Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Congratulations! It’s A… (Diary Of A Kidney Stone – Part 2)

The following story while filled with humorous commentary, also makes adult references that may not be suitable for younger readers. Parental discretion is advised. Seriously. Don’t let the kids read this. Perhaps, maybe men shouldn’t read this either.  I really mean it this time.  No one should have to go through this, EVER!

So when I last left you, I was having a stent put inside me to assist with urination, the source of the severe pain caused by the stone blocking the passage of urine from occuring.  I was out cold for the procedure, so that was no big deal.  When I awoke, I was not in any kind of pain, and in theory, I should have been able to go if I had to.  Of course the dick doctor (take that in any context you like – I was not really crazy about his bedside manner, wait, that is just making the description worse) does not explain fully about how I am going to feel.

It was late when I finally came out of recovery and rather than chase Wendy an hour to come and get me that night, I asked to be kept overnight.  And I am glad I did.  I did not sleep at all that evening, because every time I layed down, I got an urge to go to the bathroom.  I would sit up to go, and nothing.  This went on all night, literally.  Had it not been for the nurses, I would have gone out of my mind.  Not to mention that things just really did not feel normal down there, not painful, just not normal.

The wierd thing about the procedure I was going to undergo, a lithotripsy, is that no hospital appears to have the machine to do it.  This traveling road show goes from hospital to hospital, and that determines how soon you can have it done.  My wife insisted that she not be exposed to the “catastophic pain and screaming” that had been occurring.  And so my appointment was set up the earliest it could, at a hospital another hour away.

I must admit, that I am getting spoiled with all of the hospitals that I have had to go to for either tests, surgeries, or treatments.  There are a lot of nice facilities.  Were my expectations of “Bleeding Heart” Hospital (not the real name of course) too high.  Registration at 5:00 am.  When I went to check in, all computers were down.  Plan B was to photocopy my license and insurance card.  Copiers were also down.  So, there I went, into the operating room, WITH NO IDENTIFICATION!  Are you kidding me?!?  So I come to following the procedure, and am told everything went well, all that I had to do, was get rid of the now stone-reduced to rubble residue.  Won’t go into gory details, but out it came, no pain, plenty of blood, but no pain.  And with that, I simply walked out of the hospital totally unsupervised.  True story.

Given all the traumatic abuse my lower region had been subjected to, I was told that I could expect a little more blood yet.  I was okay with that as long as there was no pain.  All I had to do was have the stint removed, and they would do that a couple of weeks later.  But that was supposed to be all that there was to it.

I have had catheters removed before, not pleasant, but tolerable.  Shoot, I have even had tubes pulled from my chest and my neck, but pulling out this stint clearly, CLEARLY was not acceptable to have done without anesthesia, at least for me.  Again, I had been warned, some possible bleeding.  But as the time came closer to have the stint removed, and yes, still had some bleeding, I was having more frequent and much stronger anxiety attacks.  I was prepared just to call the whole thing off.  My therapist was the last one keeping me anchored to sanity.

So I took what measures I needed to, and got through the appointment.  I give the nurse credit.  This was the first time I had been exposed to what countless women go through routinely, propping my legs up in stirrups wearing only a paper cloth exposing my manly bits for all to wonder.  She had a great sense of humor if the timing would only have been different.  I am all for trading innuendos, but at that time, I was in no mood for NC17 humor, especially at my expense.

Now gentlemen, I may lack experience with the whole dating scene over the last two decades, but I do think it is a safe bet, that foreplay does not involve grabbing the plumbing with two fingers, other hand hidden behind her back, and then says, “this is going to burn a bit until it goes numb.”  All she was missing was perhaps a “needing a magnifying glass” comment or asking for an extra set of hands (that would have been preferred).

Crazy to say, this would not be the last time because I continued to have bleeding issues and they would need to perform a cystoscopy.  Of course, you can tell “oscopy” means some sort of medical pictures.  And since it involved my genitalia, I was not a happy camper.  But Wendy was getting tired of feeling like a crime scene and I was wondering if somehow my thingy had been switched with a bayonett.  The bleeding had gone on long enough, even beyond the stone being removed.  Something serious was wrong.

In anticipation of the pain and discomfort I knew that I was going to feel with this procedure, I loaded up again to control the anxiety.  Only this time, the pain and discomfort was worse.  And when the nurse tells you to think of a happy place, it is kind of hard to think of something pleasant when a Louisville Slugger is going through your garden hose.  I should be happy that the results were negative, especially for cancer.  But I was still bleeding, and the urologist was talking only of going back up again.

And like that, I fired him.  I was no longer going to allow anyone to go near me again, selfish of me as it was.  But it was no longer worth it.  What were the chances that my ducts were just getting irritated from all the internal manhandling?

Several of my other doctors that have never done me any harm, convinced me to return, at least to a different urologist.  Which is what I did.  But I told him, no more poking, probing, or “going back up”.  This new urologist was convinced that with everything that had been done, there was no need to worry, and yes, perhaps my plumbing was just irritated.

It has been over a year now, and I still stand at the urinal or toilet looking down for what might or might not come out.  I have been told that once you have a kidney stone, more are sure to come.  And since conventional medicine I felt was to blame for this whole mess, I took matters into my own hands.  No, not that way.  I thought about what had changed about me that after decades, I would finally develop a stone, and the only thing I could figure was that it had to be one of the new meds I was put on following my heart surgery and subsequent discoveries of late side effects from my cancer treatments.  Against my doctors recommendations, I quit taking nearly everything that was not pertinent to my heart beating.  So far, so good.  Not necessarily a smart decision.  But Mr. Happy is happy at least.

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