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The Big Picture

Me? Sick?

I started feeling a familiar pain in my lower back last Friday night. Kidney stone, I self diagnosed, as I had had one about 25 years ago.  Over the years, it has surfaced here and there, but if I drink lots of water it works its way out.

Two aspirin didn't help.  Two Advil didn't touch it.  Late into the night, the Captain noticed I was a little restless.  "You okay?"

"Yes.  Kidney stone.  Just need to drink more water," I said.  "And would you rub my back?"  He brought me two more Advil and rubbed my back.  I finally fell asleep.

The next morning, the pain was still present:  a dull ache with a little burn mixed in.  But, again, I knew that pain. Kidney stones. Today, I resolved, I will drink gallons of water and get rid of this thing.

The snow had started falling, along with the temperature.  Try as I might, I just couldn't shake it.  I started to feel funny. Maybe I was running a fever? 


"How about I take you to the doctor?"  the Captain said.

"Oh, no, I know this pain.  I just need to drink more water."  Besides, I had heard the temperature outside was nine degrees.  Way too cold to get out with a fever.

Eight inches of snow fell that day.  Come Sunday, church was canceled--not that I was going anyway.  My fever held on at 102.7.  "I found a home test for UTI's," the Captain said.  I am going to get it for you. If it's positive, I am taking you to the ER."

Yes, sir.

He did. It was.  I felt like a noodle. I looked like death. But I kept my end of the deal and braved the cold.

Two IV's and four blood draws later, the ER doc came in with his diagnosis.

"You're dehydrated."

But I drank all that water.

"Your fever is 103."


"Your heart is racing."

"My heart's not racing," I protested.

"Your heart rate is 130," he said.


"And your white count is elevated," he continued down the list of symptoms. "I am sending you for a CT scan.  We might admit you."  With that he left.

"I will be very surprised if they admit me," I said to my nurse, who didn't reply.  

About an hour after the scan, the doctor returned.

"You have two kidney stones, one of which is blocking your kidney, causing a kidney infection. I am admitting you; you will probably be here a few days."

I glanced at the Captain, who had a knowing look.

The doctor wasn't finished.  "If I just put you on antibiotics, you will not get well. You need to have surgery today to drain the infection. The surgeon will be in to see you soon.  The stones can be treated later." 

I thanked him, and he left.  Then I knew there was someone else I had to thank. 

"Thanks for bringing me in," I said to the Captain, meaning it. "And next time I won't resist," I added.

"You're my wife. I love you--I just want you to be healthy," he answered with a gentle pat on my pin-cushiony arm.

"Well, I'm glad you have the same standard for yourself as you do for your kids," my oldest son chuckled on the phone when I told him the story. I admit, it's true.  I am not one to dash off to the ER, no matter who is sick.

The whole episode has been a gentle reminder of what marriage is for--to help each other, love each other, listen to each other.  Believe it or not, there have been other times when I just didn't get it-- even once when the house was on fire! (Click link below to read Fire? What Fire)  And--I know this comes as no surprise--this week has been a reminder of what an attentive, cheerful caregiver my husband, aka Captain Fun, is.  Thank you, Captain, for watching out for me. 

As for me, I have also learned just how fast you can get really sick. And I have resolved to be quicker to listen to my spouse. 

Maybe every marriage could benefit from that.

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,"

                                                            --James 1:19

Fire? What Fire?

2 Comments to Me? Sick?:

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Diane Messenger on Friday, January 13, 2017 4:47 PM
I'm so sorry you've been sick. But I did enjoy reading your story. The Captain. That's cool. I hope you are feeling better.
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Richard on Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:28 AM
Thanks for sharing
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