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It’s 12:50 am on Wednesday, March 1. I went to bed 45 minutes ago but my brain is churnin’ & burnin’ and can’t be contained. I’m happy! Why?? Because I feel 90% normal again. Normal!! I never thought normal would be my ideal, but last week I thought I’d never get back here. We really take our health for granted, don’t we? But let me go back …

Several months ago I started attending a holiday survival fitness camp. It was one night a week of high intensity interval training (hiit) in a small neighborhood studio plus we could attend the other scheduled classes during the 5 week session. I did, I got hooked, and I joined. Attending these classes have made me feel stronger, body & soul, and helped me in confidence and just general fearlessness! It’s been so great. 

So two weeks ago today I started to feel a little pain in my left flank. We had recently worked out our obliques so I naturally thought I was just sore. I popped a few ibuprofen Wed-Fri as the pain came on, usually in the afternoons. But Friday night it wouldn’t go away. It woke me up 3 times in the night. I went to class Saturday morning and told my trainer. We took it easy on my obliques that day. Several hours later the pain came on with a ferocity that had me writhing on my bed, and the ibuprofen & acetaminophen I was alternating wasn’t touching the pain. I called my health insurance’s ask a nurse line and she was like get thee to the hospital. So I did. 

Alone. My boys stayed home because what could they do with me at the hospital? They’re young teenagers. Better off to make frozen pizza, play video games & wait for my call. So I drove myself because I hate inconveniencing others. Stupid trait. 

As you may have suspected by now, my pee indicated an infection of some sort and I was hooked up to all kinds of things to take blood, measure heart rate (fast), and blood pressure (high), but thankfully I was given an painkiller as well and, oh Lord almighty, was I happy. Four prescriptions later and I was allowed to leave to go wait at the 24 hour pharmacy for my lifeline of drugs. 

Sunday the vomiting started. The pain was merciless. The Norco took the edge off but there was no doubt the pain was horrific. 

Monday was a holiday. Tuesday I called my doc & was asked to come in, and ordered to have a ct scan. Meds switch on the antibiotic & a stronger pain killer – Percocet. Oh yeah, baby!! I remember Percocet from my c-sections and that’s the good stuff. But, no, it STILL just took the edge off. 

The next day the doc’s office confirmed: a kidney stone currently in my left ureter and almost to my bladder. 

I don’t remember Monday-Friday very well. It was a pain fog cycle. Sleep, lamaze breathing, take meds, eat jello, vomit, have sweaty fever-induced hot flash, sleep. I was also mothering my kids in there as well. They were mothering me more than a little. I still helped them get out the door every morning but then I collapsed and cried/slept/vomited the rest of the day. They made their own dinners. They brought me water & meds & hugs on demand. My goodness, I love my sons. 

Friday I went back to the doc. Blood draw. Some things don’t add up. The kidney stone was in my bladder now so why am I still in pain? Why can’t I keep anything down? Why do I feel like my body has betrayed me? 

Friday I stopped all meds except the antibiotic. I’d had enough of this pain fog/vomit/sleep cycle. I suffered through residual pain over the weekend. Slept. Rest. And started to feel better. 

But where was my head? Not in a good place. I felt demoralized. Weak. Diseased. Incapable. I felt I would never feel like myself again. I got winded walking around Winco & almost had a panic attack. Driving was hard. Standing. Walking. Impossible. I was broken. 

Monday I vomited my breakfast. I attempted to go to work. It was hard. I cried. My doc called & said my bloodwork showed several abnormalities and they wanted me to continue to rest & push fluids. I was ordered to work from home as I recover. 

And then today came. The pain in my belly is gone. I feel like I can get up & down without pain, or fear of pain. Oh good Lord am I happy to feel almost normal again! I was still careful with my food today, and my tummy is still a little unsettled, but the pain is entirely gone and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! 

And yes there may be other things going on but I think they are improving too. I can’t help but feel positively about this. 

I have to say, the psychology behind pain & demoralizing depression is not familiar to me, but I felt it last week. I felt like I was no longer myself. All my positivity about life was gone and there was only pain. I’m thanking God, my doc, and my lucky stars tonight for the relief I feel today. 

Yours, in pain & understanding,

Xoxo,

Stef

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