Once upon a time (at the end of May), I had a kidney stone.
Not that I knew this at the time. As far as I knew, the proper diagnosis for what I was feeling was I Am Going To Die Right Now. They say that women may not have the classic symptoms of a heart attack – chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in your arms – but whatever their symptoms might be, I was pretty sure that “a knife is stabbing me in the ribs from behind, over and over and over” was one of them.
I was pacing between the bed, where I would futilely try to lie down in a comfortable position, and the bathroom, where I sure I would be sick from the pain. I told David I loved him, just in case I didn’t make it and there was even the slightest possibility he didn’t already know.
Thank goodness the pain was so terrible, because David had been invited to game with the Rip City Gamers and had it not been so severe, I might have told him to go ahead and go. As it was, he drove me to Urgent Care as I lay curled on the backseat trying not to throw up from the pain. I barely made it: he pulled up to Kaiser, I sat up, opened the door, and was sick all over their entry.
The place was packed, but I wasn’t worried about the wait. Surely once I gasped out my vital information to the triage nurse, I’d be whisked back to a special room for Very Bad Cases. Instead, I was kept waiting for an hour and a half, which was strangely reassuring.
Glad to find myself clinging to life, I spent the time alternating between trying to read fan fiction, trying to pee (I must have run to the restroom four times), and trying to drink enough water to get the sick taste out of my mouth. None of these endeavors was successful.
Over time, the horrific pain subsided and I got a bit of relief texting with Ina, who thought it sounded like her recent attacks of gallstones. She armed me with a list of questions for the doctor, so as soon as I was called back, I ran the gallbladder scenario by him. He agreed that it was possible and ordered some blood tests, but he seemed more interested in my asking him for a urinalysis due to all my unsuccessful bathroom trips.
When all the lab results came in an hour later, I got the final determination: a) probably a kidney stone – pending another appointment for an ultrasound – and b) probably an ulcer. (?!) Thus began a few weeks of medical excitement ’round these parts.
There was a silver lining to the whole nightmare evening, however. Quinland had been at dragon boat practice while all this was going on, and we hadn’t left her a note or anything when we left the house. I texted her as we were about to leave Kaiser:
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that without knowing any of my symptoms, with only the simple phrase, “I am Joey,” my child accurately and immediately jumped to “kidney stone.” I am obviously winning at this whole parenting thing.