Sunday, March 22, 2015

No Longer Stoned. I Hope.

I’m no longer stoned. I hope.

While Gilda went with Ken and Jane to what turned out to be a dreadful play Saturday night, I opted to stay home and drink and drink and drink. Orange-flavored water, mostly followed by a lemonade-flavored vitamin water chaser I stocked up on at the local Stop & Shop. The doctor had said to swill four liters a day, but I could barely manage half a liter until Saturday evening.

Drinking all that fluid had its natural consequence. Wagon trains crossing the dry southwest didn’t cut deeper ruts than the path I carved from our TV room to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes or so. It would have been impossible to sit through a 90-minute play with no intermission. It would have been rude to the actors and the audience to witness my repeated excursions.

It also was kind of hard to watch a movie at home when so much action was happening off screen, but, truth be told, the interruptions made it a little easier to absorb all the violence in Fury, the Brad Pitt World War II film. Gilda came home just as the end credits started to roll. She would not have been able to sit through Fury.

I still didn’t know if I was stone free. I hadn’t had any pain since 5 am Saturday, but that followed the pattern. I suffered only twice a day, presumably when the stone was making its way down my urinary canal. All that extra drinking was intended to speed its flow. Still, I had been cautioned it could be a painful journey of several days.

Indeed, two people—neither of whom had experienced childbirth–told me the agony associated with a kidney stone compares to the pain of bringing a baby into this world. As our daughter is days away from delivering her first child (our third grandchild, second granddaughter) I will not presume to suggest they were right.

Our nephew Eric forwarded a link to a Seinfeld episode wherein Kramer copes with a kidney stone. Here it is:

The good people at the hospital emergency room the other night had sent me home with a handful of paper strainers that look very much like Mr. Coffee filters with mesh at the coned bottom. To catch the stone you are supposed to pee into the funnel of the strainer and, like a gold miner sifting a pan of water, hope that a deposit shows up.

At 1 am Sunday I thought I saw something solid at the bottom of the funnel. I had been expecting a round, dark sphere about 2-3 millimeters wide. Instead, it looked like shreds of poppy seeds. I saved them in a container the urologist  gave me for just such a purpose. Hopefully, it is the stone, or the remnants of the stone, which can be analyzed to determine why it showed up and if I could do anything to prevent a recurrence.

As I get ready to post this blog it is past 1 pm Sunday. I’ve been pain free for more than 32 hours. I’m hoping it’s a positive sign I am stone free.

P.S. Now it is Gilda who is under the weather with a sore throat that will keep her away from work Monday and Tuesday. Though we are not age-conscious, looks like turning 66 for both of us this month has been a trying experience.