16 December 2014

Kidneys, Take Three

Today I had the lithotripsy on my dastardly kidney - where they blast the kidney stone with shockwaves; non-invasive. On the left kidney, by the way. They ask you about a thousand times before a procedure: the pre-op nurse on the phone, the receptionist, the pre-op nurse at the surgery center, the anesthesiologist. You'd think at some point they'd put a check-mark in the file: "Patient is aware of the procedure. Is even aware of which side the procedure will take place on." Sorry for the sarcasm, I'm a bit wore out.

The doctor told me that I would probably be back to normal by this evening, but that I might be a bit sore and bruised till tomorrow. And I might be passing the fragments for a week or so, which could, at times, be painful. But I tried to prepare to be off my feet for a few days - just in case, so the last few days have been rather busy: grocery store runs to be sure is enough milk, eggs, crackers; make another loaf of bread; do a few loads of laundry; put away the piles of stuff that have been accumulating in hard-for-toddlers-to-reach places. And, of course, the entire family just got over the flu at the end of last week. Like I said, I'm a bit wore out.

So the lithotripsy. Word to the wise: when they tell you not to drink before the procedure, don't drink before the procedure. Ugh. I abstained from food and water since dinner last night, but after nursing last night and this morning, I was so thirsty! I opted for 8oz of clear, hot tea. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal! I had nothing in my stomach and the tea ran right through me. But the anesthesiologist and urologist assured me that my stomach was still producing acid and if it got into my lungs, I'd be in the ICU for three days and never have normal lung capacity again. Ugh. So they pushed back the procedure until four hours after the Tea Debacle.

I just about cried. I didn't head back to the OR until two hours after I'd anticipated, so it threw off everything - the breastfeeding plan I'd anticipated on having and, since I was still fasting and I'm hypoglycemic, I ended up with a bad headache that is currently on track to become a migraine. Sometimes they give you these ridiculous policies to cover their asses in case of a lawsuit - like the "pump and dump" for 24-hours policy. It's like, Hello, the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks I can breastfeed as soon as I'm stable enough to hold the baby myself. I mean, come on, the same piece of paper that declares water after midnight a sin also says I can't wear jewelry or have my nails painted, both of which I did to no bad end. I'm trying to sort through their "standard procedures" and determine what is in my best interest, but trying to explain that to an anesthesiologist about to start his gazillianth case of the day and a urologist with a terrible bedside manner is about as hopeless as trying to convince Abigail that we don't need to watch Frozen twice in a row.

So exactly 4 hours after I drank the bloody tea, they took me back, knocked me out, and blasted away my kidney stone. I was not in a tub, they just put a water/gel thing under my back. About 10 minutes after I first opened my eyes, the nurse declared me sufficient to travel. A few lectures later (one nurse told me I couldn't breastfeed as long as I was on the pain meds that are the exact same pain meds as the ones they gave me after the kidney surgery so that I could keep breastfeeding; another nurse lectured me on the need to catch the kidney stones I pass even though these are fragments of the big stone that was already sent to the labs and tested), within one hour, I was in the car on the way home. Just like any profession, there are good and bad nurses. But damn, a bad nurse has a much bigger impact on an experience than a bad anything else.

So far I've had no pain, no bruising, and have passed no stones. In fact, from a physical pain perspective, it's as if nothing happened this morning. They prescribed me some norco (vicodin) to help with the pain, so I am anticipating something hurting, but so far, so good. I'll find out in mid-January if any stones survived and if I need to have another surgery or another lithotripsy.

I desperately hope the January test come back clear because I am so very ready to be done with my kidneys. Today was the third time in 14 months that I have had to go under general anesthesia to have my left kidney screwed with. And in that time? I gave birth to a baby.

Speaking of baby, in the last six days, Eleanor:
- has learned to clap
- can pull to stand
- started crawling
- started waving

She's seven months old. I'm going to need to have more kids just so I can spend a little more time in newborn world.

1 comment:

Cammie Wollner said...

Oh my goodness! I didn't know you were having to have it done again!

The pain pills and breastfeeding thing always has me so confused. Because I mean, they're handing out vicodin for days after each of my c-sections and I was on it for weeks and then everyone acts like it's totally fine to nurse and is encouraged.

Prayers that they're all gone now and no more stones develop. It seems like so much to go through in this last year!