Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When the time comes to part ways.....

And so, it would seem, the lower pole of my left kidney has felt the need to mutiny, by attempting to secede from the rest of the kidney, forming it's own little pool of stagnant urine, allowing little of it to drain out, thus forming a wicked stone with lightning speed and THEN, having the audacity to fight back when they attempted to insert a nephrostomy tube.

Adios, muchacho, you are gettin' your freedom.

Sunday, 9/9/07, I was hit with pain in the left kidney again, as usual. I tried sleeping it luck. I had taken my safe limit of percocet combined with the oxycontin, there was no relief for me. We went to the ER at Mt. Carmel East. I waited in the lobby for three hours, vomiting and writhing in agony. I get to a room, was given maybe half a dose of dilaudid, and was told by the ER Cowboy that ain't no way I was goin' home. I was admitted, against my will. Funny. The week prior we really needed me to be admitted, and no one would do it.

I spent the next day cursing the Cowboy, and dozing through a drug induced haze. Tuesday came, the lackey arrived earlier than expected so I couldn't wash my hair in the sink. He took me to Special Procedures and thus began the experience that keeps me from sleeping tonight.

First, they started prepping the wrong side. I finally pulled aside a nurse and very timidly said...."umm, the stone is in the left kidney"

Flip me around, start drugs through a ragged IV that blew the next morning, and the first puncture began.

They don't anesthetize you, you aren't in the Operating Room. There is a very nice RN whom I remember from the last time they did this two years ago. He is a heavy, heavy smoker. His fingers are stained with nicotine, and the stench of stale smoke is overwhelming. He is a nice man, but still.....

It was 2 1/2 hours later that they gave up. They had been pushing the Fentanyl and Versed into me whenever I would cry out or gasp in pain. A lot of the time I don't remember. But I vividly remember him moving to a place higher on my back, telling me that I would feel a sharp stick. And then he stabbed me. Once the instrument was in, I felt a burning on the surface of my skin, but nothing inside. Until with my next breath, he pushed the probe, or whatever the hell it was, into the kidney. I remember gasping and crying out. I remember the tears burning my eyes, and with blurry vision I saw fingers coming up to the IV in my hand, pressing more meds into me.

This is the moment that won't leave my head. This is why I can't sleep.

Later that afternoon, they attempted to work from both ends, my urologist with a scope in the ureter, up into the kidney, trying to carve out a path for the radiologist. Thankfully, I was under general anesthesia for this.

I woke up in recovery, the first thing I did was feel my side and my heart sank. No nephrostomy tube, no catheter. They were not successful.

My options, go to a highly specialized center, have another percutaneous procedure and hope that they might have better luck navigating the labyrinth of the lower pole of my left kidney, OR just lop off the lower 1/3 of the kidney and call it a day.

So I struggled with it that night. I came home, and worried about it some more. I cleaned my house like a lunatic. I went shopping. I worked myself into some unforgivable pain. And then I made dinner for my kids.

I was cutting chicken and the pain in my side grew stronger. The feel of the knife cutting, the pressure, felt sickening. I vomited in the kitchen sink, and served the uncut yardbird to an ungrateful crew.

And then I knew. I am so afraid of that pain, when I close my eyes, I see my swollen arm laying in front of me, and the yellowed fingers, ripe with smoke, pressing more meds into my system. And the absolute shock of him skewering my kidney. I had basically been precisely stabbed. I can't do it again. No way, no how. There is no way to describe how horrific that moment was. I can't remember much of my two hour stay in that chamber of pain, but I remember that, and it is enough to make up my mind for me.

So tomorrow I go see my doctor, and make arrangements to have him get me with a doctor who can cut off this offending bit of organ via laparoscopy.

Then I'm taking Buddy to his first day of preschool. He is so excited, I am glad that I won't miss his big day after all.

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