|Out Of Sorts, Then Back In Sorts With Paradigms Reexamined
||[Apr. 11th, 2013|09:08 pm]
Thursday morning, March 21st, almost exactly 7:30 am, which is two hours earlier than I usually wake up considering that I work till half-past-midnight: I wake up with a nagging pain in my right side. I figured it was a muscle ache from sleeping on it wrong; I've done that sort of thing before. But stretching doesn't relieve it, nor does sprawling back out on my bed. Instead it gets worse, and flares intensely when one of my cats does her normal thing of jumping on my belly.
Medical books at hand (right beside the bed, as a matter of fact)--classic symptoms of appendicitis. Pain gets worse. I get a little stubborn and decide to go to the local clinic instead of the hospital. Arrive at 8:30, see sign that says it's closed for a meeting till 9. Waiting seems like hours. Finally go in with pain getting to the point of being agonizing, doctor scolds me for not getting an ambulance, and gets one on my behalf. Eventually I get to the hospital, get pain medication and CT scan, get pain medication a couple of hours later when first dose suddenly wears off in a matter of seconds. Mother-in-law is there; mother arrives; Laurie, who drove all the way back from Richmond (3 hours away), arrives shortly after.
Turns out I have two kidney stones. The next couple of days are spent sprawled out in bed at home with Percocet for pain and something else for nausea, while friends and family who've had them offer advice. One female friend who has had both stones and children tells me, "Welcome to the world of pregnancy!" I don't know if the pain was quite on an equal level, but it really was all it's cracked up to be. A few more days pass of moderate pain but not anything I need narcotics for.
In the long view of things this wasn't anything serious--unless, of course, I become a regular repeat offender or develop large stones of the sort that cause blockages--but it did rearrange my thinking a little bit. That is, when I was going through the pain and riding in the ambulance I didn't actually seriously think that I was going to die, but there was still that little nagging doubt. So what was I thinking (aside from OW OW OW) at that point?
About things left undone and unsaid.
I was angry at the thought of being taken from my niece and nephews. Their father died when they were all very young, and I vowed to myself that I'd stay close to them at least until they were 18--which is still a few years off for all of them.
Regret over feeling like I was abandoning Laurie.
Frustration about not finishing Arizona and publishing the Shenandoah novels.
And last and least, just because my brain has to play with me a little now and then, annoyance that I hadn't yet seen the new Star Trek movie. 'Cause, you know.
The first three of those, at least, were important. I've had a couple of long talks with my sister since then. I had another discussion about some important things with Laurie today. Once the pain was done and my head was cleared from the medication, I managed to at least finish the current chapter I was on in Arizona, leaving one large and two small chapters left to go.
And I'm pondering if there's anything else I want to say to anyone. Back in 1999 I had an incredibly vivid dream where I was dying in the hospital and wanting to say so many (good) things to so many people, but I didn't have the strength and I was angry and depressed that they wouldn't ever get said now. So after waking up--at the point where I died in the dream--I decided to start writing what I called my Deathbed Letters, written to various people as if I was dying and wanted to pass along what I really thought of them (in a good way, I mean).
I'm wondering now if I should do that again. Updated versions in some cases. Particularly to my niece and nephews, who would be old enough to understand them.
I've also quit drinking soda. The night before the hospital visit was, alas, my last Dr. Pepper, and I haven't touched it since. Yes, feel better; yes, weight starting to drop. I do miss it, but I've been lucky enough to not have any cravings, and I'm not interested in contributing to more stones (and pain) from that avenue.
In the meantime, I've been advised against any long-ish traveling since I still have a 2 millimeter time bomb in my right kidney, and I don't want to be caught in the middle of a long stretch of road somewhere, or be so far out someone couldn't bring me home. Ironic since I finally have a reliable car again and was plotting out travel ideas, but they can wait awhile.
In the meantime, our days are warm and sunny, I'm hale enough to be doing yard work, I'm drinking a lot of water, planning to get back to something resembling my old workout routine, researching the next chapter in Arizona, taking more things at least slightly less seriously while other things get much more serious consideration, and enjoying every day that comes along.