Sunday, January 13, 2013

I like my Baby Ducks


Honestly, I have no idea what they were doing

The past 3 weeks have been a bit of a black hole for me. Passing a kidney stone(s) is not a pleasant experience, but there were a few life lessons learned along the way, and a few bright spots.

The pain began on a Friday evening right as several my darling "Baby Ducks" arrived for our semi-annual slumber party. Both the girls and I look forward to our party for months. We watch a movie, dance, eat, giggle, etc. I throw a big air mattress or two on the floor in the family room, and we sleep "girls camp style" all over the place.

Minutes after the girls arrived I started to hurt. I tried to shake it off, but as the night went on, I felt worse and worse. The girls had taken to YouTube to teach themselves new dances. Normally I would get up and dance with them. It's a lot of fun! But instead I found myself screaming out in pain once or twice, and lying on the mattress, trying to act like it was no big deal. The girls were on to me, but we all pretended it wasn't that bad.

I was impressed with how much the girls were concerned about me, and with how well they handled things (didn't sit around waiting for me to make the fun happen, but just did it themselves) when I was incapacitated.

Fast forward a week. I arrived at church with the intention of actually staying. I thought I had managed my pain meds and could handle it. After about 40 minutes I was fighting back tears from the pain. (I cry a lot on pain meds. I'm a huge baby.) After the first block was done, the girl ran up to hug me, but they all carefully stopped to make sure I was okay first. I was again impressed with the fact that they even remembered/knew I was still sick, and that they didn't want to hurt me.

A few days later I saw the specialist who determined the STONES HAVE PASSED!! YEAH ME!!! But as tends to happen, I have a lingering side effect/complication, and the test needed to rule out option a from option b was a mere $2,700 out of pocket. Yep, nope, not going to happen. Not ever. So we had to move to plan b, and as the doctor explained to me, "The next 24 hours will probably be the worst of your life." It meant going off the painkillers cold turkey, so that I could "feel" what is going on better. Did you know if you have been on painkillers round the clock for a few weeks that it HURTS LIKE HELL to go off of them?

It's true. It hurts. Suddenly every single freaking thing in your body hurts. My knees, my hips, elbows, and for a few hours I swear each of my fingers ALL HURT. Not to mention the headache, muscles, etc. But the good news was that my kidney was not (yet) hurting.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. For the first few hours after the specialist appointment I felt fine. A little sore, but fine. Late in the afternoon I started to hurt. By evening I HURT A LOT. And that's when I remembered the YW were coming to my house for activity night. BIG UH OH. I pulled a minimum of things together for the girls to do in record time. When they arrived, I explained to them that my stone had passed, but I still felt bad.

They took it like champs. I sat on the couch (and sometimes lied on the couch) and just let them do the activity on their own. I could barely think straight from the pain, and did a terrible job of "being a leader." But the girls were awesome- again. They were very gentle and nice to me, and just did a great job of taking care of themselves. I was really proud of them.

(Later that night, around 11 pm, I passed another kidney stone- DRUG FREE! You know what isn't fun? What just might kill you? What might be the worst experience of your entire life? Yeah, passing a stone without any drugs in you. The only good part about that awful, miserable experience was that I could actually tell when it passed.)

By Saturday night (last night), I was suffering from 3 weeks of terrible cabin fever. I had to get out. Even though it was not my night to chaperone, I got a call from my cousin/college roommate/BFF saying she was at a youth activity, and I should feel free to go join her. So I did.

Again, my girls are awesome. Each time they saw me they ran up and gave me a hug, but not without stopping to make sure it was "safe to touch me." They surprised me with how happy they were that I was mobile again. Normally I get out and dance a lot of the songs with them, but I wasn't quite up to the task yet. (Give me another week!) Again, they were compassionate and sweet about making sure I was okay.

Today at church the same scene repeated itself. My Baby Ducks all gave me hugs, but first checked to make sure I was okay.

Sometimes teenagers are impossible. Sometimes they will drive you absolutely batty. Sometimes you want to take their phones away one by one and throw them off a cliff. Sometimes you are pretty sure they are all insane. But then, sometimes, when you least expect it, one will come up and put her head on your shoulder, and say, "I'm so glad you are feeling better. I missed doing this."

(Six months to girls camp and another Baby Ducks adventure!)
(And if history repeats itself- 5 more years till the next bout of kidney stones!)

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