Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Bladder, why you do me this way?

Back in nursing school, I had an instructor. Everybody has one of those instructors--the ones whose classes make you yearn for the sweet release of death, or at least a nice case of vascular dementia. I don't remember what she taught, although it couldn't have been that important, since we only met twice a week.

She had three hobbyhorses that she managed to work into every class: homeopathy, the importance of cleanses (you know, take a lot of laxatives and eat only pureed grapefruit stuff), and the fact that the nursing shortage was caused by legalized abortion. Oh--one more I forgot--that all nurses hated each other and the profession and ate their young and so on and so forth. You can imagine what it was like to be in her class. I would sit there Tuesdays and Wednesdays for an hour and a half each time, gritting my teeth and smiling blankly.

Plus, she was one of those people who believed that gayness could be cured and God sent disease as a punishment. A real winner.

That was the instructor, now that I remember back, that not-so-subtly implied that I'd somehow cheated my way to graduation, despite having a really nice, shiny GPA and good clinical recommendations.

I always never wondered what happened to her after I graduated.

Yesterday my bladder started acting all funny: it would produce a rhythmic thump whenever I turned left and started using more oil. So I went, this morning, to one of those generic Get You In, Get You Out clinics to see if I could pee in a cup and get some drugs. And who should greet me when I walked in?

Yep. That nursing instructor, now an NP in GYI/GYO Clinic. Which, not surprisingly, is attached to a locally-run pharmacy that has all sorts of homeopathic and frightening christian-y literature on the shelves. You can get your oscilliconum or whatever it's called at the same time you catch up on the latest thinking about God's great plan to punish sinners in the apocalypse. Which is happening next Monday.

Fortunately, they also had Bactrim DS, so I had that going for me.

And she didn't prostelytize or suggest that I take whatever weird sugar pill du jour she favored. The only thing she said that made me shudder slightly and recall that bland, focusless smile was this: that I must not eat a lot of red meat because there were so few nitrites in my urine. (Bacteria in the bladder that are the cause of UTIs produce nitrites as part of their metabolism. One reason for not having nitrites come up on a dipstick is that fresh urine has entered the bladder and the bacteria there haven't had time to push nitrites into it.) She did mention how horrible nursing was for her, and how the "nurse curse" was the cause of my bladder troubles.

I smiled a bland smile and waggled my head noncommittally. Then I gave her twenty-five bucks and trotted down the hall to the pharmacy, where three days' worth of antibiotic was a whopping $1.50.



Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Wow, cheap date at twice the price. Are ya feeling better yet ?

messymimi said...

Wow, indeed. As a Christian, even i have a difficult time stomaching some of the things people like her say.

Jo said...

Thanks, yes! I feel much better already.

My beloved sister said that seeing her must've been like seeing Dolores Umbridge in a shower cap next to the gurney just as I slid under the ether. Beloved Sis has a way with words.

Mimi, I hear you. Near as I can tell from my reading, Jesus wasn't exactly running re-education camps.

Anonymous said...

Lucky it wasn't the dog. Very likely would have been 10 to 100 times more.

Jane said...

Hilarious how you saw her randomly. I once saw a professor as my convenient store cashier and my jaw dropped. All the sudden she was selling cigarettes and lottery tickets? Crazy!

Anonymous said...

I had an instructor that believed strongly in Therapeutic Touch. She gave us a 2 hr lecture on it in 2nd year.

She also believed strongly in breast self-exams, and made us all examine each others breasts during a skills lab, under the pretense that "each year, one student finds a lump."

Brent said...

Thankfully, my bestie in nursing school was THAT girl who kept the instructors in check. If one would wander off in stuff we would not be tested on she would speak up with, "if that is not part of the syllabus I am not paying to hear it." A few people thought her rude, but most of us were envious of her straight talk. I could have used her in grad school when I had one prof who actually show pics of her friggin family vacation!!

cowango said...

Some people just aren't happy. Poor lady.

Saw your latest article in the new Scrubs Magazine. 10 reasons why you love nursing. I have to cut that out! Maybe your former instructor could use a copy.

Hope you're peeing better soon!

Enid Mueller said...

I can't wait to bump into some of my horrid instructors.

Laura said...

Somewhat tangential but related to your current situation... A while ago I saw a commercial for an undoubtedly fine educational institution, the Universal Technical Institute. I don't think they really thought it through when they claimed the URL of

Unknown said...

I ran into THAT instructor years after I graduated. The creepy part was, she was my patient after she had attempted suicide. Somehow she didn't recognize me and I was thankful for that.

Linden said...

Have to say how much I enjoy your educational and witty (if sometimes a wee bit irascible)posts. And please don't judge all Christians by your Umbridge-clone instructor - many of us are quite reasonable folk who are as appalled by the distortions of religion as you are... .

Anonymous said...

I was happy to see my former instructor's obituary in the newspaper. Sad to say that, but she was that horrible a person.