Thursday, January 03, 2008

When I was a child my father had a favourite saying “from the sublime to the gorblimey”. I’m remembering that saying at the moment as it is an appropriate description of the last week and a bit.

Christmas was good although it was very clear that we are going through a new phase in life now that the kids have grown up. The Stepdaughter is 25, the Stepson is 21 and they want to be away spending time with their friends rather than to be with us, the old fogies. Nevertheless Christmas Day was good: the Stepdaughter and her boyfriend turning up in the morning, there was cooking for the big meal, eating and drinking, mid-afternoon the Stepson left to stay with his mother, an evening with the Stepdaughter and boyfriend who then went home. Boxing Day was even quieter as it was just the two of us.

The Thursday was expensive as the tv in the sitting room had started to play up so we braved the sales and found a new one. Having paid for it we discovered that it would be a while until it could be delivered – in fact Monday 14th (an irritation as our old one has now completely packed up).

Friday was quiet and we prepared for the following day’s drive to Cardiff to visit my mother. Little did I know….

When I awoke on Saturday I had a pain in my tummy, which I ignored. The drive to Cardiff was better than either of us had expected as the roads, usually some of the busiest in the country, were clear of major roadworks or jams. But by the time we had got there my abdominal pain had begun to get worse. But we saw my mother, who was delighted to see us and we stayed for a couple of hours which was as long as she could cope with. The less said about the journey back the better what with the pain and the nausea I was now feeling. So when we got home again I rang the out-of-hours GP and made an appointment for his clinic in the local hospital for after midnight and the Husband drove me there.

I saw the GP who immediately sent me next door to their A&E department. To cut a long story short I was admitted to the hospital with suspected appendicitis…or kidney stones…or gallstones, no-one was certain at that stage. There followed a series of tests and scans, as well as some heavy duty painkillers for which I was very relieved. Monday morning I received a visit from the hospital Urologist who informed me that my appendix is fine but that the scan had shown a kidney stone which was causing the problem. About 10 minutes after he left I had a personal experience of the separation of medical disciplines with the arrival of a General Surgical team which informed me that the scan had also shown that I had a supply of gallstones but they weren’t immediately causing any problems. Wonderful. The next couple of days were a mixture of drugs to get the kidney stone to move through my system and painkillers.

Yesterday the Urologist returned to say that things were clearly getting better and that I could go home that day. So the Husband picked me up in the afternoon and I am at home again. The terrible pain has gone, although my side is still a little tender, not surprising I suppose. And so I am taking it easy and hope soon to be well and up and doing things again.

Then I suppose I shall have to find out how to manage kidney stones and gallstones in future. I wonder how you can prevent them?