Sunday evening it all started. The pain, the nausea, the chills. I thought I was having another gallbladder attack. It starts with this dull ache across my upper back, just under my shoulder blades. That dull ache gets stronger and stronger over the course of a couple of hours. Then I get nauseated and develop a terrible, hot, radiating pain under my right rib cage. That one happens in waves and goes on for several hours. I vomit, and vomit, and vomit some more. The pain waxes and wanes for hours on end. Sometimes it stops pretty abruptly after I puke. Sometimes it seem to intensify. Sunday night it intensified. I ran out of the muscle relaxers (Dicyclomine) that the E.R. gave me when they told me they thought it was my gallbladder being spasmodic. Figures I'd have spazoid innards. So I dug through the medicine cabinet and found some Phenergan that I had left over from something a few years ago. Yep, the date on the prescription bottle was 2005. I was like the honey badger at that point, I didn't give a shit. I took it and hoped against hope that it would help the nausea and if nothing else, let me sleep. And sleep I did. I still felt that awful pain in my sleep, but I slept.
The pill the ER doctor had given me was much more effective, it actually helped the pain, and it helped within 15 or 20 minutes. But alas, without insurance I can't afford another $2,000 trip to the E.R. just to be sent home with $50 pills because they can't do surgery on me since I don't have 20K cash and I don't have insurance. And without insurance I can't get a regular doctor to see me because when they run a credit check to see if I'll be able to pay their bill, it comes back negative since I've had financial struggles over the last few years...You know, the same issues I've dealt with in the past when I've tried to see doctors, like for my eyes and my seizures...
So I endure these episodes and try to hold on until either November of 2013 when I am finally eligible for MediCare under Disability rules, or 2014 when ObamaCare kicks in and I can shop for insurance on the private market.
Either way, I have a long ways to go before I can seek treatment for this mysterious issue.
Well, back to Sunday night's episode. It lasted on into Monday morning, when I felt like I had been hit by a semi truck. Oh I slept, but I hurt, too. Then all day Monday I battled this recurring pain, this dull back ache. This general feeling of unease. When I'd stand up to stretch my back, I'd get really dizzy. When I'd sit up it felt like I was being sawed in half. When I laid down I couldn't find a comfortable spot. I was miserable. I shook. I trembled. I'll admit it, I even cried.
The Wifester offered to take me to the ER when she arrived home from work, but knowing we'd be there all night and she had to get up and go to work the next morning and knowing we can't afford the bill, and knowing all that stuff, I declined. Late Monday night, early Tuesday morning something strange happened. I really had to pee again, and when I did there was some blood in my urine. But immediately after that the pain was gone. Poof. Just gone. The next few times I went, there was less and less blood, and by mid day Tuesday, it was all gone. I still had an ache running across my belly. But more like a muscle achyness vs. the general achyness of the night prior. I was extremely exhausted, and still feeling like I'd been hit by truck, but that pain, dizziness, and nausea was finally gone. Except for a splitting headache, but I think that may have been due to not eating in over 24 hours and not drinking much and not having any caffeine. The Wifester and I simultaneously had the idea that maybe, just maybe this wasn't a gallbladder attack, but rather a kidney stone passing. We remembered the urine with some blood happening at the ER, too. And a month or so ago when the same thing happened here at home, though the pain lasted less than two days that time. Is it possible that I'm having kidney stones? I suppose. They didn't find any gallstones when they X-rayed me in the ER, so they guessed that it was just my gallbladder having spasms and suggested I find a primary care doctor to follow up with. Well, I've already explained why I haven't done that.
So I wonder, if I am having kidney stone episodes, and I'm enduring them without medical intervention, how long can that go on? Am I doing terrible damage to my ureters and urinary tract? And is that further damage going to complicate things once I finally do have insurance and seek treatment? Seems like it is usually cheaper to catch things and fix them early, rather than waiting until they go on and on and cause more damage. Eh, what else can I do but hold on until those magical dates when the rules of the powers that be kick in and say I am fortunate enough to have health care. I guess we'll find out then what damage has been done. Until then, I am crossing my fingers, toes, an every other part I can muster in hopes that I never have to feel that horrible pain ever again. Now where's that ginormous jug of water? I need to rehydrate.