On our way to buy our daughter a router for her dorm room, I felt a pain in my back. I rubbed it, but unlike a muscle ache, this one was……not cooperating. Within 5 minutes I had to pull over and have my wife drive. My caring wife asked if we should go to the ER. She reminded me that anywhere else, I would have to get a prescription for pain meds. I, in all my wisdom asked that she take me to the urgent care. Why? In my mind there were two factors.
- ER trips are long and for really serious issues like I cut off my uvula in a freak chopstick incident or I was impaled by a chopstick after it nearly took out my uvula. That sort of thing.
- I was in urgent pain, but it didn’t feel emergent, so urgent care seemed like a good idea.
We headed to Urgent care. As we drove, I began curling up in the back seat wishing every street in Bismarck were much smoother. We pull up and get out of the truck only to see that the Urgent Care clinic was closed. This was the point that “urgent” became “emergent”. The pain had increased and had no signs of relief. Off to the ER we went.
Let’s talk about the pain scale they use in the medical profession. 1 through 10 is the scale where 1 is no pain and 10 is all the pain. Not being one to “toot” my own horn, I long ago decided that my pain chart would reserve 8,9, and 10 for:
8: I think I might be dying
9: Yep, I’m sure. I am dying. This amount of pain can only result in death.
10: WHY IN ALL **** AM I NOT DEAD YET?
Now what I encountered is that the awesome nurses in the ER are all jaded to patients all claiming that their pain, like Spinal Tap the Band, goes to 11. When I told them it was “8”, the response was almost, “oh, that’s it” until by beautiful wife explained my reserved pain threshold numbers and that “8” was pretty bad.
I remember hearing the discussion between my wife and the nurse and having the thought that all this debate is taking time that could be used in getting me something to deal with this pain.
What felt like an hour passed, and the ER nurse tells me I’m getting Dilaudid. Now I must explain that I have a tendency to pass out when I get blood drawn for tests. Getting an IV was something I had never experienced until now. The pain was so intense, I did not care where they even put the IV. Anyway, the nurse gave me the Dilaudid and within 60 seconds or so, all my kidney stone pain was gone. Also, the bruising on my side from where I pressed to try to manually move the kidney stone was also gone. I was cured! Thank you nurse for healing me. Glad that is over, let’s go home.
Nope. That shot was good for about 2 hours. I got to sleep in that 2 hours, which was great because I had not slept since this ordeal began. I slept like it was the first day of vacation. The lights were on, people were all around me and I had a needle in my arm, but the sweet sweet nectar of Dilaudid made it all better. It was all better until the ER Doctor came in and said I was going to have surgery the next day to remove the kidney stone