Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Thanskgiving Vacation

I just got out of the hospital after a six-day stay. It was the day after Thanksgiving and I went in for a visit with my oral surgeon to "expose" my implant. Before, during, and after the visit, I was experiencing abdominal pain, but when I got home from the visit, the pain became unbearable. I phoned 911 and an ambulance brought me to Sharp Mercy Hospital.

I could barely move without pain in the emergency room. I was given a CT scan and an X-ray, but the initial diagnosis was pain in my kidneys related to PKD. They checked me in to the hospital, put me on an IV drip, and administered morphine, then Dilaudid, for the pain.

Every day I spent in the hospital, I thought for sure that I would be checking out by the next day. But, the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. First, they thought I had ruptured some of my PKD cysts, but that diagnosis changed to pancreatitis (all the symptoms matched) until they finally decided it was a kidney stone in my right kidney.

Armed with the stone diagnosis, I went in for a procedure where the urologist stuck a telescope up my urethra and injected dye into my bladder to find the blockage. They also placed a stent in my right ureter and tried (with no luck) to locate the kidney stone and extract it. I was under anesthesia during the procedure, so I don't remember anything from the time I entered the operating room to the time they wheeled me out into recovery.

Since they were unable to recover the kidney stone, I was left with a string attached to the stent in my ureter that hung out of my penis like some sort of sick fly fishing bait (my friend Steve should enjoy that imagery). Oh, that and blood in my urine for the next 4 days (until today).

Two days after the procedure, I was finally let out of the hospital. I was (and am) still in a bit of pain, but nowhere near what I experienced in the hospital. The pain now has to do with the string in my penis, my swollen hand and wrist from an errant IV site, sores in the back of my throat from the breathing tube (for the surgery), and general pain in my stomach from the antibiotics. All this and I still have (presumably) a stone in my kidney that I'm waiting to pass.

At this point, I really don't care about the kidney stone. I just can't wait to see the urologist (sometime later this week) for a visit to have the stent pulled out of me. Oh, joy!

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