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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Back When I'm Feeling Better

(For politics, please scroll down)

Still dealing with health issues: namely, bilateral hydronephrosis, with the left kidney in crisis at this time.

What misery!

I am scheduled soon for a nephrostomy.

This procedure, if successful, serves two purposes: (1) to drain the kidney so as to save as much kidney tissue as possible and (2) to ascertain if all the pain I've been having for the past several months stems from a blocked ureter or from nerve damage to the kidney itself.

If the former, I will be undergoing ureteral pyeloplasty in a few months. If the latter, I will be undergoing a nephrectomy in a few months.

Comments intermittently on moderation until I recover from the nephrostomy.

This is the summer from hell.


  1. Keep the faith. Rest in the Lord, and all will be well.

    Try to remember "THY Will not MY Will must be done."

    "Even if He SLAY me, yet will I trust in Him."

    Referring to "religion" is not considered "cool" in today's depraved secular society, but after butting our heads against the massive "stone walls" built by Envy, Malice, Spite, Egotism, Greed, Fear, Doubt, Cynicism, and Despair, no other source of relief appears possible OTHER than a return to faith and reliance on the Word of Almighty God.

    Vaya con Dios!

    1. Not looking forward to these two surgeries, the second one a major surgery.

  2. I am so sorry to hear AOW. Nothing more painful then problems with the plumbing. My thoughts and prayers go out. Please let us know how things are going. So sad to hear.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Nothing more painful then problems with the plumbing.

      No kidding!

      This is a first such trouble for me. And is it a doozie! At times, I can barely breathe for the pain.

      School starts on September 6.

  3. Just when I think my problems are big, the Lord shows how small they are (your post). I am sooo sorry, my friend. I was at the point of going under last night when I read "my grace is sufficient" and it struck home. Truly hope you experience the sufficiency of His grace through all this.

    1. Baysider,
      Believe me, you never want this kidney malady.

      My urologist/surgeon is Leading Physician of the World for his specialty. He has promised that he can "fix this" and get me back to "feeling normal." It's just that this is taking so much time!

  4. This nephrostomy had better bring some relief. It's really tough counting down the minutes from one pain pill to the next.

  5. Those of us who are healthy have no idea how lucky we are.
    Prayers for you AOW. Comfort soon.

  6. It may be of little comfort, but I find the older I get, the more pains I have reminding me that I'm still alive. When I was younger, every day I spent not in pain was taken for granted.

    I find myself belatedly thanking my Creator for all that he has given me that I have not fully appreciated until now. And ask Him to forgive my present grumbling and complaining as necessary.

    I say this not to minimize the very real pain you are going through, but to give a slightly different perspective, that might not normally occur to one being somewhat overwhelmed in the moment. Gesundheit! In the very literal sense of the word.

    1. Mike,
      I'll never again take a pain-free day for granted. This kidney pain has been grinding away at me since March 4. Off and on. Non-stop since June 1.

      Even in the hospital I'm not pain free -- unless under anesthesia.

      Dietl's Crisis.

  7. Has the doctor recommended any dietary / liquid intake changes?

    I ask because I passed a bladder stone that was the most excruciating pain I have ever had. Now I take magnesium supplements to keep my body burning up calcium (which forms stones) and zinc (because magnesium depletes zinc as well).

    I also drink fruit juices over soda and coffee now. Cranberry juice is nah friend.

    1. Beamish,
      No more Mountain Dew for you, then.

      What is causing my kidney agony is neither kidney stones nor bladder stones. Nor do I have any history of bladder infections or kidney infections.

      The doctors' hypothesis (neurologist, urologist, primary care):

      I was born with a slight kink in left ureter. Because of aging and/or the chickenpox vaccine (Yes, the chickenpox vaccine -- a live vaccine, administered to me on August 19, 2016, and September 19, 2016 and which elicited some reactions at the time), the kink got tighter and tighter until the left kidney was almost completely blocked. The vaccine is particularly of even greater suspicion because the stent placed on June 22 did not straighten out the kink. The stent should have done so. Also, I felt unwell all the time from the three days after the second chickenpox vaccine in September.

      I have been categorically told, "This didn't happen because of anything you
      ve done or haven't done. No more live vaccines for you. Ever! You may receive dead vaccines only!"

