Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mary Versus the Kidneys: Round Two

If any of you have been reading the blog from the VERY beginning (as in... March of 2009), then you may remember the first round of the ongoing battle I have with my kidneys. They like to throw rocks at me from time to time. LITERALLY!!! Kidney stones. Last time I spent about 7 hours in the ER and then 3 days drugged on my couch before finally passing the stone. This round of the battle was FAR worse than the first time... Here's how it played out.

Friday, August 13th, 2010
NOTE: Friday the Thirteenth!! This should have been my first clue!! Nothing too bad was going on at this point. I just had a crampy achey feeling in my left kidney. It just lingered, and didn't get worse, so I just chalked it up to weird pregnancy pains or something and somewhat ignored it, going to work like usual. I was scheduled for the 4 PM - midnight shift, but went home around 10:30 because I wasn't feeling well and the night had settled down by then.
*NOTE* It wasn't as silly as it may seem that I ignored it. With the other kidney stone, I went from being perfectly fine to being completely debilitated by pain within about an hour and a half. Since this nondescript achey feeling went on for HOURS, I figured it was something else.

Saturday, August 14th, 2010
Saturday, I was scheduled to work from 9 AM - 9 PM. Just before 7 AM, I was awakened by my phone ringing... the second person scheduled to work at 6 AM didn't show. Leaving only one person working the floor. Despite the fact that I was looking forward to about another hour and a half or so of sleep, I hustled my bum (attached to my still achey kidney) into work to help out. I got there just before 7:30 AM. I mentioned offhandedly to my coworker that I thought I might be starting to pass a kidney stone. By 8:30 the pain had gotten MUCH worse, and I was vomiting from the pain. The other CNA for the day had shown up by then, and they volunteered to cover the floor so Jake could take me to the Urgent Care.

We ran to the BYU Urgent Care. They ran blood work and checked out some other tests that I had *conveniently* just had run on Friday for some routine prenatal labs. They agreed that it was likely a kidney stone, and sent me on to the ER.

So, we headed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center's ER (still vomiting and in tears from the pain). They ran more blood work. And hooked me up to an IV. Got some morphine and some good hydrating fluids.

You can still see the bruise on my arm from were they drew my blood the day before!

We spent... a good 4-5 hours in the ER on Friday. Because of Baby, they didn't want to run a CT scan to locate the kidney stone. So, they opted for an ultrasound. They did a full abdominal ultrasound - which was kinda cool. I got to see my kidneys and ribs and lungs and whatnot. But... they couldn't FIND a stone. However, my urine tests indicated that the kidney was probably infected. So, they went with that diagnosis and sent me home with drugs for pain and nausea as well as some antibiotics for the infection. They also told me to come right back to the ER if I started running a fever, or had uncontrolled pain or vomiting, etc.

It was a long, unhappy day.

Jake was a trooper though. He read his book and helped me out when I needed it. :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010
The day started out promising! Less vomiting, and the pain meds seemed to be doing their job. Until about 9 PM that night. The pain meds (the prescription said 1-2 pills as needed every 4 hours) were... no longer doing their job. Those two pills were only lasting about an hour. I roughed it out through the night, sleeping on a bag of frozen veggies to help with the pain.

Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday morning showed no signs of improvement. We called the OB to check with them about what they wanted me to do. They said to head back to ER. So... we did. After another 5+ hours full of blood work and ultrasounds (and THANKFULLY some serious duty pain meds!), they decided to admit me. The new theory was that although the infection was under control, there was ALSO a stone that was blocking my kidney and not allowing urine and other fluids to drain the way they should.

So, we were wheeled up to the seventh floor to my luxurious room!

I did have a pretty sweet view. This isn't actually the window in my room. It's a window across the hall, but I could see out it from my bed. So it kind of counts. I could see Life Flight, BYU, Rock Canyon, even the Provo Temple!

Here's most of the room. And the chair where Jake spent his time. (Although I did let him go home to sleep in a read bed. I'd been keeping him up the last 3-4 nights with my tossing and turning).

The urologist decided to give me throughout the night to see if I would pass the stone on my own. To facilitate this, they were gave me my own little morphine pump! It was all hooked up to my IV and I had a little button that I got to push! Whenever I pushed my magic button - instant relief!! SOOOooo much better than having to bother the nurse every hour.

But... I DIDN't pass the kidney stone that night... which led us to Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Tuesday morning, they decided to do a cystoscopy and go seek out the stone. Basically, that just means that they sent a little camera scope up through the bladder and on its way to kidney. When they found it, they went ahead and took it out!! BEST WAY TO GET RID OF A KIDNEY STONE EVER!! SOOOO much better than passing it mysef! I was a little scared and worried... but it really wasn't bad for me. I was out under a general anesthetic for the whole deal.

A few funnies:

If you are around Jake and I, you may have noticed that instead of regular pet names, I call him "Boy" and he calls me "Girl". I vaguely remember as they were wheeling me into (or out of?) post-op, asking everyone "My Boy, My Boy. Where's my Boy?" I guess they all assumed I was talking about the Baby, because they kept telling me "We don't know that it's a boy, but it's fine." Of course, this didn't satisfy me. I kept asking about "My Boy" until someone finally asked what my boy's name was and connected that "Jake" meant "husband".

As I returned to my room, the nurse and CNAs were asking me if they could get me anything. As in anything - a blanket, meds, etc. Evidently I immediately said "Orange juice??". So, they brought me orange juice. But that wasn't the end of it. I guess I was sooo excited to have my orange juice that I told Jake MULTIPLE times "Look, Boy! I have some orange juice! They brought me orange juice!"

While I enjoyed a nice post-op nap and slept off the rest of the anesthesia, I SWEAR I saw Jake come back from the cafeteria with pizza and a plate full of DINOSAUR EGGS! There were all different kinds of dinosaur eggs, and each one had a picture of the kind of dinosaur that would hatch from it!

But, immediately after the operation, I felt so much better! Didn't need any pain meds from the minute I got back! The only lingering unpleasantness was the matter of my potassium... Evidently my potassium levels were CRAZY low. So they decided to give me a boost through my IV. But... potassium through an IV is NOT fun!! It burns up your arm the whole way through the vein. I had to have an ice pack on my arm to be able to bear it. :-(

I got back from the operation around noon. And by 6:30 that evening, we were cleared to go home!!

Mike and Karen where wonderful to bring over dinner for us that night. It was such a blessing!

I'm still kind of tired and feeling a bit weaker than normal. And my bladder/kidney area is still tender and a bit sore. But nothing so bad that I've needed so much as a tylenol!


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