Ulog #073 | Kidney Stones in the Worst Moment (with Updated picture of devilish stone)

in ulog •  9 months ago  (edited)

Greetings, everyone

Between the issues the platform presented in the last days and some personal problems, I have not been able to post the last Ulog about my trip to Punta de Piedras (the return). Now I will make a parenthesis to post about some health issues I am having, which reveals some truths about the Venezuelan health system and which might keep me away from blogging (hopefully not for too long).
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There is never a right time for a kidney stone to hit you, but given the current situations Venezuelans are going through, the last thing you want is such a condition to affect you. For those who have never had problems with kidney stones, the pain of expelling one has been compared with labor pain, and it can last for days.

Many years ago, I was hospitalized (when I still have an insurance that covered any contingency) for 5 days due to a stone that refused to get out. When they were about to operate, the damn thing finally popped out. I have struggled with this malady since I was 12. I had usually controlled the production of stones with occasional diet and in case of emergencies. Even a decade ago, any hospital could help me out, any clinic had plenty of specialist and equipment, any drugstore had the medication and we could afford them. Now, nobody wants to even entertain the idea of getting sick. If one gets sick one relies on home-made remedies or friends’ and family’s charity.
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Yesterday, starting at about 6 pm I had a horrible episode of a kidney stone that must have left my right kidney and started the gross and painful descend. It was sudden, with the force and intensity of a blow to the head. I did my best to stand the pain and avoid my wife the mortification of taking me to a hospital, but my body is not strong enough these days. I started to vomit (which can be “normal” during renal colic), sweat, and it became increasingly difficult for me to walk, sit, stand or lay down. No matter what I tried nothing seemed to give me comfort.

I had not strong pain-killers at home, so I just drank some “big-eared oregano” water to speed up the expulsion of the stone (it had helped in the past). With the vomits, that water did not do any effect, though. It was about 7 pm when the lights went out, a blackout. It was hot, there were a lot of mosquitoes and a piercing pain was escalating and migrating all around my body. When my wife saw my desperation, she called a friend. More than a friend, Carlos has become a guardian angel. I mentioned him in a post some months ago (Ulog #043: Taking a Sweet Break | Preparando Buñuelos de Yuca).

This is the thing about getting sick here, especially at night: no many friends have cars now (they’re broken and can’t be repaired, they were sold, or they are safely parked in their garages for extreme family emergencies only). Our cities are more dangerous at night. The roads are broken and it is easier to fall in a hole or get your car damaged at night. Hospitals are collapsed. We have only two in Cumaná and a dozen of ambulatorios, which were supposed to be small functional hospitals that would reduce the traffic of patients in the main hospitals. According to government propaganda, these health centers work perfectly. People get medical attention and even free medications.
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The truth is quite different. Carlos was at our place in a few minutes. We went to the closest ambulatorio: Cumanagoto (Negative. No medications), then to the next one: Las Palomas (Negative. Close/locked/lights out), then to the next: Salvador Allende (Negative. A doctor and two nurses just looked at each other and us and regretfully informed us that for months now they have not received any supplies, especially pain killers).

I could barely stand. Carlos was desperate. He decided to take me to a private clinic. I did not have the strength to try to persuade him otherwise. Besides, he would not take no for an answer. Even though he insisted that he had enough money to cover for my emergency, you have to understand what a big deal an expense of this sort can be. Clinics technically charge in dollars and prices are outrageous for our regular incomes. These days in Venezuela most insurance provided to employees in the public administration cover only symbolic amounts, not even enough to pay for the doctor’s visit.

We got to the clinic, had to procure ourselves a wheelchair (no personnel to do that). Admission pretended to hold us requesting personal documents we were not carrying for obvious reasons (we left home in such a hurry). Carlos had to demand that they see me first, that payment was guaranteed.
I started to vomit again and that made them hurry up the admission. They gave me a “coctel” of pain-killers that made me feel better in a few minutes, but when the whole saline was out, the pain came back with a vengeance. I did not want them to give me anything else. I was thinking about how much money Carlos would have to pay. I had no choice but to accept. Then, they gave me an even stronger pain killer that knocked me down.

After two hours, although quite groggy, I was good to go home.
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The pain came back at about 2 am, though, and kept off-and-on until sunrise. But it was more tolerable this time. The stone has not moved yet and now I have to have some tests done (sonogram, lab). I don’t think I’ll be able to do that. Some family members, including my son who is in Perú, sent money to help with the expenses. We were able to buy the painkillers and antibiotics, just in case. I’ll keep taking home-made medicine to try to get rid of the stone and get some healthy food for a few days with the rest of the money. That’s the kind of decision one has to make given the circumstances.

