Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kidney Stoned

I've been dealing with kidney issues of late and I thought I'd document the timeline! It's been one heck of ride, let me tell you!

On Monday evening, (now a week ago) I started to feel some discomfort when I went to the bathroom. Nothing awful, not a lot of urgency or frequency, but I'd certainly ramped up in my frequency (it just hadn't reached that "every 2 minutes" issue that is one of my main signs of a UTI) and my husband noticed that I was peeing with a lot of red in it (I had accidentally forgotten to flush in my rush to get to a crying child at one point) which I then noticed the next day. I upped my water in take and hoped I could flush it out of my system on my own (which I've managed to do in the past.) But as the peeing blood thing got worse throughout the day on Tuesday, I realized I probably had a full-blown UTI and I called my sister-in-law, LP, to come watch the kids while I visited a Walgreens Take Care Clinic to see if I could get some antibiotics to kill it before it got too bad. (I cannot say enough about how great the clinic was, by the way. I'd never been before, but it seemed the most convenient and cost-effective option, so I tried it. It was great.) When they tested my sample, it immediately came up with bacteria (and you could visibly see the blood in the urine, but the test also confirmed that as well.) so she was able to write me a prescription for antibiotics right away. I've been down this road before (I used to get very frequent UTIs) so I knew that I wanted Cipro and that was her first suggestion as well.

I got my meds and figured all was fine and dandy. But on Wednesday afternoon, the pain kicked in and I was starting to worry. I'd had 2 doses of ABX by that point, so I didn't know why I it was getting worse before it got better, but I assumed that was the case and texted my husband that I was feeling some pain, but I was okay.

Two hours later, that was not the case and I was pretty sure my UTI had morphed into kidney stones. (In defense of the ARNP at the clinic, she asked me if I thought I could have stones as well as an infection when I saw her on Tuesday. But since I had no pain, I told her that I didn't think I did. Oops.) My wonderful, amazing husband came home early from work and I canceled our plans for the afternoon to visit with my step-brothers and their wives since the one who lives far away was visiting. (I was really bummed to miss them, too! I haven't seen them since October.) My amazing daughter watched out for her brother for about an hour in between the first kicks of awful pain and my husband coming home. I put on PBS kids for them and she dealt with the snacks and drinks while I writhed in pain in my bedroom. She's an amazing kid.

I had some left over pain meds from my oral surgery a few months ago and I took that after my husband came home to see if it would help me get through the pain. I tend to hate the effects of the maximum dose of pain meds on me (even OTC meds like Excedrine make me loopy if I take the full dose.) so I didn't take the full dose, but it should have had more of an effect than it did. I was able to sit up and relax enough to eat (I was quite hungry by this time and of course, medicine on an empty stomach is a bad deal) so my husband grabbed some take out for me.  Unfortunately, while he was out, my stomach rebelled and I threw up. But then I felt better for awhile. I ate my dinner (yummy Thai food) and while I still had pain, I felt a lot better. I guess the pain meds had finally (2 1/2 hours after I took them) started to help. I could feel the pain, but this way, it was bearable.

Unfortunately, that was short lived. Before we got to the 4-hour mark on the meds, I was in a world of pain again. My husband sat next to me on the bed and held my hand. We were watching TV, but I don't remember what was on. As the night wore on, Imy pain ramped up and the 2nd dose of medicine (I was allowed 2 pills in 6 hours. The 2nd one did NOTHING, didn't even relax me to make it bearable. It just got worse and worse. At 10:15, I said "I don't think I'm going to make it through the night." There were tears in my eyes and I was laying in the fetal position with my husband rubbing my back gently. He called my mom and asked her to come sit with the kids who were long since asleep. As I got up to put some clothes on, I threw up again. Thai food the second time around is definitely NOT yummy.

I felt the tiniest bit better after throwing up, but there was still So. Much. Pain. It was constant, but then it would notch up in waves.

