Monday, June 10, 2013

Where's Waldo.....uhh... the Redhead?

illnesses, illness, abdominal pain, the redhead

Have you been wondering where this crazy redhead went?   Maybe you figured I was off to a tropical locale?   I wish, but since I'm one of those redheads that can get a sunburn by laying out at night during a full moon phase, a tropical locale is unlikely.

Maybe you thought I'd run out of topics to discuss?  I'm a redhead.  It's a rare day indeed when I run out of topics to blather about.

Maybe I've gone shopping........ with my Mother? This idea is much more plausible as my Mother can shop for days on end and walk the legs off a billy goat when shopping for the perfect outfit or pair of shoes........... or, heaven forbid, both.  But no, I haven't been shopping.

The reality:  It's nothing that exciting.  I've just been under the weather.

Being born a stubborn redhead, I refused to acknowledge that my body was not functioning normally.  I put off my symptoms as being several things such as:  peri-menopausal with body temperatures fluctuating between being hot enough to produce molten lava, to being so cold I donned my goose-down puffer coat with a warm fuzzy scarf, mittens, and ski hat in 90+ degree weather......... and both within 20 minutes of each other.  If it wasn't peri-menopausal symptoms, then I told myself I was just not eating right, wasn't getting enough sleep, or maybe eating something that may have been just a touch "off".  And, being a Mom whose kids were in the final weeks of school before summer break, I really did not have the time, or luxury, to be sick.  There were class functions, grade promotion ceremonies, award ceremonies, parent/teacher conferences, field trips, and on, and on.

My symptoms had been going on for quite some time but I chose to ignore them.  At the nagging of my best friend, I called the doctor and made an appointment to see what the problem was.  While my BFF is not a redhead, I'm pretty sure she carries the redheaded gene for persistence.  Our phone conversations started with "Hi! ........ Have you made a doctor's appointment yet?", or "How are you feeling?..........When is your doctor's appointment?".  We'd be talking about food, exercise, and losing weight, and she'd use it as an opening to ask "Yeah, when's your doctor's appointment again?".  She was getting just feisty enough that I knew she was about to pull out the big guns. Rather than having her call and sick my Mother on me, or get the "you're a mother to young children who need you to be around to raise them" lecture (for the 10,000th time), I gave in and made the appointment.

At my physician's office, the nurse called me back and with "the look", promptly handed me a clear Dixie cup and pointed me to the restroom.  My doctor's nurse is kind of like a Chihuahua - she's small but mighty.  You do not fuss with her.  I obediantly entered the restroom.  "Oh!  You have got to be kidding me!", I said as soon as she flicked on the light.  The toilet was so tiny and low to the ground it looked like a toddler's potty training chair.  With a firm "Go", the nurse closed the restroom door. 

The doctor diagnosed me with a kidney infection, prescribed an antibiotic and firmly instructed me to drink lots of water and sent me on my way.  Off to the pharmacy I went and picked up my prescription, happily thinking I'd be good to go in a day or so.

Within 2 days things were getting worse, so off to the Urologist I went.  He did some labs and determined I did not have a kidney infection.  The Urologist immediately started going over an action plan as to what tests he felt were needed.  I sat in the room as he told me I needed a CT scan because I could have a kidney stone or a tumor.  The horror stories of friends passing kidney stones immediately flashed through my mind with lightning speed.  As I was mulling this information over, the doctor went on to say that he felt a bladder scope would also be necessary if the CT scan came back negative.  As he got out his diagram of the human body and started to describe what was involved, I wasn't sure whether to pass out or hit the door at a full run.  He must've noticed how I was sizing him up to see whether I could run over him like a defensive tackle to get out the door, because he quickly switched gears and said that we'd just take it one test at a time.

I scheduled the CT scan, little realizing that it would be conducted at a urology CT scan center whose clientele base consisted almost entirely of elderly men.  When I walked up to the receptionist, she asked "Name?" and I gave her mine.  She smiled and said "No, I need the patient's name.".  With a deep sigh, an uncontrolled eye roll, and a great deal of embarrassment, I said that I was the patient.  With quickly diverted eyes, and an "Oh!" she quickly checked me in.

The Radiologist's report came back with lightning speed and it was determined I do indeed have a pretty nasty infection.  Well, thank goodness for that because that meant there was no need for that bladder scope and I didn't have to "pass" the greatly feared kidney stone.
I thought this would be the lesser of the evils and it would be a breeze when I was put on a liquid diet for 2 days.  Famous last words. By the end of those first 2 days, I was so hungry I could?
a) gnaw the bark off a tree
b) eat the tail end out of a skunk
c) think road kill looked like a gourmet feast
d) all of the above

The answer was "d) all of the above".

I am doing much better now and while I have graduated to a soft food diet and am getting enough food to satisfy my hunger, the physical urge to sink my teeth into something firm and chew has become quite strong.  Our dog must have noticed me staring at her chew bones because she has started hiding them from me.  On the bright side, I've lost 13 pounds with the dietary changes........ just in time for swimsuit season........... 

So, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and hold on tight because the The Redhead Sez is back!

by: Christie Bielss

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