On the way home from a week-long vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC, we stopped about 2 hours from home to grab dinner and get gas for the final leg of the trip. My husband ran into the bathroom and told us to order something, that he wasn’t hungry.
We ordered, ate and as we were clearing our trays he dashed out of the bathroom, through the side door and out to the car. I didn’t want to guess about why he felt so guilty scurrying out of the public restroom, so we headed to the car.
My husband was in the passenger seat when we got to the car and said “I’m not feeling so good. You’re going to have to drive.”
We had just gotten back on the interstate when he started moaning and groaning about his stomach and told me to get off again at the next exit. We spent another 20 minutes in the car, waiting for him to come out of the fast food restaurant we had stopped at.
When he finally emerged and got back into the car, he said to the kids “one of you dig around for a beach towel in the back and pass it up here. Fast!”
I’m pretty sure my face did this:
…because — frankly — I had no idea which end of him he needed it for.
He started retching into the towel. I asked him if he wanted me to find the closest emergency room and wincing, he coughed out “no, just get me home.”
And so we drove the remaining hour and a half home, with him periodically coughing/spitting into the towel
that I would be burning once we got home. The moaning and groaning continued at a pretty consistent pace.
When we arrived home, he jumped out of the car and ran to unlock the door. He headed upstairs to the bathroom. The boys and I unloaded the bikes, as well as all the suitcases and gear we had packed into the car for the trek home.
We had finished bringing everything in and my ass had literally just hit the cushion of the chair after a nearly 10 hour drive home, when my husband called downstairs, “Becky, you’re going to need to take me to the ER.”
So, on a Saturday night at 10:00pm I drove my husband to the ER. I dropped him off at the front door, found a parking spot, and rushed in. Though, just 8 weeks post-surgery to rebuild my Achilles, my rush was more like an interesting Frankenstein-ish fast hop-walk.
When I got into the ER, they were already checking him in. We headed back to the triage area and our own bay. The basic testing began with the collection of blood and urine.
I found the atmosphere quite interesting on a Saturday night:
- There was the guy in a bay around the corner arguing loudly with the nurses, security officers, custodian — anyone who happened by his bay, really — about what a “crock of shit you fuckers are for not giving me some meds.” He added as many cuss words to every sentence as he possibly could and elevated his voice to levels any Real Housewife would be proud of. And he also repeatedly demanded the badge number of the security officers and told the nurse he was “the kind of man to make her dreams come true.” Which made my face do this:
- There was the couple in the bay next to us who were arguing over who would get the next body piercing when the insurance check from the settlement came in. And my face responded appropriately:
And then there was my husband. He couldn’t sit still. He couldn’t stand up. He couldn’t lay down. Nothing was comfortable. He blurted out “don’t they know I could possibly be dying here?!” Which made me want to do this:
But instead, I said “honey, they have your test results and if there was any indication in your initial blood work of a need to be admitted to the hospital, I’m sure they’d be on it. It’s Saturday night and there are many sick people here.”
The pain continued, bad enough at two separate points that two different nurses poked their heads in and asked if everything was ok. The second time, my husband snapped “no, or I wouldn’t be complaining.” Which I’m sure made the nurse feel like:
and me feel like:
The nurse said to him “You know, any time I’ve seen a man in the ER in this kind of pain and with these symptoms, it turns out to be kidney stones.” She then turned to me and said “which people say is very similar to the labor pains a woman experiences during delivery.”
And I’m not sure if it was the delirium of being in so much pain or just stupidity, but my husband blurted out “well she had two c-sections, so it’s not the same.”
And then my face did a whole bunch of this:
I couldn’t believe the
set of stones on nerve of this dude. So I quickly blurted out “Oh, you’re right honey. Slicing directly into my abdomen, shoving internal organs aside, jerking/yanking out a baby, and sewing me back up — twice — is not the same at all.” I couldn’t help but add “and let’s not forget that in December, I drove myself to the ER at 1am with a bulging disc, severe sciatica and numbness in half of my foot.”
I then turned to the nurse and said “maybe some pain meds will help ease his discomfort and keep his yap shut. Can ya hook him up?”
A nurse administered a quick shot of morphine, but it didn’t do much. Finally, his attending nurse came in to administer a pain killer through an IV, which did three things:
- relieved his pain
- made him sleepy
- shut him the hell up
He was wheeled to radiology for a sonogram of his mid-section which gave us confirmation of the initial diagnosis from labs and presenting symptoms. And the nurse had been correct, my husband
was the only person ever to have pain and need relief had a kidney stone.
We were sent home with a prescription for Percocet, an antibiotic, FLOWMAX and instructions to drink lots of water.
Within 48 hours he passed the two stones. Without pain. Without moaning/groaning.
And without too much empathy from me. Because — both literally and metaphorically — that set of stones on my husband is not something I ever want to deal with again.