Monday, March 26, 2018

Fun With Kidney Stones

In an earlier post, I mentioned how I'm using the Agile Framework to bring some structure and accountability to my writing time. It's been working well so far, though I still have a long way to go before becoming an expert at planning and managing my life in a predictable manner.

I had hoped to make this past two-week sprint an example of efficiency and productivity so I could blog-brag about how great I am becoming.

Unfortunately, my body had different plans.

Monday night as I was getting ready for bed, I raised my left foot to pull on my pajama pants. Suddenly it felt as though someone were stabbing me in the back. I said some words that were probably not appropriate for a family-friendly blog, and crumpled to the floor of the closet.

Alyssa was on my bed; she asked if I was okay. I said I was, believing the pain was from a muscle cramp that would soon diminish.

It didn't. Every time I tried to move, more pain shot through me. And I probably said more bad words. So I lay on the cold tile closet floor, pajama pants around my knees.

The third time Alyssa asked if I was okay, I finally had to admit that I wasn't. I asked her to go and get Kara, since my phone was on the opposite side of the room.

Alyssa failed to convey the seriousness of the situation, and the sight of me lying immobile on the floor came as quite a shock to Kara.

With much wincing, moaning, teeth-gritting, and word-saying, she helped me get my pants up all the way, stand, and hobble to the bed.

Heating pads and pain pills allowed me to sleep through the night, though with every movement the pain continued as intensely as ever.

The next morning I consulted with my sisters, and they agreed with my diagnosis: I was having a kidney stone attack. They've all had stones of their own, and felt it was about time I took my turn. Sisters.

Our dear friend Danyelle came and helped get Alyssa to FOCUS, and Kara took me to the Urgent Care place. They agreed with the kidney stone diagnosis until they analyzed my samples, and noted that there was no blood in my urine. Without blood, they couldn't make a positive diagnosis.

So they sent me to the ER for a CT scan. This scan showed a small stone, though not really in a place that normally caused pain. I was prescribed a very small quantity of pain meds and sent home.

Interestingly, once the meds they gave me in the ER wore off, the pain did not return. I'm grateful, of course, but also a little concerned. I've been drinking like a fish, watching for any further sign of the stone, but haven't seen anything. Hopefully it has dissolved and this little misadventure is now behind me. But not knowing for sure what happened to the stone has me more than a little nervous that another attack could be imminent.

I'll be honest; that little episode rattled me pretty hard. One second I was pushing through the normal aches and pains of midlife, and the next I was crumpled on the floor, unable to move. I repeatedly tried pushing through the pain, wanting to believe that I was strong enough to block it out and make my body do as commanded.

But I couldn't. I felt weak and helpless. And I hated it.

I suppose part of the reason was knowing that I didn't really need to push through the pain. Help was available, and though embarrassing, the situation was not dire. Had I been completely alone, or been in danger, or a loved one threatened, I like to think I would have the strength of will to ignore the pain and do whatever needed to be done. I like to think that's the kind of person I am.

Hopefully I will never have the need to find out for sure.

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