Saturday, November 10, 2012

Are You Kidding Me?

Hello there, world.  It's me again.  With yet another story about the unexpected journey that I'm on.  I've left the journey of an infertile woman for a bit because my life as a "normal" person interrupted and has pulled me off the path that I've been wandering for the better part of four years.

You're probably tired of hearing about my little kidney stone drama, and I quite frankly am tired of living it, but so much off-the-wall stuff has happened that I'm compelled to share.  If for no other reason than this:  when I'm 90 and in the old folks home, I want to be able to read this blog and go, "Well, wasn't that an exciting month!"  (Hopefully I will see it that way, because right now, it's a month that's lasted about 6 months!)

So here we go with installment 5,6, 8 zillion...

Last Saturday I went in to have some FINAL pre-op labs done.  I was told that I HAD TO HAVE THEM DONE or I wouldn't be able to have the surgery.  So like a good girl, I headed up to the big city (1 1/2 hours away--this is not just a trip to the grocery store--it's an all-day thing!).  I had to have blood drawn and do a urine test.  Since I was told that it was a full metabolic panel, I knew the drill (thanks to all my PCOS bloodwork, I knew that phrase QUITE well) and didn't eat or drink anything but water after 8:00 on Friday night.  Because this stent won't allow me to "hold it", I have to go to the bathroom every 60-90 minutes.  So before we left the house, I went.

We get to the hospital and go to check in...and the little girl checking me in says, (and I quote) "I don't have any record of you needing to come in today for labs.  Did you get the wrong date?"  (By this time, I was doing the potty dance in my chair and crossing my legs AND praying for patience and grace so I wouldn't go across the table)  Then she says, "I'm sorry you made such a long trip, but it's not in the computer so I can't send you to the lab.  Who's your doctor?"  I told her everything that I was told, who told it to me, and when they had told me to arrive.  Finally, she told me that she would look at the fax machine to see if the orders had been faxed in.  I thought that was weird, because her department was the one that called me, but hey, what do I know?  Another 15 minutes passes...which seemed like an hour because I.HAD.TO.GO!!  She couldn't find the orders.  She was in a quandry--I would have felt sorry, but I was ticked that they kept giving me conflicting information and I still had to use the restroom.  She FINALLY looked in the department inbox where everything was and found the orders.  By this time, hubby and I have been sitting there for 30 minutes (2 1/2 hours w/out a bathroom by this point, so I'm almost in tears of pain).  After 10 more minutes of correcting my personal data (for the 5th time), she finally sends us to the lab. 

You'd think the lab was close, right?  Nope, not a chance.  It's a quarter of a mile down the hallway (maybe not quite that far, but we walked from one end of the hospital to the other).  I'm almost doing a duck walk to keep from peeing my pants--it did not look graceful and I was so glad that we didn't see anyone I knew.

I get to the lab and check in...and they are in the middle of a shift change. (of course they are--we are talking about my ability to not ever get the easy pass!)  We wait for an additional 20 minutes. (In case you're keeping count, it's now been 3 hours w/out a bathroom, 20 hours without food, and 24 hours without any pain medication of any kind--I was almost crying, I felt so bad)  Then I am called up to the desk where the nurse confers with me.  You see, according to her computer, I had already had these tests while in the hospital and at my surgeon's clinic, and on the paper under her orders it said that if these tests had been performed within 30 days, they didn't have to be repeated. (ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME?) After I told her about our long trip, the fact that I was told I couldn't have surgery w/out them, and the fact that everyone and their brother at the hospital kept telling me different stuff, she went back to call my surgeon's office and see if he really meant for me to have the tests done. (If I wasn't about to turn yellow from lack of peeing, I would have appreciated the fact that she didn't want to cost me more $$$ by performing unneccesary tests).  

Lo and behold, she can't get ahold of my surgeon--but he had an associate who was on-call in the ER.  So she called him.  Then she looked at me leaning feverishly against my husband and told me that the on-call doctors always call back quickly and don't leave you waiting very long. (Oh goody!)  In hospital time he didn't wait long, but 10 minutes is a really long time when you've gotta go to the bathroom.  He told the nurse that the tests wouldn't hurt and that I could have the clinic credit my account if they really were unneeded. 

