Death Becomes Her

I was minding my own business on Friday and looking forward to an entire day without meetings when I felt a strange pain under my ribs on my left side and my back started hurting. I thought perhaps this was some sort of gastrointestinal upset related to my eating of all the things over Labor Day weekend, so I laid on the floor of my office for a bit hoping that the pain would subside. It didn’t and before long I was drenched in sweat and feeling like I was going to vomit.

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I went home and the feeling of pain went from just being located under my ribs to the entire left side of my abdomen. A quick Google later and I felt pretty sure I had kidney stones again. I had a kidney stone back in 2013, but it was nowhere near this painful. It really hurt then, but I didn’t feel like I was going to die. In a flurry of dizziness, nausea, and sweat, I drove myself to see my doctor. By the time I arrived, the pain felt like someone was inside my abdomen slicing me up with a fire sword.

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They gave me a shot of some kind of pain medication, then let me hang out there screeching in pain for a couple of hours. I also got an ultrasound where the technician found three stones. BITCHES. One was in my bladder, one had just entered the ureter (the tiny pathway from the kidney to the bladder), and the other one was in my kidney. Yay. She also asked me if I had noticed my back hurting in the days leading up to it. My back pretty much always hurts in weird spots for no known reason, so I wouldn’t have specifically realized that anything was off. I did go to acupuncture on Thursday, and she poked around a lot on the left side of my back and said it was tender. She worked on it for a bit, then stuck a bunch of needles in there. Maybe she got the stones moving? Regardless, I spent Friday night on the bathroom floor and by Saturday morning, two had passed and I was barely alive.

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My doctor told me that it could take weeks or months for a stone to come out of the kidney, but the third one passed on Saturday night. A whole day spent not moving, drinking tons of water, and watching Narcos paid off. I also picked up a prescription for morphine on Saturday, so that helped a lot with the final one. The pharmacist was only doing his job, but he spent way to long lecturing me about only using the morphine for “severe pain.” I was standing there sweating, hunched over, and about to pass out. GOOD SIR, GIVE ME THE PILLS.

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I don’t mean this in a joking way, but I can completely understand now how people in chronic pain get addicted to pain medications. The relief that the morphine brought was so overwhelming that the thought of it wearing off in the middle of the night made me borderline hysterical.

I thought I would feel immediate relief with the final one out of my body, but I still feel pretty crappy. My kidney is just throbbing nonstop and my back is still aching. It’s not the level of sharp pain that accompanied the actual movement of the stones, but it’s still pretty miserable.

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I didn’t feel like I was going to die when I woke up on Sunday, so I drove to Tahoe to have lunch with Gretchen and her family. We have been trying to meet up for years, so it was great to finally make that happen. She has the sweetest family and I really would like to steal her little chicken nugget. She is just the cutest little thing.

That was definitely the high point of the weekend and totally worth it. I made it home just in time to get a fever and spend the rest of the afternoon in tears on the couch.

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20 thoughts on “Death Becomes Her

  1. My brother, who is an RN, recently ended up at the emergency room because he thought he had appendicitis. It was kidney stones. Based on his story and now yours, I never want them and hope I never get them.

    • I am starting to think that maybe if every time someone supported white supremacy they could get a kidney stone, then that would nip that bullshit ASAP. It would be a highly efficient way to end racism. You want to be a terrible person? Then you get a terribly painful (yet, not deadly) medical issue.

    • DAMN YOU SPELL CHECK. I misspelled gastrointestinal so severely that it made it “gestational.” Thank you for pointing that out! Oops.

  2. I’ve felt that pain and I’ve had an 8lb baby. I’ll take having the 8lb baby over kidney stones any day! I thought for certain that the end was near when I got stones because of the sweating and just the pain. Hope the pain subsides soon so you can feel “normal” again.

  3. yep. My husband had them and this man went to work more than once with pneumonia (he has problems). I knew when they brought him down they had to be bad… I’m so sorry. I hope you’re feeling better and yes on all the bastards getting them.

  4. Dude, what is up with you and driving yourself to the ER? GET YE A LYFT

    I’ve been in that much pain, way too often recently, and driving is a bad idea.

    Aside from that judgmental comment, I hope you feel better and if you think morphine is the shit, you should try the pump one day that just shoots it directly into the IV. BLISS

    • Lyft was going to take 12 minutes. TWELVE just to get to me. No thank you. I don’t think I have a good sense of when not to drive. There’s a clear line for drinking and driving (just don’t), but I haven’t yet set the standard for pain.

      Mmmmm… IV morphine. Tell me more.

  5. A coworker of mine recently had a few kidney stones. While in the hospital trying to diagnose the cause of the pain (kidney stones) they discovered that this coworker only has one kidney. They made it almost 40 years in life with one kidney and didn’t even know it.
    Hope you feel better.

    • That is crazy! I did see both of mine, although I thought the first one was a fetus which scared me practically to DEATH. I blame the drugs.

  6. You poor thing! That sounds horrible. I hope you feel better ASAP! I have been googling “kidney stone prevention” and guzzling water since reading this. THEY WON’T GET ME!

  7. Sounds like you have a little trauma to the kidney, unfortunately. You know what to do. Hydrate, pain killers (not NSAIDS), rest or mild exercise.

    • I got that rest thing down! Thankfully, things are already feeling much better today!

  8. The last time (it’s only been twice) that I had to use morphine, all the nurse said to me was “it is a narcotic so you are considered under the influence. Don’t do any high-risk activities such as driving, operating heavy machinery, or synchronized chainsaw juggling.” 😀

    Sorry your weekend involved so much physical pain. At least they passed quickly.

  9. Hooray for long-awaited dates!

    Also, clearly your posts are still not consistently arriving in my inbox, but you are on my favorites bar so I remember to check at least 1-2x a week.

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