a HUGE difference between the VT air and the NYC air!

Megan said...

Just de-lurking to say that this post brought me to tears. The laughing kind. And not because you have pee problems but because I would be thinking the same thing. Some call me neurotic. I like to think of it as preparing for the worst. The absolute worst.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Oh yes VB....hell is my anti-drug. Hahahahaha!

GrewUpRural said...

The pee jug doesn't seem that bad. If you ever get bored, go online and look up testing for celiac disease. There are several tests, but one is really gross and embarrassing. I had to go through all of those test.