Adventure: Romancing the Stone

Think your tough? You might be. But then again, I’ll bet I know something 3mm in size that will convince you otherwise. I’m not tough. Not even close, so I make no bones about “toughing it out,” especially when it comes to the little gems that my kidneys like to produce.

Guess what I’m wearing under my gown and maybe you can keep my stone. The black socks are for style points and they match my Oakleys. Heart rate still calm at 66.

Yep. spent a little time in the ER today. Not my location of choice, but the telltale signs were there. Blood, pressure in all the wrong places, and a track record etched into my brain from prior experience.

Oh, there was the time in the Dominican Republic, while on assignment. “Hmm, feel like a pulled a muscle,” I thought as a mysterious pain completely and utterly took over my world. Stone pain is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Transcendent pain if you will. The client walked up as I was in a ball in the backseat of a van and said: “Yep, kidney stone.” I replied in a foreign tongue born of misery and off the hospital in La Romana I went. As they were prying me off the floor of the van the pain stopped. Miraculously.

The following day I had a shoot offshore, so they hired a speedboat to trail our giant catamaran just in case I had a repeat performance. The following day, WHAM, it hit again and this time the pain didn’t stop. I ended up in a small, rural medical clinic that luckily had a nice fat supply of morphine because Uncle Danno was open for business. Born arms, morphine drip. It was heaven. No, wait, it was probably better than heaven. They wouldn’t let me fly so I holed up in a massive compound owned by a man who was French royalty and he and I watched the NBA Finals while I tried to pee out the naughty bit.

And then there was San Francisco. Sitting alone in the ER, all night long, in pain, waiting for medical help which never came. THAT was a good night. When they finally saw me they refused to scan me, seemed annoyed more than anything else, then attempted to determine if I had a stone by using this strange little machine they admitted: “Really wasn’t designed for it.” And oh, by the way, they tried to charge me $3000 for this little experience.

This time I got lucky, at least so far. I felt the symptoms coming on and took evasive action. As I write this I’m in pain but it’s manageable probably because they shot me up with something and told me “It takes a while but you will feel it.” And feel it I do. I feel like a smoked a bag of Afghani Bullrider.

I need to pass this thing, and soon. I had to cancel out of a Blurb trip today, which I think is the only time I’ve done this in ten years of employment, and it does not feel good. I don’t like not finishing. Sorry, Seattle. Te amo.

So, here is the takeaway. Don’t get kidney stones. Up your water intake, especially if you are prone to exercise, and think about foods like red meat, coffee, soda, tea, spinach, almond milk and beets. All things I love but things I know come with a price tag of pain.

Here’s to a pain free tomorrow.

16 Comments on “Adventure: Romancing the Stone”

  1. I get kidney stones every few years but I am ‘blessed’ that the pain is not severe. I usually pass them with a bit of blood and painful urination. Keep writing, I am thinking about creating a blurb and your writing is a constant reminder.

  2. Dude, takes a pretty touch cookie to admit they ain’t all that tough. Get well soon. And you just listed all the foods I now have to avoid even though with the exception of soda and almond milk. That stuff is horrible. Be well!

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  4. So funny that the first time this happened to me was in the Santa Fe hospital. Due to broken door opener I spent all night waiting to be scanned. Most memorable part was the nurse hooking me up to just a “little intravenous saline.” When I replied, “that was not saline!” She shepishly admitted “well yes it was morphine, you look like you’re in pain.”

    Luckily the few times it’s happened since I’ve successfully resorted to an internet sourced diy cure, gallons of water and intermittent stiff legged jumping from the stairs. Yes, worst pain of my life but it’s better than going to the hospital and still being in pain anyway.

    1. Dan,
      I was up against a trip to Albania. Do I get on the plane knowing I have a stone? I thought “no way.” So, I took action to get it done before. Like two days before. It was costly but knowing it was gone was worth the dinero. And yes, transcendent pain….

      1. I sure don’t blame you for going to the hospital. Now you’ve got me worried about when this monster might arrive again at the worst time!

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