On Friday January 31, I took Don back to the hospital for yet another outpatient procedure – lithotripsy. That is where they blast the kidney stone with sonic waves in an attempt to shatter it so it can pass. Don has two stones, one on each side, blocking his ureters (hence the nephrostomy bags), but his urologist only worked on one side, in an excess of caution. The docs put Don to sleep and blasted his back for a while, but rather than bust the stone into grit, it broke into a couple of pieces and is still right where it was. The upshot is that nothing much happened. We’re supposed to go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks, since one can only receive lithotripsy once every two weeks, apparently. I don’t know what this all means. One step at a time, the urologist tells me. There have been some encouraging signs in the past couple of days – he’s passed some urine naturally (Isn’t this a pleasant topic? This is my life lately. Urine.)
Tomorrow, (Monday Feb 2) it’s back to the cardiologist for a quick check of the ICD (pacemaker/defibrillator device). The ICD implant is healing very well, so I don’t anticipate any difficulties with that.
Day before yesterday, I ran into a friend in the grocery store. She’s been receiving updates on Don’s difficulties, and passed on her good wishes. She also told me that she had just stopped off at the store after bringing her mother, who was waiting in the car, home from the hospital after treatment for congestive heart failure. Our friend retired a couple of years ago, and has been enjoying herself immensely, but her mother’s health difficulties have taken precedence over everything. “I went from living a carefree life, to this…” she told me. I know the feeling. It’s not that you resent the caretaking. In fact, it’s a privilege and an honor to take care of someone you love.
It’s just such a shock. Your life changes in the blink of an eye. In fact, in my experience, this is usually the way it happens – WHAM-O! So be prepared.
p.s. I’ve had to postpone another event, much against my will. I won’t be speaking at the Society of Southwest Authors in Tucson on February 15. Until Don’s problems are resolved, I won’t be doing any out of town trips in February.