Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh boy, it's been a while since I blogged - I guess it's that time again!
Hmmm...what to type about....
Well, let's start off with my crazy kidneys. It's a long story, have a seat and read awhile.

August 10th- severe and abrupt pain in my right side that presented itself immediately after showering all 7 kids. I thought for sure that I had pulled a muscle or something (I was secretly hoping that I would never have to shower all 7 of them again, lol). Severe as in excruciating, kill me, I'd-rather-give-birth-naturally-50-times kind of pain. I thought I must have a kidney infection, so I waited out the pain overnight (not getting a wink of sleep, nor letting Cade get a wink of sleep either), and saw my OB the next afternoon. The OB tested the urine and there was some sign of infection, assumed it was an UTI, gave me some antibiotics & Lortab and sent me on my merry way...which it WAS merry after I got some of those narcotics pumping through my system! ;) After 24 hours, the pain was gone.

Fast forward >>]

September 17th- once again, abrupt onset of same exact kind of pain that I experienced in August. I knew the feeling the second I felt it come on. There was no way that I was going to endure through the night with that pain again, so I took myself to the Instacare. Cade was at work, and luckily Kelly, Tajia & Colby were spending the weekend with their grandma, so I only had to leave Ethen in charge of 3 younger ones. The doctor at Instacare took my urine sample (which ended up having blood in it), poked & prodded my kidneys & belly, and determined I had a kidney stone. He prescribed me more Lortabs, an antibiotic and sent me on my way.

Well this time the Lortabs did NOT make me a merry woman! In fact, they didn't make me anything - the darn things didn't even touch the pain this time! :( I suffered all night long. I mostly googled symptoms the majority of the night - there isn't much else to do when you can't sleep, your husband is snoring away, and your two boys are having a "sleepover" in the room that the television is in!

The next morning I still feel as if I'm dying. The Lortabs are doing nothing for the pain. I told Cade I would rather be dead then feel like I did. Curt came over and helped assist Cade in giving me a blessing. Thank heavens for the Priesthood! I still didn't feel better, but I knew I wasn't going to die. ;) After Cade deliberated with many concerned family & friends, he insisted that he take me to the ER.

At the ER I provided urine, and blood, and information, and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And then I had an ultrasound. And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We got there at noon, and I was rushed right in ( I think the ER is afraid of pregnant women. lol! As soon as I said, "I'm pregnant" they rushed us right through the registration process - just FYI, in case the ER is busy when you go), but we didn't leave the ER until after 5pm! Luckily for me, they had me pumped full of dilaudin (that stuff does wonders for pain! Also brought back some memories of those younger days when I did a lot of illegal activities, lol), so I didn't mind the wait too much. Cade, on the other hand, was probably bored out of his mind! In the ultrasound, the tech thought he saw a 6mm stone in my kidney. Interestingly enough, we have never seen that stone on ultrasound again. Finally, the ER doctor decided to admit me to the hospital for pain management.

Let me tell you, being admitted to the hospital was like a little vacation for me! I had room service, someone bringing me whatever I needed, I actually had the remote for the tv all to myself - it was almost heaven...well, besides the dulled-from-drugs pain in my side, the IV stuck in my arm, and the fact that every time I had to pee (which was A LOT because they were pumping me full of sodium chloride), I had to do it in a "cowboy hat" and save it for the nurse to strain.

Sunday morning, my OB ordered another ultrasound, hoping to find something. The pain Sunday morning had subsided greatly. I had gone from a morphine induced state of mind Saturday night, to only having some percocet Sunday morning. The ultrasound subsequently showed us nothing, my pain was minimal, so my OB sent me home with a prescription for percocet and an antibiotic, and he insisted that I see the urologist on Monday or Tuesday.

The last pain pill I took was that Sunday, at 6pm, while I was at dinner at my in-laws. I have had very (with extreme emphasis on the very) limited pain since then. Sometimes when I know I haven't drank enough water, I get this dull ache in the general vicinity of where the pain was. Other than that, nothing.

The following Monday I see the urologist assistant. Unfortunately the urologist wouldn't be in until Wednesday, and my OB wanted me to be seen prior to that. The assistant asked me some questions, looked at his notes, the notes from the ER, and determined that I needed to have a stent placed. Now, I was not thrilled about this at all. I felt uneasy about it from the moment he said the word, "stent". I didn't know whether this was my gut instinct or my anxiety about having the stent placed, but I was not happy with this conclusion. The assistant told me at this time that the stent could cause extreme discomfort and that I would definitely be able to tell that the stent was in place. He also said that it would remain in place for the remainder of my pregnancy. We scheduled the stent surgery for Wednesday, October 13th.

I talked to my OB later this same week and told him what the urologist assistant advised. My OB is the best! He was wary of the stent, and told me that this is definitely last resort. He ordered another ultrasound prior to the stent surgery to see if there was obstruction. He determined that if there was no blockage, there was no need for a stent.

Thursday, October 7th I had yet another ultrasound...which ended up showing a "severe obstruction" of the lower right ureter. Because ultrasounds are not the best way to see kidney stones (CT scans are preferred, but not available for me because of the pregnancy), they were not able to find a kidney stone, or to see what is blocking my ureter. They only know that something is blocking the ureter and not allowing urine to pass through. My OB then insisted that I get the stent. :(

Unfortunately I let time slide, and didn't follow up with any lab work or pre-registration, because I was just SURE that I didn't have an obstruction. Wouldn't I be in PAIN if I had an obstruction?!? So after talking things over with Cade and my mom, I decided to cancel the surgery and meet with the actual urologist - which I am SO glad I did.

This last Thursday I met with the urologist, all prepared with my 1 million questions about having a stent placed. Lo and behold, after much thought on his part, he didn't want me to have the stent placed either! After he reviewed the prior documentation, watched my last ultrasound himself to verify that his definition of "severe" was the same as the radiologists, he came back and told me that anyone with this kind of obstruction with a normal kidney would be in excruciating pain and would be writhing around on the floor. Yet, I'm in no pain. Go figure. From my point of view, he seemed very perplexed with the situation. He finally decided to have some bloodwork done to determine if my kidneys were functioning properly. Depending on the results of the test I would:
A) If the test results were good, we would do nothing.
B) If the test results were bad, we would have another ultrasound done, the urologist would consult with his partner, and most likely refer me to a radiologist to have a drainage tube inserted through my back and into my kidney and that would remain there until the end of the pregnancy.

I immediately went to have the bloodwork done. The urologists office called me later that evening and stated that everything was normal! He advised me to have bloodwork done again in a week, but for now we will just wait it out.

So that's that. Pretty crazy in my opinion. The urologist was seriously at a loss as to what is going on. It doesn't help that I'm pregnant and not much can be done. Interestingly (and this is where I think that my gut instinct was coming in, rather than my fear as I first thought), at the appointment with the urologist, he did tell me that if the stent was placed, it would most likely have to be replaced every 2-3 weeks because they tend to calcify. He also informed me that placing the stent and having anesthesia could cause pre-term labor. He is thinking that maybe I had a pre-existing condition, which is causing the ureter to be blocked, and my kidney has gradually built up tolerance to the obstruction, which is why I'm not having pain. It's all a big mystery that likely won't be solved until after giving birth to this little munchkin.