Tuesday, January 6, 2009
A week before Thanksgiving I awoke around 5 AM to a pain. I thought it was indigestion or something.
But it got worse. Around 7 or so Allyson wanted to know where I was; I told her I felt bad – something hurt. Allyson called Shannon; Shannon later came over and ended up taking me to the Carilion ER.
After a bunch of poking and prodding, and a few x-ray pictures, we figured out it was a kidney stone.
It wasn’t my first kidney stone – I’d had one “two wives ago” as I told the ER Doc. Um, make that about 25 years ago. That first one was excruciating. Incredible. This one, on the other hand, was merely painful as hell. It went away – partly with simple Tylenol™
So the ‘imaging’ showed I’ve got kidney stones. Enough for a small parking lot. It also showed Gallstones. Ouch.
I went on home, made appointment with my urologist, primary doc, and started reading up on the durn things.
One Sunday evening about ten days later I told Allyson I felt another stone coming on and helped her get to bed early, just in case. It came; was painful but I toughed it out, and it dissipated about 2 so I could get some sleep. At 3 AM it’s brother decided to come out. Susan came over and took me to the ER this time and Shannon came to help Allyson. I ended up having Lithotripsy about 10 days after that to break up the stone hanging in my ureter (the tube between kidney and bladder). The remaining stones will have to be taken out a hard way (there are several methods) as they’re too big to ‘pass’.
At church Sunday I was talking to a friend (with whom I share initials) who had his gallbladder taken out a few weeks ago. We were discussing respective ailments, and were joined by other midlife-plus folks. After a few minutes I commented, to universal agreement, “Hey, we’re getting to be old farts. We aren’t discussing girls, sports, cars, children or grandchildren. We’re discussing ailments and the doctors we see. This is ridiculous!”
Let’s see now: Kidney Stones. Gallstones. Rocks in my head. I feel like Ballast.
Gee, being ‘stoned’ has taken on a different meaning than in my youth.