Neurotic Fishbowl: Kidney Stones and Computer Problems


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Kidney Stones and Computer Problems

I should have posted this a yesterday, but here's the rundown of my last run in with kidney stones and an update on the computer problems I've been having.

Saturday I woke up around 10:30 with the worst stomach cramps. I'd gone to Elaine's for dinner the night before and had sausage and mushrooms, so I thought that maybe something didn't agree with me.

Pretty soon, though, I started throwing up. (This is probably all TMI, I'm sure.) There wasn't anything in my stomach, though, so all I was throwing up was bile.

If you've ever thrown up on an empty stomach, you know how much it hurts to do that. My mom finally had me take a Vicodin and I was able to lay down and get a little bit of sleep. After only about thirty minutes, I was was up again and vomiting.

When I woke up, it felt like the pain wasn't located on my left side in front, but lower on my back. I had thought it might be kidney stones when I first woke up, but since the pain was more in the front, I was hoping it was just stomach cramps. The pain moving to the side, though, pretty much cinched it for me that it was indeed kidney stones.

I called my 24 hour nursing hotline that United Healthcare provides and basically, they told me call my doctor and, if they hadn't called back in two hours, to go to the emergency room. I told her I didn't think I could wait two hours, but I would call my doctor anyway. Called his office, heard "If this is a medical emergency, please go to your nearest ER.." and hollered at my mom that it was time to take my puking ass to the hospital.

We got to the ER at about 1:40, I signed in, and then proceeded to lay, curled up in a little ball, across one of the benches. About twenty minutes later, the triage nurse called me up. She took some vitals, I puked into one of these handy little plastic funnel things they use instead of bedpans, and then got to go back to the waiting room.

Unfortunately, someone was sitting on my bench (the only one in the ER). Sitting up was far too painful, but a nice man taking pity on my shuffling, wan figure, informed me that there were more benches back by the restrooms. Turns out that there were two benches and a few seats, but no one but me was over there so I took the opportunity to lay on my stomach on the bench (uncomfortable, but better than laying on my back right on the stone), take my shoes off, and just not move, which is the only way to deal with a kidney stone.

It seemed like forever, but after about an hour, I was called back for a bed. Tina, the nurse, was so sweet. She took one look at me (pale, hunched over, shoes in my mother's purse), put her arm around my shoulder, and announced, "Pumpkin! You look terrible! Let's get you into a bed and get you some pain medicine."

Eventually, after a some more tests, including a CAT scan, I was hooked up to an IV, given some fluids (you get so terribly dehydrated throwing up for that many hours), and then some morphine. I pretty much passed out immediately.

Tests confirmed that not only did I have a kidney stone, I apparently have like one of the biggest ones seen in the ER. Most kidney stones are a few milimeters in diameter, small enough that you can pass. Mine is a freaking centimeter which is too big for me to pass on my own. Tina said that they called the lab to make sure that it actually said cm not mm since they never see them that size. Lucky me!

I remember waking up at one point and being very hungry (I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before and it was already after 4:00 in the afternoon). Tina brought me a sandwich, so I took some small pieces of ham out of it to eat. Even though I was hungry, apparently I was more tired than hungry because I kept falling asleep in the middle of chewing! I would wake up and find that I still had ham in my mouth!

I guess about five hours later they admitted me upstairs (looking back I can't believe I was out of it for that long. Good thing my mom brought a book to read!). They thought they were going to have to put in either a catheter or a stent (stint?), but ended up doing neither.

Despite the bed being the most comfortable I'd ever slept in (or maybe I was just exhausted), I ended up needing both morphine and Ambien to make it through the night. The next morning they released me and I went home, Vicodin perscription in hand.

The pain's been okay since then. I take a Vicodin when my back starts to really ache, though that usually ends up making me feel sick to my stomach. Tomorrow, though, it should all be over.

At 10:30, I'm having lithotripsy, which is the procedure where they use sound waves to break up the stones. I'm not really worried about it since I will be given "twilight" anestesia, and will be mostly out of it.

I'm annoyed, though, that this happened now. If it would have happened next week, I would be covered under Six Apart's insurance. As it is, I'm going to have to extend my COBRA for another month just to make sure that nothing is considered a pre-existing condition. I was freaking out at first about the cost, but I'm thinking that this won't end up being near as expensive as I had feared, especially since I was only in the hospital one night. I will be very grateful if I can get out of this for under $1,000 and have all my stones broken up so I don't have another attack again (it's only been eleven months since the last one).

As for the computer problems, I had installed the latest version of AdAware SE which found about 187 problems. Unfortnately, something that it removed had embedded itself deeply into the start up profile so that when I tried to login, all I got was a brief flash of the desktop, and then I was logged back out again. Safe mode wouldn't work, last known good config wouldn't work, and I was starting to freak out.

Luckily, my mom is a wiz at computer stuff and she's managed to restore Windows without damaging any of my data (at least, it appears that way). Of course, with this occurring right now when I'm sick, I'm sure it will be a few days before I can get everything back to how it was.

So, that's what's been happening with me. I'm off to shower soon, take a Vicodin, and then go to bed since I have to be at the hospital at 8:30 for my procedure. From everything I can tell, it should be a fairly simple and not very painful process, but feel free to send good thoughts my direction anyway.

Thanks to all of those that have left notes and sent e-mails; I really appreciate it. Special thanks to Katie, my other spouse, who sent me roses to help ease my pain. It really made my day to get an unexpected flower delivery!

I'll try and post tomorrow to let everyone know how things went.

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I still think you should have had me call the nurse hotline. I wonder if they would have recognized my voice? After all, I am *sooooo* convincing as a fake sick person. (Haha,not!) Just remember... F is for FRAUD!

I'll be thinking of you. Matter of fact, I have an appointment over on Peakwood at 8:45, so I'll call you beforehand! :D

.: Christine said on April 27, 2005 02:32 AM :: link it :.

Hope all goes good! Did you like cd? well i am sure with all the puter and heath problems lately you didnt get a chance! When ya do post on And i had trouble with songs past 20-but they played on computer so hope they worked for you!

GET BETTER!!!!!!!!!

.: Terry said on April 27, 2005 10:16 AM :: link it :.

Kidney stones suck. I get them every once in a while. I couldn't imagine getting one that big.

.: mace said on April 27, 2005 11:52 AM :: link it :.

Glad you are ok, sounds like quite a traumatic few days.

.: Seth said on April 27, 2005 01:31 PM :: link it :.

You're too early! Come back at April 26, 2005 10:13 PM to see this post.

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