  8. The whole vaccine issue just makes my blood boil. So many children forced into this. And then - they with live vaccine in their system - are CARRIERS for weeks. NOBODY enforces putting vaccinated children in quarantine where they should be for 4-6 weeks. The fact that your doctors agree on this effect on you is a glimmer of hope that some understanding of the power of these to injure is coming to light.

    1. Baysider,
      And then - they with live vaccine in their system - are CARRIERS for weeks. NOBODY enforces putting vaccinated children in quarantine where they should be for 4-6 weeks.


      Makes you wonder what's going on, doesn't it?

      I find it astounding that not a single one of the doctors I've consulted since I got those chickenpox vaccines last fall has said, "This is just coincidence. The vaccine couldn't have caused your problem."

      In fact, each one perked up ears when I pointed out the reaction I have to the second vaccine: a subcutaneous burning on my back. I can't recall if this burning sensation, which went on for several days, was on the right side or on the left side. It is the left kidney and ureter that are affected.

      This article has a section about kidney trouble and vaccines.

    2. I can't get my breath reading this link. My grandfather, who had no known kidney issues, died of acute kidney failure. 'They' said, "well, he was old, and your kidneys fail when you get older." BUT 2 years before he went on a cruise that required vaccinations. He got sick immediately, and was 'never right' after that and mostly housebound. I could vomit. And I sooo feel for you!

  9. My sympathy and prayers, and more importantly the prayers of Scherie, are with you, my friend.

  10. Praying for you, AOW...all the best, Z

  11. Thanks, Jon. This kidney trouble is a bee-yotch.

  12. Nephrostomy done early yesterday morning. I'm home now. The hope is that I will need nothing stronger than ibuprofen for this post-op pain -- after heavy doses of narcotics yesterday and last night.

    Thank goodness that my former student TJP is staying with us. He can tend to the incision dressing every few days.

  13. I sure hope this procedure helps you. It sounds groady, but if you get relief probably nothing is too groady. Is it 'temporary' while they evaluate options 1 & 2 above?

    Here's another even lesser known piece to your vaccine puzzle, AOW. E coli bacteria have a chemical (LPS - lipopolysaccharide) that is a powerful immune stimulant. Scientists use it to create major inflammatory states in experiments, particularly to create animal models of Parkinson's. Guess where else this stuff ends up? In many vaccines. How is this allowed?

    1. Baysider,
      Definitely "groady." I will not be posting the photo on Facebook!

      Yes, the nephrostomy is temporary. But if all goes as planned, the neph tube will be in place till Thanksgiving Monday. That's a long time!

      I need to find a discreet way to carry this hideous bag!

      The vaccine puzzle is more complicated than most people know!

    2. African caftans and mumus. Ugh. It's not a pleasant thought.

    3. Baysider.
      I don't own a single caftan or mumu.

      I guess that I'll me making a fashion statement carrying around a foot long urine bag displaying bloody urine.

  14. AOW, I've been away and away from the internet for a few days.

    I can almost sense your agony here and wish you well on your road to recovery over time.

  15. Redd Battler said

    Glad you are home and surviving the discomfort which I know must be awful. So sorry I was asleep when you called and could not stay awake to finish the conversation.

    Sleep is precious these days. Unfortunately, comes only in a catch-as-catch-can basis –– and usually at awkward times.

    Hope yo hear you're feeling better tomorrow.

  16. Aha!

    I complained about the post-op arrangements for wound dressing.

    A few minutes ago, a nurse from the hospital called. She is coming here in a few minutes. Her name? Aisha. Figures, huh?

    1. Aisha - could be Oriental? Which wouldn't be a bad thing.

      At least it wasn't Kenisha or Keyshawn. It's coming though.

    2. Kid,
      I asked one question while we were making small talk: where she was from. Afghanistan. No hijab.

      BTW, she homeschools her children. She said that the behavior in public schools is now "unacceptable" and that the caliber of teachers has dropped.

      Aisha was very competent and FURIOUS that I had been discharged from the hospital without certain supplies, including but not limited to the saline flush AND a leg-strap contraption. I've got the bag fastened to my blouse. For pity's sake! Safety pins -- that's how the discharge nurse sent me home yesterday.

