8 mm. I live in America and have minimal familiarity with the metric system so it seemed like such a small number to me. Eight. Millimeters.
That is what it took to bring me down three weeks ago (See – Present Day, April 2nd, 2017). To practically derail my life for an entire three-week period. An 8 mm kidney stone. The stone. The wait. The stint. The removal. The recovery.
I will not bore you with all the details (you are welcome), or with any of the images (you are SOOO welcome!). Let’s just keep this simple, straight forward and honest. There are awful combinations in life. Take for instance large amounts of cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Terrible combination.
Well, for those who do not know, Bipolar (or any number of mental illnesses) combined with chronic or pseudo-chronic pain? Bad combination. Throw in morphine and narcotic pain medications? Really bad combination. As a final ingredient to the recipe let’s toss in a splash of a highly physical job that starts at three in the morning? Yeah, I was pretty much fucked.
Things were actually supposed to be quite smooth following the insertion of a stint between my kidney and my bladder. Should be minimal discomfort they said. Shouldn’t hardly be noticeable they said.
I really like my entire medical team including my doctor. There was, however, one problem with just about all of them. They were young. Very young. As in, too young to have ever had a kidney stone. In other words, it was all book knowledge. No experience. Or put another way, they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.
The day after. And the day after that. And the day after that. The pain did not go away. The discomfort that was indescribable to my wife. The inexplicable lack of energy. From the Tuesday the stent was placed inside my body until six days later (two days ago), when I grabbed that string and pulled that son of a bitch out of my body, it had become the physically most discouraging period of my life.
The day of the stone was worse than the day of my heart attack. The week after the surgery was worse than the week after my heart attack. Not. Even. Close!
And so I have been sidelined. With no creative energy to write (or think for that matter) as I suffered through day in, day out of blood clots, cramps, and fatigue. As I took over the counter pain killers to stay awake enough to run my route before popping a narcotic to sleep enough to do it again the next day.
But I have survived. Once again my pee is flowing freely and bright (sorry…couldn’t avoid ALL the details), my energy is back, and life is rainbows and unicorns. At least for today. And for today…I’ll take it.