Yesterday (Anzac Day) was a crazy long, stressful day for us as a family. And it hasn’t let up since.If you are interested, this is the light run down…
We woke at 2am and it seemed the ugly kidney pain Karl has suffered with for the last week or so was back. We have been to 5 appointments over the week, lots of waiting rooms, HOURS in care giving facilities. 3 IV’s, and Karl has received oral and IV antibiotics, morphine and other strong pain killers, scans and more, all for an apparent UTI and a large but inactive kidney stone.
All along he has been positive what he is feeling is kidney stone pain, which he had 6 months ago when we were in Broome. One doesn’t forget that pain. Ever, apparently. So in the wee hours (no pun intended) we woke the 4 kids and tumbled them in the car. We headed for a 40 minute drive to get him looked at at the nearest hospital we trust, to be told yet again it was a UTI.
Karl was given some oral pain medication, and we started to head home. But then another wave hit. Incredible breathtaking pain. So I chucked a u-turn and take him back in. He’s doing all he can to get through the pain. It’s about 4am by this time. While the professionals check him over, I am mindful I am due to catch a plane (for a business trip I have been planning for months), in only a few hours time. So I head back to the bus (another 40 mins), with the kids in the car to grab what I think we/I will need if Karl either gets better or worse. We ring his parents to come, but they are a 3 hour drive away. The darling angels answer at 4am and hop straight in the car to come and help. Thank God for them.
6am I arrive back at the hospital, Karl is OK and under pain management. They still think it is a UTI. And it’s time for me to decide to stay or go to the airport for my morning flight. He assures me everything is fine, his mum and dad aren’t too far away by now. And I should go. So I do. I hurriedly kiss him and the kids and catch a taxi to the airport, leaving them in an ED booth with Karl in the bed. They have books and iPads and are happy. Quick kisses and “We’ll miss you mum”. Not quite the good-bye I had in my head.
7.30 am-I ask for updates when I arrive a the airport, Karl calls me to say he has been discharged, with a bit of paper saying he has a UTI and the antibiotics should be enough, but if pain continues he should go to a GP and get a referral to a urologist. So I am relieved in a way (knowing “the issue” isn’t finished, but we will follow up during the week).
I must admit though I am shocked he has been discharged, because I know he is under the influence of some heavy pain killers with 4 kids and a car. He has been told not to drive. But I think they must have checked everything thoroughly so there is no cause for alarm (we know he has an 8mm stone in his kidney but have been told it is firmly lodged in place, incredibly stable and is impossible to pass at that size, only a few days before)….
So as he chats to me he is sitting in the car with the 4 kids but unable to safely drive anywhere. Then as we are chatting the pain rears it’s ugly head again. Through the drugs, he can still feel it coming back. So I tell him to go back in to ED. I am sure this issue has not been sorted. He lets me know his parents have arrived. They are able to take the kids from this point. I breathe a sigh of relief, and get on the plane. A decision I regret at the moment. My “mum guilt” screams at me. I am sure all of you mums understand. I cry as the plane takes off.
5 1/2 hour flight and I land with a text from him.
“Mr 8mm has decided to descend…. Already past my bladder and on the way to exit but may have to be put under to help it out the rest of the way.”
I am in the car with my sister and I burst into angry and confused tears. The stone which we were told was stable, immovable and too big to pass, has indeed been passed, with insufficient pain relief. No scans had been done on admission, they just trusted scans taken earlier in the week so they didn’t realise what was happening till it was already mostly passed. I can’t even imagine. We were told the largest stone size able to be passed in humans is 5mm. Seems Mr 8mm Stone didn’t get the memo.
So yesterday afternoon running on 3 hours sleep I was on the phone to the hospital as much as possible. Karl had no phone charger and his phone had died, so I had heard nothing for hours. Finally, I hear he is admitted to the ward. I was told a urologist would see him last night. I go to sleep, knowing there is nothing more I can do, with the time difference etc.
I wake this morning to hear the urologist came around this morning instead (I want to say FINALLY)…. Karl had a lot of pain during the night, and the stone still hasn’t passed. So they are talking about taking him in to surgery to help it out this afternoon.
We have struggled to be heard by care givers over the past week it seems, but his “issue” wouldn’t remain silent and now he is finally in good care. I wish that caregivers would LISTEN to what their patients say they are feeling, and trust us a little more. I miss my kids. I miss my hubby. I wish he was better. I wish I wasn’t on the other side of the country. And I wish I could have a crystal ball for the next couple of days.
Even in all of this, I am focussing on the incredible things we have to be grateful to God for. Karl has a “minor” non life threatening issue, so I’m determined not to panic. We have family support. He is seeing a specialist now. We are in a country where we have free, accessible and clean health care. I am thankful Mr 8mm didn’t descend when we were in Bali in Jan this year. So many things….This mumma bear just has a sore and frustrated heart. My Prescription is bible time, prayer, worship songs and endless cups of tea.