Posts Tagged ‘Lithotripsy’

Gene’s Ordeal

 

It has been a rough, tough summer for Gene. In six weeks time he had four surgery procedures: one shoulder and three for kidney stones.  People are asking how he is doing…..he is now well on the road to recovery and feeling much better. He was even back in the hayfield driving tractor this week.

The beginning of August I wrote about the start of his ordeal in “When Things Pile Up”. For two months he has basically called the lazy boy “his home” (day and night) and his recreation was doctor visits and surgeries. I have teased him about his lineup of prescription bottles.  He could hardly keep them straight. One week he had a medical appointment of some kind every day. He couldn’t drive so I was his “Uber” chauffeur, Meals on Wheels and “Visiting Angels” caregiver. It really wasn’t too difficult but it sure is good to have my good-natured hubby back.

His shoulder is doing well and he can raise his arm above his head. It still aches some and is weak. He is having some issues with his wrist but that seems to be a result of the trauma to the nerve in the shoulder. He wasn’t able to complete his shoulder therapy because of the stone attack and surgeries but he plans to start again to help regain his strength.

His kidney stones turned out to be a bigger deal than the shoulder.  He passed one and a week later was hit with a second stone which he couldn’t pass. He ended up in the ER and was admitted to the hospital. They wanted to do a Lithotripsy (blast the stone) but he had to be transferred to another medical facility to do it but his pain was too severe. They ended up doing surgery to insert a stint. The stint prevented the stone from leaving the kidney until they could do a Lithotripsy. In the meantime, the stone moved in the kidney to a place where they could not see it. They decided to try to retrieve it with a basket. That surgery was not successful.  Finally the stone moved to where it was visible once again on x-ray and they were able to blast that little 5 mm sucker to sand bits. They removed the stint and within a day he was feeling like he was going to be a normal person once again.  He still battles fatigue and is having to pace himself to regain his strength. He was down for a full two months. It is amazing how pain, multiple surgeries and anesthesia sap the strength from the body.

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While Gene was going through this ordeal we were in the process of remodeling our front porch into a sunroom.

Cousin Joe provided great entertainment for him!  I kidded Joe about having to “baby-sit”!!!

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Some days I found him on the patio just looking and watching his cows and the happenings of the day.

 

 

 

When Things Pile Up

This has been a rough six weeks and it is not over yet.

The end of June Gene’s shoulder suddenly got very, very painful. Extreme would be a better description.  He had all the classic symptoms of a torn rotator cuff  but he didn’t know how he had hurt it.  They did a MRI and it showed a tear.

When asked on a scale of 1-10 how bad it hurt, he would say, “15. I have had kidney stones and this is worse.” He had constant excoriating pain with no relief. A week later they did surgery and discovered that instead of a torn rotator cuff, he had calcified tendonitis and bone spurs. The layer of calcium on his tendons was 1′ thick. They had to scrap all the calcium off the tendon and remove the bone spurs. The layers of calcium on the MRI had the illusion of a tear and the symptoms were the same as a torn cuff except the recovery is much quicker and easier.  The surgeon said it was the worse case he has seen.

Recovery. Therapy. Tired. Aching muscles. More recovery. More therapy.

Two weeks ago on Sunday morning he woke up feeling terrible. He had pain in his groin and his back hurt. He thought it was sore muscles from his therapy exercises but the next morning proved him wrong. He passed a kidney stone!

Ten days later (this past Wednesday evening) at 5:30 the ominous pain hit again. Four hours later I was in the ER with a man in terrible pain. He said,  “I take back what I said. I had forgotten how bad kidney stones were.”

Pain. Terrible pain. Horribly miserable. Pain meds. No relief.

To make a long story short, Gene has seven more stones between his two kidneys. They kept him overnight and on Thursday they did surgery to put in a stint to see if it will help him pass the stones. Right now there is a large one causing the problem. If he does not pass it in the next several days they will do a lithotripsy next week to break the stone into smaller pieces.

We are not out of the woods yet with this ordeal.  Gene has to finish getting over the shoulder surgery and therapy and kidney stones all at the same time. We don’t know what kind of trouble the seven little stones will cause. Gene told someone tonight that he is now in the mining business!!!

When things pile up it helps to count your blessings. 100 years ago people died from kidney stones and there would not have been a solution to his shoulder issue.  We are so blessed with modern medicine and we do not want to take it for granted. But more than anything I want to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for allowing us the privilege of benefiting from these blessings.

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