My kidneystone weekend

Warsaw Travel Blog

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Not mine (the photo, that is), but this is where it all went down!

This has been one of my Polish experiences that I will never forget - my weekend with kidney stones as I remember it ("as I remember it" because I was pretty out of it part of the time!):  

It really does hurt like a #$%@%!!


Just goes to show you that it's important to have your health insurance when out and about.

:-( Never realized you were there before!
.. If you're a citizen or resident of an EU country - get the European health card and bring it with you!! You never know what might happen and, as they say, better safe than sorry!


I haven't been feeling so great since last Thursday... Every five minutes feel like heading to the bathroom and ¡NADA! Finally, at about 3 a.m. on Friday night I woke up with a start! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE!!! (or at least I wished I could).  It really hurt! Not just my kidney area, but it kept shooting down into my groin, lower abdomen and generally all over the place! 

I can usually deal with being sick and let things run their course, but this time was different and I ended up going to the emergency room early Saturday morning because it hurt so bad.  It was quite an adventure trying to maneuver myself through the Polish hospital but I managed. 



First I went to my medical insurance's 24-hour clinic.  Well... now I know why my medical insurance isn't too expensive:  they gave me a veterinary strength pain killer and muscle relaxant and told me I should head to the social security hospital.  The veterinary strength shots in the ass left a black and blue mark that looks like I've been kicked in the butt by someone with army boots!!  Even so, I felt a little better after the shots and was ready to embark on stage two of my mission: find the social security hospital and get them to make this stop!  It was snowing and cold, but the hospital was very close (according to the doctor who gave me the nice shots) so, my judgment being impaired, I decided to walk.  I don't remember much more about that part, but I finally made it without any lasting damage from hypothermia!


This was an old communist era hospital - enormous with long gloomy halls and kind of run down. They tell me it was where the party dignitaries were treated back in the "good old days" (I threw the "good old days" part in myself!)  From the time I found a door to get inside the enormous building to the time I managed to find "emergency" it took ages.  Whatever painkiller I had been given really slowed me down!  


Finally I got there, waited, waited some more, filled out some papers and they sent me to urology... another wild excursion through the hospital...  I thought someone would accompany me - drive me in a little golf cart or push me in a nice wheelchair... no way!! I was on my own...  In some of the longer halls there were only lightbulbs about every 20 yards... I didn’t care much, just wanted to find the right place. 


I had to go up to the fifth floor and, carefully following the attendant's instructions, I found an elevator.  But, alas, it was the wrong elevator and somehow I ended up in Neurology instead of Urology! It’s was actually pretty funny if it hadn’t been for the pain. I found a nurse who spoke English and she told me “here we will fix your brain, not your kidneys!” 


She showed us to a different elevator but unfortunately some of the elevator doors were locked from the outside.  Crazy... imagine what could happen in a fire.  Finally had to get off at minus 1 and find a different elevator.   I finally found the right elevator and got out (AT NEUROLOGY AGAIN!).  Another nice (and quite attractive) nurse in saw that I was doubled over and took pity on me and actually pointed me in the right direction!! I don't know her name, but I'll always remember her! :)

Finally I got there, Urology at last! Finding the doctor was another feat! But I did it.  I found him and I got my sonogram and he saw my stones and did something to neutralize them so I could piss them out... Finally I was sent to an observation ward • there were 20 beds in the room and people with IV's sitting on couches.  There were also plenty of occupied beds in the hallway.  It reminded me of a scene from a WWII movie! They kept on wheeling people in and out in their beds and the beds were exactly the same size as the door frame.  There were some spectacular crashes. I am convinced that that doorframe will be history in no time. 


In the observation ward they gave me a "kroplówka" which is an IV. I had something in it to make me feel better and help things move along on their way!! I'd never had an IV in my hand before... Not a big deal but I think I'd rather have it in my arm.  I could really feel the cold solution going into my vein.  Michal came to give me some moral support... So, when they told me to leave he was helpful with paperwork.  Finally, I was home by 3 on Sunday, feeling better (although this morning I still have a sore back and feel like going to the bathroom all the time!! I hope it is really over.  Anyhow, all's well that ends well and it was a great crash course in medical terminology in Polish.

danielrice20 says:
Ouch, man. I can sympathize. Kidney stones are the worst.
Posted on: Feb 02, 2009
ted332 says:
thought I was watching Grey's Anatomy... :)
Posted on: Feb 02, 2009
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photo by: EmyG