My kidneys are a seething, roiling cauldron of white blood cells and LIES!

I have long since been operating under the notion that my kidneys are fucking rockstars; shining examples of health and strong investment portfolios. I may be a homely specimen with ill tempers and a lack of morals that make the elders tut as I walk by, but my kidneys have long since been lauded as brilliant. It’s one of the Great Truths in all that is Kimli: I have fantastic tits, I’m smarter than the average bear, and MY KIDNEYS ARE AWESOME. Even on my worst days, the ones where Twitter has been reporting that Romney was ahead of Obama all afternoon, I could sit back and think “at least my kidneys are fine” .. but now? Now I don’t even have THAT.

I woke up at 3 this morning with a cat on my chest and a deep ache in my right side. I didn’t think much of either, but the ache wouldn’t go away and throughout the day, got worse – a throbbing twang that made me break out into a sweat with every radiating pulse. It was bad enough that I wasn’t satisfied with simply asking Twitter what for a diagnosis: I took myself to the walk-in clinic in my building mid-morning to check in for an appointment, then went back upstairs to research appendicitis and elliptical pregnancies and Flukeman lore. Eventually my appointment time came and I sweatily hobbled back downstairs to wait for a doctor; in an alarming amount of pain the entire time.

The doctor (who was completely awesome and in 5 minutes showed more concern for me than my current pill dealer ever has – I may be making a switch; he was wearing a bright orange Hawaiian shirt for crying out loud) asked me my symptoms, then told me to get my ass over the hospital ASAP for an ultrasound: I very likely had kidney stones, and shit was about to get real bad real fast. He wrote me a note excusing me from work, gave me directions to the hospital, and told me to follow up with him afterwards; wishing me luck and haste with a comforting hand on the back. I went back to the office worried but glad I had a plan I could put into action to make all this stupid pain go away.

.. eventually. See, I got back to the office at 12:59pm and I had a 1pm meeting that I had called. I knew I needed to go to the hospital NOW, but .. well, I had a meeting to go to. So I did. I was in a lot of pain and kind of out of it, but it was an important meeting. Shut up. I take my work seriously, damnit.

After the meeting, I gathered my things and fled the office. I somehow found myself a cab and directed it to the hospital (I had to give the cab driver directions to a hospital just outside of downtown – alarming), while coordinating a planned attack with Ed in which he went home to grab the car then meet me in the ER. Luckily, the ER was quiet save for one other patient and the hen-like chatter of the admitting staff (I learned a thousand things about them, including their financial statuses and susceptibility for investment schemes). It took a little longer to get me into see a doctor than I hoped, but simply because my health wasn’t the most pressing issue in the room: rather, it was “WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE FABULOUS BOOTS?!” My admitting lady dragged everyone in the ER out from behind the glass to look at my boots, then said I have an awesome sense of style and should open a boutique in which I import all the great things I wear and sell them to other people. All of this is true – I am totally a fashion icon like Audrey or Diana – but I was also practically WRITHING IN PAIN and did not want to have a conversation about my favourite online stores and how brave I am for buying my clothes on the internet.

Thankfully, a nurse saved me by telling me I needed to give her a sample of my precious pee so I was able to get away to make an utter mess of myself. If there is a graceful, hygenic way to provide urine that doesn’t involve a flesh tube sticking out of my boxers, then I don’t know about it – but I gave up some pee, and was ushered into the hospital proper to change into a fancy gown and await my fate. A doctor came in to ask about my symptoms and agreed that I most likely had kidney stones, and would send me in for a CAT scan. Someone whisked away my urine, someone came to steal my blood, and another jabbed me with something that he promised would make me feel real good (he may not have been a doctor, now that I think about it). Momentary hilarity arose when yet another doctor came in to put stickers all over me – he was there to check my heart for some reason. He got all the way through covering me in stickers (something I could have done myself because I usually do) before he thought to ask me my name – and lo, I wasn’t the droids patient he was looking for. Off came the stickers (I think he was just trying to feel my boobs and belly fat), and I wished him luck in finding the correct patient. More waiting, some whining on Twitter, and I was given some fashionable blue booties so I could shuffle off to my CAT scan in style.

The scan, which had nothing to do with cats, was kind of neat. I got to go into a gonad-frying hospital donut (with the bed raised to 169.0 from 500.0 on account of my being so short and coincidental) and hold my breath for a series of scans, and – get this – not a single person or group of tourists had to look at my vagina. It was glorious – I stayed fully covered and no one crowded around to peep a glimpse at my famous labia. Yay! But, back to my kidneys – after the scan, the clinician (who didn’t once look at my vulva) sent me back to my waiting room and told me the doctor would be with me as soon as my results were ready.

I hadn’t been in the room for long when Ed showed up, so I had some company and a witness to my diagnosis: as usual, the fancy and gold-standard of medical scans showed nothing at all. I don’t actually HAVE kidney stones .. but judging by the enormous number of white cells in my urine and blood, I have one hell of a raging kidney infection. The doctor prescribed me a whole lot of antibiotics and Advil, then sent me home with a dire warning that should I feel at all worse in the next 48 hours, I was to get myself back to the hospital IMMEDIATELY (meetings be damned). Ed drove me home, then filled my prescription for me while I slept until the mystery painkillers wore off – and that’s where we are now: a whole lot of pain but a clear plan for getting better, and the best news to come out of America in four years (YAY OBAMA!).

I don’t actually know where this infection came from, but I will be glad when it’s gone. In the meantime, I kind of hurt a lot – I’m in for an uncomfortable night, but at least I can stop having nightmares about rich white men starting WWIII from a seat of significant power.


5 thoughts on “betrayal

  1. I had a kidney infection once and I honestly thought that I was dying. I can’t believe that kidney stones are worse, because the pain from the infection was fucking incredible. The hospital shot me full of some sort of opiod before sending me home; Paul drove while I told him all about the horses running along side the car. Then I demanded chocolate and made him stop at a 7-11. He left me in the car, and when he returned I was deep in conversation with a hobo about the night-horses that run around after midnight in Burnaby.
    Make sure to drink a lot of fluid to help flush the infection out of your kidneys. A trick I learned from working in a vet clinic is to take the evening dose of antibiotics before bedtime so they sit in your kidneys and bladder as long as possible. It works in cats and people!

  2. Ugh, my sympathies – a kidney infection I had a few years ago was the sickest I have ever felt. I felt rotten for a week or so after I stopped taking the antibiotics, then one day I just suddenly, magically, started feeling better – I went from “WHY DO I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP” to absolutely normal in literally 20 minutes. Weirdest feeling EVAH! I had a couple of bladder infections in the six months after that (watch out for that and treat any signs ASAP), but nothing as bad as the kidney infection, and I’ve been clear for 7 or 8 years since then. Good luck!

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