Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kidney Girl

Let's skip the formalities. Yes, it's me. I'm still a blogger. Hey.

I am also proud to announce that if any of you had doubts that I still had my kidney's, I am happy to announce that they are both located in their proper positions and working well enough to give me kidney stones. Last night was quite the adventure. And as much as I really love spur of the moment adventures, I really could have done without last nights.

For the past couple of days I have been getting sharp pains to the sides of my abdomen. It was enough to grab my side, sit down, let it subside, and move on with my life. However last night, after a delicious spinach artichoke pasta dinner, the pain came back to the left side of my stomach. This time it was so much stronger, and my first thought was "well, perhaps I need to use the bathroom and clear myself out." I proceeded to spend 20 minutes doing nothing in the bathroom but withering in pain bent over the toilet. {This is SO TMI for me, I apologize!!} I finally gave up on the clearing out plan, washed my hands, and put a pillow on the living room floor and proceeded to lay down while making terrible wailing noises. It hurt. Bad. I am trying to think of something to compare it to, but honestly I've never been in so much excruciating pain. I've had fevers that hurt, and make me cry. I've had menstrual cramps that really sting, and knock me out for days. But nothing has ever been as sharp and horrible as the pain I felt last night lying on the floor of my apartment.

Over the next 30 minutes I tried to chat with my roommate Kirsten about Chick-fil-A awesomeness, and with Erron about the game 2048. And then I decided, since the pain wasn't subsiding whatsoever, that I needed some medical attention. Luckily for me, my Grandma is a nurse and so I called her. No answer. I laid there, just praying that the pain would dull a little bit, and miraculously my Grandma walked through the door about 5 minutes later. 

She brought me a heating pad, and felt around my abdomen to get an idea of what could be causing my pain. Ultimately, she concluded that it could be a couple different things. At this point she, as well as Erron, was telling me that I really should go into the emergency room. Which I was hesitant about because A) I have wonderful insurance, but I presumed that the ER would be pricey. And B) I just felt so dramatic, lying on the floor, moaning, and crying. I mean, maybe I was just being a baby? The pain wasn't actually *that* bad, was it? 

It was. My Grandpa came down to give me a priesthood blessing alongside Erron, and while it was such a nice blessing I remember thinking "Come ON, hurry UP, I am in pain here!" And at that point, I knew that I needed to go in.

Erron drove me to the hospital and I walked right in to the ER. It was an easy process and they made sure I was comfortable, with warm blankets and all. Initially when I walked in, I told them that the pain was at a 7 out of 10. But once I lied down and waited for the doctor it started to subside a little. Finally. 

The doctor promptly came in to analyse the problem, and shortly after he decided to get blood work, a urine sample, and put me on pain meds. I didn't know what I was expecting when I came in, but I completely forgot about the whole "needle" thing that happens when you go to the hospital. And so began my mental journey to prepare myself for an IV. The good news is, that when you are in as much pain as I was, you want them to do whatever they can to fix you. 

I clutched Erron's hand as a nice man named Andrew came in to take my blood. Erron wanted to know all about how the needle worked and so I got to get a demonstration about what was going to happen to me, thinking to myself the whole time "just poke me, damnit!"

He did, and he did it well. The most horrific experience I had with needles was when I found out I had mono, and the nurse couldn't get the IV in. It was my freshman year of college, and ultimately she tried 5 times without succeeding, 3 times on one arm, 2 in both hands, and then finally got the vein on my opposite arm. That experience haunts me to this day. But after about 5 viles of blood were taken he put me on a saline solution so that I could pee faster. How kind.

When I was able to use the bathroom I paged Andrew, and he came back and guided me to the restroom. I quickly did my business and went back to my room where a nice lady got the wonderful job of picking up my pee cup. Erron and I then waited for about 45 minutes while they got their results. The doctor came back within this time, after the blood work was done and told me that they couldn't determine if I was pregnant yet, so I would have to wait awhile longer. He told me that if the test came back that I was negative for pregnancy, that he would send someone to pick me up for a CT scan.

Andrew came, and told me that they had found blood in my urine, and that they were going to proceed with a CT scan. TMI here, but I always imagined blood in urine would be just that. Blood, in your urine. But I'm telling you all right now that it was not visible to my eye, and when they told me there was blood in it I was astounded!

I started to get up out of my bed, and he quickly told me that they were going to wheel me through the hallways. Which was fun, but I felt like I was on House or General Hospital or something. Here I was being dramatically wheeled on a gurney through the halls of the emergency room. 

Andrew didn't stay with me for the scan, much to my dismay, and the guy that was running the machine gave me the creeps. He was generally nice, but there was something about him that was just off, and I just wanted to be taken back to the comfort of my brightly-lit ER room. 

After I went through the machine 3 times, holding my breath at different intervals each time, he wheeled me back to my room and told me it would be about 1/2 an hour to get results from the urologist. 

At this point I was feeling SO much better. The sharp pain was gone, the ache was gone, and there was just a dull pain in my back. After some time, the doctor came in to share his findings. The ureter on my left side, where the pain had been, was severely inflamed, causing them to think that I had just passed the stone either right before I came in, or in the very cup that sat on the counter. I told him I had seen things floating in the cup, and he scooted his little chair-stool over to my urine and took a look. It did indeed have remnants of the stone in it, and he seemed pleased with me. {Thank you, thank  you, I try to pass kidney stone just for you Dr. Leblanc.} He then scooted back to share that I also have a small stone in my right side, still in my kidney and that it could pass at any time. He told me it could pass tomorrow, or a year from tomorrow. At this point I was feeling almost completely better and I didn't even care that I had another stone. 

We talked about ways to prevent future stones, and he told me that I should try to collect the stone that I still had so that they could test it and figure out how to better help me prevent future issues.

And with that- I was done! 4 long hours after entering the hospital, I was out! We collected our things, and walked out to the car, following behind a police officer who was leading a sick, handcuffed man to his patrol vehicle. 

As we got in the car and drove home, I thanked Erron over and over for staying up half the night and keeping me calm. His selflessness was such an inspiration to me, and I hope I can be like that if roles are ever reversed.

Kidney stones SUCK. And I am more motivated than anything to drink lots of water now. I never ever want to experience the pain I was in last night ever again, and I will do whatever it takes to keep them away!

No comments:

Post a Comment