Have you ever thought to yourself, that’ll never happen to me? I thought that once, but then I found myself in the ER with a kidney stone. I’ve listened to others talk about it. I’ve heard the news of my brother, my sister and my husband’s brothers suffering from the ailment a time or two…or more, but I never knew the word “suffering” until now.
In mid-March, while sitting in my day-job’s office, a tightness had started in my back and side. I’d thought I was having a muscle spasm. By the time I’d left work, the pain had increased. When early evening had rolled around, I’d wanted someone to hit me over the head with a two-by-four.
After an evening visit to an Immediate Care Center, then a visit to my local ER two days later, both of which dismissed it as a UTI and sent me home with antibiotics, I’d finally received a referral for a scan.
And what do you know…a lodged kidney stone.
Then the adventure truly began.
There are several things I’d learned during the adventure. The first had been that Stadol is the bomb! That being said, let’s move on to the second one.
A lot of conversations go on in the ER, and it seems sitting behind a curtain make sthe voices louder.
One particular “ER mate” had proven rather comical. She had a habit of clearing her throat, which to me had sounded more like hawking a loogie. Though the sound had turned my stomach, it evidentially had no affect on the soundee.
The woman had continuously talked about food, whether it was crispy fried potatoes or chocolate. Her “there’s a rumbly in my tummy” had almost made me laugh out loud. The bed busting fart she’d emitted had managed to break my restraint.
My humor had quickly ebated when a nurse pushed aside the curtain and entered my little sterilized domain with the unsettling news she had to obtain a lean urine sample via a quick cath. Little did I know it takes three nurses to achieve such a task, especially when the first nurse had failed to operate the contraption correctly. All was well when the task was completed, and the three went on their way.
I’d finally arrived at my private suite, which had been just big enough for the bed and a closet-size bathroom.
Speaking of bathrooms, I’d quickly discovered making the trip while maneuvering an IV pump wasn’t as easy as they make it look on television.
Another thing I’d learned was how little it takes to amuse the staff. Days before my self-imposed incarceration, I’d made a visit to the nail salon. My shiny blue nails with elegant white stripes lined with silver color and matching toe nails had incurred many a conversation. More than once the comment had been made that I didn’t look as though I belonged in the hospital, and I couldn’t have agreed with them more. There’d been a million other places I’d wished to have been.
While awaiting surgery, I’d found myself in the company of several vampire romance lovers, and of course I’d felt the need to tout my vampire romance series, The Watchers.
Stent in place, I’d been sent home to wait out the curing of a major infection before surgery to remove the stone.
Ever heard of a stent? It’s a wire that runs from your kidney to your bladder and feels as though you’ve got a coat hanger for a tampon. Not pleasant. Not pleasant at all.
You know, I do believe the surgical staff were in need of comic relief the day of my surgery. Before going under, comments on my, once again newly painted toenails which matched my fingernails filled the room. I shouldn’t have been surprised that while in recovery, I discovered one of the booties had disappeared, leaving exposed the nails which had amused the staff.
Another reason I say the staff must have been in rare form was the fact that a few days later I discovered a 4” piece of tape in a spot where I wouldn’t even pay someone to place and remove.
When I’d made the joke to my doctor as to how a 1” piece of tape should have sufficed, he’d laughed and referred to the tape on my leg to hold the string which was tied to the end of the stent to aid in removal.
My leg. Someone surely had not gotten the memo on that one, I thought as I recalled the “Ah! Kelly Clarkson” moment I’d had during remove of said tape.
Pulling the rip cord on the stent as the approved time had been the highlight of my adventure. It had meant I’d neared the end of the journey.
As I write this little ditty, I must say I’m feeling more and more like myself every day. And for that, I am truly grateful.
So, the next time you hear someone is suffering from a kidney stone attack, I hope you’ll remember my little tale on Growing Stones and offer your sympathy, because believe me, they deserve it.
D. (Diane) McEntire
The Watchers Series