Reflections on my Kidney Stone

Reflections on my Kidney Stone

ne thing I reflected on as I woke up after the best sleep I’ve had in a week-and-change; I’m very grateful I live on the cutting edge of now. Yes, we have problems in this world, but also wondrous things, too. As Owen Wilson said in “Midnight in Paris”, when asked why he wouldn’t wish to stay in the magical 1920’s Paris he’s discovered, replied “Novocaine”.

For me, I’m still thinking of that horrible 4mm kidney stone I carried for nine days. Drinking lots of water never moved it a bit. When we finally got flowmax in me, we managed to move it a little further down the tract, but it hung up again. Maybe I would have been able (with another couple of gallons of water) to move it. But stones should be out in three days, and they hurt like a war-lance in your back while they are in. And even with flowmax going, it was iffy if this would have ever come out.

The surgery they used was probably the only way I was going to get that thing out. Otherwise, had the blockage continued, it would have probably infected my kidney and (only a hundred years ago) killed me. Yes, I would be dead.

And my teeth – yes, I have crowns, but at least I have teeth. With the wisdom teeth removed and braces, I have wonderfully straight teeth. A root canal prevented a horrific infection. My glasses let me see clearly; again, these are wonders most of the people of the world never got until recently.

So next time you want to bitch about the world (as I will inevitably do), remember that in hunter-gatherer time, most of us might have made 40 years, tops, if we survived our childbirth and first critical years. And this is true through history, where most surgery was done with an unwashed saw and a dentist’s tools were a chisel and a hammer. Yes, health care is still an illogical mess (made worse by the illogical people it serves and the monstrous corporations who profit from it). But really, toss out a prayer of gratitude for what we do have.

Or read Quicksilver, a book set in the 1600’s where the main character has a kidney stone and nearly dies from it.