02 February 2011

Let's Try This Again

Picture this:

Third week of school starts. (Sidebar: that’s why this blog hasn’t been updated in awhile...school started up again, therefore life has ended for awhile.) Lifespan test scheduled for 8am. I wake up at 4am wanting to scream in pain with...yep. Another round of kidney stones.

However, I don’t want to miss this test. I studied all weekend - I don’t want to waste that. So I took a couple Advil (or a million, I wasn’t really counting) and headed to class.

My professor took one look at me and said, “No. You’re not taking this test. I won’t let you get a bad grade because you can’t concentrate.” I argued that I was fine, she looked at me skeptically, I looked at her sheepishly, and she, sensing victory, called one of my other professors over to walk me to the ER.*

*The SLU nursing school is right across the street from the SLU hospital, and therefore the SLU ER. Very convenient when you want to roll on the ground in a ball from excruciating pain.

First of all, let me say how incredible our professors are. They actually take the time to care about us students. This is a major university with thousands upon thousands of students, yet little ole’ me got a personal escort with a professor who kept asking if I was ok, when did this start, what have I done to try to alleviate the pain, etc. (Sure, she’s also a nurse, but still. I appreciated the concern.)

The day progressed as you would imagine - hours in the ER waiting to see the doctor and get wheeled down to CT. I will say, however, this ER experience was MUCH better than my last ER experience. The Saint Louis University Hospital ER is WONDERFUL. No one made any mistakes with my IV, they put my armband on me, they repeatedly asked me my name and birthday before giving me meds...unlike the ER I went to a few weeks ago that didn’t do any of those things. Bad. Bad bad bad.

My friend Teri came to sit with me after she got done taking the test, and it was nice not to be alone - especially since the patient in the bay across from me was handcuffed and guarded by corrections officers.

I swear he kept staring at me when the curtain was open. Creepy.

And of course the day I have to be in the ER is the day the ice storm started. And of course I can’t drive home on morphine.

My wonderful, amazing and selfless cousin Gretchen dropped everything she was doing to come pick me up. In the ice storm. She didn’t even stop to think about it - she just ran straight to the ER and took charge - which was absolutely what I needed since the morphine had kicked in and I didn’t understand a single word the doctor was telling me. Plus, as a doctor’s wife, Gretchen knew the questions to ask. Plus, as a mom of three, Gretchen knew how to fuss over me which made me relax and not stress out so much.

Have I mentioned that Gretchen is wonderful and amazing?

The verdict: the ER doc said that he assumes it’s kidney stones, but the tests were inconclusive (of course - this is me we’re talking about), and I have to follow up with a urologist in a week.

Cause, you know, I have time for that.

When I called to schedule the appointment, the secretary didn’t understand why I couldn’t come in at 10am on Tuesday or Wednesday (clinicals and clinicals) or Friday at 11 (NCLEX pharmacology predictor test).

I’ve also discovered that it’s really hard (and exhausting) trying to explain my whole situation to people. Yes, I’m 30, but yes, I’m also a full-time student at SLU. No, I don’t have a primary doctor in the area, because my home is three hours away. But yes, I do live in the area during the week with my cousins. Yes, I’m married, but like I mentioned, my home - therefore my husband - is three hours away. Why? Because I’M A FULL TIME STUDENT AT SLU!!! For crying out loud.

I had to explain this over and over to the ER doc - is this really so difficult to understand? You are a doctor, right?

Anyway, we got out of the ER alive and made it home before the ice got really bad. And this storm might have been a blessing in disguise - clinicals were canceled yesterday and today.

The plan: Rest, pain meds and lots (and LOTS) of fluids, and looking up even more info about kidney stones and dietary restrictions (see previous post).

And lots of Audrey Hepburn. Breakfast at Tiffany’s makes everything better.

But now for something fun - Blizzard pictures! We took Cami-dog for a walk in the snow last night. Lesson learned? Blizzard snow HURTS when it hits your face.

Here’s me and Katie (she’s 12. And as tall as me. No fair). I was trying to stay upright on the ice - not easy when Cami likes to pull.

Believe it or not, this is all sleet and ice.

You can’t really see it in the picture, but the snow/sleet was blowing horizontal. That can’t be good.

This just in: my sister down in Houston, TX just informed me that they don’t have power: “How’s everything up there? No power here because our electric companies don’t know how to handle temps below 30. No power. No heat. No internet. Houston municipalities are so stupid!!!!"

Spoken like a true midwestern girl who grew up with snowstorms and a pastel pink snowsuit. She giggles when her neighbors don’t know what to do with a frost-covered windshield.

And according to my cousin Anne up near Chicago: “They have called a civil emergency in Lake county--all roads closed and you can be arrested if you do drive. I'm going to try to shovel out, call the police and get to the clinic later this am. This is not good!!” Poor Anne - today is also her birthday!

And let’s not forget my husband’s sentiments: “I’m moving to Jamaica.”


Momma said...

A urologist???? What a good idea. I wish I'd told you to go to a Dr a long time ago!!!@@#!$#$%^%&^%*

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