Monday, November 15, 2010

The Worst Possible Way To Start A Four Day Weekend

Last Wednesday morning found me in the ER. Luckily, it wasn't for any of my children this time. It was for me. All me.

I've been having back pain off and on for a month or two and it finally came to a head last weekend. I think it was the combination of me running around all day Saturday and when I went to bed that night, I felt the beginnings of the siege that was taking place on my bones. And muscles. And joints.

I've been jokingly (although I realize it's not really funny) referring to this pain as my back cancer because I'm just the teeniest bit of a hypochondriac. Ok, not so teeny really. Whenever something hurts or spasms or doesn't work as it's supposed to, my mind immediately goes to CANCER! and I start writing letters to my children in my head for them to open on their wedding days.

I know, it's ridiculous.

So part of me was hesitant to head to the doctor because I was leery to find out just what kind of back cancer I had. But by Wednesday morning, after one of the more miserable nights I've ever had and which included me literally writhing in pain, I hobbled out of bed and called my insurance companies 24 hour nurse information line.

Yeah, about that? It. rocks. I just recently switched insurance companies and I could not be more tickled with the service I've received. It was so helpful to discuss my issues with a nurse before heading to the dreaded Urgent Care Center where I could spend a good portion of my life stuck in a waiting room only to be told I probably had back cancer and should head to the local ER.

The nurse on the line was so incredibly sweet, all grandmotherly and referring to me as "hon" and "sweetheart." She listened as I described my ailments and then calmly said "I want you to make arrangements for someone to take you to the ER. I'm worried about your kidneys."

Kidneys? And not back cancer? Hmm...

I made several pathetic phone calls, sobbing throughout each one as I made arrangements for my kids and called for a ride to the hospital. My sweet carpool friend arrived within minutes and scooped up my kids. My sister-in-law Jen pulled up almost immediately and helped me into her car. Knowing me like she does, she held my hand and told me everything would be ok.

I cried all the way there.

I was lucky to be seen right away and after relaying everything to the nurses again, they decided on a urinalysis and an ultrasound of my kidneys. I had resolved myself to the fact that the next few days would be miserable as I passed those blasted kidney stones, but I felt immensely relieved to know what it was and that it was not, in fact, back cancer.

But my urinalysis was clear. And the ultrasound showed a beautifully functioning kidney, completely stone-free!

My doctor came strolling in, who, it must be said, was sort of a nob. "Your kidney's look fine so I guess I'll just send you home with some pain medicine. Oh, and a muscle relaxer. Call your regular doctor to find out what they want you to do next."

Um, really?

Because even though it's not my kidneys, and even though I'm pretty sure it's not back cancer, SOMETHING IS WRONG. See the writhing? The tears running down my face? Yeah, all is not well here Dr. Nob.

I was annoyed. Brad had arrived awhile earlier and calmly asked the doctor about other alternatives and if there was anything else they should test or look for. Dr. Nob told him it was probably a bulging disc or a pinched nerve and that I needed to see my regular doctor for follow up.

So we left. But not before I threw up the 2 Percocet they had given me on an empty stomach in the parking lot. Not my proudest moment.

And here I am. I've had some not-so-bad feeling days since then and some really-ouchy-and-whiny days as well. It's annoying, more than anything else because I have so much to do and hate having to rely on others for help. But the help I've received has been so appreciated and I'm anxious to meet with my real doctor who can tell me what to do next. In the meantime, I'll be thankful that at least for now, it's not back cancer.


tharker said...

a.) So glad it's not back cancer (even though i already knew that ;)

b.) Love the nickname for Dr. Nob

Tam~n~Fam said...

Oh man, I'm sorry girl! I feel bad for not leaving a more sympathetic comment on FB in the middle of the night/morning. I hope it gets properly diagnosed and you get back to %100 ASAP! Love ya!

Mimi said...

Karen that is just no good. I am sending you healing thoughts. I am just a phone call (or text or fb) away if you need anything.

Nancie said...

your pain is not so funny,- but our family teases my BIL everytime something hurts for him. Its "Cancer" too...he starts planning his funeral.-thats funny.
hope things get better.

Amy said...

Oh dearest, back pain is the worst. So are kidney stones. So either way, ouch. I'm sorry that the ER doctor was so deficient as well. Nothing worse than to be in pain, and then told that someone else will have to help you.

I hope you feel better soon.

Andre said...

I hate going to the ER. They don't ever seem to really fix the problem. And you have to pay them tons of money. Clay and I went through a phase of taking turns going to the ER, one of us each year. Luckily the last time happened three years ago. Hope you feel better soon!

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry Karen! Wish I was still your next door neighbor so I could lend a hand. Rest up and feel better soon!

Sarah said...

I dread the ER. They only fix the symptoms not the main problem. Sorry you had to puke in the parking lot too! Throwing up in public is one of my biggest fears. I hope you get some answers soon on your back. Life doesn't stand still for us mom's so I know how hard it is to have to go at a slower pace.