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What Happened?

May 16, 2009

This is my third attempt at writing this. The first was extremely detailed. The second was less so, but still outlined step by step what I went through, or at least it would have had I finished it.

The problem is, I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t re-live it just yet. As I was writing it, I felt my anxiety level rise. I knew I had to stop. It’s too early for me to do this.

So here is the short version.

On Monday May 4th I underwent Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL).

It’s supposed to be routine and in fact it IS for most people.

Not so for me. That very night I ended up in hospital, unable to urinate. I was sent home with a tube in a place nobody wants a tube. The next day was a fairly good day, and I thought I was over the hump.

Wednesday everything went downhill. I ended up in the ER by ambulance. It turns out the procedure had cause a large hematoma on my kidney, essentially a sac of blood. I required two units of blood. Also, it caused Ileus. This created serious problems for me and the resulting distended abdomen made it difficult for me to breathe. Also noteworthy was a fever of 39.9C (103.8F)

So, 10 days in the hospital, 3 of them in the ICU, and now I am back home.

I am tired, I am weak, I am bruised all over, and I still have some symptoms that are bothering me. But for the most part, I am much much better.

Being home is by far the best for me. Here I can get stronger again. And hopefully with strength, I will see these other troublesome issues go away.

I want to thank ALL of you for your kind and encouraging words. I was able to keep my blackberry for most my stay in the hospital, and knowing that so many of you were sending me positive vibes, prayers, and keeping me in your thoughts  made a huge difference.

I have to say a special thank you to my very dear (and crazy) friend Violet. Her concern and support through all of this kept me focused on the ultimate goal: to get healthy, get home, and start being a smartass on her blog again.

Another very special thank you for some dear friends who shared with us crucial medical information which made everything SO much easier for me. I was getting bits and pieces from my specialists as they rushed in and out of my room, but to have it all put into context by someone with such knowledge and experience allowed me to understand what was really happening to me and it put my mind completely at ease. It made a world of difference for Kelly and me. O and M, thank you so so much for everything!

My sisters were there for me in a big way through all of this. They will both claim that it was nothing, and that they felt helpless most of the time, but that isn’t true. It WAS something. I needed them, and they were there. Whether it be at my bedside in the ER, or fetching me my toothbrush from home, I knew I could rely on one or both of them to be there. That’s comfort. That brings inner peace when everything else is going mad. Thank you C and M.

Lastly, I am struggling for the right words to express how I feel about Kelly and her loving support. Without too much detail, the night in the ER was terrible. It was one complication after another, and another and another. Kelly’s love and support helped me hang on, kept me from giving in to what surely would have had much more dire consequences. I could NOT have done it without her. She said something to me at one point that night which brought me to tears then, and it’s bringing me to tears now.  I’m sorry I won’t share it, but she was absolutely right. And having that perspective helped me fight, and fight hard. Her love gave me strength and kept me going. I Love You Kelly. Thank you so much.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2009 6:28 pm

    Sylvain, as I write this I have tears in my eyes; my relief at knowing you are back home, safe and sound and healing is overwhelming. Despite my casual tone in the ‘stalking’ messages, and my teasing you to come back and be a smart-ass on my blog, I was very, very worried about you and I am so happy that you’re on the the road to wellness again. *hug*

    • abitibisouth permalink*
      May 16, 2009 6:45 pm

      I know Violet. I’m not going to pretend I have you figured out, but I could see through the casual tone or your messages. *hug*

      • May 16, 2009 6:56 pm

        If you figure me out, could you let ME know? Because I can’t figure me out at all. 🙂 I had to stay casual – I figured you’d be doing enough flat-out worrying and panicking for all of us!

        • abitibisouth permalink*
          May 16, 2009 7:00 pm

          Well there, see, you have ME figured out.

  2. Carm permalink
    May 16, 2009 7:06 pm

    Oh boy… the tears….
    Love you Baby Brother… hugs and kisses..
    Happy you are home!!

