What a way to start the son-of-a-bitchin’ week! I open my e-mail to find lab results from urine we sent out for culture last week. Ryan has a urinary tract infection. Again! This is a strain not covered by the low-dosage of antibiotic we started him on after his last UTI. Also, it’s a bacteria that is new to him and is a particularly nasty one. So, Ryan will go back on a heavy-duty antibiotic for another fourteen days. He will begin taking it this morning.
Then one week after he completes the antibiotic his urine needs cultured again. No messing around here, we must be absolutely certain the infection is eradicated. I must tell you, this one has me a bit worried. There just aren’t many antibiotics that are left that it hasn’t built-up a resistance against. On top of this, Ryan might personally have even less as a result of the quantities of antibiotics we needed to pump through his system over the past year. What a way to kick off the week.
What we have here is the ole’ “complications from brain injury” expression. I hear it all the time. Usually when a person dies. I suppose it sounds sexier to say it this way. I guess saying a urinary tract infection doesn’t have the same impact or pizzaz. It sounds better than “complications from a vicious beating”, or “complications from poor parenting”, or “complications from unrestrained aggression”, or “The result of complete human failure”.
Yes, it is much sexier because it is so vague. It allows the reader to conjure up their own reason, which would hardly be a UTI. Am I right?
I know this firsthand because early on I assumed it meant a seizure or a catostraphic glitch in the regulatory system. A UTI never even crossed my mind. Not until, that is, I flat-out asked a doctor (when Ryan was at Kessler) about a patient who passed and the obituary attributed it to — you guessed it — complications from brain injury. He tells me it was from a UTI. He tells me that (or pneumonia) are almost always responsible. He must have noticed I was puzzled and continued explaining. You see, he tells me, the chronic or recurring bacterial infections are treated until the point where antibiotics have no effect.
I lowered my head into my hands and heaved. Looking up, I saw the doctor did the same.