18 Hours, $150 bucks, and 0 Kids. Fun? Hardly.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tell me if our day last Friday doesn't sound like a surprise romantic getaway for the Normal Mormon Wife dreamed up by her thoughtful, fun-loving husband:

-I take the day off work without the NMW knowing anything about my plans beforehand.
-Our three children are cared for by friends for most of the day, giving us sweet privacy.
-We spend $150 in less than 12 hours.
-Our adventure begins at 7:30 a.m. and lasts until 3:00 a.m. the following day (Saturday).
-Heavy, heavy hallucinogenic drugs were freely administered throughout the day.

Well, folks, our day last Friday proceeded exactly in that manner. But not only was our day a complete surprise to the NMW, it was a surprise to me as well. And instead of heading out for some ditch-the-kids-for-the-day retreat, the NMW and I spent most of the day in the Emergency Room as I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. The kidney stone's name is Lenny.

Lenny is a jerk and I hate him.

I woke up on Friday morning with a sharp pain in my right abdominal region and I just chalked it up to the usual stuff - a cramp, Taco Bell related gas, the fact that our house was built on a Native American cemetery, etc. - and tried to get ready for work. But the pain increased to the point that I had the NMW take me to my doctor at 9:00 a.m. My doctor found a lot of blood in my urine and referred me to the ER for additional testing.

I thanked my doctor and proceeded to vomit in his trash can.

We managed to drop off our kids with a friend (you know who you are, you little lifesaver you - thank you!) and we went to America's Funnest Spot - The ER! Here is how the rest of our day unfolded:

10:00 a.m. - Arrive at E.R. and pay $50 copay. No sign of George Clooney or Anthony Edwards. We're off to a good start.

10:45 a.m. - I have been admitted and now look and sound like a woman in labor. I am wearing a hospital gown and groaning in pain while the NMW strokes my hair like a doulah and says, "Remember to keep breathing..." They say the closest a man can get to childbirth is passing a kidney stone. Out of respect for my sweet wife, we will have no more children.

10:54 a.m. - The nurse hooks me up to an IV with pain meds. The drug immediately burns through my body like a big gulp of Stephen's Gourmet Hot Chocolate on a cold December day, easing my pain for the first time in four hours.

10:57 a.m. - I groggily ask the NMW with a smile, "What's the name of THAT drug?", referring to what is in the IV. The NMW is now afraid I will end up on an episode of A&E's Intervention.

11:15 a.m. - The pain meds are making me hallucinate. I ask the NMW if I am holding keys in my hand (I'm not) because I can feel keys in my hand. I ask her if I'm wearing shoes (I am) because I can't feel them on my feet. I start laughing and tell the NMW I just saw the star of My Name Is Earl's drivers license and he has a huge afro in his photo. Lastly, I tell her that I thought I was in our front yard watching the kids throw cherries at the house for several minutes before I thought they should stop. Who needs TV when you have narcotics?

12:50 p.m. - The ER doctor tells me I have a 4 mm kidney stone, writes me several hundred prescriptions, then discharges me. As we leave the hospital I thank the staff for their excellent care by throwing up in their bathroom. (I've always been terrible with good-byes.)

1:30 p.m. - We are now back at home where I can repeatedly vomit in the privacy of my own bathroom.

2:42 p.m. - The NMW realizes the refrigerator is not working. She immediately calls a serviceman to come look at it before the weekend kicks in.

3:15 p.m. - Our neighbor tells the NMW that water is leaking from our property onto his, most likely from a leak in our sprinkler system.

4:08 p.m. - The NMW withdraws $2,970 from savings and flees for Mexico. (I mean, can you blame her at this point? Maybe it was a bad idea to build our house on that Native American cemetary after all.)

7:00 p.m. - After vomiting the entire day, we call the ER and they tell me I need to come back for another IV, anti-nausea medication, and more pain meds (yipeeee!). Another wonderful friend agrees to hang out at our house until we return, which ends up being six hours later.

7:20 p.m. - Another $50 copay.

7:30 p.m. - There are about twelve depressed people in the ER waiting room as Two And A Half Men airs on TV. I have never seen more than two seconds of this inane show and it immediately gets on my nerves. The NMW and I play a game called, "How long can pass without the laugh track?" The record? Twelve seconds. I think an actual script of that show reads as follows:

Dude 1: "Good morning." (queue laugh track)
Dude 2: "And good day to you, sir." (queue extreme laugh track)
Boy: "Sir? More like sirloin!" (queue outrageous laugh track for seven straight minutes)

Yes, I wrote that myself. If my HR career doesn't work out maybe I can write a sitcom. Sitcom? More like sit-bomb! (queue laugh track).

7:48 p.m. - The NMW tells me the ER waiting room "Smells like Otto's jacket." This is a code word we swiped from The Simpsons to say it smells like marijuana. Not only does it smell like Otto's jacket in here, but his socks and underwear are probably in here too.

