Friday, March 26, 2010

Kidney stones: about as cool as honeymoon hand jobs.

Well, I've had an exciting week. I had three days off the week before last, and was sick for all of them. Worked Saturday, woke up Sunday morning with a weird, agonizing pain in my left side. I woke my sister up and asked her what appendicitis felt like, but it was the wrong side. I went to see my doctor on Wednesday who told me it was constipation and advised me to get some magnesium citrate and Dulcolax. Or something. I tried that and felt well enough to go to work on Thursday. When I pulled into the parking lot, the pain in my side returned. I managed to stick it out for two hours before I went to my supervisor, who, once I told her I was having horrific abdominal pain, sent me home immediately.

Longest drive home, ever. I pretty much screamed the entire time (40 minutes). I had to pull over twice to puke my guts out. I was home for about an hour before I decided I'd had enough. An ambulance was called and they took me to the ER. It was my first ambulance ride, and my first time in an emergency room as the main event. The ambulance ride was fun. I was surprised when they had me lie down on the gurney. They put a blanket over me and buckled me in and I felt like a tool. My shoes were muddy from walking through the front yard and driveway, and I was worried about dirtying up the gurney. I forgot about all that when the pain intensified, and I just sort of rolled back and forth, clutching my side and going, "UUUUHHHHHGGGHHHH..." The EMT tried to distract me by asking where I was from and where I worked. When we got to the hospital, I expected to just go sit in a wheelchair or something, but they just yanked me out in the gurney and wheeled me up to a room. I scooted off the gurney and climbed onto the other bed.

So then I just curled up into a ball and moaned for a while. A nurse came in and got my info for the billionth time, and I gave her my I.D., insurance card and debit card for the $50 co-pay. Lay there and moaned, lay there and moaned. Another nurse came in and got my vitals. I didn't have a temp but my BP was high.

Lay there and moaned, lay there and moaned. There was a baby crying somewhere, and then the guy in the room next to me started wailing like a fucking banshee. It freaked me out and made the pain worse. Gad, it was awful.

Some guy (male nurse?) came in and asked if I could give them a urine sample. I said I would try, so I went into the bathroom and peed in a cup. "Looks dark," I thought to myself. I put it on the table like the guy told me and someone came and picked it up.

The admissions nurse came back in to return my cards and found me curled into a ball and moaning.

Nurse: Have they given you pain meds yet?
Me: Uh uh.
Nurse: Do you have an I.V.?
Me: Uh uh.
Nurse: Has the doctor been in to see you yet?
Me: Uh uh.
Nurse: ......Huh. Excuse me.

A few minutes later, the other nurse came in to put in an I.V. You know that scene in The Exorcist where they take Regan to the hospital and stick the needle in her neck and blood squirts everywhere? That's what my arm did. I didn't see it because I was --- say it with me --- curled in a ball and moaning. Shortly after that, she said she was giving me some anti-nausea meds, then some pain meds. She was still messing with the I.V. and cleaning up my arm when I realized I was moaning for no reason. The pain had diminished greatly.

In between visits from various hospital people, I had been texting my sister and my friend/co-worker. My sister took the liberty of saving bits of our conversation:

After the pain meds did the trick, I passed out for a while. I was woken up by the nurse when she said, "I was going to ask how your pain level is, but I guess if you're sleeping, it can't be that bad!" I said, "Oh, it's so much better. Thank you." Except my mouth was all mushy so it probably sounded like, "Ozmish budder, tenku."

Passed out again, woke up when the doctor came in and asked me if I'd ever had kidney stones. I said no. He told me that they'd tested my urine and there was a ton of blood in it. My kidney values were good but there were a lot of white blood cells floating around. He told me he suspected I had a kidney stone and that they would see if I could pass it. "You're still a young woman. I don't want to have to take you for a CAT scan, bombard you with radiation if I don't have to." I said, "That's fantastic," and passed out again.

Woke up again when the nurse checked in on me, then again when a tech came in and said he was taking me for a CAT scan.

I started to freak out a bit because the thought of being trapped in a tube is just ... AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Luckily, it wasn't a tube. It was a doughnut. I scooted onto a different gurney and the tech told me to lie with my arms above my head. "The machine is going to scan your belly three times. It'll tell you when to hold your breathe."

The bed rolled in, the machine said "Breath in, and hold," blah blah blah. The tech wheeled me back to my room, I scooted back onto the bed and fell asleep. Woke up when the doctor came in. He told me I have two small stones in my kidney, right near the bottom. Long story short, he sent me home with three Rxs: one antibiotic, one pain killer and one muscle relaxer to help push the stones out. He said if the pain meds did nothing or if I had trouble urinating, I should come back in immediately. Blah blah blah. I was given a jar and two strainers and told that I had to strain my urine, put it in the jar and bring it back in so they could analyze it. FUN! I asked the doctor if I could go back to work and he basically said, "You're going to be taking narcotics," I asked if I could have a note to give to my supervisor and he said he would put it in with my release papers.

So basically I'm on vacation until I pass these mothers.

I've had spinal taps, a double hernia and had my leg stretched three inches; I have never been in this much pain in my entire life. It fucking blows, people. Don't get kidney stones. Trust me on this.

I've been straining my urine like a good girl, but so far no stones. I took my meds yesterday morning and slept for over ten hours. I just took another pain pill and it feels like I'm being punched in the head with a pillow. So I'm gonna go to bed. My sister has friends visiting next week and we've got a lot of work to do on the house. Plus, we're working on our sweet pea garden! I wish I had taken good pictures the one year we successfully grew a whole shitload of them. They're so pretty. Our goal is to sell them at the farmers (possibly Saturday) market, along with maybe my photography and my sister's knitting.

Anyway. I'm woozy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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