Last Friday I started feeling bad. I can deal with a lot of discomfort, but this was knocking me on my ass, literally. I had to leave work early, but still didn’t go to the hospital. I don’t have health insurance. My job doesn’t cover me yet and doctors are expensive, so I usually just stay home until I feel better.

Sunday night my boyfriend and a few others talked me into going to the hospital to get checked out. I agreed because I obviously wasn’t getting any better. (Let me insert a huge, heaping dose of gratitude for having great friends who care about my health and well-being. I haven’t always had this in my life, and it is much appreciated!) A couple hours, several bodily fluids, and a CT scan later, they tell me I have pyelonephritis (a.k.a. a kidney infection).

Now, I have always known kidney problems (infections, stones, or any other damage) suck. Like, really suck. I’ve seen people deal with kidney stones before; it’s not pretty. But I’d never actually had any real kidney issues, so I didn’t know what it felt like. Now I do. The stories are not exaggerated. For me, it’s less pain (most of the time) and more the other symptoms caused by having an improperly functioning and inflamed kidney (hot flashes, weakness, dizziness, allodynia, etc.) that bother me.

So the hospital sent me home after having me a take a horse pill of an antibiotic, and gave me two prescriptions to fill. The first was for four more of the horse pill antibiotics, and the other was for ten pills in the Vicodin family (Norco, but I got generic because… cheaper). Since it was after midnight by the time we (myself, boyfriend, and friend who drove) left, I had to fill them the next day. Unfortunately for me and my insomnia, one of the side effects of the antibiotic they gave me at 12:30 am is inability to sleep. I was awake until 3:30am Tuesday morning.

In addition to the medication, I wanted to pick up a few things I thought would be helpful. I was still so out of it I completely forgot until I was back Lamaze breathing on the couch. In particular I’d wanted to get cranberry juice. It is very helpful for flushing kidney and urinary tract infections (apple juice is also good, but I don’t like it). Thankfully, my boyfriend always has lots of lemon juice around for his whiskey sours, so I’ve been able to add it to my water on a consistent basis.

Tuesday I had two appointments to keep: the first at 11 am, the second was a walk-in any time before 3 pm. When I got home, I thought about helping a new neighbor move in, but then realized I was about to pass out from the exertion of the day. Today is my first day back at work; I’m hoping to make it to the end of the day.

Here’s to healthy kidneys!

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