8:02 p.m. - WWE Friday Night Smack Down is now on TV. Nothing takes your mind off of your pain like watching steroid-fueled wrestlers whack one another over the head with metal chairs as the announcer yells, "OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!" I'm pretty sure this IS the Telestial Kingdom.

9:11 p.m. - Still in the waiting room and the NMW is hungry. She uses twelve dimes to buy a Rice Krispy Treat from the vending machine in the waiting room, but the machine has problems accepting dimes. She has to push them in real hard or else the get spit back out, like a George Brett wad of tobacco circa 1982. It takes her about thirty tries to finally get her snack. Every person in the ER gets a kick out of the display, especially the guy who smells like Otto's jacket.

10:35 p.m. - Finally get admitted.

11:34 p.m. - Finally get my IV. But this is a really, really bad omen. 11:34 is the worst time of the day because it's hexed. Or at least the NMW and I think 11:34 is hexed. If you turn a digital clock upside down at 11:34 is spells "H-E-Double Hockey Sticks" so we try to avoid 11:34 at all costs. With my luck they probably accidentally gave me IV's consisting of barbecue sauce, Elmer's glue and Clorox. But I've heard hospitals are not legally liable for weird things that happen at 11:34, what with it being hexed and all.

1:50 a.m. - Discharged with several dozen more prescriptions.

2:15 a.m. - Stop at 24-hr pharmacy to get prescriptions filled. Oh, and to also watch crack deals transpire down the street.

3:00 a.m. - Get home, thank babysitter, perform a voodoo doll ritual on Lenny (the kidney stone) and go to bed.

Well, five days later and I still haven't met Lenny. He's just hiding out in my ureters, bungee jumping and whatnot. I can't wait to meet this guy. I bet our encounter will go something like this:

Me: "So, Lenny, it's...uh...nice to finally meet you." (queue mild laugh track)

Lenny: "Same here. Thanks for letting me crash at your place the last few days." (queue regular laugh track)

Me: "Lenny, I hope you like knock-knock jokes 'cuz I've got one for you. Knock knock." (queue uproarious laugh track)

Lenny: "Who's there?"

Me: "Urine." (queue extreme laugh track)

Lenny: "Urine who?"

Me: "Urine big trouble now, bucko!" (queue laugh track where they guy's head literally exploded he was laughing so hard)

***Fade to black***

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23 comments

Julie said...

So very, very sorry. I've never had a kidney stone, but practically everyone else in my family has. My sister has had about 20 in the last five years (literally). She currently has a 3mm in one kidney and a 5mm in the other. She doesn't name hers, though. I guess she's not as cool as you are.

Good luck. I hate Lenny too, on your behalf.

12:21 AM
Megan said...

You're day sounds so much more enjoyable than the NMW's account. I had an audible giggle about you having no more children. Every man ought to experience a kidney stone! And... we're so stealing "Otto's jacket".

7:13 AM
Amber said...

Aahhhh....I needed a good laugh. That was therapeutic at least for me. Hope things "work out" pretty soon! (que very weak laugh track)

7:26 AM
Ang said...

The fact that you can have a sense of humor about all this shows that you most certainly ARE a better person than me. Not that there was ever any doubt. I've been thinking about you every day! C'mon Lenny! Time to vacate the premises!

7:35 AM

Amber- Excellent use of the laugh track. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had a real-life personal laugh track we could fire up after we make a joke? Even if the joke bombs you could still geneate mild guffaws.It would be like having your own Paul Shaffer - only bigger! (Queue laugh track.)

8:52 AM

Amber- Excellent use of the laugh track. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had a real-life personal laugh track we could fire up after we make a joke? Even if the joke bombs you could still geneate mild guffaws.It would be like having your own Paul Shaffer - only bigger! (Queue laugh track.)

8:52 AM
Sandy said...

Bummer on the kidney stone, but thanks for the laugh...and be grateful you are on a $50 co-pay! I think a laugh track would be very helpful while giving talks in Sacrament Meeting...you know, for when you say something "funny" in the middle of a talk to liven things up and everyone looks at you with blank stares...crickets chirping in the background...

9:06 AM
Homer and Queen said...

I hate ER's...and kidney stones! To bad Otto's jacket wasn't there during the good IV!

9:16 AM
Maren Hansen said...

You win for making a pretty good lemonade of a super sour lemon. Keep the humor coming and make good on the offer to dish it up to Lenny...

9:39 AM
Chris said...

I could take care of those Indian burials for you. I'd even lend you my bullwhip and let you punch a Nazi while I dig.

9:58 AM
Brenda said...

Really great post. Who knew kidney stones could be so funny.

10:18 AM
NMW said...

When we were going through this terrible ordeal of a day, the NMH said, "One day we'll laugh about this." I was thinking it would be years down the road.

Thanks for making it so much sooner.

