Saturday, March 29, 2014

Using Pill Bottles As Tea Leaf Readers

A day or two after my last post, I had left flank pain hit me like someone holding a hot torch to it. I hadn't thought about anything being wrong with me medically until two of my prescription refills had stickers on the bottles saying, "call your doctor." Last posting was a result of that obedience. It set me up for one more follow up next week to go over results.

Then the pain happened on cue. Six hours later, with an IV and pain meds on board, plus an MRI indicated I had a kidney stone that was fairly large - too large to let drain out as nature had intended.

"Here's more pain medication and antibiotics," they said. "We'll have the urologist set up an appointment for an outpatient procedure. Meanwhile, no milk or foods you like and call us again if the pain returns before the end of the weekend."

Sure enough, kidney stone(s) confirmed in two different spots. He'd go for the small one in the bladder first and the larger one in the kidney the second procedure and maybe "blast" it. By then, I had heard everyones' war stories about kidney stones. One of my best friend's wives told me, "forget about it being the equivalent of childbirth pain; I've had both and it's worse!"

First procedure done without a problem, except I found a great need not to hesitate before emptying my bladder, and taking aim and actually hitting the target was a re-training effort.

Now the second procedure is scheduled for next week to go after the bigger stone. I'm sure this whole thing was a side affect of reading those stupid bottles in the first place. I thought I heard someone in recovery talking about bringing in a backhoe next time. I might be mistaken.

At any rate, I am not going to read anymore prescription pill bottles ever again. They just lead to trouble! Being dumb and happy isn't all that bad.


Friday, March 21, 2014

They Struck Oil!

I had a series of medical tests done this week, the last one being yesterday (March 20th). The first one was okay; simple injection of dye followed by an MRI. That was the pre-test warm up - the "before" pictures. The next round was to be the view "after" the radioactive juice was pushed through an IV and pictures taken. They didn't get that far that day.

Their main guy stabbed me twice and could find nothing. I think he was practicing his fracking...I know I was utilizing similar words in my vocabulary under my breath that included fracking, friggin', freaking, and so on. He gave up and called upon the Mistress of IVs to give it a go.

We walked to the oncology department next door and she sat me in a very comfortable recliner. My hope was returning. Four stabs and two hematomas later, she gave up, but at least I was sitting in a comfortable chair. My veins took a deep dive and refused to be assaulted.

I was told to come back early yesterday before my scheduled appointment for another test and "drink lots and lots of water." I was thinking it would probably all leak out considering the number of holes in me, but I'd give it a try.

A whole day passed before I had to appear again. I must admit that it wasn't a restful day off. I thought I was going to drown a couple of times chugging the water. However, I showed up early and went directly to the Mistress of IVs back where the nice chairs were. I was a little tense, but I had made a mental note of where my veins had popped up since the first drilling.

I showed her all the locations that made sense to me, yet she went for one that was just above two previous failures. I was ready for using more gutteral gestures. She got it right off the bat! It was no doubt one of the better secured IV sites she had performed in awhile, too.

As the rest of that test and the next progressed, I reminded everyone not to screw up my IV. I felt that they were prepared to install a pipeline of some sort to ensure the source's stability. I'm sure the roustabouts were on stand by to manage the drill site.

That was not all of the IV story, but I hit the highlights. I'll tell you about the ultrasound another time. I'm happy to report that I am not leaking, but it's kind of nice being your own nightlight. That radioactive dye is a unique party favor!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Transition Of Seasons

As a novelist, one would normally think that I could compile an appropriate homage to the welcomed arrival of the coming season. Something perceptive; something profound; something not cliche. Okay, here's the deal: Spring beats Winter and its depressing grayness.

Now the philosophers among you can go berserk wondering what that means. The rest of us will stand with nursery packs of baby flowers and vegetables in hand and plant them where we figured color ought to go in the yard all winter long. It's far from rocket science, although I have been known to kill more plants than most because I follow the instructions up to the point of "In Order To Get A Healthy Plant, Do This..." That's when I think I have the planting handled and ignore the pesky details.

This is where I figure our Native American brothers and sisters had the advantage over people who plunked down in one spot and figured to be independent, relying on their own enginuity to survive. The tribes were smart enough to learn the land and show up when the vegetation, fish and animals did on their annual trek between summer and winter camps. Sure, some of them planted, but usually because they were forced to after getting relocated to reservations.

Me? I would have probably been one of those settlers that couldn't figure out why my corn always died out before it ripened. I wouldn't even have enough for a good batch of moonshine from my still to drown my sorrows.

Dead plants or not, Spring still beats Winter and I'm thankful for my neighborhood grocery store to supply that which I have killed.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Today Was A Mixed Bag

I was able to wish a long-time friend I hadn't seen in too long a Happy Birthday today, but she was folded over in pain and bull-headed about not visiting the ER to get some pain relief. That was the worrisome part of the day. I couldn't even administer the traditional birthday swats because she was already whining too loudly as it was. (50 mumble, mumble, mumble of them might have been excessive in her condition).

The good part of the day was being able to get a bunch of the family together to visit and have pizza as we caught up on everyone's news and stories. The twin granddaughters were passed around like proverbial footballs and all was well with the clan. It was pretty special to see Great Grandma holding onto the two of them as they slept. Aleah got a break and just got to relax for awhile.

My future son-in-law's old team even won their first game of the new season at the Clink (Go Sounders). He also did pretty darned good with the babies. He's a natural.

I'm a very fortunate man. God continues to bless me whether I deserve it or not. Sometimes He even provides things to write about, like today! Now I hope He plays the Good Shepherd and herds my friend to get some help soon.