Saturday, December 7, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Unexpected Friday

Linking up with Jen, per my usual.

Yesterday was crazy.

-1-

For those of my regular readers who've been following the ongoing kidney stone drama, you may know that I never really fully recovered from my surgery two weeks ago, and have continued feeling pain all day. I thought it was a bad uti or something like that, initially, but the past few days I seriously started wondering if I was passing another stone or something. The pain just kept getting worse, no matter how strong my antibiotic or what pain medicine I took.

-2-

So, yesterday, I was scheduled to have a follow-up ultrasound, to check on the state of the remaining stones. (Ironically enough, the feast of St. Nicholas is the twenty-eight year anniversary of my parents finding out my mom was actually pregnant with twins - "Twin Day" as we call it!- and the one year anniversary of my first ultrasound of Sister Nugget. So, I've had more fun ultrasounds on this day!) I told the ultrasound tech that I had been wondering if the pain I'd been having for the past week or so was actually more stones passing. As he proceeded through the ultrasound, he found what looked to be three stones passing. "I'm going to call your doctor and see what she wants to do." My ureter was clearly obstructed, which meant no urine was passing from my right kidney to my bladder (hence the awful pain I was having). He sent me out to the waiting room then came out a few minutes later to tell me that the nurse would call me later to tell me what my options were.

-3-

I got in the car and felt overwhelmed with relief and gratitude! I felt as if God were finally answering my prayers. I had been so afraid at that point, not sure why my pain was not improving no matter what they were trying. I began to drive away from the office, but before I could get back on the highway, the doctor herself called me back. She said that ultrasounds aren't always the most reliable, so it was hard to tell from the picture if it were stones blocking the ureter or swelling. Either way, she wanted me to get another CT scan done that day, and she happened to be at the hospital anyway, so she suggested I come to the ER to get my scan done, so that she could do surgery if need be. I completely agreed. When I hung up, I felt so at peace. My pain had been particularly bad that morning, and it looked like my sainted doctor was going to tackle the cause head on. I called the Abbot who quickly arranged to send the girls with friends.

-4-

Shortly thereafter, we were on our way to our favorite ER (I actually say that with no sarcasm...this ER is fabulous and if you have to be going to an ER, it's the one to go to!), where I was instantly checked in and taken back, since they were pretty empty. They gave me some lovely pain medicine, which made me more comfortable than I'd been in weeks, and took me back for a CT scan. (During which the nurses all teased the Abbot and I for looking about 12 years old...I actually had one of my nurses ask me if my doctor was a pediatrician or an OB...say what??)

-5-

Shortly thereafter, the ER doctor came in and said, "Well, we got back the results of your scan and we aren't seeing any stones in your ureter, and there's just some swelling, so we're just going to send you home." I was baffled, having seen the ultrasound only a few hours earlier. "Did I pass the stones that were in there in the last hour or something?" "Maybe, " he said. "I'll get your discharge papers together."

The Abbot and I looked at each other totally confused. What? Weren't they going to do anything else for me? And wasn't I going to be able to talk to my doctor? (Which was the whole reason for coming to the hospital.) I asked the nurse if I was going to be able to talk to my doctor, and she whisked out to find out when I explained that my doctor was the urologist who originally ordered the scans.

In the meantime, they brought in the discharge papers and were getting ready to have me sign them.

-6-

But THEN, blessedly, my doctor came whizzing in, talked to us, and came up with a real solution. She said that she couldn't tell if there was a stone lodged in there or not from the scan, but that she could tell that my ureter was obstructed. "If it was, like, 24 hours since we'd removed your stent, I would say we should try to let it heal on its own. But it hasn't been. I think you need to have another stent put in." I almost cried, but she reassured me, answered all my questions and listened to my very real concerns about pain management with my new stent (since the first one was so miserable). Soon I was being whisked out of the ER to the procedural center to get prepped for surgery. Within a few hours I had surgery to have a stent put back in, and the doctor also removed the remaining stubborn stones from the right kidney. I took my time in my room recovering, and that made the whole discharge process much smoother for me (no almost passing out from trying to urinate without medicine or food to help with the pain of urinating with a stent in). Soon I was on my way home!

