Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Another night in the ER
Yep, we spent another night (very early morning) in the ER... It wasn't for me though - it was for my husband, Andrew. He has a kidney stone. He was huffing & puffing, moaning & groaning the entire trip into the hospital. I've heard kidney stones be compared to childbirth for men, so I figure he was very much in pain. They actually got to him really quickly and even dosed him with pain meds fairly early into our visit. We arrived around 1 am and left around 345 am. Not too bad considering some previous visits we've had were well over 4 hours...
Anyway, they sent him home w/ prescriptions for pain, nausea, and swelling (Flowmax to be exact) and a little funnel sieve to catch the stone when it comes out. He's spending a lot of time sleeping (all the drugs have that side-effect). I keep waking him up to drink and/or pee to get that thing GONE! Hopefully he'll be feeling better soon.
Simon & Rachel appear to both be on the mend. Both have snotty noses (probably allergies). Simon coughs at night some, but doesn't wake himself up like he was doing. Rachel's rash seems to have already responded to the cream, but before the next time for her rub-down she's itchy & fussy again. Of course, she's also completely made both her fists chapped by chewing on them b/c she's already teething. By this time Simon had already cut a tooth I think. However, they're doing pretty well.
I'm *really* tired. I was driver last night & I have a phobia about being in the ER for a serious reason alone w/ only the patient - especially it seems if intense pain is involved. I had a flash-back to my time in college w/ my then boyfriend (later fiancé). His trip did not turn out well... I was alone w/ him until his parents could arrive & witnessed some of the most tremendous pain in an individual that I think I've ever seen. I was 20, in the middle of finals week before Christmas, and watching my boyfriend writhe in pain. Not a good place to be or a good memory. It seemed to have been set off last night by the sight of skinny hairy dark-skinned legs poking out of a hospital gown while the owner of said legs suffered pain that I could do nothing to fix. I tried to not let it bother me, but by the end of the night I was stretched to my limits & even though Andrew was feeling much better (thanks to IV Dilaudid & Toradol) by the time we left, I was beyond stressed.
Right now stress does funny things to me. For one it makes me much more emotional than ever before. I don't know if its b/c I've been exposed to so much lately that its made me more sensitive instead of desensitizing me. Or if its because I've been told so often that its ok to be emotional and to be sure to share it with those that love me. Anyway, since I had to be strong while we were at the hospital & on the drive to & from, I internalized it all like usual... My breathing gets really shallow, my chest tightens, my shoulders round, my jaws clamp, and I slump forward. The problem with that right now is that these rocks on my chest don't like chest tightening - they take up too much space and aren't flexible enough, plus there's still some healing going on in there from the vigorous scraping they did during surgery. These rocks also don't like when I round my shoulders &/or slump forward. Again, its a space and flexibility issue as well as tenderness from a still healing chest wall.
I kept having to tell myself to take deep breaths, sit up straight, and keep my jaws relaxed. Andrew noticed & kept asking me what was wrong. While we were in the hospital or in-route (to or from the hospital), I couldn't risk telling him - he needed me to be strong since he was concerned it could be more serious than simple kidney stones. So I used the standard "nothing" answer.
Once we got home he cornered me (he was feeling no pain thanks to wonderful IV pain meds) and asked me what was wrong. Even though sometimes I suspect it hurts him for me to mention my late fiancé (for several reasons, he's said its hard/impossible to compete w/ a dead man, he knows there's nothing he can do to erase the pain for me, and he's reminded that we could have never been thrust together), I told him how hard it is for me to be the only one there when there's a serious issue b/c it reminds me of my past. That past to me feels like a failure even though I know there's nothing I could have done to combat my late fiancé's melanoma in his brain. Its irrational, but emotions generally are irrational. Being the sensitive guy that he is (those of you that've met him probably don't see this aspect of him, but its true for me & the kids) he reassured me that he was ok and would be ok. We 'made-up' as it were by talking a little bit and hugging/holding a lot.
That hugging/holding got my right tissue angry... As I said yesterday the scab is formed upside down right now, so it catches on everything. I thought I'd designed a really good form of padding for it to let it air-dry, yet not risk being caught on something & torn off. However, the down-side is that I can't feel my entire breast - much less this tissue. So in my insecurity as we slept holding one another, I apparently put too much pressure on it. When I woke up there was a pretty deep depression all around the troubled tissue and the gauze that wasn't supposed to touch it was stuck deep in it. It took most of the day - including a hot shower (to get all the fibers out), some air-drying as well as blow-drying - before the tissue appeared normal again (ie, not depressed). However, one of the times I went to check it, as I pulled my shirt away some tissue on the bottom side pulled away and made it bleed. Bleeding is theoretically good b/c that clearly shows good circulation. However, bleeding is bad when you have a very sensitive 4 year old girl (Abby my niece) and 2 year old boy hovering around. So I found some 'non-stick' gauze & will be trying it now. I hope on Friday that Dr. W clips some of the loosened scab so there's less to catch on stuff. I'm going to point out that in my opinion the risk far outweighs the possible benefits of keeping the scab intact. Especially from where I'm sitting now!