Thought that title would draw you in....
December 23... my birthday...through the years it has had its ups and downs. Being so close to Christmas it is nice because everyone is in a festive mood and homes are decorated with colorful lights. But it is bad too, because everyone is broke. But I digress...
I woke up early on the morning of December 23, 2011 with a very familiar pain. I have had kidney stones since I was 18. It is a pain you KNOW. When the nausea and vomiting started I roused my sleepy hubby to take me to the ER. Funny, in my life this would be only the 2nd time I was in the hospital on my birthday, the first being when I graced the world with my presence...
Anyway - once the demorol was in I was ready for the fun to begin... X-Rays and CT scans to find out WHERE it was and how BIG.... And I got a huge surprise. My lovely stone was 10mm - yes you read that correctly, 10mm. The same size as a 3-4 karat diamond. Probably not as pretty, but I can tell you mine was just about as tough.
That day I had surgery where I was given a stent. The stone had done too much damage for them to do anything until infection and swelling had gone down. So home I go to "enjoy" the holiday.... If you have EVER had a stent then you will know there is little joy in those things. But still, I managed to get thorugh and even have Tom come down to do some training for Legacy Stories before my second surgery scheduled for December 29, 2011. But all through it I was taking pain pills. The stent and the stone hurt THAT bad.
Of ALL the days to have surgery, they had to pick that day. I hate December 29. On that day in 2009 my beloved Mother passed away very suddenly of a heart attack while chatting with me on the phone. She called me at 4:18 pm and was dead by 4:30. What time was my surgery? Yup, you guessed it. 4 pm. REALLY? Sheesh!
Surgery day comes. Of course I am down in pre-op watching the clock. It gets closer and closer to the time of my Mom's passing and my blood pressure rises. The medical staff became concerned and tried consoling me by telling me the surgery wasn't a big deal. I respond telling them I knew that but then explained the REAL reason. I was immediately given some "forget it" juice and taken in. I have no memory of the process except for the anesthesiologist squeezing my hand and reassuring me as they placed the mask over my face.
Fast forward to January 4, 2012. I am at the urologist's office expecting to get a final X-Ray and clean bill of health, but most of all, the stent removed. But instead, my "diamond" stone had a surprise for me.... it was still there. I have the photo to prove it as I was in total disbelief.
See that nice white circle next to the stent - yup - there is the stone. So now I get to have yet another surgery, scheduled for the next day. Be at the hospital at 5 am.
THIS time they went after it with a laser. My doc swears in recovery that they got it (yeah you guys said that last time). Stent stays in until January 11, 2012. That is 20 days... 20 damn days... with the stent. I go home and cry. Why? My lovely doctor is a University of Alabama graduate and he wanted to go to the National Championship game in new Orleans and would be out of town until january 10. As an Auburn grad (their arch rival) I am convinced now that the stone too is an Alabama graduate and the universe is conspiring against me.
So I live off pain meds and the fog that was my holiday break. January 11 rolls around and I get the thumbs up and stent removal. FREE AT LAST... FREE AT LAST!
Doc tells me that the lipsotripsy from December 29th only cracked the stone... He had to cut it with a laser to get it out. Normally it should have shattered with the lipsotripsy. But oh no, not THIS stone.
So now it is January 12 - I am stone and stent free and have one helluva story to tell about my 44th birthday.
Happy birthday Suzanna!! Please remind me next year so we can plan a big party at the hospital while they prepare you for surgery for something yet to be discovered. So sorry for all that pain. I saw you in the middle of it yet you continued to fight on. I'm so glad to have you back on your feet. Always enjoy your writings.
I loved the part about the Alabama National Championship Game. I have a 4th cousin doing research with me that is HUGE Alabama fan . I can't help it . I am a HUGE Oklahoma University fan. They would have gotten out right of way no matter what kind of game was being played.HA HA
Susanna, that's the longest "hangover" I've heard of! And I suppose that you won't forget your 44th birthday for quite some time. At least you will also remember when you had your certified training with Legacy Stories! Thanks for sharing. I went through it with you, having experienced kidney stones. While I was in the hospital, he lost one of his patients to death. Shortly after, he called the hospital to check on me and the nurse reported that I "had passed." My doctor said that his first thought was losing two patients in one day--but was relieved when he found that it was the stone that had passed! I hope you are over that agony for good.
Oh, my! As a former nurse, I know we were always taught that kidney stones were about as painful a condition as can be. You poor thing. Well, the Stone that Wouldn't Die makes for a good story, anyhow!
Wow I've never heard of such a thing! What is in your diet that causes this? Does the doctor ever help you figure this part out after all these surgeries? There must be foods that would be better than others or have you tried all that too?
Glad this painful stone has rolled on out of here!