>I am in recovery from my second set of bladder Botox injections. They were done between 11 and noon this morning and I am just little achey now.

My urologist suggested that I save both of us time and trouble by getting them as an outpatient procedure at his office. It sounded good to me. Last time, I went to a hospital and spent the morning shuttling from one department to another before I received a general anesthetic and was taken to the operating room. Simpler sounded better.

This surgery scheduler checked with the pharmacy and the insurance company and discovered that insurance would not pay for Botox given to me directly. They would pay for it to be sent to the hospital, but not for me to pick it up. The urology office has decided to experiment: I am one of four patients for whom they paid for the Botox up front, hoping that the insurance company will cover it after the procedure. Of course, they also made me sign a piece of paper saying I will pay for whatever insurance doesn’t cover, so I may be paying the price for their experiment.

Another difference is that the nurses used a “numbing agent,” administered through a catheter, rather than a general anesthetic. That means I got to watch one nurse to train another as she prepared the injection. My urologist uses a bright blue dye in the Botox so that he can see where his last injection was. “You would think he could tell by looking at the blood,” said one nurse to the other. She looked over at me. “You have that iPod turned on, don’t you?” she asked. I did, but I could still hear her. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” she said, evoking the Wizard of Oz.

The new guy on staff did the actual injections, with my urologist advising while he helped two nurses wrangle my spasming lags. I had warned the nurses about my new level of spasticity and they shrugged. “We’ll handle it,” they said and with the nursely practicality I adore, they did. they pointed out that, because of the dye, I was getting my bladder tattooed. I asked the doctor if he could do it in the shape of a rose, but he said urologists prefer kidney shapes. It’s hidden, of course, so I have only their word for it. It is fun to consider some personality adjustments in keeping with my new, tattooed, self.

Even with a half hour wait for the numbing agent, we were done in an hour.

I am taking tomorrow off work, but judging by the way I feel now, I wouldn’t really need to do so.

I hope the result of this set of injections is as helpful as the first set. When Western medicine has an answer it does a fine job.