I wouldn’t say that my kidneys are broken. I mean—they work. They are doing everything they are supposed to do. They just do a little more. They like to make lovely not-so-tiny kidney stones. Then those stones like to move around and block things. In both kidneys. At the same time. Both ways. Uphill. In the snow.
So my broken-ish kidneys and I have been in on-and-off pain since March 19th when I had to have emergency stents surgically placed. I thought that when I had surgery in March 29th to remove the stones in both kidneys, that would be the end of it. I was wrong.
It turns out I had formed a large blood clot in the left kidney. My left was broken-ish. The clot was so large that the urologist was unable to remove the 12mm stone and all its buddies hanging out in there. And because it took so much time to work on that left kidney, the doctor didn’t even attempt the right kidney. I was to be scheduled for another surgery to remove the stones after the swelling in my left kidney had gone down and the clot had dissolved.
My spirit was completely broken
But I was just dying for a couple of good spa weekends at Good Sam hospital. So I was in the ER just 5 days after my 2nd surgery. I spent 2 nights coming home on Easter. It was an infection. SURELY The IV antibiotics pumped into my 24 hours a day while I was there would fix what was broken.
I was wrong.
I was checked back into the hospital through the ER with many, many tears and a couple barf bags less than a week later. It was yet another infection. I was on IV antibiotics again and was sent home with a prescription for more.
And another surgery date. Again—I felt even more broken. Surely enough was enough. Right?
So yesterday. April 22, over a month since I first discovered I had enormous kidney stones in both kidneys, I was wheeled in for a final surgery. I was terrified that the doctor would be unable to get all the stones. I was worried that my left kidney would be too broken to move to the right. I told the doctor that if that was the case, I didn’t even want to know about it. I told him to tell my husband and he could tell me in my own home where I could have a meltdown in private.
After surgery, he came in to tell me he got every single stone. Or so it appears. I’ll have an x-ray to verify before my stent removal appointment on 5/5. But it seems like both kidneys are 100% clear of the rogue stones which checked me into the hospital 3 times in a month and made me feel like I was losing my mind.
I am so thankful to the family and friends who have been so kind with texts and phone calls and messages. Flowers and meals and coffee deliveries. A meal train set up by neighbors which is keeping my family fed this week and next so I don’t need to even think about it. Heating pads and pain medications which keep me comfortable. A crazy understanding couple of bosses who have been unbelievably supportive through all of this. Kids who fill my water cup, snuggle up to my pain, and rub my head. And a husband who has kept everything running while taking care of me and ushering me to the ER so many times without complaint. I am truly humbled by the kindnesses shown to me over the last month.
And although I may have broken down more than once since March 19, I am starting to heal. I am pieced back together—only a few kidney stones lighter. No longer broken.