Kidney stones….where to begin? I have heard them compared to being stabbed and giving birth. I have always laughed at the last comparison. I have given birth twice and I couldn’t imagine a tiny stone causing that much pain. I also recalled the “after” pain of childbirth. There are stiches, (although my three don’t even begin to compare to my poor sister-in-law with her 9+ pound baby trauma) constant bleeding and of course the not so comfortable sitting, walking, standing, sleeping and peeing. I jokingly told my husband today that I think the pain of childbirth starts at the first contraction and last for the next 18 yearsJ. However, my views on kidney stones have now changed.
Yesterday, while in Walmart, my husband started complaining about his back hurting. He was obviously in a lot of pain and I wanted to take him to urgent care, he refused. We got home and we weren’t there for but 10 minutes when I finally put my foot down and said it was time to go. I made a call to arrange dropping my kids off and loaded us all up in the car. On the drive to drop the kids off Mike fell apart. He started sweating profusely, crying and had me pull the car over so he could puke. Now, I should explain. I have seen my husband cut his finger almost to the bone, wrap it up in duct tape (yes I said duct tape) and go back to work. I have seen him burn himself with rebar and not even shed one tear. So, when I saw him behaving like this I put the kybosh on dropping the kids off and drove him straight to the emergency room. I spent the entire drive praying with Mike and the kids.
While at the emergency room Mike fell to the floor and they took him right back. There were women in the waiting area throwing up and another bawling her eyes out from stomach pain. I knew, as did my very smart daughter, that if they took him right back something was wrong. I cannot even begin to explain what it felt like to wait in that waiting room for my parents to come. I sat there, with my terrified kids, fearing the worst and hoping for the best. I put on my “game” face for them. I told them over and over again that Daddy was fine and the doctors were fixing him but I knew nothing.
I have had many moments in my life where I truly realize what being a parent is. Being a parent is comforting your children when all you want is someone, anyone, to comfort you. I told them all the things that I wished someone would tell me. I refused to discuss how serious things were with anyone who called while they sat next to me. Madie was terrified that her Daddy was dying. Madie and Ty had never seen Mike cry or even act hurt and they were beyond freaked out. They finally calmed down and pretty soon my Mom and Dad showed up. A little later my brother and his wife came and took the kids home with them.
I went right back as soon as I knew the kids were taken care of. Mike was hooked up to all these wires and tubes, still crying. They ended up trying four veins, putting one IV in and then taking it out before finally getting one that worked. They pumped him full of fluids and it took several doses of morphine before the pain was under control. The morphine was a miracle. It dulled the pain but caused Mike to go to sleep and then stop breathing, numerous times. It sounds more serious than it was. He has sleep apnea and the narcotics exasperated that condition. The spent a lot of time trying to get his oxygen levels stable. His blood pressure was through the roof.
Once his pain was stable they sent him in for a CT and found that he had a kidney stone. The good thing is that it is small enough that he can pass it on his own. The stabilized his pain and sent him home with the directions to drink plenty of liquids, strain his urine and take Percocet.
Nothing I could ever write would properly convey how I felt waiting to find out what was wrong with him. Every worst case scenario went through my head. Mike is quite use to being on that side of the equation. Hearing the news that I had cancer and a heart condition. I have never been on the waiting alone side. I have never had to fear losing him or see him in so much pain and being utterly helpless to do anything to make it better.
For those of you who don’t know, I have an amazing husband. I’ll tell anyone who will listen how great he is. There are people in our lives who, I feel, don’t see how truly amazing he is. I want to shake them and force them to see what I see every day. I am married to a man who gives selflessly of himself to anyone who is in need. Mike is the most amazing father I have ever known. He his passionate about the Lord and serving his people. And most surprisingly he loves me. I cannot imagine going through one moment of this life without him.
I know all this may sound extreme for kidney stones J but for those of you who have gone through it, at least the first time, it is terrifying. The not knowing is the worst. Once I knew what it was, I was of course still very concerned about his pain but I knew it wasn’t life threatening and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. We are now just waiting and watching him fight the pain but it will be over soon.
I want to take a moment, or a few sentences, to discuss another thing I realized during this ordeal. I am constantly being reminded of how important family is. It was family that was there to take my frightened children home and keep them entertained with movies. My brothers, and their amazing wives, called, texted and took care of everything. My parents cancelled their bible study and sat in the waiting room for hours, even after they found out it was just kidney stones, to make sure Mike was ok. They dropped everything to be there for us. I don’t want to down play our wonderful friends who were praying, calling and texting to make sure we were ok. But we were just moved by our family’s support. When I told Mike about everyone being out there for him and calling he teared up. Family, no matter how much you may fight or disagree, is what you can count on. I just feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing one.