She handed me that specimen cup, and I practically crawled to the little bathroom.  On a side note, doing the old person shuffle is easier than trying to walk with your legs crossed!  I get in the bathroom and find that there is an 8-step list to follow just for a sample--WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I was about to pass out, I hurt so bad, so I skimped on about 5 of the steps.  I couldn't bring myself to "cheat" by skipping them, but there was no way under the sun that I was going to be able to do them properly (like cleaning yourself for 30 seconds then standing and washing your hands again for 1 minute before sitting again---totally not happening)  I'm pretty sure that some man wrote the instructions because I do not know of any woman who would put other women through such torture.   Anyway, I was finally able to feel some relief and was able to stand all the way upright when I walked out of the little powder room to have my blood drawn.  The blood part only took 3 minutes, so the whole actual lab time was only 6-8 minutes.  (Now if I was a scheming type of person, I'd send the hospital a bill for the 3 1/2 hours of my time that they wasted---which I won't do, but for petey's sake, you'd have thought that such a simple procedure could be accomplished more efficiently.)

The up side to all of the waiting and the hurting and the fevering?  Hubby took compassion on me and took me out to a steak dinner!  Then we ended our romantic evening with him pushing me in a wheelchair through Wal.mart (b/c my stent was hurting so bad from the pressure of waiting so long) and buying surgical soap at Wal.greens so that I could follow the rest of the pre-op procedures.  

So how am I doing today?  You'll have to find out by reading the next installment of this never-ending saga entitled "Ranae starts believing the medical profession is out to get her", or "A Comedy of Errors and the Death of Common Sense" *

*ok, these are not the titles of the next blog, but they're closer to the truth than you might think!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

If the Worst Happens, Is It Really The Worst?

As I sit here, there are just about 60 hours left until my next surgery to remove the epic-sized kidney stone.  I'll admit it---I'm mildly terrified.

Don't get me wrong, I want all of this behind me.  I'm not even worried about dying during surgery--which is such a remote possibility that I shouldn't think about it--but when you almost don't make it through a very minor procedure and you lose your best friend 45 minutes after saying goodbye to her, things like this kinda stick with you.

I guess what I'm worried about is the stuff I've left undone...becoming a teacher again, having a baby of my own that's alive, telling everyone I know about my Savior, being completely debt-free, owning a real house, not getting to hold the nieces and nephews, leaving my family and friends behind...I want to say that I've lived a life with no regrets, but I do have some---those times when I was not the person I was created to be.

I don't think I'll die on the operating table, mostly due to the fact that I'm going to owe the hospital so much money that they won't allow me to pass away!  But since NOTHING has gone the way they told me it would and nothing seems to have gone right since I've been home, I think I'm safer to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

So what would I have to gain if I don't wake up?  EVERYTHING.  I will be reunited with loved ones.  I'll get to hold my daughter in my arms for the first time.  I don't know if she'll be an infant, a toddler, or a grown woman when I see her, but I can't wait to touch her, to see her, to hear her voice.  We will spend eternity together, and I'll probably want to keep her right by me for about 1,000 years.  I'll get to see my Savior, my Creator, my Life.  I'll probably be so in awe of Him that I won't be able to speak for a millinea, but when I do, I have a list of questions for Him.  I know that in heaven I'll understand everything and nothing will be a mystery.  I'll know exactly where my wedding ring has disappeared to, why my body refused to work, how it was that it seemed like all my dreams were killed, why it looked like evil always know, those simple, easy questions...

I don't want to leave this earth yet, though.  I have so much I want to do, to be.  I want to tell everyone I know about my Christ, about how to be that kind of person who inspires others to be their best.  My husband tells me that I'm already that kind of person, but I feel that I fall short so very often.

So, as I await this final surgery, I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I am prepared to close my eyes here on earth to open them in heaven.  But on the other hand, I really want to wake up to see my husband smiling at me here and feeling good enough to be able to lose this weight and meet my goals.  I want to live intentionally and purposefully--to be the woman that God wants me to be.  I'm gonna need all the help I can get.