Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

I swear, the insurance companies have little tracking devices in my body...

... that make it fail as soon as the insurance situation gets complicated.

So you know how I quit my job as of Friday? Which means that I'm now on COBRA? And you know how COBRA is retroactive to your termination date, but the paperwork's a bear for a while?

You see where this is going: this is, of course, the day I wound up in the ER.

The irony is, I was on the way to my doctor's office anyway. I'd been noticing a slight ache in my lower flanks for the past few weeks, mainly when lyiing in bed. Very slight, though, and I had a checkup scheduled today anyway, so I figured I'd talk with her about it then.

So I drove Kate to work this morning, noticing as I did that the pain in my left side was suddenly getting a good deal worse -- where it has been running a 1 on the usual hospital 1-to-10 scale, it was suddenly a 3 or 4. Not unbearable, but suddenly a significant discomfort. But what the heck -- I was heading to the doctor right afterwards anyway, right? And after a few minutes, it eased off.

After dropping her in Framingham, I headed back in on 30 towards the office, on the Waltham/Weston border, and the pain started to climb -- from "hmm" to "ow" to "uh-oh". I kept driving, on the theory that stopping and calling an ambulance was going to take longer than getting to the office. But as I drove up South Street in Waltham, I decided that this was bordering on Truly Dumb, so I turned into the Newton-Wellesley Urgent Care annex, in the old Waltham Hospital building.

Of course, I described the pain, and they all said, "kidney stones" without even blinking. Onto an IV, some low-grade pain meds, and lot of fluids. Peed in the cup, which *looked* like nothing, but came back as, "lots of blood in the urine". Time passed. Pain flared up to an 8, then knocked back down to a 4 again with more pain meds. Ultrasound introduced me to the term "hydronephrosis" -- my left kidney was all stoppered up.

Ambulance over to Newton-Wellesley proper so they could do a CT scan. Given morphine for the first time -- stuff packs one *hell* of a punch, but did knock the pain all the way down to a 1. Turns out to be an itty-bitty stone, maybe 3mm across, but it's enough to gum up the works. Handed a stack of prescriptions and sent home (after much car juggling, courtesy of Inae, and Kate getting to drive my car for the first time).

So here I sit, doped up on not-as-good-as-morphine-but-it-helps Percoset. Truth to tell, the nausea is even worse than the pain at the moment. (Yes, they gave me Zofran. No, it's not a panacea.) I threw up the smoothie that was my first attempt at non-water: unfun, but one does feel better afterwards.

So don't expect me anywhere tomorrow unless I get lucky -- the stone is reportedly almost all the way through, so hopefully it'll only take a few days, but tomorrow is probably too much to hope for. In the meantime, I'm staying pretty well doped up, and focusing on little except drinking and peeing as much as possible.

And afterwards, I get to deal with *so* much fun paperwork. (Although this plan's deductible is so high that much of it may be simply a matter of demonstrating that I've satisfied it, for later.)
Tags: diary, health

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