So I had a new experience last week.
It wasn't the sort of thing that is typically celebrated and this certainly won't be accompanied by an explanation of how you can do this yourself. Trust me, you don't want to do that. So this isn't that sort of post. This is one of those posts where I give my readers a chance to have a good laugh at my expense.
It started with what I thought was the 18-24 hour stomach bug that was going around town. Nasty, short-lived, and nearby. I was in the back seat of an extended cab pick up truck one minute, and in the next minute I was leaving the remnants of the previous night's dinner and that morning's hazelnut convenience store coffee in the wooded area between the credit union and the elementary school.
The cool air and the pressure relief made me feel much better. For a little while. By lunch I was at home in bed, not feeling great but not really feeling sick either. By suppertime, I was feeling ok. I thought maybe a meal might get my stomach back to normal and everything would be fine.
Then there was about 15 seconds of realizing that homemade chili wasn't the best choice for this scenario. A short walk to the bathroom and that mistake was remedied quickly and efficiently.
But the ordeal had just begun.
In the middle rear of my left side there was an odd sensation. It lasted about 8 or 9 seconds until it progressed to a rather uncomfortable feeling which was almost immediately upgraded to a tortuous abnormality that threw me to the floor praying for death to mercifully deliver me to a better place, far from the agony that had, in an instant, overcome my happy existence and robbed me of every joy I had ever experienced.
Now anyone who knows me well knows I'm not a neat freak. And I'm not really a "germophobe". But I have this thing with bathrooms. I don't touch public porcelain for any reason and I'm even particular about certain surfaces in my own bathroom. But suddenly I had discovered the relative healing power of my bathroom tile floor against my face. The coolness seemed to offer some relief from the inferno that had crawled across the entirety of my skin shortly after my rib cage had been torn asunder. Cool and dying was better than hot and dying. So that was progress.
My wife, in all our 17+ years together, has never seen me with as much as a stomach virus. I just don't get sick very often. And I don't complain much about physical discomfort. So she was a little frightened when she found me in such an unusual place for me, all the while moaning and groaning out not-so-subtle pleas for death. And then it, what ever it was, grabbed me again. My tongue was loosed and words flew forth, of which I have no recollection, despite my valorous attempts to not swear within earshot of the children. I may or may not have succeeded in my efforts. I'm assuming I did as they have not come forward to scold me for any such transgression.
Now. If there's one thing I hate worse than a public restroom, it's the doctor's office. So when my wife asked if I wanted to go to Urgent Care and I told her to take me to the ER, she knew the situation was grave. (I'm sure she was trying to recall the location of the life insurance paperwork and such.)
She dropped me off at the door and I somehow made it to the triage nurse. In a turn of events yet to be explained by modern science, I was the only patient in the waiting room. I fell to my knees, as if at the altar, and explained to the nurse, quite likely in a combination of English, French, 1st Century Greek, and words not to be used in public by Southern gentlemen, that I would do and/or pay anything that would deliver me from the hideous fate that had befallen me. A less scrupulous woman would have come out of the deal with a house and a car. By that time my wife arrived to help translate for me.
I was wheeled back to a room and placed on a bed.
The angels appeared. Birds sang. Statues of Greek goddesses held their children high. Mighty ships set sail for far away lands. A symphony was playing Corelli. And, wisely, my wife confiscated my phone. So there I was lying on my side, whimpering jibberish. In my haste to leave the house, I hadn't even buckled my belt. I was a flat-billed hat, a wallet chain, and some dirt road song lyrics from being a bro-country sensation.
But there was no dirt road. There were no tight jeans. Just my poor wife and a bunch of polite people that wouldn't stop asking me if I'd ever had a kidney stone. Which brings me back to the Dilaudid. If you've never had a CT machine speak to you while you were under the influence of medical narcotics, let me tell you that it makes for interesting conversation. I don't advise having a kidney stone just to find out, but if you currently have one, give it a shot.
But all things must pass. And since mercy has not completely vacated the Earth, the stone is included. Good riddance.
Until next time.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire