It’s a Good Thing I Didn’t Marry Him for His Kidneys

Mike and a goat

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  Other than the fact that this post is about Mike, and Mike is in the photo.  I feel like every post needs some kind of photo.  As I don’t have any pictures of Mike playing hockey, I thought a picture of him with a goat was the next best thing.  Naturally.

There are only a few things I want to be doing at 11 p.m. on a Sunday.  If it’s award show season, perhaps waiting on the edge of my seat for the Best Picture announcement.  If it’s football season, watching the fourth quarter of a riveting game.  If it’s vacation, maybe I’m up past my bedtime dressed up and having a good time.  Mostly I just want to be comfy and curled up in bed, either already asleep or engrossed in a good book.

What I most definitely don’t want to be doing – and what I found myself doing Sunday night – is following an ambulance as it transports my husband to the trauma unit of a local hospital.

Let’s back up a bit before everyone panics and gets melodramatic (don’t worry – I’ve got that covered for all of us).

For as long as I’ve known Mike, he’s played hockey.  Not anything serious, but he’s always enjoyed being on some type of low-key, but yet still competitive, adult team.  Most Sunday evenings you’ll find him on the ice with his buddies.  Last Sunday was no different, but this time he came home feeling more banged up than normal.  He’d collided with another player and taken a blow to his left side, just under his rib cage.  He finished the game, came home, but didn’t feel quite right.

I tried not to panic when he called me into our bathroom and I thought, surely he’s playing a trick on me. A very not-funny trick where he’s poured an entire bottle of red food coloring in the toilet.  Inside = panic.  Outside, I calmly suggested he get checked out in our local tiny ER, call me if it’s anything that would require a ride home.

I tried not to panic when he called later, putting the ER doctor on the phone.  “Fractured kidney, probably not life-threatening but serious, hopefully no surgery but we’ll have to see, best if we transfer him to the Trauma Unit in Indy.  Can you come be with him?”  Inside = panic.  Outside, I soothe him as best I can over the phone and arrange for my parents to come stay with the kids.

I tried not to panic when I reached the big hospital and found a chaplain waiting for me, who proceeded to lead me into one of those small, private rooms.  This is it, I thought.  Just like on TV.  He’s gone and died in the ambulance and this is where they say they’re so very sorry. Inside = panic.  Outside?  Well, by this time I’m about to fall apart.  Note to hospital staff everywhere:  if there’s no dead person, DO NOT take family into that little room without telling them it’s standard protocol.  We’ve all seen way too many hospital shows for that nonsense.

Thankfully, these sessions of panic have quickly subsided as we realize that things are going to be okay.  Not great, but okay.  Mike has injured his kidney – we’ve heard the term fracture, lacerate, contusion.  It’s a Stage 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.  Most of these types of injuries are able to heal on their own, without surgical intervention, with plenty of rest and careful observation.  Mike was admitted to the Urology floor early Monday morning and spent last night there as well.  As of now, he is stable and the labs which would indicate increased internal bleeding are not showing such a thing.  It’s not exactly clear when he’ll be released, but our hope is that if things continue to improve he’ll be able to come home today or tomorrow.  Unfortunately it looks like the Leafs are going to have to manage the playoffs without their 5-foot-nothing enforcer.

The rest of us are doing okay as well.  I’m feeling much better about the situation with every hour that passes without any more drama.  I do feel bad for the poor guy at Dunkin’ Donuts yesterday, though, who witnessed my little breakdown after he simply asked, “How are you today, ma’am?” The kids are good.  They’ve seen me go to the hospital in January and come back just fine, so they have no clue that it could ever end differently.  Again, we are in awe of how blessed we are with the incredible support system we find around us.

My parents, who are always ready to drop everything and do whatever we need.  My local friends and family who’ve offered to bring meals, help with the kids, visit Mike, bring him the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.  Our friends spread across the country, including so many awesome Twitter friends, who filled our Tweet stream and Facebook pages with kind words and much-needed humor.  Thank you all so much.  You make all the panic and melodrama, whether warranted or not, bearable.

Here’s hoping the rest of 2012 is filled with healed kidneys and lots and lots of boring days.

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  1. Thanks for the update Angie! It sounds like he is in good care up there at the big hospital. Praying that he gets to go home very soon. And really, the DD guy had it coming, asking such a personal question like that. gah.

  2. hugs to you!! What a crazy adventure. I swear there was something wonky in the universe the past 4-5 days… I’ve seen so much scary stuff coming down.

  3. That whole experience sounds awful! I would’ve been in a panic too. So glad to hear he is on the mend and will pray that he gets to come home very soon.

  4. Cannot believe a chaplain took you into a private room. WTH kind of policy is that? I would have melted down on the spot.
    So glad to hear he’s coming home today — though I supposed I should cross him off my list of potential kidney donors?

  5. Oh, my thoughts are with you both, and my prayers for a swift recovery. And really, they should have a sign that says “this is normal” when bringing someone into a room with a chaplain. I mean, for heaven’s sake!


  1. […] the winter, when your backyard becomes a hockey rink and demands a pick-up game (just don’t lacerate your kidney, […]