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A Rapid Change of Plans

Perhaps this has happened to you, feeling healthy and normal one minute — then bang! Stricken with nausea and pain the next. Recently, I woke up from a nap feeling great. In the time it took to log on to my upstairs computer and begin to read, extreme nausea propelled me to the bathroom. Thus began an evening like no other.

It is no exaggeration to say that bed was all I could think of, and I made my way there — under the covers. Seeking normalcy, I analyzed what could be going on. I knew that food poisoning could cause bad pain, and I wondered which ingredients may have been out of date or tainted. A friend just a few days ago had mentioned being stricken with a 24-hour bug, so that seemed a possibility. Sharp pain made me think of appendicitis and leaping to the worst outcome, I remembered that Rudolph Valentino died of peritonitis when his appendix burst. I wanted desperately to summon my husband sitting downstairs but felt too weak to reach the bedside phone. Only a few feet away, it seemed to waver on a distant island, out of reach. I tried using willpower to banish the nausea. I had dragged in a wastebasket and positioned it at head level, just in case. It was to become a worthy asset.

When, at the usual time, I didn't turn on Jeopardy in the sitting room, my husband sensed trouble. He roused himself from the man cave and appeared at my side, offering whatever help he could.

As the evening went by, the pain in my stomach began to resemble labor pains. They crested, held on for an agonizing couple of minutes, waned, then paused, only to ramp up anew. They continued all through the night. I tried sitting, standing, walking (holding to the bedframe) all the while thinking of scenes from Call the midwife. Finally, I took two Tylenol tablets and got fitful sleep in the only position I could tolerate, flat on my back. At six AM, after countless, unproductive trips to the bathroom despite an empty, twitchy bladder and even though the pain had diminished, I decided it was time to seek help. My hubby drove me to the DeGraff Hospital Emergency Room. What a relief! There is no feeling like handing the reins to others put solely on this earth to help in times of distress.

I told my story and was given IV hydration and pain medicine. A CT scan was ordered. After a time, all tests and data were analyzed and the doctor (surely a detective in disguise) informed me that I had passed a kidney stone and explained how putting all the clues together, she had arrived at that diagnosis. Within minutes I signed release papers and was getting into my clothes. Striding out on my husband’s arm into the sunny morning, I was a far cry from the case who had entered three hours earlier.

It could have been much worse. That’s my go-to and honest belief for everything in life. Journals at are waiting for you to write your story. Fresh memories, even if they still sting, are usually the best. Folks will appreciate your insight and who knows? Your experience might be helpful at some point in life to others.

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