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.

Journey vs. Destination… Which Are You?

Steep winding road. The road is narrow and cli...

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I’ve realized there are two kinds of people in this world: those in it for the journey, and those in it for the destination. I know, you hear it a lot, but have you actually realized which of these YOU are?

If you’re more the ‘destination’ oriented person, you probably shouldn’t become a writer. I’ve discovered that writing is about evolving. Going through scenes like phases in adolescence constantly changing, highly emotional, combative, and potentially scar-inducing. An ugly roller coaster. But writing provides moments of enlightenment that are supposed to make you better, broaden your imagination and strengthen your skills. And as long as you value the lessons you learn along the tumultuous path of writing, and not really care whether or not you get published, then you’ll be successful.

But if you think being published is the only way you’ll be successful, i.e Destination driven, you may end up disastrously depressed. Or at the very least disappointed and disgruntled. Almost feel like you’ve been ripped off.

And I realized something else, too. I’ve gone through most of my life as a Destination Oriented person. Making the class, making the grade, making the degree, making the meet, earning certain scores/awards, making quotas, milestones, etc, on and on, so on and so forth. There’s always been a mile marker to reach or goal line at the end of the field. (Metaphorically, obviously I never played football). And with every ‘destination’ reached, I’ve felt accomplished and that my life has been meaningful.

I’ve always enjoyed writing through school years and into adulthood. But this last year has been primarily focused on writing (writing as my profession, that is, although I’ve never earned a dime from it). Hence, I learn that writing is definitely Journey oriented. To which they measure success on an entirely different stick. So when I set goals for myself when I first started this past year and having to reach certain milestones, and thereby NOT reaching them, I feel like a failure. I start to doubt myself, call myself a horrible writer, not worth a lick, and blah blah blah. (I’ve always been my own worst critic.) I don’t like to be a glutton for punishment. But I don’t like thinking that I’m not good at something. I don’t have to be great, I don’t have to be the best, but I at least want to feel that I’m GOOD at something.

Why else would I bother my time with something? You want to spend your life, your precious time (that you don’t have much of on this Earth) doing something meaningful, valuable, and productive? So when I don’t reach my goals, or am seriously delayed in crossing a milestone, there’s an itch in the back of my mind that makes me think is this right for me? Am I failing those I love who’ve supported me in this endeavor?

And then I step out of my ridiculous ‘destination’ shoes and BACK UP. I go to the people I love, the ones I respect, and they force me to ask the RIGHT questions.

Do I love to write?…………….. Hell yes.

Have I learned something? ………… Hell yes.

Do I want to continue?…………. Well, yeah.

Will I disappoint anyone by stopping?….. No.

Will I disappoint anyone by writing?….. No. (At least, not the ones I love.)

And my answer was blatantly obvious. I haven’t failed at anything. And because I love to write, and constantly try to make myself better, I can call myself a writer. And so I put on my ‘Journey’ shoes.

People love to call themselves ‘Journey’ people when its crystal blue skies and beautiful green countrysides. But change to ‘Destination’ people when they run into dark and winding roads, so they can keep hope that there’s something meaningful at the end of the tunnel. Either way, you have to wear the right shoes.

And what do ya know, you can be both a journey and destination person at the same time. It’s chaotic at times, painful even, but its doable. Even enjoyable. But only by those who can pull off the look. Can you?

Happy Memorial Day everyone, and keep writing forward!