We Knew It Would Happen Eventually: Candy is Medically Diagnosed as “Weird”

When you kick off your evening sitting next to one woman puking in a bucket and another who’s cut off most of her thumb, you know it’s going to be a fun night.

Last night’s trip to the ER was at least a week in the making, with a series of increasingly worrisome symptoms:  debilitating back pain with a lump on the side (Oh, it just from nursing Drew in uncomfortable positions!  Throw me a heating pad!); night sweats and chills with a fever (Oh, it’s just a virus!); and funky-smelling urine (Oh, it’s just funky-smelling urine!).  And you moms know how it is when you’re sick:  NOBODY GIVES A DAMN.  Not even your husband, who’s all, “So if you’re too weak to move your eyeballs, are you saying you can’t take the kids to the park today?”

But the good thing about moms is that we have moms.  I am never the whiny, needy type… until I’m sick, at which point all I want is to hear my mom’s voice.


“You sound terrible!”

“I DO, don’t I?  Thank you!”

That’s all I need, really — an acknowledgement that I feel like ass.  But does anybody around here give me that?  No!  Well, not until I actually take my temperature and it registers 103.5.  At which point Mr. Candy was all, Whoa!  You really aren’t making up this sick thing! and blessedly went into nurse mode.  I’ll tell ya, nothing perks me up like the sight of Mr. Candy in a sexy nurse’s uniform.

When my temperature climbed to 104 yesterday, I said, “Huh.  Maybe I should stop being stupid and go see a doctor.”  When I got there, I was so weak and delirious that I repeatedly went out the EXIT door every time I meant to return to the waiting room.  And this happened a lot, as they had me come back a few times before seeing the doctor.  Once to check my vitals.  Then give a urine sample.  And another urine sample because they didn’t like my original one (RUDE).  So every time I pushed the door open, expecting to see Mr. Candy and Drew sitting there, I’d be greeted by one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles.   “Wrong door, Ms. Kirby!” the receptionist would say slowly and loudly as if addressing a 90-year-old lady.

I’m just lucky I didn’t wander into traffic.

The doctor felt the lump on the side of my back and gave it an official diagnosis: “weird.”  The lump, combined with a definite urinary tract infection, made her concerned that the infection may have spread to my kidney — and that my kidney could even be abscessed.  Because this wasn’t her area of expertise, and most doctor’s offices were closed by now, she suggested going to the ER immediately.

DOCTOR:  You may need to be hospitalized and put on an IV of antibiotics.

ME:  Can’t this wait until tomorrow?  I need to breastfeed the baby.

DOCTOR:  If it’s abscessed, you could die if it’s not treated immediately.

ME:  Oh, okay.  I guess I’ll go now.

I was already weeping for my motherless children when Mr. Candy dropped me off at the ER.  He couldn’t stay with me because he had to pick up Skye from daycare, not to mention I did not want the kids in the emergency room, as much as I knew Skye would enjoy using my Handi-wipes to clean the crusted vomit off the floor.  I crossed my fingers they would “fast track” me, as the doctor said they might, since I could, you know, DIE at any given moment.  But when I saw a woman who had cut off one of her fingers was waiting…?  I kind of lost hope.  That’s what you find yourself doing in the ER:  looking around to gauge other patients’ ailments, comparing theirs against your own.  A sprained foot?  Stomach pain?  Pssshhh.  My infected kidney SO trumps them.  I SHOULD BE TREATED FIRST!

The last time I was in the ER, I waited for six hours before even getting a room.  And by “room,” I mean “cubicle with a curtain.”  So I hunkered down, gave silent thanks for remembering to charge my iPhone and tried not to be bothered by the old lady sitting across from me who kept crying, “I’m in pain.  I’m in so much pain!”

Seriously.  Who needs The Laugh Factory when you’ve got the ER?!

I want all of you to know I was part of a miracle last night:  I was in and out of the ER in TWO-AND-A-HALF HOURS.  Hallelujah!  Right away, the ER doctor said, “This lump isn’t your kidney, but it really is weird.  Let’s check it out.”  There it was again:  WEIRD.  So then I thought, Omigod, a weird lump!  Is it cancer?  Um… cancer of the, uh, side of the back?   (Good thing I never attempted a medical career.)  However, an ultrasound revealed no mass of any sort, as well as a sexy-looking kidney, if I do say so myself.  The doctor surmised I just happened to be suffering from an unfortunate convergence of ailments:  a virus; a urinary tract infection; and a bad back.  Yes!  That’s all!

I guess that means I can take the kids to the park now.

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Yes, that means you have to take the kids to the park ;0) I hope you feel better soon!

  • Oh no, that sounds horrible! You have my sympathy, for sure. I hope that somehow you are able to get some rest and feel better soon!

  • I can’t tell you how relieved I am to know that you do not have back cancer. (And *don’t* google images for “dorsal cancer.” Because OH. MY. GOD.)

    On a serious note, being sick breastfeeding mother when you have a newborn is proof that god is a man.

    • You KNOW I’m going to google “dorsal cancer” as soon as I leave this site, right?

      And your second point? YES.

  • Thanks for the sympathy and acknowledgement, everyone. I was probably very subtle in noting this, but I DO love me some sympathy.

    Turns out, I DO have a kidney infection. At least the diagnoses have been reliable! *AHEM*

  • Ouch!

    And it’s not the men in our lives. When I was given the go signal to go home after feeling lousy at work, the first thing my older sis the MD says upon seeing me walk through the door? “Why are you home early? Go back to work!”

    The sympathy, I tells ya…

    From one sufferer to another, here’s my dose of sympathy: get Mr. Candy loads more nurse’s uniforms and go get some rest!

  • Nothing worse for a mom to be sick and not to be able to take care of the kids. The only way this could have been worse is if Skye and Drew were sick too. 🙁 At least now we know kidney infections are not contagious! (hey, I’m a glass half full kind of person)

    Get well soon though, and complain as much as you like.