October 26, 2006

Rock star

Gimp tag redux
Originally uploaded by Citizen Rob.
So last night I got this massive pain in my left kidney, like I had been kicked hard, and just this once, I was smart enough not to ignore it. I had Julie take me to the hospital, and sure enough, it was a kidney stone.

In addition, however, I apparently have gall stones and a stone in my appendix, something I'd never heard of before. I am full of rocks!

A few hours before, I'd hooked up with my friend Jill to give her a copy of Part One of Schuyler's Monster, which she is going to read for me. We met for Japanese bubble tea, or "boba", which, if you've never had it, can be a little weird. There's no appetizing way to put this, but it is basically tea with balls of tapioca in it. Sarah Vowell refers to it as "tea and dumplings", and while it sounds revolting, it's actually quite tasty. Meeting for boba has become something of a ritual for Jill and me.

When the doctor got a look at my CT scan, he saw, in addition to my belly full of pebbles, the undigested pudding balls in my stomach. He came into the room with a puzzled look on his face.

"Um, did you eat a necklace?"

Before the night was up, all the nurses and doctors in the ER were talking about my CT scan. I was the Freak of the Night. I rather enjoyed the attention.

So I'm home now. They elected not to do any surgery just yet, and sent me home with a script for Vicodin, which I have been taking all day like a good little stoner. As of about 11:00 tonight, my kidney has still not relinquished its prize. I have to say that even with the drugs (and don't let me sell Vicodin short as a drug that will fuck you up and good), this sucks.

The doctor at the ER said that for a man, this is about as close to labor pains as I'm ever going to feel. This made Julie snicker.

"Yeah, at least you got a prize at the end," I said.

As for that prize, Schuyler had to go with us, and we were concerned that she would be traumatized by the hospital. Keep in mind that the last time she was there, she was getting blood drawn for genetic testing, and before that she was being operated on for a bad staph infection, and before THAT was the MRI that was such an awful experience. Schuyler had gotten to the point where she would panic any time we went to a doctor's office of any kind, and I can't say I could really blame her.

Well, I'm happy to report that not only did she not freak out at all, but she seemed to have the time of her life. My nurse was a good-looking guy who flirted with her and gave her stickers and cookies, and she liked looking at photos of boba balls in my belly, along with the rest of the hospital staff.

Well, I'm glad someone had fun.


Anonymous said...

Kidney stones hurt worse than when I had my c-section so yeah you are feeling the ultimate in pain. I hope they pass soon!

Anonymous said...

Ouch! I just had major orthopedic surgery and am on some scary dosages of percocet. You're right, while the drugs are nice, the inherent suckage of the entire thing does not diminish.

Hope you feel better soon!

Kim said...

Sorry to hear you're rocky. Hope things work out soon.

Sorry, but those tapioca balls/straw drinks gross me out. I've never understood the appeal.

Of course, I'm now living about a hundred miles from any place where I could buy one, so I guess that ends my dilemma.

lilymoonchild said...

You know, for as much good stuff as you get in your life, you get a lot of sucky stuff too. They do seem to balance each other out, though. For example: body full of stones=the joys of percocet :)
Really, I'm kidding. I feel bad for your craptastic luck sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Completely unrelated, functionally, to S's situation, but something interesting to read while laid up:


Anonymous said...

Never having had kidney stones, I can't speak to their pain...but I did have gallstones that lead to pancreatitis about 10 weeks postpartum and it was the worst pain of my life, much worse than both of my labors. I hope it all clears for you soon, because my bout of pancreatitis put me in the hospital for almost a week-they couldn't do surgery until my amylase levels came down on tons of meds.

one last thought, I'm one of those people for whom vicodin, percoset, dilaudid, etc...do nothing at all, no pain relief, no wooziness, no anything. Its very sad :( Especially when you have degenerative disc disease and frequently rupture discs and have no pain relief options :(

Real Live Woman said...

Your "I'm full of rocks" statement made me think of Charlie Brown on Halloween!

I had a kidney stone earlier this year, my first one, even though both of my sisters have had them. I agree with Awesome Mom - worse than labor. I was only in labor for 6 hours; I fought the kidney stone pain for almost a month, because the doctor "really, really wanted me to pass it" before I finally had surgery to remove it. When they removed it, it was way larger than the recommended size for trying to pass one (over 5mm) and probably should have been removed right away. I don't know if your diabetes would complication a surgery, but for me, it was a breeze - I checked into the hospital at 8am, went under at 10am and was home by 1:30 and back at work the next day, pain free. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Kidney Stones suck ass. I have had 5 episodes of them. The last one was 2001 and I had it removed (figure out how they did it with cutting me open) the day GW was sworn in to office. I blame him to this day.

Michelle O'Neil said...

You are SUCH a writer, typing it all down, while on drugs and in pain.

"Did you swallow a necklace?"

Too funny!

Feel better!

Susie said...

I was in the ER with gallstones two weeks after my C-section (and I did go through 12 hours of labor before that). The gallstones were way worse than what I experienced in childbirth.

Hang in there, Rob.

Anonymous said...

I bet you could sell the stones on Ebay. Seriously.

Mark G

Anonymous said...

Another fun experience which I always imagined was similar to a bad period for a woman is having a pilonidal cyst. That's about as much fun as a barrel of monkeys, if they're rabid, zombie monkeys who want to eat your brain.

Unknown said...

I found this entry hilarious, yet I am of course also very sympathetic!

Hope they pass soon.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that. UGH! Hang on!

SpiffyTurtle said...

"Did you eat a necklace?" I can't stop laughing at that one.

I used to be addicted to bubble tea, but it was making me fat. All that sugar and starch.

I hope they can make you better soon.


Anonymous said...

Brings a whole new meaning to the concept of "you rock Rob"! Enjoy the Vicodin while you can, and feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

I went through an unknown ailment of the kidney kind not too long ago myself. They never did figure it out, but the list of possibilities ranged from bizarre accute infection with certain kidney failure, to gastroenteritis, to apendicitis. So, they threw a bunch of antibiotics at me and hoped it would go away - which it did. But holy jeez....I felt like I had been impaled through the lumbar for a few days there. I do not envy you at all Rob - feel well soon.

Jialin said...

Show us some boba CT piccies!

Jialin said...

Show us some boba CT pics!

Anonymous said...

Would they have to operate or is there a lithotripter (the machine that pulverises the stones with shock waves) in your city? You should ask about the lithotripsy option before going under the knife as it's a lot less invasive.

I had a stone in my salivary duct before (and I'd never heard of that until it happened to me), but to get it out I was told to suck on lemons - it was a lot easier to get rid of and much less painful than a kidney or bladder stone.

Also, I love me some bubble tea, but you know you're supposed to chew those tapioca balls, right?

Anonymous said...

Also with the ouch. A kind-of-boyfriend once phoned me up to say, 'I'm never making you have kids', because he also got the labor/kidney stone equation. Hope it, er, passes soon.

Anonymous said...

My husband also had kidney stones on Thursday, however, when they ran the scan, he has a mass on his kidney too that has to be checked out. This sucks. Hope your stone passes soon.

Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine schuyler going w/ you to the hospital.

no one was with me when the ambulance picked me up w/ my kidney stone attack. i'm glad. the pain was off the charts.

i hope she did ok w/ all that. it's hard to see daddy that sick. but, i bet it was comforting for her to see that you were ok w/ her own eyes...

Anonymous said...

Vicodin makes me puke.