11:01 AM
mama cow said...

Are you going to save it? I heard they are really pretty. Do you think you could make a necklace out of it for your wifes birthday?

11:06 AM
Diagnose Rachel said...

No lenny, and yet you still do such an awesome post?!?! You on drugs is impressive.
LOVE the first ER story. LOTHE the second one.

Can't wait to hear about Lenny's appearance. I'm dissapointed that you have mentioned the stuff they gave you to "collect rocks" from your urine.

:) Get well soon. And share some drugs with NMW when she gets crabby. Sometimes it's best to grind it up and share a smoothie with a spouse. Illness is much easier on the family this way.

1:07 PM
carmar76 said...

LOL Thanks for the news on 11:34. even after years of making words on calculators, that never occurred to me, that 11:34 is the hexing hour.

I hope Lenny leaves soon! He seems to have overstayed his welcome.

5:22 PM
Jared said...

Your hospital posts have been brilliant so far! This coupled with your Tuesday Daily Update had me rolling on the floor with laughter. OK, not literally but I'm sure I heard a laugh track or two amidst my guffaws. I hope Lenny passes on soon. :)

7:44 PM
Chellers said...

Having experienced both a kidney stone and labor, everyone always asks me which is worse. I can't really say because I had DRUGS with each! But I definitely feel your pain. (The only time I was openly swearing, however, was during the kidney stone, so maybe it was worse!---or they didn't get me the drugs fast enough.)

Here's to hoping this ordeal is over soon...

10:30 AM
MommaRose said...

I feel your pain, literally. I took an uninsured $700 nap in the ER once due to one of Lenny's relatives. Morphine is awesome. I wanted to kiss in a non-wholesome way the person that got it in my veins. I have had them a few more times but nothing compared to that first time. I loved your post because I can so empathize with it all. Thanks for the laugh ( and laugh tracks) and may you meet Lenny soon and then send him to sleep with the fishes.

12:48 PM
Heather said...

Well, at least it wasn't Christmas Eve morning/day 2006, coupled with the fact that it was Sunday morning, and that we were getting ready for 9 a.m . church, and also the fact that we had a 7 month old, 5 year old, and a 7 year old excited about Christmas the next day. My husband thought it was just an upset stomach. He was WRONG! I had to call 911 and ask for an ambulance, and they sent the local fire truck AND an ambulance (a $500 combined bill, after the insurance company paid them off). By the time he got into the ambulance, he felt fine, but when it got time to hit the road, he started throwing-up, and they took him to the nearest urgent care center (not the one he needed to go to, just the nearest). They released him that night (a $200 treat). He had to take 2 more trips to the urgent care, in the middle of the night (at $100 a pop), and the only thing that helped were hot shower's, a heating pad the magic of MORPHINE. He said that it was the best stuff EVER! And nothing works ( ex. regular medicine) on him. He was definitely in LALA land. He ended up with a kidney stone that apparently looked like one of those mace things with barbs on it that Knights use to pound on other unsuspecting Knights. He never named it, but it took from Christmas eve morning until New years Day to pass. And the urologist said that they could do nothing to help it along faster. Just to drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. HA! There was no rest, just periods of lucidity between the pain that was constantly there, and it was much worse for him at night. Luckily, his mom and dad took the kids for Christmas eve day and Christmas day, so I just had to deal with the baby, and the 7 month old. (Laugh track here). My kids were unsure if Santa knew where to find them. It was so sad and so cute at the same time. Seriously though, I hope all goes well with you, and thank your lucky stars for your wife putting up with you AND the kids. She must be one 7734 (read upside-down) of a Woman! Oh, and by the way, Santa did find the kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house. They were very excited!

4:57 PM
Ang said...

Thinking about you today, and finding it hilarious that all your google ads are about drug rehab.

7:06 AM
DeNae said...

I've come late to the party and am therefore hopeful that Lenny has made his appearnance and moved on to more promising roles.

And I'm pretty sure Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen are the gatekeepers to one of those circles of hell.

AND I read "ureters" as "uterus" and for a couple beats wondered just what you had contracted while sitting out there in Otto's parlor.

11:31 AM
Jamie said...

So sorry you had to experience Lenny. When I had our first kid, the hospital didn't do epidurals. I forgot what they gave me, but I was so mad at the contractions (the meds did nothing for the pain) interrupting my lawn mowing.

7:01 PM
M-O-R-G-A-N-'S said...

In June of this year I was headed to a good friends after dropping off my oldest at school. The school called and my daughter was upset she didn't know it was Pajama day. So my friend gets her daughter's p.j's and we head to the school. Just as we arrive my husbands coworker calls me. My husband is at the E.R. with stomach pains. Turns out it was he had a kidney stone. Which by the way, sits to this day on our counter by the kitchen sink in a plastic cup from the hospital. lol

Glad "Lenny" is no longer causing you pains.

8:37 AM