Monday, August 25, 2008

Another late night at the E.R.

Oh my, I'm so tired. I'd really love to go to bed, but Nick has taken Jennifer to the hospital - again. He just called a moment ago and they are taking her to have a CAT scan done. They think that she might have a kidney stone. I've had a few of those - they're no fun. They have already given her pain killers, so I told Nick to call me when they were done, and I would come to pick them up. Jennifer won't be able to drive and Nick has no license.

I kind of suspected that Kidney stones might be the source of her problems. Her symptoms are very much like mine when I had a kidney stone get stuck. I'm kind of worried about how they are going to handle this without insurance. I know what the procedure is, and it's not cheap.

Back in March of 1998, I woke up one morning shivering like crazy. My first thought was that the heater on our water bed had finally bit the dust. Then, I got up to go pee, and I noticed that there was almost 4 inches of snow on the ground! (On March 19th! I remember because it was my hubby's birthday) It was one of those freak spring storms that drop a bunch of white stuff and it melts away by noon. On my way back to bed, I checked the kids to make sure that they were covered up before I jumped back into bed. I laid there with extra blankets up to my chin, but I still couldn't warm up or stop shivering. I turned my head to my right and saw Roy snuggled up, snoring soundly away. I KNEW that I shouldn't do it, I knew that it was WRONG, but I couldn't help myself - I was FREEZING! Very carefully, I crept over to Roy's side of the bed. (trying not to make too many waves in the water bed) I snuggled up next to him and closed my eyes tight, waiting for his reaction. I truly expected him to shoot straight up out of bed and dig his nails into the ceiling like they do in cartoons. At the very least, I was ready for him to scream at me to move my ice cold butt back to my side of the bed. Instead, after a few minutes, he rolled over and said,
"My God, Honey, you're burning up!!"
I looked at him like he was crazy and I said, "I am not! I'm freezing. Can't you feel me shivering?"

He got up, got the thermometer, and called the doctor. Half an hour later, we were at the emergency room. They sent me to x-ray and when the films came back, I was looking at two long tubes that led from my kidneys to my bladder. The one on the left was about the size and width of a drinking straw. The tube on the right, was as wide as my thumb, with a big white blob at the end, just as it entered my bladder. They explained that I had a rather large kidney stone that, somehow, managed to travel through my tubes without rupturing them, but now, it was simply too big to enter my bladder and pass. My right kidney had ceased to function as a result of the blockage. They gave me an I.V. antibiotic and some pain killers, set up an appointment with a urologist for the next day, and sent me home. For the first 24 hours, the only thing that would relieve my shivering, was the pain killers. Within two days, I was laying on a table, full of Valium so that I would lay still, while they shot a laser directly at my kidney stone in an effort to break it up into smaller pieces that I would be able to pass on my own. Except, I didn't. All I did was pee little grains of what felt like sand. After a week, and a second lithotripsy procedure, they finally removed the kidney stone surgically. I can't even begin to count how much money it all cost. If I hadn't had insurance, I have no idea what I would have done. I know that they probably would have wanted thousands of dollars before preforming any procedures.

So, I'm a little worried about all of this. By now, you've probably figured out that I allowed Jennifer to move in after all. Mostly because, the two of them had sat down and come up with a reasonable, logical plan for themselves. They want to get a place together. They know that Nick will probably have to serve some time, or at least go through a treatment program. They have both agreed to work towards a goal and most importantly, Nick understands that he MUST stay clean and sober. Nick seems to realise that he is just half a step away from the point of no return. This last incident has him scared. So far, he's been holding his end of the agreement, and they are doing what they said they would do. But of course, life is never as easy as you think it will be. If they can get through these difficulties and illnesses without Nick falling back to his old coping skills of drinking and drugs, then I think that will be a major accomplishment.

Okay, Nick just called and said that she only has a kidney infection. They are going to write her some scripts for some meds, and they will be home soon. He double checked with the Doctor and the pain meds that they gave her were non-narcotic, so she'll be fine to drive them home. (Or maybe they remembered Nick from his last visit to their E.R.? - when he was kicked out for being wasted.)

Anyway, I'm it's now 3AM and I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed.



2 howled back:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! My mother in law once gave me a blow by blow description of what it felt like passing a kidney stone. Be grateful you were spared that particular experience, hahah.

Either way, kidney infections really hurt, I think I've had one and I have watched my daughter go through one (she turned a funny colour of grey). It's really horrible... hope J feels better soon.

Auburn haired artist said...

I had passed a rather large one right after Heather was born. Passing it wasn't nearly as bad as feeling it migrate through my body. That took several weeks, little bit at a time. But it really wasn't as awful as I've heard people describe.