When I was in college, I took Statistics. It was more of a "had to" than a "got to". It was the only legitimate math course I took in my four years there. For some reason, my computer science class Freshman year helped count toward my credits.
That said, I kind of dug statistics. Now, we had to do these online modules that drove me nuts, because they would kick out and start you over if you missed so many. I had one that I attempted at least six times and got burned on, typically, the next to last or last question. I think it's reasonable to assume that if I couldn't finish #5 but got everything before and after it, I was at least aware enough of the concepts to pass. Eventually, I had a friend in the class sit with me and talk me through the module, which is cheating, but I didn't care. I had to get through Statistics.
But the online stuff aside, I enjoyed the teacher. She was a youngish woman - short hair, petite, high energy and VERY PREGNANT. On day one of the class, she was visibly pregnant to a point where I thought she might give birth during class. Now, to be fair, what did I know about how pregnant someone was at any given time? I was maybe 20 years old. However, she was pretty far along, but to her everlasting credit, the statistician threaded the needle beautifully. Sometime in between our final class and our final exam, she gave birth. And she was AT THE EXAM! That's insane. Even at that young age, I knew that much.
I made a C in Statistics, and I was happy to have it. I made four Cs in college in total. The other three were Weather and Climate, Economics and, wait for it, a Playwriting class. That was my final term of school, and I was so done. I skipped class pretty regularly, and deserved the C. Whatever. I was still a decent student and a better writer than the class would have made me out to be.
Now, all of this is a preamble to the point I'm going to make.
Any time you hear a set of percentages, you know that you could fall on either side of those percentages. When I had my lithotripsy, three weeks ago tomorrow, I knew that it had a 70-90% of fixing things completely. And while everyone assumes they'll fall in that 70-90% range, there have to be 10-30% of folks who do not achieve resolution.
I am in that 10-30%. Here's what I know, and of course, how I know it. Last week, I went with Matt to his doctor's appointment, and because I was already in the right part of town for it, I went ahead and had my x-ray in advance of my upcoming appointment with the Urologist.
And here's what I learned, thanks to the radiology report on the patient portal. I still have a stone in my left kidney. It is 5mm. Basically, my 6mm stone got a haircut.
I decided that I wasn't going to give it any thought til I met with the doctor on Monday.
And I really didn't until Sunday. I had not slept well Saturday night because there was a house party in full swing near us, and they were night owls. We both slept in, and then, I went to an early dinner with a group of folks, one of whom was in town from Paducah to fly out of BNA early Monday.
Mid dinner, I started fading. And shivering. I could not get comfortable. The woman sitting next to me asked if I was OK. I said, "No, I don't think so". I got an Uber and went back home, and laid in bed. I had apparently worked up a good Urinary Tract Infection, because I spent the night feverish, and peeing constantly. I finally got enough meds onboard to break the fever, right around six AM. I had an 8:20 appointment with the Urology clinic, where I produced a scary looking specimen, presented with no fever, and cried a few times while meeting with the nurse practitioner.
Fun fact - if you have a UTI, it can affect your mental state. This is especially true in senior patients. If you have someone who appears to have a sudden onset of dementia, there's a good chance they have a UTI. It's weird, but you can Google it.
Anyway... here's the deal. Because of the fever (and, I have to assume the specimen), they put me on seven days of antibiotics. Then, next Friday, they're going to go in and retrieve my stone. They do this by sending a tiny camera on a wire up into my urethra, to the bladder, up the ureter and into the kidney. There is a little collection basket, and they can laser it into smaller parts to take it out. Sounds great. That's 92% effective.
Naturally, I asked, "And that other eight percent?" Apparently that would be someone with a much bigger stone. Gotta trust the science, I guess?
I drove straight home because I was uncomfortable and cold. Why it didn't occur to me that my fever was coming back, I don't know, but again, I plead altered mental state. I went home and collapsed for an hour, then realized, I need my antibiotics.
And that's where Andy comes into the equation.
At the moment, our street is undergoing major waterline repairs, and so we've had to park either down the street or on a side street for the past few weeks. It is not great, because you walk through a construction zone with limited visibility to get to your house. And I was not well enough to get across the street, get in my car, come back, park a block away and walk to the house.
So I called for an Uber. Andy arrived in his white Ford Explorer, and realized I had punched in the wrong Walgreens. He fixed the destination and asked, "Is this a round-trip ride?" I told him that I had not set it up that way, but that if he could make it work, I would tip really well. He was good with that. I was his final ride of the day. He offered to take me to the drive through, but I decided to go inside to get some aspirin and Gatorade. Offered to get Andy a cold drink - he passed. I was out within 7 minutes and on my way home. I was sweating profusely and very uncomfortable, but I am a woman of my word. I tipped Andy at about 150%, because not having to cross my street was well worth it.
|Look, even the most liberated princess needs a knight on a white steed to help her fetch her Bactrim.|
Spent the afternoon medicating, and once the antibiotic, aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen kicked in, the fever dropped. I felt, tired, but I managed to put clean sheets on the bed, unload the dishwasher, knock out some laundry, and even started a little dinner.
I slept OK that night - better than the night before, but not great. Came in to the office for a meeting, which was equal parts exhausting/invigorating and then did a call with my sorority taskforce. And then I slept like a dead woman.
And that brings us, down the long and winding road, to today.
I have canceled my trip to Atlanta because I don't trust my body to cooperate. I have her rescheduled for June, and that's good enough. Now, I'll go see her before then, because of course I will - but for now, I'm my top priority. Followed by Piper. Then Matt, then Mom, and from there, it's a scramble.
I'll keep you posted.