Monday, January 10, 2011

84 hours

Not a long period of time, but there was an 84 hour period that I just experienced that seemed like an eternity.  Let me explain....

I left Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM for Birmingham, Alabama for a mixed trip.  Business Wednesday night and Thursday, leisure Friday and Kentucky football Saturday.  I was fighting a pretty bad cold (or upper respiratory infection, possibly) but was coping.  Trip went well, and I had a nice visit over dinner with the sales rep who handles Alabama for my company.  So far, so good.

In the middle of the night I was awakened by searing pain in the upper right side of my back.  After waking completely up, I knew the cause.....a kidney stone.  I had one about three and a half years ago, and it's pretty hard to forget.  Took some over-the-counter pain reliever, but that didn't even touch the pain.  So I dressed and went the front desk of the hotel to ask where the nearest hospital was.  Thankfully it wasn't far and wasn't hard to find, and when I arrived, it wasn't busy, either.

At this point I'll not provide a lot of details about my time at the hospital except to thank Dr. Joseph Hudson and the ER staff at Brookwood Medical Center for their care and compassion.  They made the process as easy as possible and treated me and sent me on my way with prescriptions and some aftercare instructions.

During my stay I called my wife (waiting until her normal time to wake) and e-mailed my associate, explaining to the latter that my next move was to take some pain medication and sleep for a while.  Remarkably, I felt pretty good when I awoke later on Thursday morning, and showered, shaved and dressed for lunch and some sales calls, which was my original plan.

But if you've ever had a kidney stone, one thing that they won't let you do is ignore them, and this one reannounced its presence sometime Thursday afternoon.  So we finished our business, and I again went to my hotel room for pain medication and sleep.  This was largely my routine through Saturday morning, so I didn't really enjoy my day off so much.

On Saturday I vowed not to take any of the prescription pain medication I had been provided, since it's a narcotic and it's obviously not safe to drive while under its influence.   I attending Kentucky's lackluster appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl and proceeded to head for home.  Made it about halfway before I began to encounter problems with pain and discomfort, but made it all the way home nonetheless......exactly 84 hours after my departure.

With my wife's help I got into the house, took medication and fell into bed.  Didn't sleep all that well, understandably, and had a semi-restful night.  But the next morning the pain was all but gone, a sign that my kidney stone had done what Dr. Hudson promised it would....moved into my bladder and waited to be expelled.

As I write this I've not seen evidence of the culprit firsthand but I have to believe that much, if not all, of it dissolved in my bladder.  At least it's there and now where it was, so it can't hurt me any further.

Ugh.

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