I would like to thank everyone for the supportive emails I received on my Slip ‘n Slide story. Recovery has been a long process (haha).
It dawned on me last week that I started dental school 20 years ago! I can’t even believe that 20 years have flown by so fast. My two oldest girls have completely gone through 12 years of grade school and college. My youngest daughter is starting her junior year in high school and actually drives herself to her job! I’ve been in the Navy, and my wife actually retired from the Navy during this time frame (she still holds her Lieutenant Commander rank in our house though).
Looking back, one event in particular sticks out in my mind: “The Kidney Stone Fiasco of ‘03”. If you have never lived through the pain of a kidney stone, then some of this will not make sense. I was experiencing some bleeding on urination, a side effect of a piece of shrapnel coursing its way down the ureter (which, by the way, is just one big long nerve, as far as I am concerned). Nothing will scare you more than seeing blood in your urine.
My doctor wanted to take a peak inside my bladder to make sure it was “just a kidney stone that was causing the bleeding.” He explained to me how he was going to insert a flexible camera to gain access to my bladder. What?! I asked him if there was an easier way, like maybe slicing open my back and removing all of my organs to get to it.
I ended up in a room lying on a steel table. The nurse lays this huge hose on my stomach in preparation for the procedure. I said, “Um… miss? There must be some mistake because that camera is way too big.” She informed me that I would be just fine and not to worry. Now, I don’t know if anyone has ever been to a Jiffy Lube, but there was a hose hanging from the ceiling in the room, with what looked like a gasoline nozzle on the end of it. Evidently, this was the apparatus that was going to pump some sort of numbing gel into the area to make everything more comfortable.
Shouldn’t I be put to sleep for this? It was bad enough having to be sprayed down with ice cold Betadine®, but the rest of this was going to be too much to handle. I am looking at all this stuff around me, and I can’t even comprehend how this is going to work. Without going to into all the details, I did survive the procedure. If I have to do that again, I will request ahead of time to be sedated. I did eventually pass the kidney stone, which is a whole different story.
Another great moment in the last 20 years was when I thought I was developing ulcers. I went to see a friend of mine who is a physician and told him I was having stomach pains. We were chatting in his private office, and he said he needed to check me. Right here?! He shut the door, and took out the paraphernalia that he needed.
To this day, I do not understand why he would have had all of this in his private office. I wasn’t too sure how to do this in his office, so he told me to just put my hands on his desk. So, there I am, ready for my exam, and I hear a knock on his door. “Come in!” Am I in some kind of horror movie right now? Well, in walked his secretary with his coffee. He thanked her and told her to set in on the desk. She glanced at me and said hello. (Is this really happening to me?)
“Oh, hi Linda.” My eyes were closed, because I was kind of hoping that if I didn’t see her, then she wouldn’t see me(my wife call this the ostrich theory). I was wrong. I later found out that I didn’t have ulcers, but I learned not to complain of stomach aches.
I guess the fact is I am getting older. These last 20 years have gone by so fast, but I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a great family, great friends, a great career, and at the moment, I’m healthy. (Whew!)
Have a great week.