Saturday, October 6, 2012

The one in the ER

So I had quite the eventful day yesterday.

Kidney stones. Any of you ever dealt with them before?

And just FYI, I'm going to use words like urethra and ureters in this post. If those words bother you, you may want to stop reading now :-)

I've had three ladies tell me in the last couple of days- if they had the choice- childbirth or kidney stones- they would choose childbirth. No questions asked.

Let's think about that for a second.

Yeah. Let that sink in.

So I woke up yesterday morning, turned on my coffee pot, and sat down to read. Like any normal day. Until I began to feel wildly uncomfortable. I'd known the kidney stones were making their move this week as I'd had some issues on Monday and Tuesday. But this was different. I went to the cabinet and found some expired pain meds from the last bout and thought I'd see if they helped.

They offered no relief.

Now, here's the deal. Growing up, we hardly EVER went to the doctor. So that's not my normal first plan of action. Not dying? Then no doctor. Take some ibuprofen. {I am my mother's daughter.}

And in addition, it costs a lot of money. And I'm Frugal Fanny. To the nth degree.

So as I lay on the floor of my apartment writing in pain (TMI?) the only thing I was weighing in my mind was "am I in so much pain that it will be worth whatever it costs?" And the answer was yes. WHATEVER it cost. The pain was that bad.

I had text my co-worker, Sarah, around the time I took the pain meds and told her I would possibly be needing her assistance- but that I was waiting to see if the meds kicked in. Once I'd waited long enough wtih no relief, I text her and said "let's do this."

She headed my direction.

I walked out to her car and was in tears. I'd experienced kidney stones before- but NOTHING compared to what I was feeling.

God bless Sarah Powell for being a champ. She calmly drove me to Patients First (urgent care option in Tally) and we got in and had to fill out the paperwork. I'm sitting in the waiting room crying. Seriously. And attempting to help Sarah answer all the questions the papers were asking. She now knows my family medical history and knows for CERTAIN I'm not a smoker, drug user, or heavy drinker. :-)

After filling out all the paperwork, Sarah takes it back to the counter and the lady says "If she is in this much pain, you need to go straight to the ER."

Thanks, lady. Thanks for telling this AFTER we filled out all your paperwork!

To me, all this meant was it would be LONGER before I could get some relief from the pain.

Sarah drives me over to the ER (which I didn't even know where an ER was in Tallahassee, so I'm glad she was driving!) and drops me off before she goes to park.

I walk in to the ER, tears streaming down my face, give the lady my ID and insurance card and say "kidney stones."  She comes around immediately and gives me a wheel chair and within minutes has an armband printed off and attached to my wrist ready to take me back. SO impressed with how quick they took care of me.

They wheel me back and get vitals and take me to emergency room number 6. They send me off to get a urine sample and when I came back- Carl was waiting outside of the room. (Carl and Jennifer are family of family here in Tallahassee...I've blogged about them here and here)

I saw him and started crying again. Feeling so grateful at this point to see him.

I get in the room, still no pain relief has been given and I just lay on the bed whimpering. Ok, crying and whimpering. It was a low moment, y'all. For real.

I know this next statement might make my mom and sister feel awful, but it's true. While laying there with nurses all around, all I could think was how badly I wanted MY two nurses to be there. My little sister, Caralyn, is an ER nurse in Dallas, and my mom is a Labor and Delivery nurse.

When the ER nurse came in, my first thought was "Caralyn would be a much happier face to see right now."

But that's beside the point. I'd been there maybe 30 minutes (who knows on time. I don't. It felt like forever) when the pain started to get so bad I knew I was going to throw up. I tell them as much and they go in search of a trashcan or bag. I have it in my hands 5 minutes when I started to get sick. And I quickly got up, off the bed, and went to the corner of the room. I dropped to my knees and the BIG sobs started coming. Between throwing up, sobbing, and catching my breath, I kept telling Sarah and Carl "I'm so sorry! I'm SO sorry you have to see this!"

They kept urging me to get off the floor and back to the bed, but I just didn't want them to see me throw up. When I was done, I walked back to the bed and the lady began to hook me up.

While laying there, I was exhausted and started to zone out.

Evidently, I wasn't really aware of anything at that point. I just knew she was sticking needles in my arm and taking blood, etc.

Carl and Sarah knew VERY well the moment the meds entered my body. As did I. I felt a rush through my body and all I could say was "oooooooh man."

I'm probably not the one to tell this part of the story, but either way. I felt immediate relief. Whatever they'd just put into my IV line was beautiful. Very beautiful.

After this, they took me to get a CT scan and I was content.

Meds are a beautiful thing.

And I remember thinking to myself "Remember this moment. When you get the hospital bill, remember this moment."

From there, we waited a bit for CT scan results. Doctor came in and said both ureters are lined with small stones, left AND right- but the left ureter is completely obstructed by a bigger stone. Hence the crazy pain.

So next stop was the urologist.

Sarah drove me over, we checked in, and began to wait. It was 12:30 at this point and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. (We were waiting for the hospital to send the CT report over to the urologist)

We waited so long the meds from the ER started to wear off. Sarah went to tell someone they needed to do something as she saw my face go white and the pain take over.

They came in, gave me a shot, and 15 minutes later came back in with the news.

The two options were the sound waves blast to break up the stone, or go in and physically remove it.

Because of the location of the stone, they couldn't do the sound waves blast thing-a-ma-jig. (that's a real word.) :-) The only other option was to remove it. But. The doctor said "Minda. You are SO CLOSE to having passed this stone. Really. It's SO close. My advice would be to go home, take your meds, drink tons of water, and let it pass on it's own.

So. That's the plan. They sent me home.

Sarah took me to the pharmacy where we had prescriptions filled.

She dropped me back off at my apartment at 3:45pm.

What a day.

I came upstairs, unloaded my meds, and took a nap. Took another dose of meds at 5:30pm- then kept myself awake until 10 so I could take one more dose before going to bed.

And that, my friends, is how I spent my day yesterday.

I should also note, I'm still taking the STRONG meds today and typed this all out while feeling a little woozy. So if words are incorrect, times don't match, or if anything is just plain weird....Well, I'm blaming it on the meds. :-)

Was hoping to only need the 'lighter' medicine this morning but that's NOT an option.

So here's to a full day of medicine and LOTS of water!
Cheers.

(I'm a social media person. How could I NOT take a picture....even in the condition I was in (aka- looking ALL KINDS of rough!)




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