Monday, December 01, 2008

And you thought I was dead!

Actually, I almost was.

Anyway, since my last post over 3 months ago, many unplanned things have happened and I swear to God I'm not making any of this up...

This is My Life, people!

So, the quilting class...picking out the fabric for all of the kids took the whole classtime for the kids. The quilt shop owner told me she was going to have kits made up...but she claimed she had "no idea" what I was going to do, so there were no kits. Umm, excuse me but, you call someone up, had them come to your shop and go over all of the possibilities, choose one, MAKE COPIES of that particular section in Denyse Schmidts' book so you would know how much material, batting, etc...was needed and then claim to not know what I was doing? Yeah, right. I don't want to be mean but she told me a lot of things that she would do or have that she didn't. Including the fact that each kid would have their own sewing machine. Nope. At one point, we were down to six kids and ONE sewing machine. Which leads to lots of bored kids. took every minute of that whole week but every kid finished their quilt! I think they were ALL beautiful, and we had lots of fun. I sorta have pictures, but I'll explain that in just a little bit...

School started and we had all of the usual hubbub going on with that, only extra because Allison started high school. I think I was more worried than she was, and she is doing really great. I'm still worried, and now she is having us take her to vacant parking lots for driving lessons! Agh!

Then, this is when everything started going to hell in a handbasket.... Wednesday, September 3, around 4:00 in the afternoon I started feeling this weird feeling in my left side. No pain, just weird. By 5:30 when Steven got home, I was standing over the kitchen sink vomiting and had never been in so much pain in my life! Childbirth didn't even come close. Steven called for an ambulance and all of a sudden there were a dozen fire fighters and EMT's surrounding me in the kitchen, all of them asking me different questions and expecting answers while I'm vomiting and one EMT trying to take my pulse and blood pressure...which he couldn't get because it was so loud-LOL! So I told everyone to shut up for a minute while he took care of that....

They loaded me up onto a gurney and started rolling me out the door, and then I noticed/realized that all 3 kids were standing there crying. Oh my gosh-I can only imagine how scared they must have been! So I made the guys stop and I talked to the kids and tried to calm them down, then we were off to the ambulance and the hospital.

Of course, this is right at rush hour, and I am the 6th of 6 ambulances that had just shown up at the Emergency Room! Apparently, they don't believe in triaging the patients, so the lady who was sitting up on her bed looking so beautiful I had no idea why she was there, except that she was upset at the fact that one of her perfectly manicured fingernails had broken, was ahead of me, who is trying to hoist myself up and over the siderail of the bed and puking onto the floor and trying to tell everyone and their brother (who would just poke their head in the door just long enough to ask this question): "On a scale of 1-10, how high is your pain?". I started out at 20 and just kept going up from there. Even during pukes they would ask this, and get aggrevated that I couldn't answer right away. During those moments, I would be facing away from the door. I was right in the middle of a really good puke-not that there was really anything left-when I heard the door open I just threw my left hand back, held up 4 fingers, and when I got a chance I yelled as loudly as I could, "FORTY! I'M AT 40 NOW!!!"

Some doctor finally came in and told me I had a kidney stone, here's something for your pain, go home it will pass, oh, and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. (OK-so I just added in the last part. lol!)

Two days later, Friday, the pain medication isn't even touching my pain, so Steven drove me back to the hospital. I saw a Urologist, who was very nice, and he told me that the kidney stone had probably gotten stuck, would not come out on it's own, had me admitted to the hospital and planned to the Lithotripsy thing Saturday morning. My mom had come into town so someone would be with the kids, but Steven went home to sleep. He came back in the morning just as the nurses were changing shifts, so my "good" nurse hadn't checked in on me yet. He said if he didn't know that that was my room he wouldn't have recognized me. I had started to become septic overnight, running a fever, not passing any liquids even though they were being pumped in constantly through an IV so I literally looked like a bloated whale, and my pulse ox was 73.

Apparently, the night shift didn't think this was a problem, and I was too drugged up to realize this was a problem.

