Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've learned not to brush off back pain...

Yesterday was craaaaazy.  What I thought was just a strained back muscle turned out to be a kidney infection.  I'll start from the beginning...

Around 5:30 yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like I couldn't breathe or move.  Pain coursed through the entire left side of my back, but I couldn't pinpoint just where on my back it hurt-- this is why I thought it might just be a strained muscle.  I sat up in bed for about twenty minutes, seeing if the pain would subside but it didn't.  I finally woke up my husband and told him what was going on.  After a little praying, we decided that going to the hospital would be the best thing to do, because my back pain just wasn't going away.  It was such a good thing that my husband didn't work until 12 that day!

Israel drove me to the emergency room and I was surprised by how quickly we got in.  I explained to my two nurses what was going on, and when the doctor came in to assess my condition he immediately thought I might have a kidney stone.  I was really scared about this possibility because I've heard how painful those can be.  Yikes!

I began a series of tests so they could figure out what was going on... the first was a urine test.  That was interesting to say the least, because I hadn't had anything to drink and didn't have a lot to give them.  Next I got hooked up to an IV, and they filled two vials of my blood to be tested.  I felt pretty at ease with my nurses, one was a girl and the other a guy, who kept joking around and providing a pretty light atmosphere.  I asked the male nurse if I needed to take off my ring before he put in the IV, but after he assured me it would be fine to keep it on, a few minutes later he said, "Yeah, you know how I said it'd be fine to keep your ring on?"  I looked down and there was blood trickling down my fingers and all over the ring!  It was soon washed off and looked like nothing ever happened.

My next test was a CAT scan.  I was wheeled through the whole hospital to reach this destination.  It's a bit of an awkward thing when you're lying on a bed, wheeled around-- do you make eye contact with people walking down the hallway?  Do you smile?  Or try not to hide how pathetic you feel?  I'm not sure how this hospital etiquette stuff works.  After the CAT scan was done, they took me back to my room where my patient husband was waiting.  We waited for at least another hour, while the nurses pumped fluids through my veins to keep me hydrated, before the doctor came in to tell me that it was indeed a kidney infection.

The nurses then administered a heavy painkiller-- they say it's a cousin to Morphine-- which definitely took effect on me very quickly.  Having not eaten or drank anything all morning, I soon felt very, very hot and nauseated.  The nausea went away when the nurses came in and gave me oxygen through my nose for another hour.  They also gave me the first dose of the antibiotic through my IV.  And at last, I was finally released and free to go after my 5 hour stay.  I was relieved to not be tangled up in so many cords and be more comfortable at home.

I felt another wave of intense nausea as we drove home... my skin was really pale and my lips looked almost blue.  It was scary.  But Israel gave me some bread and water when we got home and I was feeling better soon.

I have to say that the one cool thing about being at the hospital was that I've never been addressed as Elena Sanchez or Mrs. Sanchez so much before!  I loved it!  I even kept my little hospital bracelet.  I'm still getting used to my new name.  :)

I'm so thankful for such a loving, patient and attentive husband who has taken such good care of me in the last couple of days.  He's been a great nurse!  :)  His family has also been so kind since Israel has to be at work during the day and I am home alone, they've been making regular visits bringing me all kinds of juice and soup.  Here's to hoping this passes quickly!


  1. Oh dear Elena! How awful. I'm so glad that Israel took such good care of you and that you got the help you needed. You know how I'm ridiculous in trying to see some kind of silver lining (sorry for this), but it's good you weren't working yet. I hope you feel better soon!!

    Also, hospital etiquette... haha! Love your thought process...

  2. Seriously! I feel nauseous allll the time, so I can't even imagine being at work while feeling like this. So that's definitely a good timing thing if I had to get this nasty infection.