Friday, July 29, 2011

Fixing the Pain in Ma Belly

After I had been given the once over by the intake nurses at Foothills Hospital ER, I returned to my seat in the hallway with Charlie. I really wasn't feeling well and all the moving around was making me cough more and feel worse. I had been asked already several times on a scale of 1-10 wait my pain rate was. It was at least an 8. To put that in perspective, not once in the hospital post kidney donation had I ever registered my pain at more than a 7 or 7.5. Here I was, two weeks later, supposedly on the mend and hurting more.

Either the ER was really quiet or being a kidney donor makes you more worthy of attention-either way I wasn't waiting long in the hallway. A young doctor who (geez I must be getting old to say that) showed up within 5 minutes and brought me back into the intake room. She wanted me to call her by some kind of abbreviated first name like Meg or Trish or something. "Meg" went over my concerns again-thankfully she knew I was a kidney donor at least. I waited for the "who got your kidney" question. 5,4,3,2,1...and there is was. I shrugged and said "I don't know". This one at least didn't just blink at me. She leaned back and asked me with great interest why I would do such a thing. I gave her the short and sweet speech which she seemed satisfied with. She examined my stomach and told me with some confidence the cough wasn't caused by the surgery. Um okay I knew that. But had the cough hurt my incision? That she wasn't sure of. She felt around and frowned. After some reflection, she said she wanted her attending to take a look because she didn't want to take any chances (five points for that-thank you doctor). She said in the meantime she'd get me something for the pain but she wanted to look up what would be the most effective with the least amount of impact on Righty also factoring in the Tylenol I had taken earlier in the morning. More points from me for that too. I appreciated her thoroughness.

I went back to sit with Charlie in the hallway again. About ten minutes later I saw one of the original intake nurses headed in my direction with a pill cup and cup of water. She asked me again how the pain was (still an 8) and said "take both then". I took them and asked what they were. Percocet. Oh my. Within about 20 minutes I didn't feel much pain and the little pain I still felt I didn't care about. It was a very strange feeling. Charlie also noted I started talking a lot. Too much. But I couldn't help it. I was flying high.

A few moments after I started to really feel the Percocet, "Meg" showed up with another doctor in tow. Back into the intake room I went. "Meg" gave him the run down of my symptoms and concerns (yes he did ask who got my kidney). He then asked me to lay down on the examination table so he could feel my stomach. And by feel I mean push down on it with the force of an elephant stomping on me. Push, push, push. He kept pushing hard all around the incisions. "Meg" had done the same thing but much more gently. Just as I was about to scream and/or punch him, he stopped. "I don't think anything is wrong aside from pain when you cough" he determined. He told me he would like me to come back the next day for an ultrasound and that he'd give me some Tylenol 3s to help with pain in the coming days. He said it would also act as a cough surpessant. He asked me who my surgeon was and of course I couldn't remember Dr. Y's name so I offered up Dr. S instead. I had to spell his name a few times-I don't think they had a directory or had heard of him because they kept asking where he was a doctor. Sigh.

I got my loot bag of T3's and ultrasound paperwork and off we went. The whole thing hadn't taken more than about an hour from start to finish-not bad Foothills, not bad.


  1. I think that cough could have been stress or an allergic reaction. I was sneezing a lot after surgery and that was very upsetting and painful. I was also allergic to the codeine in the T3 and that made me vomit, that was awful after that kind of surgery. You did the right thing to check it out immediately. I hope the cough has gone away .

  2. Thanks Joan-it has gone away. It was a result of a cold I got right as I was leaving the hospital. I am sorry the T3's made you sick-I am very lucky I dding have to go through that but a donor friend of mine had the same reaction to morphine. I am sure that would be worse than coughing and sneezing together!