A few nights ago I was lying in bed and I had the worst pain right under my ribcage. It was the most painful stabbing feeling I have ever had. It’s a different kind of pain than having a baby. Having a baby…you are expecting the pain. You are ready for it. And its not stabbing…it’s a feeling like your insides are going to be ripped out of your vajajay. HaHa…but at least you are ready for it. But stabbing….and instant stabbing out of nowhere!?!? Sort of like a hot serrated blade was stabbing its way through my insides. My stomach and my rib cage hurt so bad. I didn’t know what this pain could be. It lasted for about 30 minutes and then it was gone. Well…let me rephrase that. Either it was gone…or I passed out from the pain…one or the other. Not sure which one it could be, seeing as I was in bed when it happened and I don’t remember anything after that (assuming I went to sleep).
Then it happened again the next night. But this time I was in the middle of cooking dinner and BAM! All of a sudden I felt a stabbing feeling under my left rib cage and I couldn’t breathe. It hurt to take in a breath. Inhale hurt. Exhale hurt. So I am standing there with the counter holding me up and taking shallow breaths trying to finish making dinner. In my mind I am going through the options. Lets see:
- I just had surgery so this could be a blood clot.
- It could be a stomach ulcer since the pain started in my stomach area yesterday.
- Maybe my insides are still trying to move into place since I had the baby and my intestines were up in my ribcage.
- Maybe this is the worst gas I have EVER had in my life!
- Maybe I ate something that my stomach didn’t like.
- Maybe I am not drinking enough water. Which doesn’t really make a lot of sense…since the last couple of days were the only days that I have not drank the “right” amount of water.
But as I am thinking all of this in my mind…I think my face was telling another story. I don’t hide my feelings well. If someone is familiar with my normal face…they can always tell when something is wrong. That’s why I make a terrible liar. My face tells on me. Well I was bent over, holding on to the counter, and my face was grimaced. I was taking short breaths and I was starting to feel a little panicked. I couldn’t really breathe and the pain was so bad I couldn’t seem to talk. I looked over at my hubby to see if he was paying attention.
He looked up at me and said, “Are you ok?”
I hissed out a “Nooooo…”
And he came back with “I told you that you need to be icing your back! Sit down and ice your back!”
In my head I am thinking “No babe….its not my back this time. Its something else. I don’t feel very good.” Then my head said “Hey wait!!! Did he just snap at me for feeling like crap! What the HELL!”
Then I think my mom saw it. She saw the pain. I saw the tears welling up in her eyes and she asked “Do you need to go to urgent care? I will take you?” I didn’t answer. Not because I didn’t think I needed to go but because I couldn’t really express my feelings into words. Which is another way I express pain….I cant communicate normally. The voice in my head does not compute to my mouth correctly and the words and sentences I say don’t make sense. Then she said it again “D, I think she needs to go to urgent care. Something isn’t right. Are you ok?” Then it finally happened. The tears started to puddle in my eyes and I shook my head “No”. Then the hubby stands up and says “Lets go get in the car. Why didn’t you say it was that bad??” And then he looks at me all angry. Wait….Im a little confused. Why is he so angry that I don’t feel good?? I told him I didn’t feel good the first time he asked?? What the H???
We get in the car and go to Urgent Care (which is literally a block away). They give me an x-ray and see no broken ribs. They give me a GI cocktail which numbs my mouth but nothing else….therefore, no stomach issues. They give me an EKG which comes out normal….therefore, nothing wrong with my heart. Awe crap…..now they are sending me to the Emergency Room. They did all the tests they can do. Now the ER needs to do a CT scan to make sure I don’t have a pulmonary embolism. (blood clot from the surgery I had 6 weeks ago). I get to the ER and I am in so much pain. I have been doing pretty good until this point. I have been laughing and joking and standing at an angle (sitting hurt too much). I needed to stand but bent over and a little sideways. We get to the line to check in and they take me right back. But by this time I have hit my pain limit. I finally start crying and my body starts to tremble. They lay me on the bed to do another EKG and the nurse asks me to be as still as possible. I think I am. I am even holding my breath to stay still. And he said it didn’t work. He tried again and it didn’t work AGAIN! They roll me into the back and the doc comes in and talks with me. He pushes on my rib cage and makes me jump. They hook me up to a couple IV’s of fluid. Does my intake and then leaves.
A couple hours pass and he comes in again. I tell him I am breastfeeding so I need to make sure everything they do is ok while BFing. He asks if I want some Tylenol for the pain. I hesitate and then I say “I try not to take meds while breastfeeding and the pain isn’t making me cry anymore….so Im not sure I need it.” He giggles and says “Well, Tylenol is ok to take while you are BF.” I finally break down and say ok to the Tylenol. Then he tells me that they are going to send me to get a CT and I will need to get the contrast which means that I wont be able to BF for about 2 days. WHAT!?!?!? 2 days!?!??!?! It was like an instant reaction. I got a little sad and my boobs started hurting. They started throbbing. I could tell they were going to leak soon. He says they are going to bring a breast pump so I can prepare.
Another hour passes (no breast pump yet) and he comes back again. He tells me that I have a kidney infection. And he has a gut feeling that that is the only issue. He doesn’t think that I have a PE. The pain I am saying I am having (right under my left rib and radiating from my stomach to my back) is right where my kidney is. And my pee test says I have a kidney infection. He is leaving the CT scan up to me. I can still have it if I am worried about a PE or if I am not sure if it’s a kidney stone. I instantly said no to the CT and he said “Yeah I didn’t think you would want it. You didn’t seem like the type that would want meds and radiation.” He talks a little more and then he signed me out.
The nurse came in to explain my discharge papers:
“The doc diagnosed you with a UTI (urinary tract infection). Take all of your meds. Even if you feel better after 3 days. Take them all! Avoid caffeine. Avoid booze.”
In my head…. “WHAT!!! A UTI!!! I have had a UTI before and this was WAY WORSE! This was not a UTI!” I was so confused. Why would I go through all of that for a UTI. And why would the meds be for 2 weeks for a UTI. So the hubby and I get to the car and I look at the paperwork. Its not a UTI…it’s a kidney infection. And of course I had to look it up for myself……
According to Mayo Clinic: a kidney infection is a specific type of UTI. It is more serious and requires antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization. Risk Factors: being a woman, having a kidney stone, weak immune system, damage to the nerves around the bladder, and the use of a catheter.
Well damn! Im a woman. Kidney stones run in the family. I recently had surgery which could affect the nerves around my bladder. (not saying it did…but it could) I had a cystocele (bladder prolapse) before I had my little girl….so that could have an effect on the nerves around my bladder (not saying it did…but it could). AND I had a catheter for my surgery. Who knows I could have had a UTI while I was healing from the catheter. I wouldn’t know because the healing part was so damn painful. It hurt to pee and it was a sideways flow for a good 4 weeks.
All I know is kidney infections suck! They are so painful. I had no idea. Ok…well I had an idea but now that I have felt it for myself…I know. Stupid kidneys!!!