I'll be eternally grateful to those who have helped me in this difficult circumstance. I never thought that after becoming a college professor I'd be in such a state of destitution. For years I was the one helping my relatives. I'll never stop repeating it: This is how deep the bolivarian revolution and its twisted Socialism has burried us. Rest-of-the-world, do not wait for a similar calamity to befall you open your eyes. We used to say we were not Cuba, we were smarter than Cubans, now they laugh at how worse than them we became.

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Thanks for your visit

Update:
The stone has just finally come out!
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How can such a small thing cause so much pain!


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I read that drinking apple cider vinegar regularly maybe once a week helps reduce the odds of getting kidney stones.

Posted using Partiko Android

Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately apples or any product derived from them are hard to find here.

Hi @hlezama,

I'm really sorry to read about your health problems and the difficulties that you have to go through just to get some medicinal support. When reading your story about your trip to Punta de Piedras and now your problems to get basic health care, I believe that living in Venezuela is really a nightmare at the moment. I hope that your country will soon see other days and I especially hope that you will get well soon inspite of the adversities. I've upvoted your post with all my accounts but unfortunately it doesn't make much difference. I'll send you some steem that will hopefully help you to cover some costs.
Best regards and get well soon

Achim

I am moved by your generosity. Thanks you so much.
It is a terrifying thing what we are living. When one is a parent, one dreads to imagine to have any of one's children go through this, but here you can be certain you will sooner than later. To have your children see you in such a vulnerable state, not so much because of the physical weakness, but the demoralizing lack of resources, is what really gets on my nerves.

As a father I understand what you mean. I'm happy that this stone went out of your system and I hope that the pain was bearable. All the best to you !

Thank you very much, @achim03

I worked before in a hospital and I know from my experience with patients the pain that the stones can cause. I remember one woman saying to me that giving birth to all her children was far more merciful than having stones inside her kidneys.


Be strong and be well my friend,

There you go. It's hard to overstate how maddening that pain is. Now, imagine to get to a medical center and just hear the nurses talk about how horible the pain is but that they are sorry they can't do anything about it. Then, you start dragging yourself out and can still hear one nurse say, "he can faint any minute. I've seen bigger men contort and fall."
Some psychological support.
Thanks for stopping by

Que vaina tan vaina compadre Henrry. :(

Es justo en momentos como éste que uno lamenta ser un auténtico pelabolas al igual que el resto de nuestros queridos paisanos atrapados en esta verga. NoJoda!

Se muy bien de lo arrechos que pueden llegar a ser los cólicos nefríticos y sus inclementes y despiadados dolores. Mi padre los padeció y presencié desde primera fila la desesperación y la impotencia que ocasionan en quien las sufre.

Me uno a tu clamor y agradezco publicamente la modesta ayuda material que nuestro mutuo amigo @achim03 generosamente ya ha podido proporcionarte. Por mi parte, las cuatro lochas de las que dispongo ahora ya tienen destinatario con una emergencia similar y sospecho que te sería de muy poca ayuda el repele que me pueda quedar.

Así que de momento, no se me ocurre otra cosa que pudiese ser de alguna mediana utilidad sino resteemar este post a ver que otro par de ojos con voluntad, solidaridad y predisposición lo pueda leer y te pueda echar una mano con tu predicamento.

La otra única vaina 'curativa' que se me ocurre, como un Cranky Gandalf humoristico vestido de rosado con ornamentos de Hello Kitty, es enviarte de inmediato un par de mis sortilegios de wizard a distancia para que expulses esa güevoná fuera de tus riñones ipso facto. La primera es sometiéndote primero a una ligera terapia de risa para ir disolviendo esa reverga. Y la segunda el tratamiento fuerte y mas desafiante. Con una fuerte dosis de ultrasonido en el que tendrás que agitarte solo un pelín para terminar de pulverizar la vaina y termines de mear toda esa güevoná pa fuera!!

Que te mejores pronto hermano. Y no te preocupes, que la providencia te proveerá de remedios, contribuciones y soluciones en el momento justo, como siempre lo merece la gente buena.

Un fuerte abrazo!! :)

Me hiciste reir, hermano. Creo que no había leido nuestro español espontaneo en los comentarios de mis posts. Una real y soberana verga seria es lo que estamos viviendo.
No se si fue tu sortilegio, pero la puta piedra salió y eso me alivió considerablemente. Aún queda el malestar del riñón y vias inflamadas y adoloridas, pero ya el tratamiento está surtiendo efecto. El gran reto es la dieta para evitar la recaida.
Espero que tu salgas bien librado de tu emergencia similar. La mínima contingencia médica puede ponernos contra las cuerdas con una facilidad pasmosa.
Agradezco tu resteem. El post ha recibido mucho apoyo (aunque el precio del steem no lo refleje).
Agradezco también la frescura de tu buena vibra. Hace mucha falta en estos dias.
Feliz semana.

