This has been a rough six weeks and it is not over yet.
The end of June Gene’s shoulder suddenly got very, very painful. Extreme would be a better description. He had all the classic symptoms of a torn rotator cuff but he didn’t know how he had hurt it. They did a MRI and it showed a tear.
When asked on a scale of 1-10 how bad it hurt, he would say, “15. I have had kidney stones and this is worse.” He had constant excoriating pain with no relief. A week later they did surgery and discovered that instead of a torn rotator cuff, he had calcified tendonitis and bone spurs. The layer of calcium on his tendons was 1′ thick. They had to scrap all the calcium off the tendon and remove the bone spurs. The layers of calcium on the MRI had the illusion of a tear and the symptoms were the same as a torn cuff except the recovery is much quicker and easier. The surgeon said it was the worse case he has seen.
Recovery. Therapy. Tired. Aching muscles. More recovery. More therapy.
Two weeks ago on Sunday morning he woke up feeling terrible. He had pain in his groin and his back hurt. He thought it was sore muscles from his therapy exercises but the next morning proved him wrong. He passed a kidney stone!
Ten days later (this past Wednesday evening) at 5:30 the ominous pain hit again. Four hours later I was in the ER with a man in terrible pain. He said, “I take back what I said. I had forgotten how bad kidney stones were.”
Pain. Terrible pain. Horribly miserable. Pain meds. No relief.
To make a long story short, Gene has seven more stones between his two kidneys. They kept him overnight and on Thursday they did surgery to put in a stint to see if it will help him pass the stones. Right now there is a large one causing the problem. If he does not pass it in the next several days they will do a lithotripsy next week to break the stone into smaller pieces.
We are not out of the woods yet with this ordeal. Gene has to finish getting over the shoulder surgery and therapy and kidney stones all at the same time. We don’t know what kind of trouble the seven little stones will cause. Gene told someone tonight that he is now in the mining business!!!
When things pile up it helps to count your blessings. 100 years ago people died from kidney stones and there would not have been a solution to his shoulder issue. We are so blessed with modern medicine and we do not want to take it for granted. But more than anything I want to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for allowing us the privilege of benefiting from these blessings.