Kidney Stone Saga: Death to Spike

I promised an update regarding my saga with this kidney stone. Yes, only 1 kidney stone, and it’s still considered a saga.

I’ve decided to name it Spike. Because on the CT scan, there’s one giant spike sticking out of it that’s causing the majority of the pain.

Spike

Spike Demon Stone

Spike Demon Stone.

No relation to Sharon Stone.

The urologist gave me 3 options, none of which I liked.

The first option was to let it continue on its course and pass naturally. Which could take 4-6 weeks. (I nearly threw up at that statement).

The second option was Lithotripsy. (I stare at him with a dumbfounded expression). The shockwave technology procedure uses a laser through water to obliterate Spike into much smaller pieces, making it easier to pass. The procedure requires anesthesia, hence hubby would have to stay home from work to drive me home and take care of the kids.

The third option was to use a scope to “go in and get it.” This procedure also uses anesthesia, but more importantly requires a stent for another 5-7 days to prevent the tube from swelling shut. The medication to help control this would dry up my breastmilk supply for good.

That automatically excluded option 3. I refuse to choose that option if there’s anything else on the table.

Then the urologist was quick to point out that if option #2 wasn’t successful, he’d advance to #3 anyway. (He was so direct and quick in this statement, and said it without any kind of empathy or blip of understanding of my concerns, I wanted to sock him in the jaw).

I ignored his statement and went back to the first option. There would be no way I could make it through another 4 weeks without strong pain medication. But the meds I was currently taking made me so loopy, I couldn’t drive. (I was on my way to ask for a different kind of med that was just as strong, but wouldn’t make me drowsy.)

The doctor immediately cut me off and discussed the Lithotripsy procedure. (Again, wanted to sock him in the jaw.) He made it sound like it was no big deal. It would be very successful given Spike’s size and location. Then immediately stands up and brings his nurse in (without letting me finish my questions). The nurse walks in and is very nice. She discusses post op care, restrictions, all that fun jazz. But then drops another bomb.

The doctor only does these procedures on Mondays and Tuesdays. The worst possible days for my family’s schedule.

Long story shorter: after numerous phone calls begging for different options, I’m scheduled for lithotripsy in 2 weeks on a Thursday (they are squeezing me in between his other kinds of surgeries). I also asked the nurse for a different pain med so I could drive during this timeframe.

money_down_toilet 2Here’s to hoping I pass Spike before the shockwave stuff in 2 weeks. I’d rather avoid more medical bills on top of all the other stuff I’ve gone through this year. Giving birth to a baby, 3 ER visits, gall bladder removal, and the corresponding meds: I really could use a break.

I’m sick of bills. I’m sick of being stuck on hold with our incompetent insurance provider, thereby making us go over on our minutes for our cell plan. I’m sick of missing writers meetings and putting my family out. I’m sick of using the little strainer they gave me to “catch” Spike. I’m sick of having to throw out all of this breast milk because of the meds.

Spike: You are evil. Your time on this Earth is severely limited.

Now it’s time for more coffee. Perhaps a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Taking Stock of 2013

champagneAnother round of New Year’s resolutions and goals. This normally includes taking stock of the previous year.

This past year, I had 1 primary goal: Go with the Flow. It was the first year I didn’t have a list of concrete, measurable and trackable goals.

Considering the circumstances, I think I did pretty well. It was a very challenging year (we knew it would be), with good days and bad days. But my personal goal was to go with the flow when the really trying moments came up.

And then a whole bunch of things happened:

*I sold my first novel, after years of rejection and shredded manuscripts.

*I became pregnant, after several years of no success.

*My 5-year-old would finally have a conversation with me about his day.

There were a million other little victories that happened this year too, mostly centered around my son. I learned more about the world of ASD, and met some truly talented and wonderful people. I learned even more about the madness of insurance, claims, appeals, and benefits depts. I learned how hard parents have to fight to get their children the services they really need, not just from insurance companies. From people who are ‘supposed’ to work in the best interests of the child.

More importantly, I learned how strong my son is. How strong my husband is. I already knew he was an incredible man (that’s why I married him!). But I have a much more thorough appreciation for his hard work, dedication and perseverance after going through something like this. Just proves to me more I really did pick the one man who broke the mold.

There’s one very big lesson I learned this year, on top of all the above. I learned how to ask for help. In certain situations, outright demand it and not take ‘no’ for an answer.

This feeds in really well to my writing. I finished another manuscript and am halfway through it’s sequel. I’m able to shrug off rejections easier, and at the same time identify the difference between criticisms that are nuggets of gold, versus lumps of coal.

2013 was a year full of lessons, and some incredibly wonderful surprises! Undoubtedly great successes. I think my plan of non-measurable goals worked out well. Thinking of going the same route for 2014. But I’ll save that for tomorrow.

My grand plans for a farewell to 2013 includes spending a quiet evening with my family, and probably falling asleep before the ball drops (I have a valid excuse: preggo!)

Happy New Year, everyone!new-year-2014

 

Let Me Write, Flo!

Wow, life is crazy. I’ve not been on Twitter or Facebook much, I’ve not been following many blogs, and sadly haven’t been posting on my own page. Even more unfortunate, I haven’t been writing or revising much either.

With all of the joyous weather trekking through north Texas over the last few weeks (including more coming tonight. Don’t you just love hail and tornadoes), I’ve been more focused on repairing our car, which looks like a golf ball, and dealing with insurance companies, claims, appointments and bills. Contrary to popular commercial icons, it’s not as easy as the cavemen make it seem.

Or Flo. Progressive spends my hard earned insurance money on her hairspray. And that Mr. Mayhem man is true to his word. Insurance companies are the spawns of Satan. They are efficient at only two things: wasting your time and money.

Despite all of that, I was able to accomplish one thing the past few weeks. I applied for an internship at a literary agency. I’m hoping to obtain one of their coveted unpaid spots to help go through their slush piles via email. I made it past the first round of applicants, and went through a quick exercise that I thoroughly enjoyed. I read 10 test queries and let them know which ones I would have asked for a complete manuscript or passed on. And why. I’m hoping this will give me more insight into the publishing industry, make some really good connections, and learn from some new friends on how to write better.

No word back yet if I made it to the next round. I have no idea how many

A beautiful place in which to wait.

applicants they filtered the test queries to, but I hope I impressed them. Either way, it was a lot of fun. I’d love to keep doing that!

Until I hear back from them, I’ll continue with the craziness of my son’s preschool schedule, therapy sessions, juggling insurance claims/ calls/ appointments, and brainstorming more manuscripts in my head.

Meanwhile, I have two manuscripts I need to edit (one is going to sit there and wait for the Beta Readers Program from my writer’s group starting the end of May). The other needs some major overhaulin’ (yes, that show is awesome. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you watch just one of them).

I’m on chapter 10 of about 30. Need to change up a lot of the supporting characters, bitch-up the main character a bit, and make the love interest a little dirty (gonna be fun!) If I can only sit down and work on it.