Steven ran and got my nurse, and although I was really out of it because of the meds, she did not have a happy look on her face. She called for a doctor, who wasn't showing up, so she cathed me right there and I still couldn't get any fluid to come out. Not good. She kept paging the Urologist on call but he wasn't in any hurry. Finally, about 11:00, this "Doctor", who was soooo stereotypically Texan he had to be from Dallas originally, wanders in with his jeans and cowboy boots on. Now, this was NOT the Urologist I saw the day before...this guy was actually the one who runs the entire practice that the previous doctor works in. He called me "honey" and "sweetheart", never once looked at my face, poked around on my enormous belly while asking questions that another doctor who was with him had to keep waking me up to answer because I was totally out of it and kept passing out. But then I heard him say that I "just had gas" and needed to walk up and down the halls and that he would give me a prescription for GasX. I responded that I didn't think that was a very good idea, seeing as how I couldn't even sit up and stay awake, I certainly didn't think I should be walking up and down the halls, all the while staring at a poster on the wall right in front of us that says something about not getting up by yourself and to call a nurse. THEN he says in his perfectly stereotypical Texan accent (and this is the clincher):

"Well Sweetheart, we all gotta do things we don't wanna sometimes. So you can either get up and walk around and get better or you can lay in bed and stay sick; that's your perogative."


Steven began saying for the first time, but not the last: "Uh-Oh. Please don't talk to her that way, sir." "Please sir, you do not want to be so condescending with her." And lots of things like that....

I became fully and entirely conscious, sat straight up in bed and yanked the stethoscope off of his ears. That got his attention. He actually looked at me!

I started shooting questions at him...did he even know my name, did he know why I was in the hospital in the first place, had he even looked at my chart before he came in the door (because I knew he hadn't looked at it since he had been in there). ALL of his responses were, "No", except for the one to know why I was in the hospital in the first place. To that he responded: "No. I just know you're a Urology patient." I asked him how could he possibly see patients this way, but there was no response at all.

Pardon my French here but, I told him what an ass he was and to get the fuck out of my room because he was fired and that no one in that hospital was ever touching me again. I tried to leave, but I couldn't roll my bloated self out of the bed! rofl!!! So I just grabbed a bag of peanut M&M's Steven had left on my little table and started eating, because I was STARVING because they wouldn't let me eat since I was supposed to have surgery that morning.

I was still determined to leave, but my nurse convinced me to stay and see one more doctor from another service. I was still eating my M&M's though, dammit.

So she calls another doctor...whoever she talked to said he had procedures lined up back to back all afternoon and that he would come see me when he was done. So we figured he would be in about 5:00. He was there in 15 minutes! He must have looked at my chart and thought my problem might just be a tad bit more than gas. We knew what his name was, so Steven went and did a search on him on the computer at the nurse's station. Dr. Thomas O'Neill is his name, and among other things he is also a researcher and teacher at UT Medical School here, and had been named one of the Top Ten Super Docs in TX for Urology in 2005, 2006, and 2007. I also saw over this last weekend he's in it again for 2008. (Dr. GasX is not, nor do I think he ever has been, on this list.) He talked to me about how I needed a stint in my kidney/ureter NOW and then in 10 days or so he would take out the stint and if the stone didn't come right out with it, he would have to do the Lithotripsy. I still wasn't sure if I was staying or not but, I decided that his credentials sounded OK and maybe he did know what he was doing so I decided to give it a go. Within 15 minutes of that, I was on the table in the Operating Room.

That's the part where I almost died.

And 10 days later, Dr. O'Neill did take the stint out and of course the stone stayed in, because we discovered I have "very skinny ureters". So, I got that goin' for me.

And Dr. O'Neill really is a very great guy, all the way around.

Two surgeries down, only one more to go. In October I had a full hysterectomy, which was the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I'll just leave it at that. But really, if you do have any questions about having one because you are thinking about it, just ask and I will answer them. But on the whole, my answer is, "YES!"

So then just as things are staring to get back to normal, my computer had a very sudden death. Maybe it was suicide...tired of looking at all of the embroidery, quilting, Japanese crafts and fabric art blogs and pictures. I don't know. But, I just got a new one and it's up and running.

