Sunday Coffee – Medical Mess

IMG_4758I hate the term “hot mess” but I’m going to use it right now, because that’s what I am. Three days ago, I started having pain in my lower right back. Felt like sciatic or back-labor pain, getting worse over time. I was so bad by the next day that I missed my great friend Stephanie’s graduation (walking the stage for her Master’s!) that I’d been looking forward to for a month. I kept thinking the pain was possibly digestion-related or menstrual-related, though neither made sense as time dragged by. Yesterday morning, I was weak, lightheaded, clammy, and nearly fainting. By afternoon, Jason took me to Urgent Care.

Urgent Care was a HUGE waste of time. The doctor at this local facility knows nothing, and kept saying that he thought this was a muscle strain. Hey, dude, I know what muscle strain feels like. Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean that I haven’t been an athlete for most of my life. When we mentioned a couple things related to my diagnosis, like say having ovarian cysts that might have burst or endometrial pain, he dismissed me completely. On the way home from Urgent Care, I talked with that same friend above, who agreed to watch our kids while we shuffled over to the ER instead.

IMG_4778The ER took me seriously, thank goodness. Very quickly I had blood work drawn, an IV put in, x-rays and CT scans of both my head and abdomen, where they discovered I had a medium-to-large kidney stone blocked up and causing my kidney to swell. Fun! I’ve never had a kidney stone before and we have no family history of them, so this was a surprise to me. Especially as the Urgent Care doctor spent a long time telling us why it couldn’t be a stone because of where I was feeling the pain. (Later examination of a simply Wikipedia article shows that I was feeling pain exactly where is normal. That idiot.)

Long story short, I was given lots of medicine and eventually sent home with instructions to follow up with a particular doctor on Monday, or call in with an emergency if things get worse before then. I’m now juggling five prescriptions and lots of instructions and I’m so very thankful that Jason was there with me and the boys had a place to go and that everyone in my family were able to pull together to find someone to watch the boys overnight if I ended up going to a hospital. I can’t imagine what this would have been like if we were still in Boston where we knew no one! I probably wouldn’t have gone into Urgent Care in the first place. Gah. Once again, so very glad to be home.

Sorry for all the medical gore.

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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12 Responses to Sunday Coffee – Medical Mess

  1. Word Lily says:

    1. I’m so sorry you’re in pain, but
    2. Gah! So frustrating when medical professionals act so unprofessionally. This is my body. I know it better than you do, stranger.
    3. I’m glad you got it figured out, though, too.


  2. Kailana says:

    Sorry to hear about everything! My mother’s boyfriend had a kidney stone at the end of last year and he was in pretty rough shape with it. Hope you feel better soon!


  3. Megan says:

    Ugh, this sounds terrible! And there’s nothing worse than an incompetent doctor telling you you’re essentially “just fine” when you know that’s absolutely not the case. Glad you found somebody to give you the medical attention you needed. Hope that no good stone clears out and you feel better soon!


  4. RR Gilmore says:

    I had a kidney stone in high school (for unexplained reasons and it has yet – knock on wood – to reoccur, thank goodness. I hope it’s the same way for you. My heart goes out to you, though! Hope you get through it ASAP.


  5. Karen K. says:

    That’s awful. I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience at Urgent Care — I’m really glad you listened to your body and went somewhere else. Hope you’re feeling better soon.


  6. Oh no! I hope you have a very quick recovery!


  7. Amanda says:

    Thank you all! The blockage apparently undid itself while I was in the ER so I’ve had no more kidney pain. Now I’m embarking on the next round of getting that stone through, ugh, and I have an appointment for tomorrow. Hopefully this will all go easily and I’ll recover quickly! At least I don’t have much pain now and my appetite has returned, and there’s been no further emergencies!


  8. gricel says:

    the moment I read the first paragraph, I knew it was a stone. It’s my greatest fear every time I have flank pain—-everyone (EVERYONE) in my family has stones, so it’s just a matter of time.

    Hope you feel better soon. If you can find it, there’s a tea and supplement called stone-breaker (Chanca Piedra in Spanish shops) that really helps. My mom uses it every time she had a new stone.


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  10. Michelle says:

    I am so glad you were able to pass it (knowing how the story ends is one the worst and best things about reading blog posts from newest to oldest) without needs any intervention. Is your doctor going to put you on a preventative diet or does he think this was a one-off?


  11. Amanda says:

    The urologist I met with said that kidney stones are very unpredictable and this may be the only one I ever have, or I might have another in six months. She said the good news was that there were no other stones on the xrays/CT-scan, not even the beginnings forming, and that this stone looks like it was the traditional calcium oxylate stone. They’re going to analyze it and let me know if there’s anything I shouldn’t be eating, but I won’t get those results for a month, and since I already eat very little sodium and drink tons of water, she said the only real thing to do to keep the calcium and oxylate from binding is to make sure I eat enough potassium citrate, which she said I can get from limes, lemons, and grapefruits. So I’m going to make sure I have a bit of that in my diet until I hear back.


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