Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Like some junky cosmonaut…

Dag-gone. Yesterday was a new experience. You see, I ended up in the ER.

It started innocently enough, while sitting in class, listening to our new teacher go over the syllabus for our Intervention in Neurological Rehabilitation class. About 30 minutes into class I began having spasms in my lower back, posterior ribs, and bladder area. At first I thought it was just a muscle cramp. I tried straightening my posture, shifting positions, and finally I stepped out of class back into the lab to stretch it out.

But it kept getting worse. I couldn’t find a comfortable position. Within minutes I was seriously teetering on the brink of dialing 911. It was bad. Something was definitely wrong with me. I decided to seek out Dr. Craig, one of our on-site docs who happened to have also been my anatomy teacher. He stepped out into the hall with me and I told him what was going on. Needless to say, his diagnosis ended up being spot-on. He’s good.

But going back, the spasms started around 9 am. They ramped up to where they were hitting once a minute every minute. The pain sometimes spiked up to a 9 out of 10. I’d grit my teeth, hunch over, breathe deep, say things like, “Dag-gone!” Dr. Craig took my BP and it was around 200. My heart rate was over 100. So I pretty much knew I couldn’t drive, and my wife was already at work. Luckily, my dad was able to come to school and take me to The Christ Hospital of Cincinnati’s emergency room.

They got me back relatively quickly. Thankfully, the ER wasn’t very busy. By 11 am I had seen the doc and the nice nurse had IV'd me to administer pain meds (toradol) and shot me up with a muscle relaxant (norflex). They took a urinalysis and whisked me back for a C/T scan. The meds really did the job, man. I was so happy! The spasms had finally subsided. That was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. No joke. I felt kind of like a pansy telling people this, but it was true.

The C/T results showed a kidney stone lodged in my right ureter, and more stones were just sitting in my right kidney, lurking, waiting for their turn to strike. I remained in the hospital on a saline drip, as I was seriously dehydrated, before I finally got to go home around 4:30 pm. Overall, I was hospitalized about five to six hours.

Today, I'm on a regimen of vicodin and lots of water, still trying to pass the lodged stone. At least the spasms are gone. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone…well…maybe some people…like on terrorists and rapists. But, dude, I have an even greater respect for women in labor—and that respect level was already super high having witnessed my wife go through it twice. A nurse at the hospital told me she’s experienced natural childbirth and she’s also had kidney stones, and she said if she had to choose between one or the other, she’d have another baby.

I guess I’m not a total pansy, then. My pain’s legit.


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