Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stoned in Kiwi Land

I'm thankful for nations with modern medicine and clean facilities.

My mom is a kidney stone producer to the extent that if kidney stones  were worth what diamonds are, my family could realistically afford to move in next door to Bill Gates even though our front doors would be a mile or more from each other. She's now in New Zealand and experiencing major kidney stone symptoms.

The good part is that my dad has medical contacts even in New Zealand, so he and my mom are not having to trust doctors they find in the phone book or whatever hospital into which they wander,  and that even though our insurance probably won't cover much of her treatment, my parents can afford it. The bad part is that my dad has to  convince the doctors not to expose my mom unnecessarily to radiation. My dad doesn't want her to undergo radiological procedures  that are not absolutely needed to preserve her life,  Because of my mom's history of leukemia and my dad's desire to prevent a reccurrence. he'll go along with a simple KUB xray, as the radiation exposure is relatively low.  If the stone is large enough to be causing any major damage it'll be evident in the KUB  xray.  She can safely undergo an ultrasound, which exposes her to no radiation whatsoever,  to determine if kidneys or ureters are distended. He doesn't want her to have a CT scan unless she' going to die without it. As insane as it sounds, he'd almost prefer exploratory surgery, especially  since they're not in a third-world country.

My dad's local contacts understand the situation and have determined that the stone is not interfering with the function of the kidney. It is partially occluding her left ureter but is only five millimeters, which my mom should be able to -- barring unforeseen complications -- pass easily enough.  My parents travel with a safe amount of prescription oral drugs, but my dad can't bring IV Demerol or Dilaudid along on foreign flights. At least those drugs, albeit with different names, are available in New Zealand.

I feel bad for my mom because she and my dad didn't spend the money traveling so that she and my dad could get an up close and personal view of the inside of a New Zealand hospital. The doctors there have inserted a stent, and  they're pumping her as full of fluids as is safe and are giving her, in addition to painkillers and anti-nausea meds]ication, New /Zealand's equivalent to tamsulosin, which is that Flomax most frequently prescribed  to men with prostate problems. If my mom is symptom free in another twenty-four hours or so, which I don't even know what time we be for her locally, she'll be released and she and my dad will finish their touring New Zealand the best they can. If she passes the stone,  she'll have minor discomfort that can be managed with oral medication.

The worst part will be if  my parents have to fly home next Thursday without my mom  having passed the stone, because she could then have  major episode on the plane. My parents can't wait around New Zealand indefinitely.  I don't know if the doctors there have he power to get IV drugs onto my parents' plane. I suppose that's when we might have to consider asking my one of  rich uncles to fly her home on an air-ambulance.  I don't like the idea of traveling that distance on anything smaller than something like a standard 747, but it may come to that. Perhaps the airlines can be persuaded to carry the IV drugs. I hope so if it's necessary.  I think my parents fly to Australia, then to Hawaii, then to LAX..

The easiest thing would be for the stone to pass before my parents come home; tonight would probably be ideal. If anyone has any prayers, positive thoughts, or anything else to influence the God of Urinary Calculi, or The Universe or Karmic Forces, on my mom's behalf, please intercede in the way in which you best can help.

1 comment:

  1. That's no way to enjoy New Zealand! I hope your mom feels better soon!