Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kidney Stones - OUCH!

Poor Mike... when it rains it pours. On Friday, he called me from work to let me know he had blood in his urine. Not good. Since he didn't really have any other symptoms, I didn't think too much of it. I figured it was maybe a small kidney stone that was working its way through. I had no idea what lay ahead.

We got through Ted's rehearsal on Friday night and wedding on Saturday. I went to work as usual. The bloody urine continued, off and on. Then some flank pain was added to the mix. Hmmm... I also went to work on Sunday night. While at work, he called me. I know that when he calls me at 2:30 in the morning, it's not usually good. He was in a LOT of pain. I made the decision to go home and pick him up and bring him back to the ER. Actually, my charge nurse and fellow coworkers suggested that! I was so thankful to work only a few minutes away from home. I picked him, dropped him off in an empty ER and headed back up to work.

When my shift was over, I went down to meet him. He had received some good pain medication. A CT scan showed multiple stones in both kidneys. One was 6mm x 10mm! They told us a "large" stone is around 3mm! One stone was in the ureter and was the culprit in the cause of the pain. We were discharged with orders to follow up with a urologist. We went home and I made that appointment for the following afternoon. I had no idea we would miss that appointment.

Having worked all night and being quite exhausted, I dropped into bed and slept for three and a half hours. When I woke up, I did not recognize Mike. He was in more pain than I'd ever seen him in. He was doubled over and crying. I felt so bad and my heart just broke watching him but not being able to do anything. Hot towels and a hot shower helped, but only temporarily. So we headed back to the ER for what would be another 7 hours! Unlike the previous visit, it was jam packed. We waited a time and then were given a bed in "hallway G". We were smack dab in the middle of the hall and the action. I saw little babies, old men, and everything in between. Mike got some really good medication that knocked him out. I was grateful that he could sleep some. He slept right through the bright lights, bells, whistles, alarms, crying, phones, dinging, and yelling. My seat was a little stool on wheels that provided no back support but I was grateful nonetheless for a place to sit.

Eventually (at 0130am) he was transported to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. It was decided that he would go there instead of St. Clare's in Lakewood so that he would have access to a urologist. As much as it broke my heart, I could not follow him there. I hadn't slept in so many hours. My eyes were stinging and I just wanted to collapse. I knew it would not be safe for me to drive the distance. So I went home and went to bed. I woke up this morning and headed out there. Thank goodness Grandma has been here with us. She stayed the weekend and went home for a brief shower yesterday before returning. I am so grateful for her presence. I could not have stayed with Mike if she wasn't willing to be here to help with the boys.

Mike had a good night. He was able to sleep and he did pass a stone. Shortly after I arrived, they turned off his IV pain medications to see how he would do. I sat with him all day. We ate together, played some Uno, watched TV together, and he slept while I read a book. He did just fine all afternoon and the doctor decided to discharge him. But then he got up to urinate and the pain started all over again. We were frustrated because the whole reason we had transferred there was to be able to see a urologist and that didn't happen. Eventually, Mike was frustrated enough that we just got our things and left. They were done with us and we felt it. They didn't seem to think we needed to see the urologist.

So we left. We are home tonight and he is uncomfortable. He is taking dilaudid and it's helping. He finally found a comfortable position on the couch and is sleeping there now. I am worried because he has not urinated since we left the hospital. I think he is afraid. And he is not drinking his water either. I hope we do not have a repeat of the past couple of days. I am hoping to get him in to see the urologist soon. Poor Mike... I feel so bad!! At least he had a good view from his hospital room...

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