His name is Bert. Bert the Boulder--because a kidney stone big enough to startle the ER staff and make me think I was dying certainly deserves a name. I would love to share a photo of Bert, but they had to blow him up with a laser on Monday. May he rest in pieces...that do not hurt me...
I have not felt well all summer, and I now realize that Bert was quietly trying to introduce himself for the last several months, but I was being stupid. We had a lot of summer ministry obligations, and I kept putting off a doctor visit. By the grace of God, we made it through them all! As it turned out, we left our last VBS program and went straight to ER, and not a moment too soon.
Bert was 7x12, and had planted himself halfway between my right kidney and my bladder, and the traffic jam he caused had given me a kidney more than twice its normal size. It had also given me increasing pain and pressure. I spent Sunday night in the hospital, and they blew up Bert on Monday morning. Although they were able to retrieve most of him, a few small brothers, sisters and cousins have made themselves known since then. I have never been in such pain. Ever. God bless Bert...
Although he did not try to kill me during any camps and VBS services (and I am really, REALLY grateful!), Bert has managed to completely derail our plans for some end-of-summer family fun. My boys were hoping for long family bike rides, a trip to the zoo, and some camping; instead, they have fetched me water, plugged in my heating pad and helped me remove the child-proof caps from my medicine bottles. I feel completely terrible about this, but I think God knew it needed to happen at home and before school started. And He also knew that a woman who had been ignoring the pain all summer could likely not be trusted to deal with it herself, unless she was forced to by excruciating pain.
I have cried and I have slept, and I have cried some more. I have lived in pajamas, taken the maximum dose of meds, left my bed only to use the bathroom, and ignored the combing of my hair until I looked like I was developing dreadlocks.
I have been blessed with an understanding husband, patient kids, terrific medical staff and a church full of good cooks, who have been feeding us daily. Friends and family have sent flowers, called to check on me, and asked their local churches to pray for me. The VBS supplies are still piled high in the living room and the laundry is overflowing, but no one has starved, or died while I was in bed. Not even me. God is good.
Today, I have finally started to feel as though I might survive Bert. (For a few days, I wasn't sure.) I even managed the strenuous task of measuring my sons and ordering school pants online. I needed a nap after I was done, and that was ALL I accomplished today, but God has shown me that I need to take some time and rest right now.
I would appreciate prayers, as I continue to recover from the horror that was Bert. I'd like to be well enough for the annual back-to-school shopping trip, and I need to get back to work next week, but clearly, this situation is beyond my control. And it's time for me to go to bed.