Monday, September 17, 2007

Ode to Kidney Stones and Quitting Smoking

We arrived home last night around 10:30. Morgan was pretty good about going to bed even though she was excited to see us and to be home. She was happy about her pink clogs I got at the Limited Too in Raleigh. We have no mall close to our house. So, we got our yearly shopping done on Sunday. Mike said it was the most shopping he had done in years. :) He carried a pink bag around the airport from the Limited Too. He looked so sexy with his bag. I think he might still have a dent in his shoulder where my forehead turned to concrete on the ride home.

I am so excited about being kidney stone free for the first time since 1998 (March to be exact). I was training on Medic Vision at the time, and I was 20 weeks pregnant when I had the first stone. I still remember the first time I had the knife through the back experience. I couldn't figure out what was happening and of course thought it was all to do with the pregnancy. I tried to make it go away by sitting in every position possible (including finally just laying down on the floor). Jennifer found out that the practice had an urgent care clinic, so we went there. The doctor told Jennifer and Mark that I needed emergency surgery. A kind woman from the practice took me and Jennifer in her car to the emergency room. She drove at least 110 mph through a construction zone to get me there. They take my information and tell me to have a seat. The woman from the practice isn't having ANYTHING to do with that, and she forces them to get me back immediately. I get to have the loevly pelvic exam, and a doctor (a pediatric surgeon) pops his head in to see if I am ok (courtesy of the practice). Uh, yes...I am great. Thanks. They do an ultrasound and quickly determine that it is a HUGE kidney stone. They give me demorol which completely freaks me out. I don't want it. I say I can take it. Finally, I surender.

Meanwhile, the guy next to me in the ER attacks the doctor who comes flying through the curtain and lands on top of me. They move me to the other side of the ER so I can be "safe." I later find out that Jennifer and Mark witnessed a fight in the waiting room as well. I am not sure "safe" is possible there. Regardless, the doctor tells me that he wants to keep me in the hospital. Of course, I am stubborn. I know this shocks you, but I am. So, I ask if there is any way I can fly home to Nashville where I can be in the hospitals I know with the doctors I know and the family I love. He says I can but he wouldn't recommend it. Ok, great. I quickly tell him that I am leaving. So, they sign me out and call Jennifer and Mark to come get me. On the way home, I need something to drink and eat so I can keep from getting sick. The only place we can find has the security window that prevents you from going inside. So, there I am on demerol trying to explain to the guy that the crackers I want are the 3rd one down on the second row in the middle of the store. It didn't go so well, but I finally got them. I took a cab to the airport at 5am and flew through Pittsburgh to Nashville. Of course, I thought I was going to die on the plane, and I kept hearing the doctor saying that he wouldn't recommend it. I do survive however and make it to Nashville. I get admitted and hope I pass the stone. 22 weeks later (after a stent that I insisted be removed after 2 weeks) I delivered Morgan. As they went in to remove the stubborn stone, they realize that it had broken up in labor. FIGURES... Anyway, that was in March of 1998. I am very hopeful that removing the ONLY stone I have in September 2007 will end the kidney stone nightmare of the past nine years. I am getting a little worried because I seem to be coughing (ok hacking) quite a bit. I am pretty sure that the anesthesiologist won't like that. I hope they can still get rid of my stone. I thought you weren't supposed to get the cough stuff after you quit smoking? Bummer.

Speaking of stopping smoking, I had a long conversation with my friend Lee about stopping smoking today. We were talking about how many people stop and start back. I shared my theory on the mental piece of it. I think you have to decide that you will never have one again. Until you decide that, your brain will deterimine at least 5,489 excuses as to why you should just have one. You are having a stressful day, your boss is mean, your football team lost, you are drinking with friends, everyone you are with is doing it, one can't hurt, right? I have played every game in the book. I have plotted and planned for hours on how I could just sneak one. Of course, once there was one, then it was ALL OVER. This quit, I truly understand that I can never have a single cigarette for the rest of my life. No matter what my brain says or what creative excuses I can come up with, if I have one it will all be over.

I was telling someone else over the weekend how it is so interesting how the things you do will make you want one. For example, when Mike returned from a trip recently, I had gotten up from the couch and walked outside without even thinking about it. Mike was standing there looking at me like I was nuts. As another example, I went to visit a prospective client, and I was digging through the glove box and my purse without even realizing what I was doing. All of the sudden, I realize what I am doing. It is an amazingly powerful drug. I also think you have to do everything at least once as a non-smoker to calm the urge. Silly things like going to happy hour, watching a football game, leaving a movie theater, and other common activities will give you a craving so strong that you feel like you are having an anxiety attack. To those who are trying to quit or who have just quit, hang in there, take a deep breath, rub your patch. It does get better. I can't say the cravings go away at 3 1/2 months, but I have a lot more experience fighting them than I did two months ago or even one month ago. :)

I had a great time in Raleigh. I forget how beautiful it is there. As much as I like living in Florida, it isn't nearly as pretty as North Carolina and Tennessee. Add to the flat scenary the boring same color stucco block houses, and it can get kind of old. I guess you adapt though because I notice the water everywhere here and don't really notice the trees and houses. When we were driving through Raleigh, I noticed the trees and the houses. :) We did a quick drive by of the old townhouse. I really liked that place. It was a great location with work and Morgan's school all within 5 miles. You didn't really need to leave that 5 mile area to go to work or school, to grocery shop, go to a bookstore, go to a nice restaurant, go to a movie. It was all right there, and the traffic wasn't bad either. We are getting this enormous mall by us, but I am worried because I don't think the Florida road crews have figured out any tips on smooth traffic flow so far. They seem to be really into the "thousands of people going in on a two lane road and thousands of people going out on a two lane road." Wouldn't want to have alternate routes!!! That would be convenient. :)

It pains me to say the word Florida. Even though I didn't expect Tennessee to be any good, I am distressed about the awful game (if you can call it that) on Saturday. For the first time in my adult life, I didn't even want to keep watching. I usually won't take my eyes off the game until it says 00:00. Hey, I lived through the 1998 championship run. I know miracles can happen. However, I think this year is going to be a complete disaster for Tennssee. Bye Bye Fulmer. It has been a great time(has it really been 15 years?).

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