Tuesday morning 5:30 a.m. I shot up out of bed with a sharp urge to go pee (you know this story’s gonna be great or awful depending on your tastes based on that right there). I went but still felt the “urge” even after emptying my bladder. Crap. Isn’t this how UTI starts? So I dragged myself back to bed. I spent the rest of the day taking it easy and drinking tons of water and going to pee every five minutes if I could. Other than that, pretty normal.
Wednesday morning 2:30 a.m. Sudden urge to go empty my bladder again. When I got back to bed, I realized that my back was sore and in my sleepy haze I was softly moaning (apparently) because Juan asked me what was wrong. I realized my back was hurting a lot more than a normal sore back. The combination of the bloating/swollen bladder feeling and the back pain soon became really really uncomfortable. Juan made the decision to take me to the emergency room. I am so glad he did because as soon as we got there, I was writhing in pain. As they were doing their prelim data gathering, I started throwing up.
They admitted me, started blood work, and set up an IV line. They wanted a urine sample but I’d already emptied my bladder and hadn’t replaced fluids. I tried several times because of the incredible urge to go but nothing would come out. The pain in my back was so severe that it made me nauseous. I kept throwing up. It got to the point that I would just dry heave.
I was still waiting for a doctor to see me. They were under orders to not give me anything, not even water, until a doctor signed off on it. And I wasn’t going to see a doctor until I had a room. And there were no rooms available just yet.
Those were the longest two hours I can recall.
I felt bad for the other people in the triage room waiting with me since I kept throwing up in my bucket and then eventually quietly sobbing in my corner. Juan was in the general waiting room and couldn’t be there with me which made things more difficult.
Finally they got my results and a room opened up and they took me back there. It’s kind of a blur, but I remember they were not so concerned about my pain, they were concerned with my apparently critical anemia. They kept commenting on how pale I was. My numbers were 6.9 and 26.5 (wish I remember what they stood for). They put in an order for me to get a blood transfusion even before I got medication for whatever was going on. Apparently, I could have dropped with a heart attack at any moment since my numbers were so low.
Eventually I find out that I am probably passing a kidney stone. This is later confirmed via CAT scan. At some point they gave me morphine and anti-nausea medication. That didn’t work (I was still in pain and throwing up). They then gave me some souped up Motrin and Flomax to open up the path for the stupid stone to pass and I was able to knock out for about half an hour.
Each unit of blood took about an hour for me to take in.
So after the two units, they basically discharged me after almost 12 hours exactly. I was starving at this point (yay, no more nausea!) and incredibly thirsty because no one had the authority to give me anything and the doctor never gave the order. We picked up food, and my meds and crashed at home.
I tried to finally take an undisturbed nap (for some reason, at the emergency room we happened to be there on the same morning that they were doing some construction right outside the curtain to my room). At about 6:00 p.m. the beast decided to start moving and I could feel it. I could feel the bastard crawling through and it was more pain than anything I have ever felt before. It felt like it was forever and I yelled to Juan. He tried to help me out by rubbing my back since that had been invaluable in the hospital. But this was too much. After a few minutes, it stopped and it was like the clouds parted. The stone had passed.
At least in retrospect, that’s what it seems because when I went to pee after that, I think I saw a speck at the bottom of the bowl that disappeared when I flushed and the pain was mostly gone. I was able to sleep through the night. Hallelujah.
I woke up really sore this morning though and at first I couldn’t figure it out. When I sneezed, I realized it was all the throwing up from the day before because it was pretty much the same muscles.
I was ordered to go to urgent care to find out why I am so severely anemic. So, we went. And we haven’t found out anything. I gave three vials of the blood they so urgently gave me yesterday so they can send it out to a lab and find out what is wrong with me. The doctor suggested that it may be genetic. (Side note: if it is genetic, will the foreign blood mess with the results? I don’t know enough about blood to know the answer to that yet.) We’ll find out next week what’s wrong.
In the mean time, everything that we look up for a kidney stone-free diet conflicts directly with a diet for anemics. :-/
So anyway, now we are home, and we are happy to just sit here and watch some TV and veg out. It’s been a long couple of days.
PS: Other than my direct family, the only people who really knew what was going on were my coworker buddies because, well, I couldn’t go to work. And the thoughts and messages you sent my way were very well received and appreciated. Thanks for thinking and praying for me. <3
PPS for Chris C: This was one of the worst things I’ve ever been through. And no, I wasn’t wearing pants.