Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Tuesday evening, Shaun started having sharp pains in his side. Wednesday I left him in the emergency room of a dark and drab hospital where the staff, save one, were as uninspired as the physical space that confined them. Ten hours he spent there with little to no satisfaction other than confirmation of the diagnosis that we had pretty much determined ourselves the night before with the help of Google and his uncanny ability to pinpoint the source of his discomfort pretty much exactly. A kidney stone, jagged crystallized rock dragging it's way through the urinary tract (except when it decides to impale itself into the wall of the ureter, but I digress).

He was sent home and ordered to drink his 'normal' amount of water and pass the thing at home. It was not large enough, or so they thought, to blast. From what I have learned, kidney stones are a pretty common occurrence in the ER, perhaps the nurse that told him to drink his normal amount of water was visiting from another effing planet--how about being a tad more specific with a person that, just maybe, has a tough time consuming appropriate amount of liquids for a human being during the course of a day? After all, he is there for a flippin' kidney stone!

Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday he spent in pretty severe pain, he tried to avoid the vicodin in the beginning for fear that whatever might accompany it would be worse somehow. He quickly got over that and was requesting the next dose before the specified time, in an attempt to keep at least the edge off the pain. The bouts lasted from ten to thirty minutes at a time and were generally followed by the body falling to a deep sleep, attempting to recover.

Friday, he had a follow up appointment with a urologist who generously offered to schedule surgery to remove it in four weeks if the stone had not passed by then. Huh? Four weeks?

Saturday morning called for desperate measures; a home remedy consisting of Coca Cola and pureed asparagus--My husband doesn't really seek out vegetables, so for him to procure, cook, puree and consume asparagus with a gallon of Coke demonstrates the desperation of the situation. By that evening, with no relief, he was done. Calls were made, doctors summoned, and lots more drugs consumed. For the second time in a week, I took him to the Emergency Room. Lucky for us it was a pretty slow night and he was seen relatively quickly. Nathan and I headed back home while he was admitted, more drugs administered and surgery scheduled for the morning.

I won't go into all the many more details, the insults added to injury and the near assault I was threatened with in the ER driveway. Suffice it to say that the most impressive thing about this particular health care provider is their marketing campaign.

The stone was successfully removed as was the stent about a week after the surgery. The host of other unwelcome side effects of the experience are subsiding. He is figuring out how to manage his diet while curbing some of the culprits of his, most common type of stone. The good news is he finally has a legitimate reason to forego the beets offered by his mother-in-law on a semi regular basis. Somehow the threat of another stone is a more palatable refusal than his prior explanation that they taste like dirt...So there's that.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Eek! How awful! Glad he's feeling better. And beets? Really? Am I endangering my health by loving them? :)