-7-

Okay, so now I have to tell you the slew of miracles that happened yesterday. God's fingerprints were all over the place...

1. My pain was really peaking that morning, and it just so happened to be the morning that I was going in for an ultrasound, anyway. Prior to that ultrasound, they thought I just had a uti, but thanks to the well-timed ultrasound they were able to catch that something much more serious was going on.

2. My doctor's quick and aggressive response to the whole scenario was a true blessing. She dealt with the whole situation beautifully, right on down to taking pity on me and removing those last few stones. She also has some of the best bedside manner I've ever seen and was eager to soothe and reassure me throughout the whole process. Two surgeries in the span of two weeks is no fun, but having a doctor like her made it go much more smoothly!

3. The Abbot's parents were already planning on coming to visit us this weekend, so they just headed down earlier than planned. Having them meant that the girls were able to come home from our friends' houses sooner and be in the loving care of their grandparents.

4. In the back of my mind, I was afraid a repeat surgery might be a possibility and so I had milk stashed like nobody's business (most of it from before the first surgery). So, having to be separated from Sister Nugget so unexpectedly was way less stressful than it would have been otherwise, because I knew she had plenty of food!

5. Sister Nugget not only slept through the night but slept in late that morning, which means I went into the whole day with a good night's sleep. It also meant I got to have a nice early breakfast which meant that I didn't need to worry about whether or not I'd fasted long enough before surgery. I had!

6. When I got over to the procedure center, I had the same nurse I'd had for my surgery two weeks before. It turns out that she had been thinking about me since she'd seen me last because she had just passed a kidney stone of her own! We were able to joke around together and I told her that she was now a member of the "kidney stone club." She just kept saying, "I just kept thinking, 'That poor girl! Now I know what she was going through!'" We said were old friends at this point, and it truly felt like I had a friend by my side the whole time I was over there. She put a smile on my face, and made me feel less alone.

7. The pain medicine they gave me on the ER side lasted me until I was in surgery, which meant that I was not only pain free but relaxed and calm (since it was pretty strong medicine) prior to surgery. Two weeks before I'd been freaking out, but this time I could take it all in easy stride.

8. All of this happened at a Catholic hospital, so I could flip the TV to the chapel channel and take a peek at Jesus to say a prayer on more than one occasion!

9. It snowed yesterday. Snow is very special to me because at a time when my mom was very sick and I was very scared, God worked through the snow to reassure me. I was so alone in my fear that time, and I remember realizing that the snowflakes falling from the sky as I prayed at the grotto were like kisses that God was blowing down from heaven. Needless to say, snow has been a precious reminder of God's love for me ever since, and having it snow yesterday made me feel happy and peaceful!

10. Finally, all of this happened only one week in to our St. Andrew novena, and one of our intentions had been praying for the healing of my entire urinary tract. God get the ball rolling on that one a little early! I had been feeling so lost and abandoned in my faith, but the events of yesterday made me realize, once more, that I am in God's hand. And I feel so blessed. :-)

Most special of all, was that this surgery followed the trend of me having major medical events on Friday, especially Friday afternoons. (Both my girls were born on a Friday, and Sister Stinky was actually born a minute before 3pm - the hour of mercy! - and both my surgeries were on Friday afternoons). I felt so at peace to know that my suffering could be united with Christ's in that special way. It felt like a show of solidarity from him!

Thank you for all your prayers for me so far, and please keep them coming!!! God is so good, and I am now, finally, FINALLY filled with hope again. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update!! So cool what you said about snow - I really love the snow and find that a snow covered ground brightens my day and mood sooo much. I'm not a huge sunny day person, but I AM a huge "light from the snow" person, so really cool to hear that I'm not crazy! Such a beautiful way of putting it, God comforting you through the snow :)

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