Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Stoned Again

Two days ago I woke up and knew something wasn't right. The fact that it was 6:30 in the a.m. was part of it. I'm rarely awake at that hour. But the pain, discomfort, and general ill feeling was telling me something I was hoping I could head off with a glass of water laced with a bit of orange juice. Not a chance. When you've got kidney stones, you're a goner. Nothing, and I mean nothing, short of some serious intravenous pain killers that you can only get from serious medical professionals, can get you through what a minuscule crystal is about to put you through.

"Oooh, kidney stones. I've heard they're pretty painful." They're the one thing a man can throw at a woman if she starts going on about the pain of labor. Granted, the thing that comes out in one is nothing compared to the thing that comes out in the other, but pain for pain, women even back down from kidney stones. They're even more painful than the excruciating pain I had to bear last fall when I learned I had spinal stenosis. That's a condition caused by your spinal column being too small for your spinal chord. You know what that is, right? It's the entire bundle of nerves that run up and down your spine. Yeah, kidney stones hurt more than that. They hurt more than the symptoms I was exhibiting, numb and paralysis in my leg. Shooting pains up and down my leg, all the way to my ankle. A charlie horse that I called, the Mother of all Charlie Horses. Yeah, kidney stones hurt more than the Mother of all Charlie Horses.

In the ER, the drill is simple. I writhe in pain on a gurney while nurses take blood and my vitals. Then they hook you up to an IV to force fluids in you. You want to hose the mother out. In the meantime, I might be weeping like a Nancy or if I feel like it, vomiting. Real serious pain causes nausea, did you know that? Then the drugs come and you lie there experiencing the best dreams you've ever had in your life. Eventually they let you go with prescriptions for enough Oxy with a street value that could pay off my school loans. And now they also give you this other drug that helps you pee like a racehorse. Like I said, the idea is to hose the little bastard right out of you.

In the meantime, the stone is taking its sweet time negotiating your bladder and ureters, and your body, sensing this intruder, feels that a fever and general malaise is the best thing it can do under the circumstances.

So, you drink and drink and drink. You're supposed to drink up three quart of water a day. Night and day, you're in and out, in and out of the bathroom.  Let it be known that there reaches a point in taking in that much water that it turns from drinking to drowning. Eventually, you can't stand water because you're just forcing it in. Can you say bloated?

I get to the point where I'll drink anything except water. Water with OJ maybe. Today I drank pot after pot of herbal tea with honey, but that eventually starts to get to you, too. Oh, and with all this liquid intake, there's that drug working on you, so you're running to the bathroom every whipstitch.

I don't even want to go into what happens in the bathroom.

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