Thursday, May 20, 2010

Got Stones?


If you've every had a kidney stone before, you'll fully appreciate what I'm about to write. Kidney stones are made up of calculi (crystal aggregations) that travel from the kidney through the ureter. If stones are less than 3mm they typically can travel through the ureter with little complication but with a considerable amount of pain. Once they pass into the bladder the pain subsides and little discomfort is felt upon external passage.

Having "delivered" 5 stones in the past, facing the prospects of laboring one more is a bit discouraging. My first stone hit me like a bolt of lightning 4 years ago. I still recall sitting at my son's baseball game and having what felt like horrible indigestion overcome me while sitting on the bleachers. I excused myself and went and sat in the car. While there I broke into a wild sweat, felt the pain work from lower abdomen, round my back, through my man parts and then loop over the path again. After struggling through the remaining innings I drove the family home and had my wife drive me to the emergency room.

Hours later I found myself in a posture of where I would remain for 4 weeks: sitting on the toilet, strainer in hand, sifting through urine until I popped out a stone. The stone was 2 mm. 6 months late my other kidney produced 4 more stones, the first being the worst I've had, but only 1 mm. When I went to the ER that time, I yelled for the attendants to skip the triage and dope me with drugs immediately. They did so in a timely manner and I began a 2 week reminder session on the coursework of stone passing.

Yesterday morning, in route to my dental appointment, I felt a twinge of indigestion discomfort which I did not recognize. Stones being completely off my radar (it had been 3 years since I passed my last one with zero discomfort), I debate on whether to head into work. The feeling was not overwhelming but with a little guilt I called in sick. I began a series of naps that spanned a few hours until at 1:45 I woke with a sudden and overwhelming series of pain. It felt like my right testicle were being used as a punching bag (no understatement). I began the familiar sweating sequence yet I still questioned whether it was a stone.

My wife, bless her soul, took the reigns and began making phone calls. She called out to some of our friends in the church for priesthood blessings by the laying on of hands. Our friend Bob Bell and Bishop Larry Runyon were at the home within 15 minutes of the calls ready to serve me. I don't share many stories regarding blessings but I feel it appropriate to share that with some I've longed for the words, "Be thou healed and take up thy bed:" this blessing was not of that kind. The words were simple and few. "Go to the doctor now!" And we did just that.

I'm still waiting on the news of x-rays and ct-scans but have a pretty good idea after having spent a few hours in doctor offices and labs that a repeat performance of an off-broadway hit, "Got Stones?" is what I'll be starring in for the next few days.

Some compare the passing of stones in the same pain category of delivery a baby. While I've never had the blessing of the latter, I can vouch that passing stones can be the worst possible pain I've ever imagined or experienced.

Thanks to all of those that have already began their prayerful exercises on my behalf. Thanks to my wife that watches over me with mighty care, waking me up every 4 hours for meds to keep me comfortable, and feeding me breakfast in bed even when I have know appetite. Rebecca, you're truly blessed in many ways and my life is eternally well spring of gratitude for having you in my life. Thanks to priesthood brethren that take their oath seriously by giving rather than always receiving. Thanks to kind office staff that made my experience at the office tolerable.

And finally, thanks to Jesus Christ and the Father for allowing me to have the painful experience of kidney stones so that I may have compassion on those that struggle infinitely and consistently with their pain, for having overcome the mortal body and provides for each of us a way to immortality through His resurrection, eternal life through the Atonement and happiness in this life through faith in the same. May God be blessed evermore and may His tender mercies be delivered to me in this time of pain and discomfort. With time, "this too will pass!"
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