Monday, August 27, 2012

Dr. Kildare .. Another Day At The ER

You know you've been to the hospital too many times when folks recognize you.

Last night at work I started getting a severe pain in my lower right abdomen which wouldn't go away. I've called out sick from work as many do, but have never in three years left work early .. until last night that is.

What started as a feeling of "pressure" on my bladder about 6:30 PM developed as a gawd awful pain in my abdomen within three hours.

So before 10 PM off I went home and no matter whether sitting, standing or trying to lay down it wouldn't stop. Now I have a prescription for nausea for a stomach ailment which started back in March (have since found out through testing, that for whatever reason my liver is dumping too much bile off/on and my stomach doesn't get rid of it) but I opted not to take it (ER said smart thing to do) as I wanted to see if I got "all the symptoms" that something other than abdominal gas was the culprit.

By 11:00 PM I threw in the towel after vomiting started and called 911.

So off I went to yet another visit to the hospital.

A Cat Scan showed a kidney stone, 2 mm in size (which is small enough to avoid surgery but large enough to cause pain as it travels), had left the kidney and is working its way through the plumbing to the bladder and then eventually out. At the time of this writing I presume it's still between the kidney and the bladder as the stone tends to be a slow mover, the larger the stone the slower and longer it takes to finally pass.

At that news I was relieved as I was afraid my appendix was acting up and getting ready to burst. After two hip operations and an angioplasty last year for a heart attack I was not in the mental state of mind to go through another surgery.

It's reported by the National Kidney Foundation that more than half a million people go to ER's each year for the pain and suffering of kidney stones. Many folks including myself who experience the onset of a stone starting to pass from the kidney into the urinary tract on its way to the bladder and its eventual exit out of the body is "the worst pain they have ever felt".

I thought that too until I severely dislocated my hip in 2011, but let me tell you the pain from the kidney stone ranks in the top three of my recent experience of pain with the heart attack comprising part of the painful trio.

The symptoms as described in the link above, pain comes in "waves" which can last between 15 to 60 minutes and often (as mine) worsen and become prolonged. The pain can be in the back (where the kidney is) abdomen and/or groin and can be accompanied by painful urination. The coup-de-gras for the symptom of a stone is the onset of nausea and severe vomiting .. let me tell you, you cannot help yourself (ergo why I didn't take the nausea pill). I think I may have made some folks sick in the ER when I had my final (before they gave me the meds) bout what with all the noise I was making bringing up bile and having dry heaves.

So finally here's what I'm getting at in the opening paragraph.

One of the EMTs last night also came last year when I had the heart attack. The gal who did the Cat Scan was the same one who did my head, abdomen and hip the night I had the car accident before they realized how much damage I'd done to the hip and subsequently shipped me off to Yale-New Haven hospital.

Some of the folks in the ER recognized me, in fact one jokingly said "oh no, not you again, what happened now ?".

I leave such an impression on folks.

So it is that for the time being I'll not be posting as I am right now as when the pain hits again and I take a pain med which helps the pain but also as it does to everyone throws you for a loop, I'll be in no mood (or coherence) to do any writing.

For those who may say something, I had a kidney stone 10 plus years ago so I know what the next couple/ few days (took a week last time) will be like until the bastard stone passes through.

One good thing about the pain meds in the ER, when you go there you're so miserable it's like "I WANT MY MOMMIE" .. after they injected pain killers I was high as a kite and a chatterbox who would not shut up until the meds made me groggy enough to nod off.

Pharmaceuticals .... it's a wonderful thing.

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