Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been; why I haven’t been posting or even really interacting on social media lately. Some of you hadn’t even noticed, some of you didn’t care, and well, some of you were just kind of glad. I’d like to say that I “disconnected.” That I got, “unplugged.” Sadly, this isn’t the case, although many times I wish it was. Nope, I didn’t get “unplugged.” I got stoned. Kidney stoned. (How many people got nervous there for a second? Mom?)
If you’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing a kidney stone, well, let’s just say I hope you never have to. I wish this experience on no man, or woman, although I’m glad women have labor and delivery in their lives to give them a glimpse of what we men go through to birth a kidney stone.
The fun all started Wednesday night. My wife and I were in bed talking when I had this sudden “cramp” (or so I thought) in my low back on the right side. I thought nothing of it, as with my training, I will get cramps and aches all the time. I decided to “stretch” it a bit but when that didn’t work I stood up. I walked the room for a few seconds when I realized this was no cramp: I had an alien inside of me. Within seconds I was on my knees at the bed, in severe, severe pain. My loving wife, Natalie, was running around trying to figure out what’s wrong, all the while saying, “I’m taking you to the E.R.”
Me, like a good, strong, intelligent (and cheap) man said, “You’re not taking me … AAAAAAAAHHH to the E.R. I’ll be … AAAAAAAAHHH fine!”
My wife, much smarter than me, quickly noticed I wasn’t about to pull out of this “cramp” I had self-diagnosed myself with. She also realized it wasn’t an alien inside me, but she knew it was more serious than I wanted to believe.
With my parents now guarding the house from future alien invasions I was sure that would abduct my family, Natalie drove me (quite quickly, mind you) to the E.R. The whole trip I was extremely complimentary of her driving and all those involved on the road.
I never thought I’d be so happy to walk into a hospital, and I only had one thought on my mind: pain meds. I wanted them, and I wanted them now. By this time, the pain had increased from my low back into my side and abdomen. Little did I know that my six-pack would have little impact on the massive creature that was ravaging my body. And to think, I have this washboard abs for nothing!
Hunched over, I shuffled into the first patient room and sat down. Then stood up. Then sat down. Moaned. Stood up. Sighed heavily. I couldn’t win. Nothing was a relief. Nothing provided a reprieve from the most excruciating pain I was feeling. After some vitals, they asked for a urine sample and told me I probably had a kidney stone. Then, they had me wait to see the doc, do a CAT scan … I was starting to wonder when the whole “medication” part would take place, as I didn’t want to miss it.
With just my wife in the room, I did the only thing I could to both help ease the pain and distract me from my own calls for death. I stood up and faced the wall with my eyes closed, clenched my fists and started breathing through my nose. My goal was to approach it in aggression and anger while calming myself. Evidently I looked like I was about to tear down the newly renovated ER. I’m not sure what all I did during those few minutes, but I was in a dark place in my mind and lightly pounded a wall once … or twice.
Strangely, the nurse came in with some “pain meds.” She put me on the bed and threw the vial into my I.V. tube. Within seconds not only was I relaxed and felt amazing, but I was asleep. They never told me where they got those meds that night; whether from the psych ward or the local veterinary clinic, but they were amazing.
After the CAT scan the doc came in and told me, “Yep. You’ve got a kidney stone. It’s a small one. Maybe 2mm, but it’s moving fast and I think you’ll pass it tonight.”
I didn’t understand what he was saying other than, “Yep, you’ve got one, but it’s a small one there big stud. Suck it up and birth the beast and be done with this.” He later told me it was probably full of shards and sharp pieces that made it so painful. I’d give his bedside manner a “7.”
Well, I didn’t pass it that night (liar) neither the next night (this guy should lose his license). That Batman grappling hook of a kidney stone and I wrestled for days and I finally won the fight Saturday night … but oh, the carnage. It was then I decided I’d start a collection of guys to talk about their “birthing” stories. You see, it’s related as the closest thing to giving birth to a child that a man will ever experience. All I know is that had they given me the option for C-section Wednesday night, I’d a grabbed my deer gutting knife and helped the doc out.
I now wane in the aftermath of recovery, as I feel sick and have no appetite. With that said, training has taken a back seat for a week yet, no work travel for a little bit, and I’ve got 15 pounds to gain to get back to my fighting weight. But, until then, you can find me nibbling on saltines, chugging bottled water, getting exhausted after walking the driveway (“What’s new?” some of you are thinking) and milking no yard mowing for as long as I can. Oh, and probably walking the sidewalk in the same clothes I wore yesterday. Don’t judge.