Friday, February 18, 2011

The Dude and the Stone

When it rains, it pours. And this includes medical problems. The Dude had to go to emergency last night from a kidney stone, not that long after I wrote my last post. What a day.

He woke from a nap on the couch and complained of cramping. We figured it was gas, but it never got better. He started pacing and eventually moaning. Eventually I got the feeling it was a kidney stone. I've been down that road before. But that's another story for another time.

So we cabbed it to Toronto Western, and he's beside me, panting, groaning and trying in vain to find a comfortable way to sit, a totally fruitless effort. I can't think of a worse pain than a kidney stone. I've heard women say it's worse than childbirth.

Now, what really angered me is he told the triage nurse his pain was about a 9 or 10 out of 10. He still had to wait an hour in the waiting room. They were extra busy that night for some reason, but to allow someone to suffer without pain medication is beyond me. I'd never seen nor experienced anything like it. Even if you have to wait for tests and a doctor, they'll usually treat your pain.

He was huddled over me, shaking and moaning and after hearing about three people called ahead of him, people who were not in obvious suffering or distress, I had to call out that he needed help now. I was really upset. It was hard because I was still worried about aunt Debby and now my fiance was whimpering beside me telling me he couldn't take anymore.

And I knew exactly how bad it felt. It's like this unceasing clenching, wrenching, tearing, shooting pain that can make you feel like you're dying.

10 minutes after I made my fuss, someone came and took him and he was medicated. It was about this time I realized I had not brought a book. If you're going to spend an hour in the waiting room and only get tended to if you flag someone down, that doesn't bode well for how the rest of your visit is going to go.

Long story short, we were there four hours. Got home around 1:30 a.m. Dude had a kidney stone. If only you could go to the hospital, get pumped with morphine and then go home and quietly prepare yourself to pass something unnatural.

The whole thing, though, really showed me the importance of speaking up. It's really disheartening to see that a person can suffer, visibly suffer in front of dozens of people, including medical staff, and that nothing will be done unless you get pushy about it.

1 comment:

  1. Never, NEVER want to be caught at the hospital without someone else to voice your concerns. It's sad but it's the way healthcare is now, they are far too busy to listen and if you want something done you need to speak up and speak loudly. It's hard when you are in pain or sick to be able to be that voice so it almost becomes necessary to have an advocate to speak up for you.