It was Thursday, Feb 5th, my little guy was not feeling so well and I wasn’t up to my usual superhero status either. So after work we marched ourselves to the Walkin Clinic and had a little check up. Wil had an ear infection, and I was told I had a UTI. A trip to the drugstore later we were home and into the evening ritual of food prep, mealtime, bath and bedtime.
Around 4:07 am Friday I awoke with a lurch and a small cry. And then I promptly vomited on myself. I tried to get to the bathroom so I could vomit in the toilet but the searing pain in my left lower abdominal was preventing that.
I slid to the floor, landing with a thump and dry heave and crawled my way to the toilet. Wondering the whole damn way: “Was it something I ate, is it a reaction to the medication? and “What in the name of holy hell is causing the pain in my side?” Once I got to the toilet I held myself there in a bizarre combination of the praying and fetal positions. The pain was still bad, but squat like this, holding my head up on the toilet bowl I felt a little better. That is to say I no longer felt like cutting a hole in my side with toenail clippers on the sink and pulling out the small rodent that was gnawing its way through my inner plumbing.
I am not sure how long I sat there, I believe I may have passed out. At some point I tried calling out to Don. He was sleeping in the guest room- banished there for snoring offenses. When he got to the bathroom I was standing in the door frame, holding myself upright by clinging to the door. He told me after that I looked yellow- all I needed was a blue dress and blue hair and I was a dead ringer for Marge. My eyes were bugged out like hers too.
So off to the emergency room we headed. We were very lucky Wil’s daycare opens early so we had one less worry to think about. Don dropped him off- literally. He opened the door, handed Wilson off to the first worker he saw, told them we were on our way to the hospital and left. Daycare drop off is usually a 10 minute ritual- this was about 7 seconds.
As we were driving to the hospital in Ajax my stomach started to really ramp up the pain. I turned to Don at one point, crying inconsolably and whimpered: “I think I just ruptured something.”
That was when the first accident nearly happened. Don just pulled out into oncoming traffic cutting off several early morning commuters in the process. I reached out with a shaking hand and put on the four way flashers and mentally decided not to update Don with any further developments until we reached the hospital.
Well I tried not to anyway. The second accident almost happened while we were on the one lane stretch of road that spans the little divide between Whitby and Ajax when I yelped like a cat whose tail was run over by an 18 wheeler. And that was when Don tried to pass first by darting out into the oncoming lane, and veering back, and then by edging over to the soft shoulder. But my frantic screaming at him to stop put that in check.
When we finally got to the hospital we got lost trying to find the right way in. They are renovating right now, and the signage is lacking. By the time I was finally seen by a Dr, I was pretty much incoherent. I have heard the phrase “the pain was blinding” used before but never really understood it. Now the definition is very clear.
The nurse tried to get me settled and helped me into one of those useless hospital gowns. The Dr came in poked and prodded me, asked a few questions, scribbled on my chart, and started ordering the battery of tests I was to undergo. Then he said the magic words: “The nurse will give you something for the pain”. Now, I don’t know how many of you know this about me, but I am afraid of needles. Pass out afraid. But when the nurse returned to my room with three needles on a tray and a look that said “Bend over lady”, I just rolled over on my side and lifted the gown up. Had she told me that the injections had to go in my eyeballs I would have consented to that too.
Blood work, an ultrasound, a cat scan, one shot of Toridal, Demerol, and Gravol later it was determined I was passing a kidney stone. The pain was a result of it leaving my kidney and going for a little jaunt. The cat scan reveled another little surprise, I had an additional kidney stone still in my kidney. Waiting there. No time line. Just a little something to look forward to- like root canals and colonoscopies. Also, my kidney is distended, which may be a result of the stones or it could be something else.
They released me later in the evening, with the chilling phrase: “We think this is small enough to pass on its own” and a directive to see my family doctor. So I am in the midst of more testing, and I am feeling a lot better. However, I am still waiting for stone 1 to pass, my Dr feels it may be sitting in my bladder, and of course there is stone 2 who has yet to make its presence known.
I did learn two things from this ordeal:
- The next time we have that kind of emergency we are calling an ambulance.
- If you want to be seen by the ER staff right away you have to include chest pain in your list of symptoms.