I Kidney You Not.

This kidney transplant Container looks like Chinese food carryout box to me.
Maybe it’s supposed to say "HUNAN Kidney"!

easter egg text - "Renal 411 - haha! Get it? It's like Reno 911, but for kidney information... Yeah, I thought it was too esoteric to make a good blog title."

Today: The straight poop on my kidney stones.

First: My band for today shall be named:

And now the news:

I Kidney You Not.

Friday, August 18, 2006.

6 a.m.
The day after I blog band names “Poison Pea Pod” and “Bladder Inflammation Overturn”, I am stricken with a familiar pain in my lower back.

Kidney stones.

I had a small one pass two years ago through my left side. It was over in a couple hours, but severe enough to send me to the emergency room.

This feeling was the same, except on the right side. Pain went from zero to eleven in about one hour.

8 a.m.
At work, I finish up some odds and ends “just in case”. As soon as the doctor’s office opens, I get a referral to a urologist and an Rx for pain pills and an antibiotic. For some reason, a rock the size of a Tic Tac can rip an infection-prone, bloody gash as it travels through your body. Go figure.

10 a.m.
University Center Imaging. I receive ultrasound and X-Rays. The pain hovers in the lower 4-5 level due to the proximity effect of health care professionals. Had I been alone, random chance would ramp up the pain. Because the medicos needed to test me under pain, my pain was low. Go figure.

2 p.m.
Imaging results show a large stone passing through my right kidney, followed by a string of debris that looks like the asteroid belt. In the interim my pain has cranked back up to the 10-11 range, and I have taken 2 pain pills.

4 p.m.
Urologists office. Busy place. The joint is hopping with old guys. I feel like a teen age volunteer at a nursing home. Pain pills are weird. The pain is totally palpable, but the medication gives you the ability to be too stupid to think about it.

Urologist really doesn’t do anything, but sends me home for what he calls “a week in hell”.

Friday Night August 18, 2006 – Wednesday Night August 23:
Do not remember anything. Leveraged pain pills to keep sanity.

Wednesday Night August 23:
Please excuse this moment of indelicacy…my bladder forces out a bowl of what looks like black ready mix cement. I am too decimated inside to have much of a reaction.
I stop taking the pain pills, and when sensation returns, it feels like a molten steel reinforcement bar has been dropped through my right shoulder, fried its way down my gut, and exited through my urinary tract. Don’t cry for me Argentina--It is a tremendous feeling of relief!

The Aftermath
The following week I suffered a bought of kidney/bladder infection. The pain pills actually cause pain when you stop. They make you feel like you are still taking them, but with the inability to sleep or be stupid enough not to know you're in withdrawl. Fortunately, after 2 days and nights, the pills were out of my system.

I was told that I am fortunate that the ‘gravel’ (official term-I did not make that up!) did not damage my urethra. My band name for this period shall be called “Praise for a Wide Urethra”. A subsequent CT scan showed that the kidney stone and its brothers have passed through my right side with minimal damage.

This kidney stone—the great stone of 2006—I have named Shoemaker-Levy 9.

Suddenly a Hand Reaches Up from the Grave
—Setup for the Sequel:

A 2-weeks-later ultrasound reveals that my LEFT kidney contains stones…
[fade to black]

The good news is the Urologist says we can do something about this.

What I’m willing to admit about this ordeal (part 1):
When you’re in pain, NOTHING is funny. It took a couple weeks to even think about getting back to this list. I remember the idea crossing my mind while I was in pain and just hating the idea of humor.

What I learned:
Pain pills. Good.
Pain pills. Bad.

What I’m willing to admit about this ordeal (part 2):
In retrospect, pain IS PRETTY FUNNY. Primarily when it isn’t your pain. And Kidney Stones? What could be funnier than that? I mean, it hurts when you try to pee. And that appeals to the kid in me.

Unfortunately, my urethra feels like I passed a kid from in me.

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