Friday, April 17, 2015

April...You Can Keep It!

A couple of most interesting weeks.

I would have been posting about my 12th week post back surgery, but other issues have arisen that have placed recovery from that operation on the back burner. So I'm going to halt those reports for the latest news.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I broke out in a fever and chills on Tuesday, April 7th. The chills stopped and the fever subsided somewhat on Wednesday into Thursday morning. They both returned Thursday afternoon along with some pain in my right back/side. I thought the pain was muscular. I was to be proven wrong.

I broke out in night sweats on Friday and again Saturday with my temperature spiking around 103.5 degrees. Idiot that I am, I insisted in trying to tough it out until Monday morning when I could go to the walk-in clinic in Mansfield. Someone had other plans, however.

Sunday morning just as Terry returned from Church, I virtually collapsed being unable to breath or even take more than two or three steps without gasping for breath. Terry fired up the Jeep and hauled my ass over to Troy Community Hospital’s ER. By the time we arrived (about a 15 mile drive) my breathing had returned to normal but the fever and pain were letting themselves take control.

A quick examination in ER and a CATscan proved I was suffering from both a urinary bladder infection and a 5mm kidney stone that was wedged in my ureter (the tube from the kidney to the bladder). I was assigned a room and begun on a regimen of IV antibiotics, painkillers, and fluids—lots of fluids.

I would stay in Troy Community Hospital for only a couple of days before they sent me over to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. (It’s where I had my back surgery in January.) Troy doesn’t have a urologist on staff nor does it have an OR with the facilities of Robert Packer. I arrived at RP late on Tuesday afternoon, was allowed one final meal before being shut down at midnight so I could go into the OR on Wednesday to have the stone removed and a stent placed in the ureter. Only the IV fluids, antibiotics and painkillers were allowed after the witching hour.

Being low man on the totem pole (i.e. having a non-life threatening condition and being a nonscheduled, last minute addition to the roster) I waited all day with nothing but the IV drips going for the call which finally arrived around 3:30 PM. Even that was a perfunctory, “They’re calling for you in the OR.” Since I hadn’t had a meeting with the surgeon, and had never met the guy before, I said, “Hang on a minute! I need to see this guy first and talk about what the heck he’s going to do before I go under.” So I had to wait a bit longer for him to show up and introduce himself and explain the procedure and implications.

Eventually I did get to see him and agreed to proceed. I got wheeled down to the OR, met the anesthesiologist and the rest of the crew, had the stone removed and the stent inserted. Then back to my room and a nice slice of pizza and fruit smoothie that Terry picked up at the cafeteria for me.
The next morning, Thursday, I got some more IV antibiotics and pain killers before getting the okay to go home.

And that’s where things stand now. The back pain I had been suffering has been replaced by some discomfort when I urinate in both the kidney and bladder but that should go away when the stent is removed on the 28th. I hope. Then I can get back to recovering from the back surgery. I hope.  Meanwhile, some oral antibiotics and pain killers have been prescribed. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but her appearance has been booked.

I have to say that while there was an awful lot of hurry-up-and-wait involved at both Troy Community and Robert Packer, the people themselves were extremely pleasant to deal with. I think the nurses were happy enough to deal with me as well. I was pretty much independent (except for the damn IV stand that went wherever I needed to go) and demanded little in the way of care (except when the IV bags were empty and needed replacement).

Sandwiched in all this were four (4!) bouts of auto problems. The Tundra got its windshield replaced and is awaiting parts for a repair (secondary air pump?) as is the Aveo. The Jeep dealer had all the parts needed to fix a sensor and cracked ring. None of the problems rendered the vehicles inoperable, which was good, but needed/need to get repaired. They were all the result of either being stored for the winter (Aveo), inactive for a long period of time (Tundra had to sit while I recovered from back surgery) or dealing with the usual early mud season where the road might be a quagmire one day and frozen into a rutted mess the next morning.  

And the cats all had to go to the vet for their booster shots and exams. I did two on my own and then Terry had the privilege of doing two by herself while I was in hospital. She got the easy ones (Chester and Julie).

I think I would like a do-over on April 2015. Except for the Mets. They can keep on doing what they are doing. (Currently 7-3, 1st in the NL East.) But, please get some folks healthy ASAP.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: I’m waiting to become a grandfather as Rick and Sandy will be delivering Chelsea Rose some time in the week ahead.


Rev. Paul said...

It's too bad you live such a boring & mundane life.

Srsly, I'm glad you got treatment & are feeling better.

threecollie said...

Aw, Rich, that is just too much for one family, all at one time. I hope you feel better real soon!