My mom arrived and we went to the ER.  We are lucky enough to live 2 minutes from an Emergency center. We checked in with the new electronic thingy. It had been almost exactly a year since I was last there (something like a year and a week since I broke my foot.) and I even ended up having the same Dr who said "did I just see you last week?" he'd looked at the date, but not the year! We got into a room and talked with the triage nurse. They had me do a urine culture (which was interesting since the door to the restroom didn't lock and some guy walked in on me. Awkward.) and took me for a CAT Scan. The CAT Scan was awful since I had to lay down completely stretched out on a hard surface and put my hands over my head - my kidney was crying out in pain! I worked on doing my labor breathing to get me through it until the voice that sounded somewhat like Mr. Carson the Butler from Downton Abbey told me to hold my breath! (so much for breathing through the pain!) They were able to immediately determine that I had at least 2 stones - one on each side! This surprised me, since I was really only feeling the pain on one side. They took me back to my room, sent the test results to the Radiologist for more detailed info and took me back to my room. Since they had the stones confirmed, they were FINALLY able to now give me some pain medication and a cup of water. They also slipped some Zofran in to help with the nausea.

I'm not that into pain meds because they often make me loopy, but when you're in that much pain, a good strong dose of pain medication is akin to hearing the Hallelujah Chorus! Relief! I dozed a bit, since, by this time, it was after midnight and well past my bedtime. My husband hooked up my Nook to some headphones and was watching reruns of Scrubs through all this and we watched an episode together until I was so out of it that I couldn't focus any more.

It took over an hour to get back word from the Radiologist as to the details of my stones. I had a couple that were small and easily passable, but I had one (the one causing me all the pain, no doubt) that was over 6mm, which is above the size (though not by much) that the average person can pass on their own without intervention. They hoped that because I had had them before, that I might be able to pass it anyway (the maximum size that they consider passable is 5mm) and they gave me a prescription for oral pain medications for the next few days, along with a prescription for Zofran, just in case I continued to throw up.

By the time we left, it was 1:45am. We skipped the 24-hour pharmacy across the street assuming that between the IV meds they'd given me while there and the ones I had at home, i could now make it through the night and DaddyFuss could fill the prescription in the morning when he took Fuss to school.

I had to get up at 3:30 to take more pills, but in between and after I was able to sleep. I spent the bulk of the next day drugged and watching TV, (though I did have one more bout of vomiting before I got my oral dose of Zofran, so apparently that wasn't completely over) and I've dealt with varying degrees of discomfort since, but my husband returned to work on Friday, my dad came to help out for a few hours that afternoon, since I had a bit of a regression. I made it through the weekend and I'm pretty sure that by now I've passed it. I felt some much lower pains during the weekend, but overall, I havn't felt that horrific pain since Thursday evening. Not entirely sure exactly when I passed it, so I don't know for sure, but the absence of pain, in this case, is my confirmation.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Portrait Outfits

I've been helping a friend plan her outfits for her family portraits. It's tricky because she doesn't want to "match" (varying body types, multiple core families, etc.) so I've been planning for both my own (just for fun) and for them. I got inspired by the awesome site Click It Up a Notch who is a great photographer with great ideas and also posts regular ideas for coordinating outfits for a family portrait. I'm not nearly as creative as she is, nor do I have her eye for color combos, but I came up with a couple of samples. The first is what I came up with for our little family - mom, dad, little girl, little boy. The second is 2 core families with multiple kids. I thought they turned out pretty good!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cheddar Bay Biscuit Loaf

I found this today. Yummy.Can't wait to try it out.

This is Red Lobster's Cheese Biscuit recipe done in a loaf pan.
3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil. In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Carefully stir in cheese cubes until covered in flour mixture, this will help prevent your cheese sinking to the bottom of your loaf of bread. In a different bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Fold the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture, stir until just combined, do not over stir. Spread the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Allow to cool for one hour before slicing and serving.

Monday, March 18, 2013

You live, you learn

I can't remember, have I used that post title before? Probably, it seems to be so applicable to so many situations in life. Maybe that's why Alanis Morissette was such a hit - her songs really hit home to a lot of people. Isn't it ironic?

Anyhow, I've been deal with some STUFF lately. Debilitating back pain - that's fun. I've spent hours flat on my back in the last couple of weeks. Not fun.

