On December 23, 2011 I was at work, busy as a bee. I’d woken up that morning with back pain, but since I’m the lucky inheritor of my families sucktastick back problems, that was nothing new. Pop a few Advil, go about my business and pray that I’ll still be able to walk in the evening… this routine is all too familiar to me. But this time it just kept getting worse. And I felt like I had to pee, constantly. At first I would be able to go, but not much was coming out. Ok, I’ve had bladder and kidney infections before. No biggie. Drink a bunch of water and plan to pick up a UTI test kit on my way home. An hour or so later, the pain is getting wicked. I’m doing Lamaze breathing and debating telling my boss I need to head home. I take a break, use the bathroom and am greeted by a toilet bowl full of blood. Well. That’s new.
I call my Dr. who says to come in as soon as I can. I leave work, make it to the doctors office and give them a urine sample that looks like koolaid. At this point I’m starting to sweat, I’m nauseous and I would do terrible things for some pain medication. My doctor finally comes in and tells me he thinks I have a kidney stone. He offers to give me something for the pain, but really wants me to go across the street to the emergency room where they can send me for a CT scan and manage my pain better. At this point I’m starting to feel like I might be dying, and the sight of all that blood has me a little panicky. I call Jason and head to the ER.
Getting into a room at the ER was about an hour long wait. Not terrible. Except that in the meantime I’m writhing around, trying not to groan and moan and scream and visiting the little girls room every few minutes to either pee blood or puke. Good times.
I finally get into a room. Another hour or two passes before one of the Dr’s has time to see me. We will call him Disco Doc in this story, because the dude was wearing his scrub top pulled down low enough so everyone could bask in the glory of his sparse chest hair and the shiny gold necklace he had on. Disco Doc was immediately “concerned” about me. 1. I have no insurance. 2. The lab has told him that I do not, in fact, have any blood in my urine. And 3. The pain and sensations I am describing are not in the right areas to indicate kidney stones. (I mentioned before I have problems with back pain right? So for me, any pain in that area seems to trigger all the muscles in my back to go “woohoo! pain partaaayy!” and start spasming up willy nilly. I was having flank pain, it was just hard to differentiate at the time. And not to mention I AM STILL IN HORRIBLE PAIN.)
In order to address number two, I asked to doctor to stay in the room, grabbed a sample cup and my husband and went to the bathroom to fill that sucker up. (I can’t really address number one with going into how completely screwed up our medical system is and well, that is a whole other post.) I brought it back to Disco Doc, who looked at it and decided that maybe the lab had made a mistake. And that maybe they could go ahead and give me something for the pain now.
Which was nice, since I was to be waiting in that room for another 3 hours before he came back to tell me yeah, I might have a kidney stone. Another hour passes and he brings in an ultrasound machine and indeed finds stones. He doesn’t mention how big they are, but says he thinks they will probably pass… drink lots of water, here’s a few pain pills, call your doctor is you have any complications.
Knowing what I know now, I should have asked for a CT scan. But honestly, Disco Doc gave me the creeps and I really just wanted to go home.
A few days later I passed a tiny stone. I felt better, so I assumed the other ones had passed but were too small to see. I saved it, thinking it would be a souvenir of the one time I got kidney stones.
Ha. Ha. BWWWAAAAHHHAHAAAHHAAAHHAAAA!
Stay tuned for my next installment: The Evil Returns