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.