I’ve been having some difficulties lately, as I’m sure most of you who read this regularly are aware, there’s been some stress in the house. Which in turn, due to my anxiety and depression, causes physical issues.
Due to the extreme stressful situation lately, the pains have been centering around my right kidney.
When I was about 4 or 5, I had to have surgery to enlarge my urethra, the tube leading from the bladder out of the body. I’d had chronic bladder and kidney infections as a kid, and the doctors figured it out and fixed it. I do remember the teddy bear the candy stripers gave me, in fact, I still have it.I didn’t have any more troubles with this for a couple of decades. Then I started having children. This changes your body in many different ways, some pleasant, some not so much.
In 1996, I started having pains in my lower right side, almost like a runner’s cramp. It would start as an ache, and move to a sharp pain. I figured it was from sitting at my computer for too long in one position, so I didn’t worry about it. My mom, though had other ideas. She’s a nurse. “Get it checked” is the family motto.
They took x-rays and ran blood and urine tests. I had the dreaded colonoscopy. They poked, prodded and pushed. Couldn’t figure out what was going on, so they kind of threw up their hands and wished me luck. The pains came and went for 2 more years, getting progressively worse.
In 1997 and 1998, when I was pregnant with OnlySon, I spent at least 1/3 of my pregnancy in the hospital with this pain getting more and more debilitating. After OnlySon was born, they ran A LOT more tests. They were pretty sure it was my gall bladder, and talked about simply removing it. By this time simply eating a salad or drinking half a beer would put me in the hospital with pain so severe I was almost incoherent with it.
Then I met Dr. M. He was the urologist that my OtherHalf had for the big “V”, and I was referred to him for my troubles. In 2001, after 5 years of pain, hospital visits, drugs, tests, more tests, he finally discovered the problem. The ureter, the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder, was pinched almost shut We went to stints, plastic tubes in the ureter, to drain the kidney, but this caused a whole host of other problems and pain. They tried using a tiny balloon, and it too failed to do the job. And then, I had the biggest episode yet, and was forced into the ER. Dr. M. told me that he was going to do my surgery the following day, because any more of this and my kidney was going to turn septic and kill me. We went into surgery, and he found that he hadn’t really identified the problem correctly.
I have too many parts. Literally.
On a “normal” kidney, there is one main artery that leads into and feeds the organ. My right kidney? Has 2 arteries leading to it. And one of them was laying on the ureter, pinching it shut, and causing all the trouble. He moved the ureter around and away from the artery, and I was done. With a foot-long scar in my right side, and a lot less pain, I was happy.
But, now and again, when the stress is really high, and I’m struggling, it comes back. I have a habit of repressing emotional distress until it bursts out -volcano style. And when it’s really bad, the volcano lives in my kidney.
But just by writing this, by screaming out into the darkness of the blogosphere, I feel a little better. This is my fumarole, if you will. A place for the pain to escape, if only for the few minutes it took to write it all down.
I know this hasn’t been my normal happy Friday post. Sorry.
I can tell you though, when I told my parents about diagnosis? My dad said I owed him for extra parts. I told him I wanted a refund, due to manufacturer-faulty device.
We called it a draw.