      She had our helper TJP, a former student of mine from some three decades ago, observe how she changed the dressing.

      Another visiting nurse is supposed to come on Tuesday to have TJP -- a man, but I ain't worried these days about my sporting my plumber's butt during wound care -- change the dressing with a nurse's supervision.

    3. I would say people from places like Astan, when we're also talking about people like Aisha take life much more seriously than your average American. Sounds like you got a good one.

      Here's a funny? When I was a boy scout, a bee stung me on the lower butt. I went to the aid station, where there was a doctor and a quite good looking nurse, I pulled my shorts up to show him the bite and he said Just take em down ! How embarrassing. Since then, I've had so many situations where strangers have seen it (i.e. 250 morphine shots to the rear over a month after I broke my leg at 16) , any one that wants to see it is free now. ha.

    4. PS - So much incompetence today. It is going to get a lot worse.

    5. I knew something was terribly wrong when you mentioned the bag. I assumed you had a leg strap, but were trying to figure out how to wear it under clothing discreetly. I get furious, too, at the gross omissions and assumptions commonly made in medical discharges. I've been through it with my husband, my mother and myself. Nobody manages the case - except on paper. Sounds like her visit helped.

  17. AOW, I can't imagine this is anything other than a bitch, but I truly hope this is can be helpful over the long haul.

    She had a colostomy. Fifteen months later, with a colostomy bag strapped to her side, Babe won the U.S. Women’s Open by an incredible 12 strokes at Salem Country Club in Massachusetts. The win was one of the greatest comebacks in the history of American sports. Afterward, Babe thanked her doctors and the thousands of people, many with cancer, who wrote her get-well cards, letters and telegrams. After years of selfishness, Babe finally shared the glory of the biggest title in women’s golf with the men who helped her come back and thousands of strangers.

    From Here.

    I remembered reading the story years ago.

    All the best to you and prayers. Why the good folks? Damn.

    1. Kid,
      I'd forgotten about Babe Zaharias! Great story!

      This thing I'm going through with my kidney is definitely a bee-yotch!

  18. Not feeling well this evening. I've just left a message for the doctor on call. Now what?

  19. God be with you. Hope you get well soon!

  20. I'm sure you have detailed instructions. But - for what it's worth, and if you're foggy - this looked like an excellent summary. https://www.drugs.com/cg/nephrostomy-tube-care-aftercare-instructions.html

    1. Baysider,
      Great link!

      This information wasn't included in my discharge instructions:

      Drink 2 to 3 liters of liquid each day unless you were told to limit liquids because of another condition. This amount is equal to about 8 to 12 (eight-ounce) cups of liquid. There should be 30 to 60 milliliters of urine draining into the bag each hour.

      The physician on call said tonight that I need to drink more fluids. I didn't have those numbers before now. Sheesh.

      The following did happen today:

      There are changes in how your urine looks.

      Too cherry red this evening!

      The physician on call thinks that (1) I overdid it today and (2) I'm not drinking enough fluids.

  21. I reached the physician on call a few hours ago because (1) the drain bag looked cherry red and (2) my pain levels had ramped up. Her pronouncement: "You're overdoing it!" Sheesh.

    My discharge instructions explicitly state: "No restrictions." I guess that my definition of "no restrictions" isn't a medical one.

    I've now been told, "You should take it easier than you're doing -- for about a week. And increase your fluid intake." I wish that all this had been included in my discharge instructions!

    1. I brought my husband home after sinus surgery where the list casually said "sleep sitting up." This was a PLANNED event, and they could and SHOULD have warned us to make such arrangements ahead of time. No way do I have anything that allows for sleep sitting up. But given some warning one could figure something out. I HATE that about the medical people. They drop these bombs on you that force you to run around, guess, and cobble things together that could have been planned for. And that's how many of them run their offices, too.

      My prayers are with you, my friend. Glad link helped.

    2. Baysider,
      I hear ya about your husband's sinus surgery! What do medical people expect us to do? Do our own research on the web?

      At least this urology group always has a responsive physician on call.

      THANK GOD!

      The physician on call had me take a stronger pain pill, which I blessedly have on hand. Why they dumped me so precipitously off those pain meds upon release from the hospital, I'll never understand. I've been on pain meds since early June. The dosage should have been tapered off.


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