I am sorry to hear you have to go through this, and with so little medical help available. It is truly sad that Venezuela has come to this.

Thanks for commenting. It is sad indeed. And, I can consider myself priviledged. We see people dying every day for lack of resources or medical attention.

@hlezama,

Kidney stones ... a calamity for people living atop the world's largest proven reserves of petroleum. There's nothing that bad governance cannot destroy.

Just keep reminding yourself ... you're living the Socialist Dream.

Get better, Ol' Friend.

Quill

Thanks, Quill. I feel better today. Saddened by the departure of my daughters (I'll post about it). Had to say good bye last night. They'll take residence at their grandmother's apartment some 7 hours from where I live. From there the big one will leave to Brazil in 11 days.

I feel sorry to the plight Venezuelans. I am Hoping that your condition will improve soon.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it

I am so sorry to hear of your pains.

Reading some of these posts reminds me that “doomsday” is already here for some and not so far for others.

Que nuestros antepasados is ayudan a desaseemos de estas personal que están arruinando nuestras tierras.

Saludos desde Alta California.


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Gracias, @metzli
it certainly feels like doomsday over here. I just saw a madman sitting in the middle of a trash pile sort of bathing in trash (Blanco Fombona Av. Downtown Cumaná). It was a surreal spectacle.
It looks like we have been forsaken by any all good powers and evil, in all its manifestations, has settled in

I am happy, at least, that the stone is out! But your illness sounds horrible, it must be so frightening to be sick there.
Yes I can see pieces of this travesty creeping into the US, especially in our inability to pay for medical services, and appreciate your plea that we not let it happen here. The problem is, it is not clear who the enemy really is.

Thanks for stopping by. I think the enemy is injustice. It can come dressed in right, center or left. I think that developed countries have no justification to have certain demographic groups under financial pressure. I think that whenever the filthy rich manage to avoid taxes while the poor pay more than they can afford we have a problem.
Worse problem when the left promises to right that wrong and corruption, self-interests, and resentment makes everything worse and the poor become poorer while the rich remain powerful.
Can't understand why it is so difficult to find a balance.

From what I see here, it is that both "sides" believe their political party are working for our best interests, when in reality both political parties are working for the rich. The left lies more about it though, making socialist policies, such as medicare for all, sound good. I just want to be charged reasonable fees, and NO ONE is talking about that except in a few isolated instances, such as insulin. I fear the price of insulin and epipens has been deliberately manipulated so that we will fall into the trap of socialized medicine. It is very scary here now, made more frightening whenever I learn more about your plight in Venezuela.

Sorry about what’s happening with you and Venezuela. Get well soon

Thank you very much

You’ve been visited by @nateonsteemit on behalf of Natural Medicine!

Woah, that's a big one! Glad it worked out. I've never had one, but my wife once had one come down from each kidney. My mom is a nurse and she says they have lasers now that can blast kidney stones into tiny bits to make them easier to pass.

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Thank you very much for your support. I'll try to post about this particular episode (I still feel some disconfort) and how oregano and squash helped me get rid of this stone.

I'm so sorry to hear about this Henry! Glad that Carlos was there to help you

Thank you very much, @adsactly.
You, too, have been a blessing in these hard times.
I deeply appreciate your support

Hi @hlezama

How are you feeling now? Hope you're only getting better my friend

Cheers, Piotr

Hi @crypto.piotr
I'm doing much better. Thanks for asking.
I had to take an urgent trip to Puerto Ordaz, where the Chilean consulate is, to support my daughter's third application for a tourist visa. They have denied it twice without any logical explanation. My kidneys held well the 7-hour trip by car, so hopefully today we'll have good news and I'll be happily taking another car back home

Sorry my friend! It is sad that this situation seems endless.

Thank you, my dear. It's getting tougher every day. I don't want to imagine what it would have been like had I not have that friend who drove like crazy to get me medical attention as soon as possible. I think about those in pain who never get it. It's a scary thought. Sadly, a scary reality.

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Good to hear it came out!
I'm no doctor but seeing it, I say: wow - that is quite a stone!!!
You can actually see how painful that must have been!!!!

All the best!

Thank you very much. I appreciate you stopping by