Oh, and that's why there are no pictures...they were all on the other computer. We are actually planning to take it to someone and get those all off and onto a CD or whatever. Well, that's the plan anyway. I hope it works. I REALLY need to get started on all of the Christmas stuff, then I'll have lots of pictures! I've also been helping out The Most Lovely Leslie Bonnell at Stitch Lab over in Austin...she has a few shows/fairs coming up before Christmas and needs some help getting everything finished, so I've been sewing on LOTS of buttons on her wrist cuffs...there are
400. And that's not even counting her hundreds of other and stuff. I am not the only volunteer, though, thank goodness! And Beth, if you are reading this-I am so sorry for not mailing out your quilt sooner!!! I am working on it though. The problem is that every time I sit down and start something one of the children that I am responsible for needs a parent. Sheesh! Kids are so dependent! You WILL get it though, I PROMISE!!!

Oh wait...I decided to check for any pictures at all on this computer, and I guess Allison posted this one. I think she was trying to figure out how the camcorder worked with this....

Just remembered about this...this past summer I started taking the photography thing more seriously. Somewhere in between surgeries I ended up shooting a band in Bandera, AND-get this-a couple of weeks ago a Rugby team asked me to come out and shoot a game for them!!! First of all, I had no idea there even was a rugby team in San Antonio, but there is, and it really is a cool game. Second, a rugby game has to be the most fun thing to photograph there is! And they didn't even care if I ran out on the field once in a while. lol! I only got close to being trampled once, and that wasn't on the field; it was on the sidelines. I didn't think they were moving as fast as they were. I literally just turned sideways and arched my back because I didn't even have time to take a step, and missed it by that much. I felt the brush across my back. And then there's beer after. Now that I have a computer, I can get them off of the camera and edited and all that, so check back soon! I swear I will be blogging regularly. Is there a 'Blogging Pledge'? Maybe I should come up with one.


MichelleB said...

Holy Smokes, Lauri! I certainly hope that you're doing better. That sounds like some awful sh*t you went through. Looking forward to hearing more from you, and I really hope that you're doing better!

Anonymous said...

LAURI!!!! My stars! What a time you've had. I'm so glad you didn't die permanently :)
May that Cowboy Doctor have to pass twenty kidney stones through his teensy little never-you-mind.
He deserves it.

Happy Zombie said...

Oh Lauri! What a nightmare! Especially that evil Dr. GasX! (had it been me, I would have loved to rip out a big honkin' fart right in his face).

Glad to hear you back and on the mend. And I sooooooooo agree with you about a hysterectomy!

tara said...

I am prorastinating and checking out blog rolls and found your kidney stone story. Wow. I am so glad you got the good Dr when you did. What a harrowing story.

blop said...

Oh girl, you have been thru the mill, haven't you? My neighbor had a stone in the ureter and went 7 months in that pain along w/morphine.
She finally got thru it but had several of your GasX docs along the way, too. Hopefully, those guys will someday get theirs, too!

Lauri said...

BLOP!!! OMG-it's been way too long! You still don't have a blog, do you??? And I cannot believe your friend actually lived that long with that pain. Glad it's over with, though!

Michelle, Kirsten, Monica and Tara: THANK YOU for all of your comments! They mean so much to me, really!

I had planned to blog several times this last week, but,, ya know??? Hopefully tomorrow...

Dana said...

Sheesh! You've been through the wringer!!

Laurie said...

All I can say is OMG I am so glad your okay.

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog and read all about your hospital stay... all i can say is... OH MY GOD!! Let me tell you, that first cowboy doctor was lucky i wasn't his patient... i would have shoved his stethiscope fair up his ass.. told him to pass it off as gas... All i can say is ... KARMA ... Hope you are well on the road to recovery now and keep up the good work... Lx

Anonymous said...

OMG lauri!! It was scarey reading everything you went through. But, as usual you made me chuckle as I could visualize you yanking Dr. GasX's things from his ears. LOL

I love you girl!