I’m one of those people who goes to a doctor when there is a reason. A damn good reason or I’m not going. In fact, I don’t even have a family doctor and haven’t for the last twelve years.
About ten years ago I had to pay a visit to the emergency department on New Years morning. I woke up with a bulge the size of an orange under my jaw. That definitely qualified as a potential issue. So, off I went. Turned out it was a swollen lymph gland. In a few days it went down on its own. The emerg doc prescribed some antibiotics just in case some infection was present.
Let’s Play Russian Roulette
Well, not really. Don’t take an otherwise empty gun and put one bullet in for me to shoot at myself with. Taking antibiotics is sort of like that for me. I’m seriously allergic to the entire penicillin branch of meds. Enough that I was told if I have another reaction, it will kill me. Sort of got my attention.
I have less severe reactions to three other classes of antibiotics. Needless to say, when a doc says “Oh, we’ll prescribe an antibiotic to be safe” — I don’t feel very safe. I get this image of the gun with the single bullet to my head.
Life Can Change So Easily
Last May I came down with that I thought was a bug. I kept up my usual level of activities. No bug is going to take me down is my usual attitude. Well, then fever started entering into the equation and I decided that maybe I needed to take some time to just rest. I took a few days at home.
As time progressed, the bug didn’t seem to get better. I went from just fever to hardly being able to keep a light meal down. So, when the morning in early June came that I was vomiting almost continuously, I decided it was time to get this checked out.
I was weak enough that driving was not a good plan. So, I got myself up and dressed. I put some extra food and water out for the cats as I might be gone a day or so. Then I packed my essentials. You know, my iPad and the charge cord. Might take a while in emerg. I locked my door and dialed 911 to summon the ambulance.
Went in for One Illness and Ended up With Two — Lucky Me
I was diagnosed with a massive infection on my stomach cavity. That was producing pressure on my stomach and thus my not being able to keep anything down. The docs were not sure what the source of the infection was. They did a few CTs but didn’t come up with a definitive source.
They did however discover that my left kidney was pretty much dead. A kidney stone had formed at some point, embedded itself in the wall of the kidney and gradually led to the demise of said kidney. When asked how I would NOT know there was a kidney stone there, the urologist told me it is rare but it happens. Lucky me.
Some of the docs involved in the diagnosis believed the infection started in the kidney. The urologist was doubtful of that due to the distance it would have had to travel in my body. Who knew there were long trips to be had in our bodies?
They inserted a drain in my stomach cavity to drain the infection and sent me out to another hospital to have a stent put through the kidney to my uretha to be sure the infection was not coming from there. Ten days later, I went home, rather weak but on the mend.
I’m A Bit of an Independent Cuss
I was determined that I would manage this on my own. I live on my own and need to be self-sufficient. One friend offered to drop meals over to me, I declined. She eventually dropped a bag of frozen meals from her catering service at my door and texted me to go get them. I had to admit, they were helpful to just heat them up.
Three days after coming home I had a hankering for fresh fruit, grapes to be exact. This couldn’t be too tough, I could go into the the local grocers. Their produce department was right near the door and their tills close to there. Well, I pulled it off, then slept the rest of the day from the exertion.
A week later, I walked the outside aisles of this small country grocery. It was a huge victory after I slept the rest of the day.
So What About the Damn Kidney?
Well it was decided that the kidney would need to come out. I could continue to have the stents replaced every six months but they can cause irritation and other issues with having them in place constantly.
We decided last fall was not a good time to do so. It would put me back where I’d just been health wise and if I wasn’t fully healed from the previous illness, there could be complications.
So, here I am, sitting at my laptop just over a year later. I’m two days post op, the kidney was removed on Thursday. Considerable pain issues were anticipated but it seems I have a pretty good tolerance level. It’s being managed with Tylenol every four hours. I have a morphine pump available but haven’t used it much since the first few hours.
Never in my life has a fart been so anticipated. Apparently I need to pass wind before they will remove the morphine pump. So practically every one of my waking hours I’m being asked, “have you passed wind yet?” Sheesh let a girl fart in private eh.
All being well, they expect to send me home on Monday.
The Steem Community
This surgery in many ways has been tough. With the illness, there wasn’t time to think about possibilities. What could happen or not. There was only time for diagnosis and action.
Anticipation of something like the removal of a body part is almost painful itself. There is time for way too much to swirl around the head and thoughts. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how rationale you are, the irrational intrudes.
Behind the scenes in the Steem community, especially on discord there has been some incredible support. The people involved know who they are. I want them to know how much I appreciated their support and kindness.
A special shoutout to the team who handled the PYPT shows on Thursday; @snook, @thekittygirl, @sgt-dan and @bluefinstudios. An extra shout to @snook for her willingness to record shows I normally do. Thank you all. Great teamwork.
Gonna Need to Check A Suitcase I Think
So, if you didn’t already know, my sister is @artemisnorth. She wanted to travel down from London last year when I was sick and I told her not to. This year, there wasn’t much discussion, she was coming and I would need to get over it.
The upside is, we’ve not had a face to face visit for sometime so when I get home that will be good. She is looking after my cats while I’m in hospital which is make this easier on them. However, I’m hearing that my until now one-person kitty Dawn seems to be transferring her affections to @artemisnorth. I’m thinking I’m going to be needing to check a suitcase before she leaves to make sure that Dawn hasn’t decided to jump ship.
So, while I expected to be out of commission for a while, barring the unexpected, I will be back around pretty soon.