OK, so it’s not really a “geezer” disease, but it certainly reminded me
I’m not 20 anymore.  Yes, this is me blogging about my kidney
stone.  Deal.  Also, this gets pretty gross.  Just an
FYI.

So Thursday morning I wake up absurdly early to find that my side
hurts.  I think I’ve cramped it in my sleep or something, but over
the next little while I find that it is not getting better.  No,
quite the opposite, in fact.  Eventually it hurts so bad I am up,
pacing the living room, deciding what to do.  By “deciding” I mean
“debating whether I am about to die,” since that’s certainly what it
felt like was happening.  By 9:00am I had decided that I had
appendicitis and was going to die horribly when it burst inside me and
sprayed my innards with molten lead and so it was time to go to the
doctor.  I woke The Boyf and told him what was up and that I was
going to shower and take myself to Duke Urgent Care, a couple of
streets over.  In the shower it improved so much that I thought
maybe I was overreacting, but as soon as I let myself think it,
stepping from the shower itself, the pain came back on me so hard that
all I could do was bend double and aim for the toilet.  I was
heaving my guts out in pain, and that was a powerful motivator to
continue on the path to medical attention.

By the time I’d reached the doctor, I was short of breath and all I
could do was keep moving.  I paced the examining room while the
doctor told me he was pretty sure it was either a kidney stone or
appendicitis and they were going to need to run some blood work. 
I groaned and twitched as they poked and prodded me, paying another
round of tribute to the porcelain gods in the middle of
everything.  By this point a nurse had said the following to
me:  “Honey, I’ve had babies, and I’ve had kidney stones, and
kidney stones are worse.”  The thought that what I was going to
experience was akin to giving birth through my dick was not exactly a
comfort, but her candor was refreshing.  Eventually the doctor had
the good news that I was not, in fact, about to die when my appendix
went nuclear and that it was probably a stone.  To be sure,
though, they wanted to send me to Duke Hospital to have a scan done and
check me out properly.  “I don’t care,” I told him, “Whatever you
say, but you have got to give me something for the pain.  If all
you can do is punch me until I don’t care anymore, just start hitting
me.  I can take it.”  At that point the nurse from earlier
reappeared with two big needles and told me she needed me to turn on my
side.  Approximately five seconds later, I was starting to get an
idea of the true nature of Shangri-La as dispensed in medicinal
increments.  “Please tell me one of those was a pain killer,” I
said to her.  “Honey,” the nurse replied, patting my arm, “They
both were.  And they’re the good stuff.”  At this point – a
mere thirty seconds after being injected – everything was right with my
world.  I gave her a Harvey Birdman’s boss-esque “Ha HA!  You are an ANGEL!”  After that, it all gets fuzzy.

Oh, there was a ride to Duke Hospital, and there was being wheeled
around and being scanned.  They put me in something that I
remember had “Lightspeed” written on the side in a highly stylized,
italicized font.  It had a soothing but commanding, male voice
that told me when to breathe and when to hold my breath and,
eventually, a doctor appeared and said, “You definitely have a
stone.  We’re going to give you some medicine to help you pass it
and then you can go home.”  The Boyf had endured my feeble
attempts to spend the afternoon reading and some serious whining when
the drugs wore off, but let me tell you, he was chin-up and 110% on top
of things the entire time.  I honestly do not know what I would do
without him.  I think I would have just laid in the hospital and
cried for the rest of the day when the drugs wore off.  Let me
tell you, it is not a pleasant thing to go from sheer bliss to
murderous levels of pain in ten seconds.  The Boyf was quick to
get me some attention, though, and the nice people at the hospital,
gave me morphine (and then, later, they gave me… more morphine), and
by the time that wore off then there was one last gasp of pain before
everything was fine.

By the time The Boyf had returned me to my car, the morphine had worn
off and I was good to drive.  I went around the corner to the drug
store, dropped off my prescriptions, and went to grab some Gatorade to
occupy my time while the pharmacists got my drugs ready to go.  I
ended up chugging the Gatorade because I was so dry and then spent an
eventful few minutes regretting that decision in the bathroom adjacent
to the pharmacy proper.  As I emerged, eyes watering, the
pharmacist looked up and said, “Your prescription is ready,” and I
nearly hugged her neck.

Since then, I’ve mainly been tired.  That much pain, it seems, can really wear you out.

Today I awoke to the horrifying realization that my side hurt
again.  I was up in an instant, taking the pain meds I’d largely
ignored yesterday and the FloMax (yes, that’s what it’s called – three
guesses what it makes me do), and the anti-nausea pills, and laying on
the couch in the living room in case I was about to experience my
second kidney stone, praying to any gods who would listen that
honestly, we could reach a deal to our mutual satisfaction here, they
just needed to do me one little favor and either make it go away or let me die
Fortunately, the pain was never the same as it was on Thursday – a
minor pain compared to Thursday’s, much as one might compare a dull
ache to a gunshot wound – and I figured out, after moving around the
house a little, that it’s not that I’m having another bout, it’s that I’m sore.  I wondered, very briefly, how on earth that had
happened, but honestly, I don’t know what else I should have
expected.  My right kidney just spent the day trying to spit out a
rock.  Being a little sore seems perfectly natural.

So here I am, on the mending side of my first kidney stone
attack.  From everything I’ve read, it runs in families, and my
father’s father has had multiple bouts of them.  Likewise from my
newly acquired education in the ways of the kidney stone, it seems that
having one is no big deal but having more than one is a sign that they will be an occasional but lifelong visitor.

I really hope this is my one and only. (more…)