Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hospital Visit - Pt 2

Clara's follow up visit to the urologist after her kidney stone adventure yielded another hospital visit today. It turns out she had two stones, one on its way to her bladder on her right side and another still rattling around in her left kidney. No way to get 'em out other than by a little outpatient surgery. Add today's ice storm and, my friend, you have a recipe for fun.

Clara was scheduled to have her procedure done at 9:30 a.m, which meant she had to be at the hospital to check in at 7:30 a.m., which meant, because of the weather, we had to leave the house at 6:30 a.m. No real problems getting in though it was a little more thrilling than usual - we had the streets and highways to ourselves and there was a wicked peppering of sleet when we turned north just to keep things interesting. A normally 20 minute ride was only doubled, thanks to my mad driving skillz.

Surprisingly, we weren't the only ones to arrive early - the hospital and doctors seldom cancel these things due to the weather - and we got checked in and into our little cubby right on schedule. The staff kept things moving - our hopes were lifted when they revealed some patient cancellations had bumped us up in line but a slight complication with a procedure before Clara's put us back to our original time. No worries. By then, Clara had received her first ant-anxiety drug dosage:


Seriously, though, she was doing very well, considering the circumstances and the wait:


Okay, maybe it really was the drugs.

They wheeled Clara out right at 9:30 so off to the waiting room for me, where I waited for about an hour or so before the doctor came out to brief me: the dye he'd injected showed the right side to be clear but he knew that couldn't be correct. He went in with the scope and found the stone lodged in the tube wall, flapping in the stream. It was shaped like a baseball bat, about 6 mm long, but its irregular shape meant Clara would never pass it. He zapped it with the laser, then scooped up the pieces with the basket, and that side was done. On the left side, that stone was about 9mm big and he broke that into gravel with the sonic thingy. Those fragments should pass effortlessly. He had to use a stent - not like an arterial stent at all but one that threads through the entire tube from the kidney to the bladder - to keep the tube from shutting down from normal post-op swelling. The stent'll have to be removed next week in an office procedure. Other than some possible post-op pain and normal minor bleeding, Clara should be all set.

Thirty minutes of recovery later, I was let back into the cubby. Clara was awake but a little groggy, and feeling nauseated. They'd given her some meds for that before the procedure and more afterward but she was still clutching her vomit sock on the way out. The polar blast of wind helped her keep her nausea in check and she had no problems on the drive home.

The girls, meanwhile, had been busy, and had baked Clara a get-well cake for her arrival home. Clara made a nice fuss about it before finally crashing on the couch, where she rode out the rest of the afternoon.

More as things develop, if they do, but for now she should be fine.

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