Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hello Kidney

Remember the story of the unwary traveler waking up in a hotel bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing?  Since I didn't do any traveling over the recent holidays, I didn't have to worry about that happening to me.  Turns out I really don't have to worry about it in the future either.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Those of you who have been regulars around here know that I make a habit of visiting my local hospital once a year.   You'll be happy to know that my bones remained intact throughout 2010. 

Not wanting the folks over at Strong Memorial Hospital to think I'd forgotten about them at the holidays, though, I decided to mosey on over there two days after Christmas.  Just to say hello.  And as long as I was there, maybe they could take a wee peek at my abdominal cavity to check out why I was having severe pains that wouldn't go away.

We had a rip roaring good time!  You meet so many fascinating people in the ER.  Like my first roommate... a sweet little old man who was suicidal.  He didn't stay long as he moved on to more luxurious accommodations in the mental ward.  Then I was awakened from a lovely doze around 2:30 in the morning by my next roomie, a jolly old soul who sang Christmas carols at the top of his lungs.  Sadly, he couldn't remember the words and was the source of a peculiar aroma that came wafting over the curtain that separated us, but why let that spoil a new friendship.  Good times, good times!

About the time they gave the caroler from hell a sandwich and cup coffee to sober him up and sent him on his way, my pain went away.   I was laying there wondering if I should just get dressed, rip out my IV and go home when a doctor arrived to tell me my labs came back wonky.

So it was off to get a CT scan, followed by an ultrasound and a cardiac stress test.  The fun just never stops around that place.   It was the ultrasound technician who showed me the gallstones all lined up in a row like little pearls.  Pretty!  Guess they'll just have to yank that sucker.  No problem.  I can deal with that. 

It was what she said next that gave me pause.... "Has anyone ever told you that you have polycystic kidney disease?"  Uh... no.  Although I do recall my aunt had PKD and had the pleasure of doing dialysis and having not one but two kidney transplants. 

So much to look forward to! Hopefully, it will be many more years before I get to that point, so it's still safe for you to come visit.  But I wouldn't wait too long... or you may end up in a bathtub filled with ice. 

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