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Calm

December 1, 2009

It’s done. Another kidney stone has been zapped, and I feel fine.

But let’s start with the most important happening of the last few days. Kelly is BACK!! After what seemed like an eternity without her while she worked her butt off at school in Toronto, I drove up on Friday to bring her and her stuff back home. We had a nice dinner together before heading back, and then even though we were stuck in traffic, I didn’t care. I was with her. And we talked and talked and talked. We were sure that after such a grueling week doing her practicum that she would sleep all the way home. But she didn’t. We had a wonderful time catching up and we talked the whole five hours home.

Unfortunately, after only two nights, we had to pack up again on Sunday to head up to London. My appointment was on Monday morning for Lithotripsy to blast a kidney stone. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30am, so we chose to go up the night before. If you remember, back in May, this same procedure for me went horribly wrong. I was in a lot of pain leaving the hospital that day, but we still drove home to Windsor. Everything went downhill from there. I was taken to hospital by ambulance and I spent over a week there after a horrible night in Emergency.

This time, the procedure was the same, but the location of the stone was not, so the risk of having the same problems I had last time was minimal. (Thank you so much O and M for all your help) But understandably, I was still quite anxious about the whole thing.

A few weeks ago, I had gone up to see the Urologist. As my appointment was done early, I decided to scout out which hotel would suit us the best for when we returned. I went to about 7 hotels, all within a stones throw of each other. (lol, stones throw. I just noticed the pun)  I started out looking for price, but I realized quickly that accessibility mattered more, so at each I asked to see their accessible room. I might blog more about this another time. I guess more than anything I wanted it to feel “right” for what I knew would be an already anxious couple of days. I settled on the Four Points Sheraton. It was a bit pricier, but it is HANDS DOWN the most accessible hotel room I have ever been in.

As the date for the procedure approached, so did the date of Kelly’s return. That is no happy coincidence. I scheduled it that way because I knew I could not do this easily without her. Not physically. Not emotionally.

The unexpected side benefit is that the excitement of being with her again after so long cancelled out most of the anxiety about the procedure. How could I stress and worry about one, when I was so excited about the other? Impossible to do both, and for the most part the excitement won the battle.

The experience at the hospital could not be avoided of course. But when that day came I was able to approach it with a level of calmness that surprised me. I think a lot of it had to do with the knowledge I had of the minimal risks this time. A lot also had to with Kelly’s support. And still some of it just came from a gut feeling, call it faith, that everything was going to be just fine this time.

And it was. Everything at the hospital went off like clockwork. I can not say enough about the people at St. Josephs Hospital in London. I was treated with kindness and compassion and understanding. I am not your typical patient and my care requires extra planning and effort. They made everything effortless, and even pleasant.

We were back at the hotel by noon, and although I was given pain killers, I didn’t need them. There was very little pain. In all honesty I felt fine. We had decided to stay in London just in case things went south again like last time. As it turned out, it was simply more quality alone time with Kelly.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to say a prayer or otherwise send positive energy in my direction. It means so much to me.

On Friday of last week, as I was leaving to go pick up Kelly in Toronto. I had a moment of serious anxiety. I knew I was facing 8 to 9 hours of driving, followed in a couple of days by the procedure in London. For a brief period as I left my home, the weight of it all crept through my excitement of seeing Kelly. I felt the anxiety build. as I was driving and couldn’t stop going over everything in my head. All the “what if’s “started to nag at me. I was starting to freak out a bit and I could feel my breathing change. I worried about having a panic attack as I went over in my head all of the information I had about the procedure and wondered if I had asked all the right questions, was I forgetting anything.

I slowed for a four way stop at an intersection in a rural area on my way to the highway.

As I turned to check for traffic, my eyes caught the words on a church sign at that corner.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.*

Wow. I felt the calm wash over me. I felt the tears well up.

I wanted to know that I had all the information. I wanted to know that I had asked the right questions. I wanted to know for sure that everything was going to be ok.

But there it was.

I didn’t need to know.

I needed to believe.

(*Proverbs 3:5)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 6:03 pm

    Wow…what a relief…I didn’t know before that this was happening so I am reading it after the stones were cast. Yes, pun intended! Of course!
    Actually I think it’s dye that is cast but never mind. I am just glad for you that it went well…that you read that church sign, got that sign, believed in that sign and that you were able to drive in a relatively calm state because of your belief and faith.

    Signing off adding that I’m happy for Kelly too as I know she was looking forward to being back with you as you were with her. 😉

  2. December 3, 2009 7:53 am

    Syl, it is marvelously uplifting to read of your acknowledgement that the important and central fact is not our own control, but our recognition of our powerlessness.

    It is an old but true statement: there is no power greater than surrender.

    I’m delighted to hear all went well and that you and Kelly had some extended time together!

  3. December 12, 2009 3:25 pm

    Coming from a fellow kidney stone carrier I understand what it’s like to have them and to have surgeries to remove them-not something fun for anyone obviously.

    Take care of yourself.

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