26 October 2010

That Boy Sure Has Some Stones, He Does

Come with me now, on a brief journey into the world of modern medicine...

Let me state categorically and for the record the following:

1) Kidney stones totally suck.  Really.  The pain?  Is all the bad things you've heard about it.
2) Modern medicine may be considered terribly complex and overly expensive by some, but there are things it does very well.  Pain relief is one of those things.

At 7:00 am Monday morning, I was on the road and near to whistling while I worked.

At 7:15 am, I was clutching at my side and wondering who had left the flaming pair of vise grips attached to what I assumed was my appendix.  After I stopped by to see my Wee Lass, I decided it might be best to go home, lay down and wait for it to go away.

Ha.ha.ha.  It didn't.

I did my best Toughest Man in the World impression.  Which lasted all of about 45 minutes.  So it was I found myself calling for the paramedics, because I was truly concerned that I would not be able to safely drive myself to the emergency room. 

Lucky for me, the closest fire and rescue station to my house is less than a mile away.  I heard the truck leave the station, so I was ready and waiting when they parked in front of my house.  They let me sit on the back of the truck while they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive (it was at a station a little further out).

As an aside, may I say how cool it was to sit on a fire truck?  I guess I've always wanted to do that, ever since I was a kid.

Anyway, the ambo shows up, and for the first time ever in my life, I went for an ambulance ride.  The rig itself is pretty cool, although most folks who see it from that angle probably aren't in a good position to appreciate that.

The paramedic who was in back with me asked if had any nausea, and I did, and she remarked that the bumps in the road weren't helping.  She then grinned and said "Well, just in case, I'll give you this bag.  Sorry about the size, but we don't have any small ones.  But better than nothing!"

She handed me this bright red plastic bag with big biohazard symbols on the side, and warning language about contents and handling.  The thing was about the size of a large shopping bag.  If I hadn't been in such discomfort, I would have laughed out loud.  Still, as she said, better than nothing.

Fortunately I did not have to avail myself of the Le Barf Sac, as we arrived at the hospital without regurgitatory incidents.  I was wheeled into the waiting area, and did not have to wait long before I was in a ER room, hooked up and wired in.  And that's when the miracle of modern painkilling technology became very clear to me.

I don't recall what it was they gave me through the IV shunt, but it worked like a charm.  Did the pain go away completely? No.  But there is a huge difference between unbearable and manageable.  And I learned just what that difference means. 

The end result was that I scored the Daily Double:  the CAT scan I had showed a small hernia AND a kidney stone.  Woot!  Me so lucky!  So that 'splains all the agony.

All in all, much more adventure in my life than I wanted for my Monday.  But I did get a good, long nap.


  1. Oh holy hell! That sucks my friend. I had a kidney stone last Dec. Remind me to tell you about my 5 days on Vicodin and morphine, my hospital stay, the 10 pounds I lost, and the proof that I have zero self-preservation skills.

  2. I used to be a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT Irish, and know exactly what you went through on the rescue end, AND the patient end...However my comrades weren't generous enough to give me the biohazard bag I know so well as they gave me a tiny airplane vomit bag thinking it was funny as I told them of the revenge I had planned...In the end, cranbeery juice thankfully got rid of the stones along with the sacred painkillers...I held some real kidney stones that the Doctor showed me because I knew him, and they were like mini blowfish with spikes , thank God they can sono or laser them now...all too familiar a story, but isnt it great how we never lose the joy of being on a Firetruck. Sending healing honks from NYC and hope you are feeling better bro. Peace.

  3. oh that really sucks. i hope you are feeling much better now. i totally know what you mean about appreciating pain medication too...

  4. Morphine is a hell of a drug.

    I found that out when my appendix needed to come out earlier this year.

    Sorry to hear about your discomfort, but glad that you were able to get treatment before things got too bad. Take care and rest up!

  5. Get well soon, Iggy. One assumes that they'll sonar those suckers until they're small enough to pass comfortably. Or uncomfortably, more like it.

  6. Hope you are resting and mending well. Way to put a positive spin on a dicey situation. Ambulance rides are so not my favorite.

  7. Ouch. You poor thing! Hope your troubles pass soon...

  8. Oh you poor baby !
    My poor husband went through this a few times, I will never forget the first time, 2 am and he called a taxi and left me at home with sleeping children while he went for his for his first hospital visit for kidney stones.
    He ended up getting the sonic blasting treatment.
    It works.. get it done soon, and Change your Diet !! no more anchovies !!! :)

  9. YIKES! and YIKES some more just because i have no tolerance for pain, mine or just hearing about it! (i like to think of it as being empathic to my friends suffering.yeah, i know, i'm good like that.) anyway, hope you're feeling better. xoxox

  10. Shit! Look after yourself Irish. Drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of soup...

  11. You got to sit in the firetruck? Man!! Lucky stiff!!

    So you had the male version of labor. Fun, huh?

    What do they plan to do about the hernia ans the kidney stone?

    Good luck!!

  12. Geez, what you have to do these days to sit on a fire truck and get a ride in the ambo. Any pictures?

    P.S. Sorry to hear you were in so much pain. I never had a hernia or stones, but I have had other pain, and it majorly sucks!

  13. At the age of 12 or 13, I had a mishap on my dirtbike. In a haze, I looked to my left and it appeared I had no shoulder. The medics at the track cut off my favorite shirt to confirm I at least had a dislocated shoulder. My parents got me in the van and drove me to the local emergency room, as they were paranoid about insurance policies and whatnot. Two hours later or more and in a state of shock after my own tough-girl routine, we finally made it to the ER. Then they made me take xrays. GIANT METAL APRON HANGING FROM MY SHOULDER. That's about when the tough girl act ran out. But I finally got good xrays and I was given my pain meds.

    Why that is such a memorable point in my life, I do not know. I told my mom I could do cartwheels right then, but instead drifted in to a weird sort of conscious nap before they hung my arm over the side of the bed, attached a 10lb weight, and put my shoulder back in the socket. And I couldn't feel a thing. It was amazing.

    I hope you are getting better, I have seen people go through things like kidney stones and it's not pretty.

    And oddly enough, for all my racing years and injuries, I've never been in an ambo on my own account. Weird!

  14. Yee-ouch! I've heard kidney stones are akin to giving birth. I've done one but not the other and for the most part, I've blocked it out (with good reason).

    As for fire trucks, they scare the crap outta me. My dad was a firefighter for 35 years. I've sat on many a fire truck but when your 8 and in the truck bay when the alarm goes off. It's a bit traumatic to say the least.

    But I suppose you can cross that off your list of things to do before you reach 100 years old!

    (As always, feel better.)


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