Thursday, January 6, 2011

Take Me Now, Lord

On Tuesday at approximately 7:00pm I arrived at the home of Sarah and Jamie Christensen. I note a minor pain in my abdomen, believed to be menstrual craps. After all, I have been on my period since November third and some cramping now and then would be expected.

After watching a movie and engaging in much hilarity with the Christensen sisters, I arrived at the Heineman family abode around 11:30pm. I foolishly locked my keys in my car. Already not feeling well, I had to lay down underneath the car to look for a hide-a-key that didn't exist. Wanting to go home and be in my own bed, I gave my dad a foot massage and he called AAA to come by and open my car. I drove hope merrily.

Even though I was incredibly tired, I stayed up talking with Aaron until 2:30am, at which time I fell asleep. When 3:30am came along I knew a series of unfortunate events was upon me. I woke up thinking my cramps had just gotten worse. Then I realize...Oh, no. It's too bad for cramps. It's a kidney stone.

I had another horrific kidney stone experience in June of 2008. A few days after I arrived to work at Camp Romaca in Hinsdale, Massachusetts I woke up and had a very similar pain in my lower back and abdomen. I had started my period that day and thought I had encountered more menstrual cramps. When I woke up at 4:30am I couldn't stop throwing up just from the sheer pain. I was lucky enough to have a lot of caring and helpful girls there that heard me keening in pain on the bathroom floor and got out of bed to assist me. Off to the hospital I went and one priesthood blessing from a couple missionaries later, ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom, I was good as new.

I tell this story because so much of what I went through yesterday relates to my first kidney stone experience. After I diagnosed myself I ran to the medicine cabinet to find the last Percocet I had kept in case I ever found myself with a kidney stone again. I knew from my last visit to the hospital in Massachusetts that a hospital bill would be close to $3,000. I did not want to go through that again. So I tried taking a hot bath and swallowing any pain killers I had at home. Aaron drove to the store to get apple cider vinegar and lemons that he read online where a quick home remedy. I also drank a mouth full of olive oil. That was unpleasant! I felt relaxed for a little while but it wasn't long before I had to get out of the tub. It was a vicious cycle of pain. Then that pain forced me to throw up and up with that came all my pain pills, repeat.

Aaron and I had already agreed that I wouldn't be going to the hospital but that agreement was before I couldn't stop heaving and wanted to die. I had enough. And just in time for me to not have to drink vinegar straight from the bottle! I put on my clothes and with great hast we drove to the University Hospital.

Having a kidney stone makes you reevaluate your whole life. As long as child birth is only 60% as painful, I will have children. Anywhere actually close to a kidney stone, sorry Carah and Aaron Jr. No dice. While wailing in pain I tried to think of anything I could have done that would make God think this was a good idea for me. Like, "Carah wants to have children naturally. Let me show her that's a terrible idea." Or, "Carah hasn't been reading her scriptures. Let me send her a message that the second book of Thessalonians should never be ignored!"

In the hospital there was a lot of waiting. I think the emergency wings of hospitals shouldn't even have waiting rooms. I'm there because it's an emergency. Hence the name of the door I came through. Take me in the back, lay be on a gurney, shout things like, "We're losing her doc!" and say "STAT!" at the end of all your sentences. But no. We are handed a clipboard. Can't you see I'm dyin' here! Jeez!

I'm finally taken to my long awaited gurney and an IV is set up in my arm. This nice doctor lady comes in and asks me all the doctorly question...speaking of which, I wish all the doctors and nurses would coordinate with each other cause I had to tell the same answers to like 50 different people. The doctor was worried that I'd been on my period for over two months so she asked if they could do a vaginal exam. I'm like WTF. "Can I get some pain meds first?" Um, these doctors are not so smart. Then they wanted to set up a catheter to get a clean urine sample to test if I was pregnant. Again, "Can I get some pain meds first? Please?" The girl screaming in agony would like to forgo the doctors poking around her vagina and jump right to the morphine for her kidney stone, the most painful physical ailment known to man!

I was actually pretty seriously pissed at the staff for not getting me drugs quicker. Like, if you have an order to get me some morphine and you need to go to the supply closet could you at least jog or something? Because really, from the time I got to the hospital to the time I was pumped full of sweet, sweet narcotics it was a freaking long time.

Two milligrams of morphine. No effect. They waited five minutes. Two milligrams more. No effect. I'm throwing up from the pain that is still ever present in my body. Four milligrams. Small effect. I throw up again. Except it's really more a dry heave of sadness and anger. Now don't laugh....I peed the bed. That's how hard my body was heaving. Now don't throw up...I started my period. Now don't stop reading...Aaron was with me through all of this just being the most supportive husband I could possibly ask for. He even took off my urine soaked pants. What a man.

Just like my kidney stone before, my body was so exhausted that I couldn't even stand on my own. It's so miserable. It's amazing how much a non-life threatening illness will make you wish it was a life threatening illness. At least then it might end. I finally got some better drugs and anti-nausea medication. I couldn't sleep very well, nor could Aaron sitting in a chair so around 1pm I tried to check out. By that time, however, I was so pumped full of drugs that I wouldn't walk, heck, I couldn't even keep my head up or my eyelids high enough for me to see. The one step from the wheelchair to the car I nearly fell on the ground!

Walking from our car into our apartment was Hell. I had to stop three separate times to heave on the sidewalk. A hair tie really would have come in handy that day. I got inside, stripped off my clothes and collapsed into bed. My parents came over last night right as I was waking up from my six hour nap. When you're ill, there's nobody like your mommy to kiss your boo boos.

I haven't been in any kidney pain today, surprisingly. I'm supposed to pee into a strainer to catch the stone and since I'm drinking water nonstop that's about thrice and hour. Have you ever had to push to pee? Usually I just say, "Release!" to my body and it does it's thing. But now there's a little thorny stone in the way and I have to push and grunt to pee! Well, I'll leave you with that mental image. Thanks for reading my long and unpleasant story. Much love, Carah.


  1. Oh my Carah. I'm a little bit insomniac right now so I read your blog. It helped me realize: yeah, it could be worse. All of us without kidney stones should be counting our blessings. Best of luck and a speedy recovery to you. Love, Jamie

  2. oh Carah. I would have yelled at the nurses for you! And it sounds like you married a winner! You poor thing. I can't imagine being in that much pain. Giving birth someday will be a total breeze for you! I'm so sorry!!!! Glad you're feeling better and thank GOODNESS for morphine :)

  3. Carebear this sounds horrible. I was reading that if you have kidney stones once, you are much more likely to have them again. I am so sorry you had to go through this again. Hope you are better now. LOTS OF LOVE - aly-sun

  4. Gosh that is aweful, has the stone passed yet?

  5. What a mess. Sounds like you've sure got a winner of a husband (of course he is - you dragged him all the way to Provo to come to our reception! and he put on a smiling face! haha I haven't forgotten). You both get bravery points for the rest of the decade, as far as I'm concerned.