Monday, May 27, 2013

Awesome Memorial Day: Kidney stone, hospital dreams blasted away

I have watched hospital shows all my life -- Emergency, MASH, ER, House, Scrubs, even an episode or two of Grey's Anatomy when it could not be helped or when Summer Glau was on.

But when I was hospitalized Friday for a bitch-ass kidney stone that was blocking up my left uteter, it was nothing like any of them. I was quite disillusioned.

For instance, when I was transferred to the OR from the ER, the guy moseyed along. No one sat on my chest pounding away, yelling "Don't you die, dammit!"

There was no steamy love connections, at least that I saw. I was assuming that when the female nurse catheterized me, she would swoon, so overcome by my manhood. Word would spread and all the women in the hospital would suddenly find a reason to visit ER Room #9. But no. (I told this to my sister after my surgery, and she was shocked I said it in front of Mom.)

The one thing the shows got right. All of the folks were kind and dedicated, even if several tried to move the power chair by pushing it, not using the joystick.

But that's OK, like I said, not a  Frank Burns in the bunch, although I am not sure even Frank Burns would have been a jerk. It is not easy to be rude to me, even harder to be a jerk to Mom. And if someone did act jerky, my little sister was there to tear their fucking head off. Almost would have been worth a jerk to see that.

I guess I should start at the beginning. I went to work Friday feeling fine, but as I ate breakfast I got a pain. Gas, I assumed, although it felt different. I went to the bathroom but felt worse. I came back to my desk, felt clammy and nauseated and returned to the bathroom. I called Dad from there and recovered enough to go back to the office, email my boss I was leaving and go meet Dad.

But at home, the pain got worse. I told Mom we better go see about it, so luckily a nurse practitioner had an appointment almost as soon as I could get there so off we went, with a trash can in case I had to barf.

There is a stomach bug going around, the NP said, but fortunately she did not leave it at that. She scheduled me for a CT scan, which showed the bitch-ass stone. While Mom and I were at radiology, my little sister called and when she heard where we were, said, I'll be right there. She's great, folks! I almost feel bad for being mean to her when we were kids, but she was such a jerk.

From radiology, we went to the ER. Totally empty. I highly recommend mid-afternoon Friday as the time to get sick.

After that, I got processed and IV'd. The doctor came by to say the urologist was on his way. My sister googled my issue, the treatment and the urologist.

The ER doc wanted a urine sample. When the urologist got there, he did not seem to care, but by this point I did. I had been getting fluid and really had a full bladder. Nothing was coming out on its own, though, thanks to the stone. So they catheterized me. Felt good. I did not take the offered morphine.

My primary care doc stopped by, convincing me she is awesome.

Then we moseyed up to the OR, they asked a few questions, gave me a hairnet and wheeled me off.

As I was leaving, Mom bent down and kissed me, and I almost freaked: Am I going to die, I thought.

But no time to worry, they wheeled me in, lowered the gas mask and I was out.

From the lingering discomfort what then happened was (in layman's terms): The urologist threaded the wire to an Atari 2600 joystick up my penis and played Asteroids to bust up the stone, then he stuck in a balloon and an air tube and blew up the balloon to make sure things stayed open wide enough. And for a neat addition, the balloon is on a string hanging out of my penis, so tt they can remove it easily. I'd be more worried about the removal, but I am more concerned about the tape holding the string in place.

I won't bore you or gross you out with the recovery, suffice it to say that bladder control, never a strong point of mine, is not improved by these things. But no one complained. Well, my sister told me I should have written this sooner.

No comments:

Blog Archive