A Real Pain in the Back Side


No, not my backside, the left side of my lower back. Started last night, but was tolerable until about 7AM, when it started spiking. Managed to get up, showered, dressed as the pain level climbed 6, 7… still rising.

So, took the long (40 minute) drive to UTSW Emergency Room. I could have gone to Medical City, Arlington (10-15 minutes), but nearly all my recent medical history is at UTSW. Pain peaked, then disappeared, of course, just before I walked into the ER. Considered, briefly, going into the office, but from past history I figured that this was another kidney stone and that the pain would be back.

Last time I went to UTSW ER I waited hours to get into an exam room. This time, I was ushered straight in. Slow morning, I guess…there was only one other person in the triage area when I got there, and he was taken back to an exam room about 5 minutes after I got there. They started an IV, took some history, took some blood, and sent me to get a CT scan.

About time I got back from the CT, another wave of pain hit. Spiked up to a 9 and held there. Doctor ordered some IV pain meds which couldn’t get there soon enough. It knocked the pain back down to a 3 or 4, then it was just waiting for the test results to come back.

CT confirmed a 5mm stone in a ureteral duct on its way from the kidney to the bladder. Had to wait for blood tests to confirm no infection (if there had been an infection, I would have been admitted). Then, cut loose around 2:30pm.

Hadn’t eaten all day, so grabbed a late lunch and went to the office for a little while. Well, a very little while…long enough to pick up some things I wanted for the weekend and check to see if there were any emergencies. I’d kept up with all my emails while at the hospital waiting for the test results, so knew that there wasn’t likely to be anything hugely urgent late on a Friday the day before a 3-day weekend. Still, I have 4 or 5 hours of work to do tomorrow to get some things out that really need doing before Tuesday (main thing needs to be done before Sunday).

Speaking of eating, after 4 days or so of little to no appetite, it has come back. I think that the long-acting anti-nausea meds might be what killed my appetite…one wears off in 2 days, the other in 4 days, and I got the last Friday. Around Tuesday I started feeling very hungry, so have been eating normally (or maybe a little more than normally) since then.

Meanwhile I did find an effective treatment for my insomnia, albeit one that I would not recommend. The combination chemo cocktail I had last weekend (carboplatin, atezolizumab, and etoposide) has resulted in my insomnia going away, at least for this week. Every day, I manage to grab dinner, but as soon as I get home, I’m out like a light. Doesn’t matter if it is 7pm or 8pm…I’m out (other than getting up occasionally to take care of pressing bio issues) until I drag myself out of bed the next morning.

So, such fun going into a holiday (sort of) weekend. In addition to my work-work tomorrow I also need to clean up/put away some stuff in preparation of my nephew and his family coming over to help on Sunday. Nothing horrible, but I do have too many pill bottles out in the living room (where I’ve been sorting my meds into their daily doses) and need to lock up my weapons. Then, need to empty some of my storage bins so that we can use them to pack up the kitchen. Then, Sunday they’ll be here early and will work until lunch with my Mom. Hopefully the work-work I do tomorrow wont’ generate any emergency corrections and I can actually relax on Monday.

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