Last September, a mere 4 weeks after giving birth to Miss Stella Bella, I woke up with searing pain. Originating in my back, it was wrapping its way down my side and into my groin. My first thought was, "OMG. I'm in labor...again."
After getting out of bed, drinking some water and clearing my head, I realized, no, my baby was out- I'm not in labor, its obviously something else.
A few (very) painful hours and an ER trip later, I passed a pea sized kidney stone. If you care to read about it all in detail, you can do so here (oh- you KNOW I blogged about that!;)
It is now the fabulous month of August- almost an entire year later- and here I sit with the same, searing, nauseating pain.
I'm fighting what seems to be a never ending battle and tonight I'm going to complain about it. I'm going to complain about it for 2 reasons. 1- this is my blog, and I can write whatever I want and 2- my husband and family cannot possibly sit through one more sob session.
So here I sit (with that searing pain).
After passing several more stones and ending up in the hospital once more for a super painful kidney infection (where I had to go into detail about my birth control methods...in front of my dad.) I was finally referred to a urologist.
Not knowing anyone here (any urologists that is) I went with the first name on the referral sheet that took my insurance. I know. Stupid. And if I had to do it over again, I'd do my research (hindsight is 20/20, eh) and most likely choose a different doctor.
Three weeks ago I had a full out cystoscopy/biopsy/stone retrieval surgery. It wasn't fun. (Oh and if you're curious as to what the inside of my bladder looks like, I blogged all about it here)
The Dr. counted 5 stones total while he was "in there" and sent me home with instructions to collect any that passed.
I have 2 in my biohazard jar. Meaning three are still stuck in that stupid left kidney.
For the past week I've been feeling less than stellar. It's taken all of me to get through the day, and by the time Ryan's walking through the door, I'm handing over kids and begging to go lie down for a bit. "A bit" usually turns into at least an hour or two of heavy sleep. When I wake, its to the delicious sounds of dinner laughter. I stagger out of our room, with a blasting headache, pain ripping through my left side, and a huge cloud of guilt. I didn't cook dinner. I didn't eat dinner. I am missing out on prime family time. Not cool.
It cannot be normal for a young, twenty-something woman to feel this way.
I've been shrugging the sick feelings off as best I can, looking ahead to my follow up appointment with the urologist, hopeful that he would have some answers as to what the heck is going on.
However the past three nights I've woken up shaking- literally shaking, teeth chattering- from the chills. My entire body aching. And that stupid back/groin pain, radiating up and down my side.
This morning, I woke up with the most massive headache (and of course the pain, the aches, etc.) I also felt like I was going to puke.
I told Ryan before he left to be "on call." I knew it wasn't going to be a good day.
My mom and I met at the doctor and swapped cars. She took the kids for a morning of swimming. I took my jar of stones and a list of symptoms for a morning at the doctor.
Of course I immediately was ordered to do a urine sample. And surprise, surprise (I say that in the most sarcastic tone you could ever possibly imagine) it came back positive with white and red blood cells. The white blood cells mean, that yep, there's an infection (again.) The red blood cells mean one of two things; either I'm passing another stone or that spot on my bladder that was discovered in my cystoscopy is bleeding again.
During the examination the doc banged on my back (as they always do) but with the infection and stones it sent me off the table- literally- jumped off the table. And then I had to ask for the garbage can. He left the room, giving me "privacy" (he said) as I dry heaved. Can you say.... EMBARRASSING????
When I had collected myself I texted Ryan, something like, "Not good. Kidney infection and stones again. Come home asap."
My husband does not have the luxury to just up and leave from his job. I mean he does- he does up and leave to come home for any emergency we may be having but he'll pay for it by working overtime next week. Or we'll pay for it by a cut in his check. Guilt just keep on commin'!
They gave me a shot of something... (I can't believe I forgot the name! It starts with an R...) which hurt more than any other shot I've ever had in my life. And I'm not being dramatic. I am pretty brave when it comes to medical stuff. If there was an award for "best patient" I'd have to get it- I've never (in my memory) made a peep while giving blood, getting an IV, shots, etc. But today... this shot- it was BAD. I'm pretty sure it was a combo of the infection, nausea and the shot itself, but it made me feel loopy and they made me lie down for awhile before I was deemed ready to go. (puking in front of doctor...CHECK. Almost passing out from a shot in front of doctor... CHECK)
I was so, so ready to high tail it outta there. They wrote me 3 scripts; one for the infection, one for the discomfort (prescription strength AZO) and one for nausea.
And God bless my husband- God bless him everyday- but especially today. As soon as I picked up the kids and arrived home, he was there, waiting in the driveway, ready to take over. I had been crying, frustrated beyond words, with these stupid non-functioning kidney's of mine. And all I wanted was my bed.
It happened to be nap time for the kids- so it worked out well for all involved. Ryan was even able to take a nap, which is super rare.
Post nap, I was up for talking a little bit more. And we decided that (obviously) something isn't quite right with the constant infections. Aside from the infections, it's not practical for me to pass stones every few days. Basically we came to the conclusion it was time to finish this.
I feel like I'm on an episode of "Mystery Diagnosis" or something. We've been researching urologists in Jacksonville and have found a really promising one who specializes in stones at the Mayo clinic. Come Monday, I will be on the phone with my primary, asking for another referral.
I have no idea what the root of the problem is. And I'm trying not to let my mind wander that far. All I know is we've been putting band-aids on something that I think, requires more than that.
I had one of those weird defining moments today. Yes, I am taking my antibiotics, and my other meds, and yes, I am following up on Tuesday. But I silently declared that I was going to figure this out.
Any thoughts or prayers would be so appreciated. Honestly, deep within me, I don't feel like something is majorly wrong. I DO think there is (obviously) something wrong with my left kidney that might need some kind of "fixing." What that fixing entails, I have no clue. But I know antibiotics aren't cutting it. And chugging water to flush the stones? Yeah, that's not working either.
I'm done with feeling like complete junk and I'm ready to find some answers.
And now, let me smother you with pictures of my kids:
Unfortunately I did sit out dinner again tonight (slept through it), but I woke up just in time to catch them going outside for popsicles.
(In case you're wondering... we call him "Happy Man Henry";)
OH- and Maeve said "NO PICTURES" to the mamarazzi tonight. But she was here enjoying ice cream popsicles just as much as her sibs. :)