I last posted here on September 6. On Friday, September 7, all hell broke loose and I am still picking up the pieces and moving forward gingerly.
Looking back through my daily journaling, I found references to back pain and a suspected infection going back four months. However, my symptoms were intermittent and I'm always so focused on making forward progress that I ignored the repetitive warning signs.
The last week of August, maybe first couple days of September, I passed a kidney stone. I remained uncomfortable on and off but I really didn't think too much of it. I was busy painting for my October show, getting my son through his first couple weeks of the new college semester and prepping for the new art teaching year. I taught the morning of the 7th and had a pretty decent day despite nagging back pain and a migraine. By 6 that night, I knew something was really, really wrong.
The pain, like a hot spike in my lower right back, began to increase exponentially. Still, I thought I would tough it out. By 9, I was pacing the floor, gasping. It felt like I was in labor.
At 10pm, I gave up clinging to bravery, and reached out to a family friend who, luckily, is a doctor. I remember screaming into the phone for help. He came over and took me to the hospital where he works around 10:30pm. By 3:30am on Saturday the 8th, I had been admitted with a severe kidney and bladder infection and two kidney stones, one of which had completely blocked my right kidney. I spent the next four days in the hospital, receiving fluids, antibiotics, and other meds until I passed the two remaining stones. I went home with still more medicine as it is taking time for the infections to clear.
I'll spare the general audience any specific, gory details but I will say that my doctor friend kept a key, scary fact from me until after the worse had passed. His goal was to keep me calm and focused on staying in the hospital, something I fought at every turn. In essence, my health was actually a lot more precarious than I was initially told and there had been worry that my infection could take a life-threatening turn.
In the wake of this health crisis, I've been overwhelmed with the business of recovery, the catch-up on a life suddenly placed on hold, persistent, troubling memories of specific moments in this ordeal, and the realization that my life needs to change drastically.
That, my lovelies, is what's commanding my attention these days. I'm going to try and get back into a regular rhythm online but that may mean that I continue to post sporadically; for longtime readers, this will be nothing new. I'm determined to get back to my life but with important changes in play. Thank you for hanging in there with me and patiently returning to this space time & time again.