Step 1. Get bladder infection symptoms.
Step 2. Pee in a cup.**
Step 3. Go home and wait for pee-in-a-cup fuzzy bacterial cultures to grow.
Step 4. Listen to phone message on Friday afternoon: the initial results of the urine sample show.....not much! Continue to wait for cultures to develop.
Step 5. Wake up Saturday morning in pain. Pee. Repeat every fifteen minutes.
Step 6. Be unduly stressed when any other member of your family decides to use the facilities. Decide that you and your bladder need access to that bathroom at. all. times.
Step 7. Pee again.
Step 8: Contact nephrologist on-call.
Step 9. Find out that nothing can be done until lab results show up on "the system".*** Hang up phone, pee again.
Step 10. Wake up Sunday morning. In pain. Pee every few minutes. Have another discussion with same nephrologist on-call. Results still not showing up on the system. Advised to go to Emergency if symptoms are unbearable.
Step 11. Don't go to Emergency****
Step 12. Get unexpected phone call from nephrologist a few hours later, stating his apology for not realizing that the outpatient transplant results are on a different system.
Step 13. Sit down on toilet and pee (again) while speaking with said nephrologist.
Step 14: Get nephrologist to send in antibotic prescription to local pharmacy. Have spouse pick up prescription. Happily pop pill, thankful for drugs.
Step 15: Wait for antibotics to kick in. Pee again.
*yes, it is a place. In fact, my kidney and bladder happen to be regulars. (For a truly great visit to UTI-land, be sure to stop by on the weekend. Any weekend will do, although in my experience, long weekends are the best!)
**while you might think that the adventure is in attempting to aim your mid-stream pee into the teensy-weensy sample cup, you'd be wrong. No, the adventure only begins when the three-year-old (your's) with whom you are sharing the single-stall bathroom, and while you are yet seated on the proverbial throne with pants around ankles, decides it would be a fun time to play "bats peeing" and turns off the lights.
****in my experience, while going to Emergency is a great way to have a relaxing and lengthy sit-down in the waiting room, it is not necessarily conducive to resolving transplant patient UTI issues. (Oh, but you do get a nifty pink bracelet to wear home. That's pretty neat, I'd say).