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entry Mar 15 2008, 10:50 AM
For guys, if there is a question about your prostate, you know fingers are going where you don't want them. Since my doctor had been there before, it wasn't going to be that traumatic...of course, my doctor was off, today. Instead, I would see a nurse-practitioner (NP). Bad enough I was there to talk about bloody urine, after sex, and get a prostate exam, but now it was going to be with a stranger...worse, the NP was female, about 30-ist, tall, thin, blonde...she looked like one of those TV female doctors you never expect to see in real life. Now, a younger, single man might have dreamed about this situation, but it's very different in real life when you're over 50 and overweight. I was very embarrassed. She examined me for a hernia, as well, to be thorough, and it was thoroughly humiliating. She was very professional and sensitive, asking permission and apologizing for what had to be done. I apologized, too.
My web research suggested they would perform a series of tests and, if no other cause was found, would assume it was infection and give me an antibiotic. This is because many people are getting these over-prescribed, causing more health problems than are solved. It may be the NP noticed I hadn't had any antibiotics in over 13 years, because she prescribed ciprofloxacin, a powerful antibiotic, to treat the most likely cause (infection) while we investigate the other causes through a series of tests. I had urinalysis, urine culture, blood tests and x-rays of the kidneys, bladder and prostate. Don't know the results of all that, yet. Some possible future tests to look forward to are ultra-sound, CT scans, and my favorite...a camera they insert in a tube to look at the inside of the prostate, bladder and kidneys. If they give me pictures, I'll share them with you.

entry Mar 7 2008, 02:17 PM
Until the issue is resolved, I feel others might benefit from my experience with a medical situation I'm dealing with, so I'll add episodes in my blog as I experience them.
After prayer, I did the same search I had last night, "bloody urine cause." This time I went in a little deeper.
My favorite source for unbiased information on any physical condition is the National Institutes Of Health. It's a US Government site, so it's a little difficult to find what you want and a little difficult to understand it once you get there, but you can get reliable information on almost any health related matter. As an added benefit, they aren't trying to sell you anything, so you can pretty much rely on the information you find. I've found that many other sites try to scare us into buying their product or service by accenting the absolute worst outcomes and telling us how their product is the only thing that will work, or some such nonsense.
Back to the story: I learned a lot more about bloody urine than I ever wanted to. If you went from most likely to least likely causes and excluded female causes, it went something like this: infection/prostatitis or other inflammation, temporary damage from some accident/fall/exercise/hard labor, kidney stones, prostate/kidney/bladder cancer, kidney failure. This is just the opposite order in which I was worrying about it. Since the blood happened after intercourse, was very visible, cleared up, and I had no other symptoms (fever, inability to urinate, etc.) it was likely to not be kidney stones or kidney failure. Every website on the subject said one thing loud and clear, though...get to the doctor as soon as possible...

entry Feb 29 2008, 12:32 PM
By the morning, my urine had cleared and seemed normal, but this wasn't something I could just ignore. I have diabetes, which is the number one cause of kidney failure, so, finding blood in my urine put my kidneys at the top of my list. Of course, the possibility of kidney, prostate or bladder cancer at age 54 isn't thrilling, either. Coffee together was awfully quiet, but I did my best not to look worried...I'm sure Marsha (my wife) did the same. We kissed goodbye and I smiled as she drove off to work.
Note to women: We guys put up a big front, but we're every bit as frightened about things as you are. We're just too frightened to show you.
After Marsha was gone, I was free to worry about everything. I thought immediately of what it would be like getting dialysis. Would I have to ask my brother for a kidney...didn't want to be that close to him. Then I wondered what would happen if I were gone in six months. Would Marsha have enough money, how would she keep the websites up so the income continued, how would she pay off the house, my basement project wouldn't get done, I wouldn't finish my 10-year-plan for the web development...then I broke into tears...
I pray several times a day, anyway, but this time was unusual. Why do I have no trouble praying for everyone else, but have trouble asking God for things for myself? For a long time, I hesitated to ask for what I really wanted and Jesus' words, "ask whatever you wish," began echoing in my mind. I finally said it, "God, please give me 20 more years with Marsha, so I can enjoy where you've put us to live and so I can finish the work you have for me." I expressed willingness to accept if His will differed from mine, but at least I had asked the right Person for help with this problem that was clearly too big for me.

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