  3. May 16, 2009 9:05 pm

    It’s so odd how a person* can get out of sorts about someone** she knows only through someone else’s*** online escapades. But I’m so very, very relieved that you’re on the mend and at home now. I’m continuing to send you good vibes and thoughts for a speedy and comfortable recovery all the way from Arkansas. (Which mostly means I’m aiming for the area vaguely northeast of Detroit, because I’m really not very good at geography.)


    • May 17, 2009 2:50 pm

      Thank you, I need all I can get. (pssst…it’s vaguely southeast. Odd I know. In fact, a bit of useless trivia for you. I think Detroit is the only place in the continental US that is directly north of Canada. You really have to zoom in on a map to see it, but it’s true.)

    • Kate permalink
      May 17, 2009 11:40 pm

      *and me too!

      And Sylvain I’m so glad to hear that you are home and that you have such a great team! I hope that you find such solace in being home that your strength returns quickly and those unpleasant symptoms disappear.

  4. May 16, 2009 10:26 pm

    Big fan of your smartassery over at Violet’s blog. So very glad you are back home again and I hope you find yourself fully recovered in no time.

    • Andrew permalink
      May 19, 2009 9:02 pm

      Ditto. I know Kelly will treat you (and has treated you) right. Keep getting better, Syl.

      Oh, and thanks for satisfying our/my curiosity for what happened, even if it was hard for you to relive. Now I know not to send any vibes into your lower abdomen. I’ll just aim for your head. 😉

  5. May 17, 2009 12:44 pm

    very, VERY glad you are home and on the mend. 🙂

  6. May 17, 2009 2:05 pm

    syl, now I’m tearing up. I am so grateful to read this, to ‘hear’ you and know you are back home and healing.

  7. May 18, 2009 4:28 am

    Very glad to have you back. Best wishes and healing thoughts from Belgium.

  8. May 18, 2009 9:58 am

    Well, let me wipe my eyes too…geeze, I read Kelly’s blog that you were in the hospital but never got the why or what exactly. How incrediable that this “normal” procedure affected you so adversely. How scarey. I’m so glad it is over with. I guess I am left wondering what they will now do for the kidney stones that must still be a problem right? Or did the zapping they gave you fix that problem before all the horrible after effects? I do hope it is over and done.
    Big hugs from me Syl. Fred sends his best wishes too. We are sorry you had to go through this. Glad it’s over… And how wonderful that your family and Kelly were there and taking care of all your needs.
    May your healing and recovery go quickly and effortlessly.
    Big hugs again,

  9. May 18, 2009 8:35 pm

    Thanks everyone for your warm wishes and kind thoughts.
    Lynn, the kidney stone should be powder and easily passable. My mind is doing enough “what-if’ing” right now, so I’m just trying to focus on getting better and prefer not to think about any other possibilities.

  10. May 19, 2009 9:33 am

    Oh good, about the powder…I wasnt sure they had been able to proceed with the procedure. Glad it worked. Sorry it had such an awful outcome.
    My brother had that done for kidney stones several years ago with no ill effects. And today he sees his surgeon to talk about what to do with the gall stones he now has. What is it with all these Rocky people? LOL

    • May 19, 2009 1:06 pm

      I’m begging you. Please do not give me any more things to worry about.
      Thank You.

  11. Anne permalink
    May 19, 2009 12:09 pm

    Good wishes from another lurker/infrequent commenter of Violet’s blog who really enjoys your smartassery over there. Glad you’re home, and sending good vibes/wishes/prayers for your continued recovery!!!

  12. May 19, 2009 4:15 pm

    I’m so glad you are home! Please, just rest, watch the birds, the beautiful sunsets we’ve been having and sit for a bit in the sun, it does wonders for the soul, and know so many people care about you and love you. Please be gentle with yourself.

  13. Lena permalink
    May 19, 2009 9:21 pm

    Sylvain, so glad to hear you are home and well, albeit a bit bruised. My ‘super healing’ thoughts are heading your way along the 401. See you soon at Violet’s blog.

  14. May 23, 2009 12:24 pm

    I too am glad you’re home and well. And it’s good to read about this from your point of view, seeing how things were for you. What a poignant post. Many blessings and well wishes, and much love to you, O

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