Thursday, March 15, 2012
One Year Ago Tonight - Pre-OR Squirrelly & Tomorrow - HAPPY I Am Still Ureteral STENT FREE:)
When I leave to go down to Costco in a bit, I'm gonna play this song blasting, with the sun roof open, my hair blowing all over, while singing ..."And I'm FREEEEE ...STENT FREE ..EEEE ..eee ... and I'm FREEEEE ...STENT FREE ..EEEE ..eee! " ;)
(This post was written last night and today - St Patrick's Day. OOPS! Correction! Actually, with leap year, St Patrick's Day is tomorrow. Sooo ..then ...what I thought was a year ago tonight (last night) is really a year ago TONIGHT. And when I thought I was celebrating being stent Free on St Patrick's Day ..TODAY ...is really celebrating being stent free on St Patrick's Day TOMORROW. Okay, this is messing with my mind now and I have to get out the door soon. LEAP YEAR! Bottom line, St Patrick's Day is now my stent free celebration day. :)
One year ago tonight ...at about this time ...I was writing this post - "Surgery by Candlelight."
It's a humorous post (says me - it's how I vent :), about how I was feeling squirrelly about going into the OR the next morning to have the ureteral stent removed. And y-e-e-s-s-s ...I know ...for a frequent flier to the OR who knows the drill ...one would think ORs are blase for me by now ...but, they are not. And I'm pretty certain it's about the whole getting nekkid somewhere on my body and surrendering my control. Breezy would be fun ...if I didn't dread the loss of control. Heh ...I can be breezy sans medication ..magnify that and ..oh boy ..what DID I say??? :) Basically, I have this whole routine I do at home ...my own kind of OR prepping, before going into the OR. Okay that sounds weird - a patient having an OR routine. You expect the OR staff to have an OR routine. Not so much the patient.
However, thanks to that one big kidney stone that that got stuck in my ureter back in May, 2004 ...this patient became a frequent flier to the OR. Why couldn't it be a frequent flier to a beach house? I'm just sayin. Yeah ...that's it. You get a horrible kidney stone and the way to get rid of it and stay healed is the surgeon tells you to go the the beach and you must have repetitive visits to a beach house on the ocean. This is because inhaling the salt air and becoming one with the sea would facilitate a supernatural salt water osmosis process causing stones to dissolve internally, while simultaneously preventing any ureteral scarring. Something like that. I mean, urologists learn that in Basic Urology 101 ...right? Oh! And once your health insurance deductible is met, insurance pays at the UCR rates for your beach area until you hit catastrophic, at which point they will cover the beach house visits at 100% for the rest of the calendar year. A SeaSpray can dream. ;)
But ...I digress.
So a year ago tonight, I wrote the Surgery by Candlelight post. By the way, I still support that idea. After all ...ambiance and additional privacy facilitated by low light is everything. ;)
And tomorrow is St Patrick's day. Happy St Patrick's day!
This day now has another significance for me and that is it is now my one year anniversary since I had the mother of all ureteral stents removed. One whole year and I am still stent free ...YEEHA!
It is important to me because I had a ureteral stricture relapse after only 7 months post stent removal. And that just never happened before. As a matter of fact ...I was so taken by surprise that I truly thought I had a kidney stone. I was genuinely shocked and then grieved over it.
BUT ....here I am at 12 months post stent removal. :) And like I stated in a post last summer ...for the first time ever since this all happened, my lasix renal scan I had last June showed that kidney function in my right kidney went up a little. I take that as an encouraging sign. Thankfully, my left kidney has never had stones and all is well. My right kidney could keep me off dialysis ..but each time I had the ureteral stricture relapse ...function went down, even though I had been stented. It did not after this last time. It went up a bit. That never happened before. 'Tis a good thing. :)
I believe all healing comes from God and that while miracles do happen, he usually works through physicians to facilitate healing. I know I've said this many times before, but I am so very grateful to my wonderful urologist for working with me on this. I am also very grateful he gave me the option of having a larger stent put in after the smaller one was removed.
I know many people (4 surgeons, some family and friends) believed I should have the ureteral reconstructive surgery. I've just NEVER had the green light in my spirit. I tried to. Okay, one day I even said I did, but I think that was just me trying to be positive. The light went Red again. It would've been a high risk surgery that I just was not willing to do. I am so grateful that I have had more time with my family, was here to see our new grandson and able to be available for my dear friend, Iris, to get her to most of her appointments while she was being treated for stage IV lung cancer. I am so glad we spent all that time together.
I'm just so grateful I did not have to do it then. Admittedly ...there are some other time frames I have to surpass in which relapse did occur, but, I am healed and I thank God for that. I thank my urologist for listening to my concerns and working with me. God knows ...that dear urodoc has done everything in his power to help me and I know has gone the extra ten miles to facilitate healing in me, been patient with this patient and emotionally supportive as well.
And let me tell you ...I paid my dues with that big stent. It was uncomfortable with a capital "U"! And it was in longer than we initially planned ..so that by the time it did come out ...I was soooooooooooooo ready to be de-stented. I know ...I made up another word. I like it. :) And I am so glad it worked out that way. I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant keeping me forever away from that surgery. But, I won't have to because I believe this is it. I'm done. :)
My urologist cleared me last summer, based on the renal scan and I am still happy about that. :)
If the stent didn't, work ..then the writing would be on the wall for me. And ...I know ...some of you that are familiar with my case ...think you've seen that writing on the wall and that I just did not get to that room yet. Anyway, THAT stent would do it or nothing else would. I know that. Unless ...they came up with a new kind of stent that had a coating that permanently dissolved scarring along the ureter while in there ..I'm just saying ...or some new minimally invasive uro procedure that could do the same.
And because I am a person of faith ...I seriously believe in miracles. I always did. I know God heals directly, through physicians and medicine and sometimes never. I also think that even though medical intervention is needed ..the actual *healing* process is done by God. Also, I don't pretend to know the mind of God. But, since last winter ...something clicked ..after I read a particular book which inspired me to strengthen my faith that God healed me and then last summer ...another book has greatly impacted me on that subject. I will at some point share about those two books. I think that regardless of your position about God, you will find the stories to be compelling and certainly something to contemplate. I have been applying the principals to my own situation and I believe they help.
I would also say that just because a person is not healed ...does not mean God failed or does not care about a person. Sometimes things happen for reasons beyond our understanding and we just have to trust it will ultimately have a good outcome ...for a higher purpose.
However, while I am mindful of the need and thankful for medical intervention ...I wholeheartedly believe it is key to remain positive and believe God can, does and will heal a person and in this case me. It's in his hands now and I will just continue to thank him for healing me. My urologist cleared me last summer, based on the renal scan and I wholeheartedly embrace his words, based on my test results. :)