Kidney stones make reporter ‘ticking time bomb’

By Geoff Peckham, News Co-Editor

I was a ticking time bomb. Someone called Jack Bauer.
These explosives were three kidney stones that called my body home for more than two weeks. Doctors told me that I could do little more than wait — wait for fierce pain. The waiting game filled my Fall Break. I popped ibuprofen or oxycodone at every glimmer of pain and drank what felt like 200 bottles of water (don’t worry, I recycled since I do care about the environments, unlike a particular dining hall that will go unnamed). During break I was also going to the bathroom on average every 15 minutes, so all-in-all, I was a little cranky.
Is this how pregnant women feel?
OK, so I won’t go as far to compare this to being in labor. But everyone tells me how this is the closest a man will ever get. And if having a baby feels anything like what I went through on that fateful Wednesday morning, well then I have to give you ladies props. You are the superior sex.
Passing that first stone was trouble with a capital troub.
I’m talking a mini-lawnmower moving at a constant speed through your stomach; it’s sharp, and it doesn’t let up for an hour and a half. The only relief is when you’re dry heaving because of how nauseous the pain is making you. Bottom line: I wouldn’t wish that pain on anybody.
Maybe it was karma. My mother always told me I was difficult at birth, that I just didn’t want to come out. I kept asking myself, why won’t these stones come out? I’d be a good mother to them.
Speaking of moms, if any of you ever get kidney stones, wait until you’ve passed them before you tell your mother. If she’s anything like mine, she’ll react like you’ve told her you have cancer, and ask you to call her every 12 hours. But I guess that’s what moms are for.
So I went to the urologist, who told me I might have already passed the smaller ones without knowing. I was a little sad at that idea; I wanted to keep them. But according to him, there are traces of blood in my urine, which means there was one still there, probably the bigger one. I could pass it anytime, he tells me, as well as the other ones if I haven’t already.
It seemed like I was still going to be a parent.
I wish I could have kept one of my CT scans, so I could tell people it was my ultrasound. Instead he gave me a prescription for Flomax in hopes of speeding the process along. As if I wasn’t peeing enough anyway.
So I decided to brace myself for the long haul. This thing might be inside me for quite a while, so I should just go about my business. I was in the sauna (excuse me, writing center) when I felt nature calling for the 4,321 time since I was diagnosed, so I made my way to the men’s urinal.
Wait a minute, that felt funny for a second.
I look down, and sure enough, stuck to the wall of the urinal, a small brown stone about 4mm. I’m a mommy!
After the excruciating pain I went through initially, as the bloody thing made its way from my kidney to my bladder, this is how it ends. A little anti-climactic I would say. But now I have something to show my friends! I shall call him Doyle. As in Doyle’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Wait, that’s Murphy’s Law. Oh well, I like Doyle better.
It’s really just a relief to be done with this whole episode. It felt good to purge my body of all that negative energy. Also, I have some bragging rights. I could be sitting with a couple of characters like Quint or Hooper from Jaws, exchanging scars. Bitten by a Great White? Please. I passed a kidney stone. I’d then listen to the collective gasps around the room, then strut off confidently while they all murmured, “Now that guy is tough.”
OK, so maybe not. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, along with my pregnancy metaphors. If you can’t have a sense of humor about this sort of thing, you’re just left feeling sorry for yourself. And frankly, that’s just not my style.