Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ignorance Is NOT Bliss

So, if you are on facebook, or have been reading my blog for the past six months, you know I've been dealing with kidney stones since March 1. A lot of kidney stones. 79 so far. Every time I think I'm getting over them, more appear. It has been a long, painful, terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad summer (Thank you Shel Silverstein).

It began in March, continued throughout April, then in May I did a half-marathon. I nearly died. I had bronchitis, which I'd mentioned. What I didn't tell you was that at mile 10, I was feeling really really bad. I used the restroom and, let's just say my urine was more blood than urine. This continued on throughout the day. I should've gone to the doctor, but I didn't. I called a few times over the summer, and they were always kind enough to re-fill my Toradol (that stuff is amazing for kidney pain), and they had asked if I'd consulted a specialist, but I told them no.

Now, in my defense, I had consulted several specialists in the past 24 years of dealing with this troublesome kidney. I've been to five different ones, to be exact - all to no avail. They never could give me any answers, or help, so I gave up. I just dealt with the stones, and the infections, as they came along. So this time was really no different. I just ignored the pain, and the other symptoms, and kept moving. I told myself I was too busy to deal with kidney problems. They'd go away on their own - they always have before.

On August 1, I found myself in incredible pain. I was doubled over, sweating profusely, nauseous, and miserable - but wouldn't let Mr. C take me to the hospital. On August 2, I broke down and called a specialist, and was so thankful they fit me in the next morning. When I went in, I was informed I had an infection, and they would test over the weekend to see what kind. I missed the yearly Luau at the club, and I was in bed most of the day on my Birthday. On August 6, I had a CT scan. That evening, the nurse called with my infection results - and informed me I had TWO different infections in the kidney. I have awesome luck that way. I told her I was still in a lot of pain, even on the antibiotics, and she said if it didn't go away by the following week to call her. The pain didn't go away. I didn't call her. I know, I am highly intelligent, aren't I? The pain continued on (and still does).

Tuesday, I was sitting at the pool watching Katie swim, while Brendan played golf. I got a call on my cell phone and it was the nurse telling me I needed to go immediately to the hospital for more scans, then to their office with the images. I arranged for Katie to stay to swim, and left. After a very long wait in radiology, I finally made it up to see the doctor. He said I had a very large stone that looked like it was trying to exit the kidney on the CT scan. It is far too big and would become lodged if it moved any more. The new scans, fortunately, showed the stone had dropped back into the kidney a bit. This was good news - if it hadn't dropped, I'd have been in surgery yesterday. The bad news is, I get to go into surgery next Wednesday instead. I guess the only way to deal with stones this size is to blast them into smaller bits, then go home and pass them there over the following 6 - 8 weeks. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Now, if I hadn't been so stubborn, I'd have found this out in March, had the procedure then, and had an awesome summer. But, no. I had to be tough. Work through it on my own. Wait it out. And now I get to spend my kids' second day of school in the hospital - then my entire fall will be spent passing kidney stones until who-knows-when.

Long story short: I pray this never happens to me again. But if it does, I'm going to the specialist first. I am not going to be tough any more. I'm going to be smart. Well, smarter than I was this time anyway.


Denise said...

Marti I hope your surgery goes well on Wednesday! Don't beat yourself up. It's hard to admit we can't handle things isn't it? Hope you have a good week.

Denise said...

Hope each day is getting better Marti! enjoy your weekend.