Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kidney Stones – Part II

When we last left off, we had just come home from the hospital and Mike had found a comfortable position on the couch. I went to bed. I had set my alarm to ring every two hours so that I could get up and get him his pain medication. It was too painful for him to get up on his own. We knew the urologist office would be open at 0830 and we were praying for a miracle. Our miracle finally came!

Prior to going to bed, I had left a message at Dr. Anderson’s office voicemail, explaining our desperation and the lack of care we had received at the hospital. We talked to his nurse Tracy yesterday morning and she was appalled that we still had yet to be seen and cared for. She had us go down to an imaging center in Auburn where Mike got a CT/KUB done and he was given a disc to take back to Dr. Anderson’s office. Everyone at the imaging center was wonderful and worked quickly to get him in and scanned in a timely manner. As we were going through the motions of getting this done, the pain was getting worse and worse. I continued to give him doses of dilauded every couple of hours.

When we got to Dr. Anderson’s office, they got us checked in and obtained a urine sample from Mike. It would be the last time he would be able to urinate on his own for 12 hours. After that, he got completely blocked and could no longer empty his bladder. Dr. Anderson was very displeased with our course of treatment. He just didn’t understand why he wasn’t called by the ER when we were there – he had been on call. And he didn’t understand why were transferred to Swedish and not Auburn, where he has privileges. He also did not understand at all why no one at Swedish addressed the problem at all. All they did was put a band aid over the symptoms. They showed us a copy of the CT scan and although we aren’t radiologists, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to see the many pebbles illuminated on the film. Dr. Anderson agreed that the problem needed to be dealt with… immediately. Finally… an end in sight!

We were taken downstairs to the Rainier Surgical Center where we received the royal treatment! We were well aware that we would likely be the last case of the day and that would be several hours away. Still, we were so grateful just to have the opportunity to have the problem fixed. And they were willing to have Mike go into the back and get an IV and some pain medication while he waited. What a blessing that was. He wound up needing to be medicated every 40-60 minutes just to keep him somewhat comfortable. The staff was amazing. Darinda, Larry, and Dr. Frerichs took such loving care of us. They constantly checked in on us and made sure Mike was comfortable. Finally, at 7pm, they took him back. While he was in surgery, I took off to eat. I hadn’t eaten anything but a granola bar and a bit of chocolate all day long. When I came back, they were still working on him. During these few days at Mike’s side, I read the second half of Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent. Then I started reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. For some reason, I had never read that book in school and was really interested in it. What a great read!!

Finally, they called me back. Poor Mike… he was so drugged and groggy. He refused to keep the oxygen mask on and kept pulling at other wires and things. He wanted to stand up and urinate so badly but he was just too sleepy. Finally we stood him up and helped him and then sat him in a chair. Just before 11pm, they put him in the car and off we went! What an ordeal!

Dr. Anderson told me that they blasted several stones in both kidneys. The largest was firmly wedged in his left ureter. He attempted to blast it completely but there is no guarantee that it is completely dissolved. He did place a stent in that ureter and we will reevaluate in three weeks to see if it can come out. I sure hope so! But for now, the stent will keep that duct open and hopefully allow the free and easy passage of urine and stone fragments.

On the way home, I stopped at Rite-Aid to fill his antibiotic prescription and to pick up a couple of things. He slept in the car while I did that. When we got home, I medicated him and sent him to bed! He is SO much better this morning! The kids are so happy to see him and have been snuggling with him on the couch this morning.

And bless grandma… she has been our savior these last several days. Because of her, I have been able to remain at Mike’s side through it all. Were it not for her, he would have had to go through this alone. I am so deeply grateful. And we are also grateful for Aunt Beka Booter who came and brought dinner over last night. What a sweetie!

I think we are finally on the mend here! Now it’s mainly about pain control. And our new best friend is WATER! Water, water, water! No more diet soda!!!!

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