In addition, our family has suffered a major disappointment in the last week. My SIL, J, who has been teaching at our alma mater (my husband and his 3 sisters and I all graduated from this small private school) for the last nine years. It's where we put Fuss for PreK4 this year and where we intended to put her for Kindergarten next year. And after 9 years of dedicated service, the Superintendent has decided not to renew her contract for next year. His reasons are vague and lame-sounding and we are all assuming that there is something else going on - whether he has someone else in mind for the position or whatever, I really don't know, but it seems too random, sudden and unexpected.

And now we don't know what to do with Fuss for next year. A good portion of our motivation for putting her there (despite the large expense and sacrifice it will take) was to have her there with her Aunt J. And even removing that basic idea, now we need to figure out if it is disloyal to her to support the school by enrolling or not. But her 2 best friends are likely going to be there next year and I was SOOOO looking forward to having that connection to them and their families. And the other schools that are on our list are just as expensive, if not more so.

I'm just so sad about this. The idea of NOT putting her there - it makes my heart break a little. We were once betrayed by the leadership of the church I grew up in - where we got married - and between losing that, my dad selling his business last year and now this... I feel like much of my childhood is disappearing somehow.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just playing around

I came across this little game to play at a bridal shower recently and I sent the questionnaire to my husband. The object is for the bride (me) to answer the questions the same as he would answer them. (to play the game, you give her a piece of bubble gum to chew for every missed answer. If she doesn't answer many right, she's gonna have a mouth full of gum!)
I'm amused to see what he has to say.

  1. Who was [groom's] best friend growing up?
    Adam probably. Or the kid that got him into a lot of trouble - I think his name was Eric?
  2. Who was [bride's] best friend growing up?
    Katie B
  3. Where was [groom] born?
  4. Where was [bride] born?
  5. What was your first date together?
    Did we have a first date? When do you start counting? Dinner at Jotos? Driving to Tampa for donuts or a movie?
  6. When was your first kiss together?
    We were 15. At my house on the "Magic Couch" before the soccer kick off
  7. How many kids do you guys want to have?
    He wanted 4, I wanted 2.
  8. What is the theme of your wedding? (funny if the guy hasn't been very involved in planning)
    Let's get hitched!
  9. Where will you guys retire?
    No idea. Probably here.
  10. What does [groom] think is [bride's] best physical feature?
    My boobs?
  11. What does [bride] think is [groom's] best physical feature?
  12. One word to describe [bride].
  13. One word to describe [groom].
  14. What is [bride's] favorite holiday?
  15. What is [groom's] favorite holiday?
  16. What is [groom's] favorite thing [bride] cook for him?
    Anything. Or Oatmeal Cake
  17. What is [bride's] favorite thing [groom] cooks for her?
    O-fredo sauce, Shrimp Creole, oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies
  18. Which one of you is better with money?
  19. Which one of you is better with kids?
  20. Which one of you is better at cooking?
  21. Which one of you is better at dancing?
  22. If [bride] could go anywhere in the world, where would she go?
    Europe - specifically Italy or Scotland - followed closely by New Orleans or Oregon wine country
  23. If [groom] could go anywhere in the world, where would he go?
    Italy or Oregon Wine country
  24. What is [groom's] dream car?
    Corvette stingray or a pick up truck
  25. What is [bride's] favorite outfit?
    jeans and a nice blouse

Monday, March 4, 2013

Big Family

I've been watching Brothers & Sisters on Netflix lately and thinking about how much fun it would be in the future to have a big family bustling around. My husband comes from a family of 4 children so it's fun to see all the ins and outs of having all these people involved in your life - knowing you most of your life, etc. Lots of history and stories and love in big families. I think about how great it would be to have a bunch of kids (4 or 5 - I'm not looking to be the Duggars or anything) and I start dreaming...

And then I start dealing with reality. My husband and his sisters love each other. And they get along a lot better than a lot of people I know. But when they all get together (like this week while his oldest sister and her family are in town) there is ALWAYS drama.

So then I rethink it. Is it worth it? Do the ups outweigh the downs?