I probably should go buy some lottery tickets. I’ve had enough bad luck this week that something lucky is bound to come my way, right? I haven’t blogged about this yet, but two nights ago I was back in the ER. My stomach was still really protruded and I was passing between grape and kiwi-size blod clots. I was concerned about possible internal bleeding because of those large clots and the pain was terrible so I drove myself to the ER at 2am while my husband stayed at home with the kids. They ordered a blood draw and a CT scan to try to figure out why my stomach was rock hard and sticking out so far, and why I was having pain in my side and lower back.

This time, I was smart coming to the ER. As I slipped on my flip flops and walked out the door I grabbed my headphones, my phone charger, and a pair of socks so that if I ended up in the hospital for two days (like last time) I could watch Netflix in my hospital bed and keep my feet warm. I was lying in that small hospital bed waiting to go back for the CT scan and started eavesdropping on the conversations the nurses were having with each other at the nursing station right outside my room.  I was straining to hear what the muffled voices were saying but was able to make out that I was in the ER at 2am with ‘regulars’ who knew the nurses on a first-name basis, a child who had possible meningitis, and a man who had fallen off a ladder (how you fall off a ladder at 2am is unknown to me), plus many others whose stories I never heard.  It helped keep my mind off everything as I was trying to pick up the pieces of those nurse’s stories while I was waiting in that freezing cold ER room.

Oops, accidentally grabbed different colored socks. That was embarrassing!

Oops, accidentally grabbed different colored socks. That was embarrassing!

I heard a lady come back and tell the nurses she was ready to take me in for the CT scan.  I heard her ask one of the nurses why they didn’t do a urine test and if I could be pregnant, and the response was, “No, she is most definitely not pregnant.  She was just here on Wednesday for an ectopic pregnancy.  They removed the baby and her fallopian tube”.  Another reminder of that stupid surgery.  I walked back with the tech down the hallways of the hospital until we walked in a room with a giant CT scan machine.  I’ve never had a CT scan done before, and truthfully have really only ever seen them on tv (probably from all the episodes of Gray’s Anatomy I used to binge watch).  I guess I could describe the feeling I had when I walked in as nervous…..I don’t know why a machine made me feel nervous but it did.  It made my heart race a little lying down on that machine.

The scan was quick and painless and I was sent back to my ER room to wait for the results.  Two hours later the RN came back into the room with a clipboard in her hand.  She told me that the CT scan came back negative for internal bleeding and there were no signes of any trapped air, and so the clots and protruded stomach are just lingering from the surgery and they will eventually get better on their own.  But, what the CT scan showed (and what was causing my back and side pain) is that I also have a 3mm kidney stone in my kidney.  Kidney stones!!  She said the pain is dull right now because it hasn’t started to pass through the ureter, but as soon as it begins to pass I will be in severe pain.  I actually started laughing at the news (which I hate that I do this, but that is my body’s natural reaction to bad news….I always laugh) and just couldn’t believe my luck.  After everything that had happened this week, now I am going to pass a kidney stone also.  Because I drove myself to the ER they gave me some non-narcotic medication and said I will just need to wait for this to pass, but it will likely happen in the next week or two.

Kidney Stones!! Seriously? My sister told me she needed proof because she couldn't believe all this bad luck this week....

Kidney Stones!! Seriously? My sister told me she needed proof because she couldn’t believe all this bad luck this week….

The ER visit was Saturday night (technically early Sunday morning) and today it is Tuesday.  It’s been exactly one week since the surgery for the ectopic pregnancy.  I’ve talked to enough people about what happened that I don’t really tear up anymore when talking about it.  It was a really sad thing that happened, but I’ve kind of settled into an ‘it is what it is’ mentality.  I desperately wish I could go back a week and change everything that happened but I can’t.  Life goes on.  My husband went back to work today and is gearing up for a really tough work month where most days he leaves at 7am and doesn’t get home until 9pm.  The reality is….that life goes on.  Even though I would love to lie in bed and fall into the fantasty world of Sons of Anarchy (my favorite Netflix show right now), the real world still moves on.  I have two kids to take care of, a business to run, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, laundry to wash, Christmas decorations to take down, and just a very full plate.

Or at least that’s the attitude I feel like I have most of the time.  Life just goes on.  But then, out of nowhere, someone will say something or ask how I am feeling and I get choked up.  Today, a nurse from my husband’s work called and asked how I was doing.  It was nice to talk to a 3rd party who didn’t know me personally or know me from social media who I could just talk to and explain what happened.  I was sitting in my car in the garage because my daughter had fallen asleep in her carseat and I didn’t want to wake her up quite yet.  I was enjoying a few minutes of quiet so I could talk on the phone.  The nurse listened to me tell her all about the terrible luck I had this week, finding out about the ectopic pregnancy, losing my fallopian tube in the surgery, the challenges I had with my medications, etc etc and now passing a kidney stone.  She listened to me tell the whole story and then just simply asked, “how are you handling everything emotionally?”  And the tears just started flowing.  I couldn’t stop tearing up.  It wasn’t a big ‘ugly cry’ but just silent tears streaming down my face as I sat in the drivers seat, pushed my head back on the headrest, and processed everything that happened this past week.

Waiting for test results in the ER at 3am....

Waiting for test results in the ER at 3am….

Life does go on.  That’s true….and I have responsibilities to fulfill.  But one thing you guys have helped me learn and understand by your comments (which have been amazing by the way – I’m saving my feelings of gratitude to each of you for another blog post), is that it’s ok to feel each of those emotions as they come on.  I’m learning that yes, life moves on, but it’s also ok to allow myself to cry when I feel sad, laugh when I feel happy, yell when I get angry, talk when I am yearning for friendship, and be alone when I am craving solitude.  Today I was grateful to that nurse for allowing me to talk about how I felt.  I’m learning to open up about my feelings which is something I’ve never, ever been good at doing.  And it feels good.

I have so many other blog posts I want to write about: how my husband has handled everything and how it has impacted our relationship/marriage; tips for helping a friend who is going through a miscarriage or loss; how blogging about this experience has really helped me process everything that has happened; feelings of hatred I’ve had towards my body this week for failing me like it did; how going back to the hospital and requesting copies of the surgical notes was really healing for me; and so many more.  But, I may be passing a kidney stone this week so I’m not sure how frequent my posts will be.  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers that this stone passes quickly and that I can manage the pain.  I appreciate each of you, the comments you have left, and the prayers your have said.  I truly have felt your love and your support has meant so much to me.

Your friend,
Natalie

PS – the nurse also encouraged me to speak with a local counselor about everything that went on and I am considering doing that as well.  I may blog about that also 😉

UPDATE:
If you are just stumbling across this post, I wrote quite a bit when I was going through the entire surgery and recovery process.  Here are the posts I wrote in the order they were written starting from the day of my ectopic pregnancy surgery.

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