The Source Matters

Johanna Baynard
3 min readJul 26, 2022

I’m not sure why, but the source of an injury can dictate mood and feelings afterwards.

So yesterday, at my usual Renal Pharm scan, I got into a conversation with the technician. She had a lot to say about a patient that she has who is extremely angry and bitter.

This lady had a hysterectomy years ago. When the surgeon was repairing an issue with her surgery, he nicked her ureter. For those of you who, like me, don’t know a thing about urination, it’s actually easy. First the liquids go to the kidney which is below the liver and the lungs. We have one kidney on the left side and one on the right side. The kidneys have a little straw shaped object called the ureter that carries the liquid to the bladder. The bladder then “squeezes” the urine out of the body.

National Cancer Institute from Unsplash

Because of the repairs to her ureter, and that it doesn’t quite fit correctly, the lady must go in for the Renal Pharm scan yearly. She complains bitterly that her surgeon caused her life to change, and she hates the scan. She is harsh and nasty about this situation. She deeply resents the need for the annual Renal Pharm scan.

Conversely, my issue is a congenital deformity. I have too much of things. My right kidney has two ureters. I also have bilateral cervical ribs. I have extra body parts inside. I tease my twin sisters that I must have been a twin in utero and somehow lost my twin in the womb, so I was first, LOL.

In any case my second ureter danced around inside my body and became twisted up. That caused lots of UTIs (urinary tract infections) that made me so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed. The first time my doctor could not figure out what was making me sick. I did not have the usual pain, instead I was nauseated, exhausted and the best clue is that I became incontinent. They sent me to a urologist where we located the problem. I had great surgery! My surgeon was amazing and using robots, they took the skin from my mouth and used it to build a better ureter. Again, amazing. My surgeon continues to follow me and yes, I am required to repeat my Renal Pharm scan periodically, much more often than annually.

From the beginning, the techs have commented on how calm I am. The scan is uncomfortable, and you must lay on a table for a good bit of time. You also must have an IV. It’s definitely not a walk in the park. I take it easily because I am constantly tired. I will lay on the table because of this and I feel no frustration.

At no point am I angry, nor bitter. I’m thinking that the reason I am comfortable with my scans is that I have no one to blame for my congenital deformity. I can’t even blame the nonexistent twin.

I’m guessing that if I had someone to blame, if I thought my deformity was a result of someone’s sloppiness, I might feel differently. I don’t think so. I can’t make myself suffer for someone else’s mistake, even if that mistake was committed against me.

Johanna Baynard

Dedicated activist for economic equality. Baby Boomer. Wife, mother and blogger: Life According to Johanna, and