By Mayra, age 18, California
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
For a long time, I thought that I could get away with not eating right, not sleeping right, and pretty much not taking good care for my health. I never thought that I would find myself lying in the bed of an emergency room with an IV running through my veins ... until last Friday.
During one of my sorority meetings, I felt a strange pain in my lower right backside. I didn't think anything of it; all I knew was that I had felt this pain before sometime in the past. By the time my meeting was over at about midnight, I came home and sat down to finish up with some schoolwork, yet the pain didn't allow me to fully concentrate, so I decided to take an aspirin. At about 1:30 am, the pain became too much for me to take. I felt as if I were being stabbed consecutively.
I decided to go print my work over at my sister's dorm, so I called her and told her I would be at her door in a few minutes. By the time I arrived at her dorm, the pain had become so strong that walking was difficult. I pretended to be fine, but when I couldn't contain myself any longer I told my sister all about it. We decided to call one of our friends so that he could take us to the nearest drugstore to purchase some heating pads, but he told us he couldn't due to certain circumstances I cannot go onto details about.
That's when she decided to call Jean. I didn't want him to see me this way. I didn't want him to think that I needed his help. After all, we were mad at each other for reasons that are too long to explain. My pride told her no, but she insisted that we should let him take us. In less than five minutes he was waiting for us outside our dorm complex.
When we got to CVS, we didn't know what to buy, so we decided to ask the pharmacist. In my mind, I knew that this pain was somehow related to my kidneys, and I wasn't wrong. After explaining what I felt to the pharmacist she immediately told me that I needed to go see a doctor. I felt so scared, I felt so terrified. I didn't believe this was happening to me. After my mom had told me to drink water for so long, I didn't think I would end up suffering from kidney problems. As I walked out of CVS, tears poured down my face. I felt so stupid and irresponsible. I had taken my health for granted, and now here I was about to go to the emergency room at two in the morning, 50 miles away from home on a school night.
As soon as we got directions to the nearest Kaiser Permanente, Jean and Reyna took me to the hospital. Reyna made sure to check me in, and as the nurse asked me questions, I kept thinking of my mom and all her sweet advice. At that moment I wished I could have listened to her. I wished she could have been there with me to tell me that everything would be alright. But I didn't want to get her worried. She was probably home asleep, along with my dad, brother, and baby sister.
The nurse called me in and asked me more questions concerning the pain, and then took my blood pressure. As she put on my wristband, I told myself that this would be the last one I would get. (I had been in the hospital two weeks before.) The nurse, whose name I never learned, took me to a room and told me to change into a white robe. I took my clothes off and laid them on the hospital bed, and soon the doctor came in to check my condition. He asked more questions, and later told me that I would undergo several tests to try to see what was causing the pain. It was a fact - the pain I was feeling was indeed related to my kidney.
I laid there crying endlessly, feeling so confused, scared and worried. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know what I was going to do. Another nurse by the name of Ronnie approached me. She was really sweet and noticed how scared I was. She told me that I would be fine, but that she needed to give me some IV to relieve the pain. As soon as I heard that I became terrified - I'm not too fond of needles. I asked if Reyna could come in to hold my hand, and Ronnie was kind enough to bring her in. As Ronnie inserted the needle, I yelled and gripped my sister's hand with all my strength. I felt the thick liquid going through my veins, slowly making its way throughout my whole body. I asked Ronnie if both Reyna and Jean could keep me company and she quickly brought them into the room. Both of them were now with me, and I could tell that they were both trying to make me laugh. I felt good knowing I had people I could count on during times like these. I felt really good in knowing that there were people who cared about me enough to stay with me in the hospital the whole night.
After lying in bed for some time, another nurse came in with a wheelchair and took me to get my cat scan done. The nurse took me into what seemed like a maze, and soon I was inside a big machine that scanned my body with red beams. When the nurse was done he took me back to my room and I continued to lay there waiting for my blood, urine, and cat scan results.
The hours passed by, and around 6:30 am the doctor told me that I had a kidney infection. He said that I needed to be really careful because it could lead to other circumstances. He prescribed some antibiotics and told me I was going to be getting more IVs inserted. As I waited, the nurse came in and inserted the second batch of IVs, and minutes later Ronnie came in with some papers. All drugged up from head to toe, I signed and was ready to go home. I could barely walk, so I was brought by wheelchair. As Jean took me out of the emergency room, Reyna picked up my medicine. We ended up getting back to the dorms at about 9:00 am. As soon as I got to Reyna's dorm I knocked out. The medicine made me feel dizzy, nauseous, and high.
The rest of the day I threw up and got a really bad fever. I felt drugged, confused, dizzy, drowsy, and simply sick.
It's now Monday, and I'm still trying to get myself back together. The pain is still there, but I'm drinking vicotin to ease it a little. I'm drinking lots of water and eating healthy snacks and foods. I'm really grateful that, although my condition is serious, it didn't require anything surgical. For now, I'm learning that even the smallest of things in life can make a difference, and we shouldn't take for granted the privilege of living another day.
Live your life today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.