Thursday, October 27, 2011

V2.26 - Hospitals are pretty- from the outside

KIDNEY STONES. Yes, I know that is a strange way to lead off a column, but this is the month for Halloween and I can promise you that those who have had them just now felt that familiar stab of pain.
As I sit writing this, I was recently a ‘preferred customer’ of the Nashville VA Hospital for 3 days. I went to their Emergency Room last Monday and didn’t leave until Wednesday noonish. Just the fact that they let me come back home is a huge plus. According to their tests, I was ½ way to dialysis when I got there.
I had my first stone in 1994 and it moved out of my kidney while I was in a college class - THAT was the worst pain I had ever felt - someone snuck up behind me and stabbed me with a foot-long butcher knife. I just KNEW that was what happened. It wasn’t, but you understand. Between 1994 and 2007, there was nothing at all, but starting in ’07, every 6 months or so, one of those little buggers would get loose and it would find its way out over the next few days. So I’m thinking, ‘as long as they keep coming out, I’m OK’.
Well, I had another one get loose on the first of OCT…and I waited, and drank water by the gallon…and waited, and it never came out. The pain stopped, so I was functional. Until last Sunday night (10-9) and it hit me again. This time I couldn’t even keep water down. Monday morning it was no better, so off to the E-room I went.
I had discussed this with the folks at the Murfreesboro VA. They had even done a CT scan and had me talk to the urologist and he had told me that if something did not go right, go ahead and get to the Nashville VA. So I did.They started doing tests, did another CT scan and slammed me into the Hospital. I kept hearing words like ‘stent’, ‘laser’, Operating Room, etc. For sure NOT what someone wants to hear, but I was hurting and dehydrated and ‘let’s go- do what ya gotta do’. And they DID.
It was not a fun time. I think the procedure was about 2 hours long- I really don’t remember most of it. Which was a VERY good thing – it HAD to hurt like crazy.
Anyway, long story shorter, my test results improved enough that they let me come home and God Bless the folks where I work, they told me not to come back until Monday. So, here I sit – recuperating and telling you about it.
Oh, one final word. When a nurse comes to draw blood, and begins to feel around in an area that you KNOW is a tendon and she is mistaking it as a vein (because you had this experience before) and you TELL her what it is and to don’t DO that…and she does it anyway- just go ahead and punch her in the nose, the pain can’t get any worse for you.

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