A kidney stone walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll you have?” The kidney stone says, “Thanks dude, but I’m just passing through.”
It started with sharp pains, like being shanked in the back over and over…then over again. Walk it off, I thought. A couple of laps around the [prison] yard is just what the warden ordered.
But the intensity increased to contractions – flashbacks of breathing techniques from my nineties prenatal class vaguely swam to mind. Not to be outdone, nausea and vomiting (oh, the vomiting) followed. It became clear this was no laughing [gas] matter.
“Siri…kidney stone symptoms,” I panted into the phone. At midnight, my 21 year old daughter raced me to the hospital to hypothetically welcome her renal boulder brother.
If Abby ever had permission to drive mach 5, this was it. Since kidney stones are two times more likely to strike men than women, we briefly considered stopping for a lotto ticket. Because luck be a lady tonight!
A frazzled Abby skidded up to Emergency, did a tuck and roll, and came flying back with a wheelchair. My instructions to run faster narrowly missed dumping me off the curb. Next came the endless wait for drugs. My only focus, thought, mission was for pain relief.
The CT scan confirmed I was having a chunky 7 mm nugget. Five hours later, they had a bed for me in the urology dept – in another hospital. Buckle up the gurney boys, I’m catching air bouncing through potholes.
The last thing anyone wants during pandemic high season is a two night stay at the hospital. But it was serene on the 8th floor. No roommate, a bed with a view, and top shelf drugs.
Because the hospital is on lockdown, no visitors = quiet. Every last muscle was spent. My body could finally relax and be looked after – and stop fighting the intruder. Surgery was unavoidable on the shits and giggles list.
I tried to summon the strength for a shower, determined to shave off two months of hair growth connecting my toes to my midriff. But attempts to de-wooly the mammoth were derailed by a call to the OR. Before going under, I had the staff swear they wouldn’t judge my caveman condition, the condition my condition was in.
You never know how good hospital food tastes until you go 27 hours without a bite. Kidney stones are a quick way to lose the quarantine 15, but I definitely don’t recommend it. I finally got my discharge papers and promised to drink my weight in water.
“Oh, and by the way, there’s a 25-30 cm stent up your URETHRA [Franklin] that you’ll need to remove in five days. Try to keep your tummy muscles relaxed while you’re pulling it out.” What kind of fuckery is that?
The Sisters takeaway – don’t get kidney stones or urine trouble!
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