Thursday, September 18, 2003


Yesterday (Sept. 17th), at about 8:35 a.m. I had a nice little experience. I had just sat down at my desk at work. Fired up my email, my IM clients and the webcam. I IMed my sweety to let her know I made it to work safe and sound. While waiting for her reply I got a real ache in my left side. I was thinking it was gas or something. I was near my kidney. The pain didn't subside as it would have with gas. I started to get concerned. The pain was growing and not going away. My first thought and concern was, "What if its my appendix?" I didn't think the appendix was in that area, but I wasn't sure and I was starting to get scared.

I started to wonder what to do next. I was kinda embarassed to yell for help if it was just gas or something. But the pain kept on getting worse. All this thinking seemed longer than it was, probably less than 30 seconds. I IMed a guy in my department. I knew he was right across the hall I saw him as I went into my office. I'm not currently sharing an office with anyone, so I was on my own. I typed to him, "please help". He replied but I didn't read it. I laid on the floor hoping the pain would reduce, but it didn't. I realized I needed help at this point, real help. I started yelling for Eric, the guy across the hall. He came in after a couple of yells and found me writhing in pain on the floor. He got the receptionist to call the ambulance. I don't know how long it took or who all came in to check on me. My eyes were closed in pain. I was able to answer everyone's questions though. Dave, my boss was trying to cheer me up with jokes and dumb questions. I knew he was trying to help so I didn't yell at him but god I wanted to tell him to shut up. LOL I didn't though.

The fire department was the first to arrive. I'm not sure why they came at all, but that's alright too. They had been fighting a fire that
morning and I could smell burnt wood on them. I opened my eyes and saw fire boots. Actually I noticed the boots before the smell. I remember thinking that was odd, but it didn't occur to me at first. It did give me something aside from the pain to think about.

Finally the EMTs showed up. One of their questions was, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it?" Of course I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to know how bad a 10 is?" I've experienced some pain in my life, but this was unique. I splashed some dishwasher detergent in my right eye about 6 years ago. THAT hurt like hell, but it was a quick burning pain. What was going on in my side was a strong constant pain. I remember being asked if it felt like a stabbing pain. I replied, "I don't know I've never been stabbed!" Bottom-line, it hurt like hell! I was on the floor, not wanting to move, my hands clenched in fists and my eyes closed.

The EMTs helped me to my feet. I was surprised I was able to walk. I was OK and it didn't make the pain worse, or better for that matter. I guess the floor was just as good a place as any to be in pain. Safer too, no worries about falling and hitting something.

They asked which hospital I wanted to go to. Where I work I'm literally blocks away from three hospitals and a fourth one is only a few miles away. Like a guy is supposed to know this question when he's in pain? I guess I should have had my hospital of choice in my head before getting hurt. Well I just picked the closest one.

Once they got me into the ambulance they got me on an IV drip. I'm pretty sure it was just saline. The first dude tried to get the needle in a vein on the top of my hand but screwed up. He was going in at too high of an angle. The second guy fixed it up higher on my forearm. That hurt too dang it! Actually the ache in my side had subsided a lot by this time. From a 10 it had gone to maybe a 8, then a 6. By the time I got to the hospital emergency room it was almost gone. They were telling how my heart rate and blood pressure were fine, which made me feel better.

The nurse at the hospital took some blood and gave me a non-narcotic pain killer. She also asked for a urine sample. The standard fair. The doctor came and saw me after a bit and told me he was fairly certain it was a kidney stone. He then told me they were going to give me a CT scan to be sure.

In between these things John came down to the hospital to keep me company. That was great. He kept my spirit high. I also called Eric at the office and asked him to let Melly know, via IM, I was ok and that I had a kidney stone. Just as another nurse came in to wheel me off to the CT scan Melly called. I couldn't talk but for a second but I could tell she was very worried. I let her know I was ok but I felt bad I couldn't talk longer to reassure her.

I was feeling odd about being wheeled in a wheel chair. I was feeling pretty ok at this point. I didn't say anything to the CT scanning room. The scan was pretty boring. When I was done and the nurse was going to take me back I suggested that I could talk, she gently told me that wasn't an option. She said that she didn't know what I had been given and I had and IV. As I was currently under her care I was her responsibility and she wasn't about to have to deal with the paper work if I got hurt because she let me walk. I didn't feel so guilty then. Was I ok to walk? Yes. Could she take that chance? No.

After awhile laying in my bed chatting with John the doctor came back in and let me know that it WAS a kidney stone and the pain I had experienced was the passing of the stone from the kidney to the bladder. He drew me a little chart that showed where the stone was, right at the end of the tube. It wasn't yet in the bladder. He felt it was small enough for me to pass without sonically blasting it to dust.

To wrap up, I've been home since they discharged me from the hospital around 11:30. I assumed at that point that I'd pass the stone fairly quickly. They gave me a little strainer to pee into to catch the stone. I STILL haven't passed the damn thing! I can still feel it in there too. That bothers me. I'm starting to get worried that it's still in the ureter, stuck. I'll call the urologist that the emergency doctor suggested tomorrow morning if I'm still dealing with it. I've been giving it time as they say it can take 24 to 48 hours to pass. Well tomorrow morning will be 48 hours. I'm tired of dealing with this. Ugh!

I'm ready to have this little mineral baby already!

Informative Links

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearing House - Kidney Stones in Adults

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