Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sorry Doc, its not you, its me...

So after reading others tell about bad dates, awkward interviews, yelling at punk kids in the car behind them (loved it) or otherwise just embarrassing moments I have decided to share my most embarrassing moment. But first, a little background and medical information.
I am one of the fortunate few that suffer from kidney stones. Kidney stones are mainly attributed to middle aged men but in my family, well for my oldest brother and I, they came much earlier. I had my first one when I was 18, Jeremy was on his mission so his first came when he was 19 or 20. When the first one hit I was laying on my apartment floor playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64. I thought at first that I was just laying in a bad position because my lower back started to hurt. So I moved around a few different times, but nothing helped. Over the next hour the pain got gradually worse. So much so that literally banging my head on the wall was less painful. I have tried to figure out a good way to describe the pain to others but have never been able to come up with anything that really fits. Try and imagine this though, it might help a bit: Take a knife and stab yourself repeatedly in the lower back, throw in a few twists and turns while you are at it and you just might come close. For those that have given birth I have been told that the pain is equivalent. But since I have not given birth I cannot confirm that. This Far Side comic illustrates it well I think.
Anyways, I ended up going to the hospital to get drugged up and had my first experience with morphine, holy crap that stuff is amazing, but that might be another story. The pain came and went over the next 3 weeks, an hour of pain here, 2 hours of pain there, maybe 45 minutes just to tease me, and as much as 4 hours at some points. I thought it would never end. My Urologist told me I had to wait at least 2 weeks (the normal amount of time for a stone to pass) before he would take further action. After the second week he finally agreed that it was time to do something and scheduled surgery for the next week. He suggested trying to place a Ureteral Stent, a long perforated tube that will be placed within the length of the ureter. The hope of this is after time the stent will dilate the ureter and after it is removed the stone can easily pass as if it were traveling down a "slip n' slide." The actual installation of the tube required me to be put under with general anesthesia in a same day surgery setting. There were no incisions made so I will let you figure out how it was put in. The removal of the stent was a regular office visit though.
I had the stent in for about 3 weeks and the day I went in for the removal I was really confused. I was told to meet my doctor in his regular office, not at the hospital. This made me immediately nervous since I was now sure that I was going to be awake for this. And all I could assume was that it was going to have to come out the same way it went in, remember, no incisions, and if you still havent figured it out, they did not go through my mouth. This is where things get really tricky, oh, and you all get to read about me being naked, lucky you.
After checking in a nurse took me into a back room that I had not been in before, not the usual examination room. This one was a sterile room, with all sorts of equipment, kind of like a mini operating room. I was instructed to take everything off from the shirt down, and the shirt might as well come off because they were going to lift it up to my shoulders anyways. I sat down on this table/chair thing and put a small blanket over my lap. The nurse came back in with the doctor following behind her. This was the first time I had actually seen him since the surgery and he didnt bother with any pleasantries. This was probably best as he was about to do his business and I was in no mood to get to know him better at this point under the circumstances. He didnt even buy me dinner first. It was at this point he put on some gloves, sat down on a little stool and pulled the blanket off. There I was sitting in all my glory, with a grown man at my feet and a nurse standing behind him smiling at me, this was already embarrassing enough. But that isnt even the worst part. The doctor then grabbed a hold of a bottle with orange liquid in it and started squirting it all over me, all over my stomach, thighs and finally, all over my goods. This was an anesthetic. He was just simply cleansing the area. He then grabbed a towell or some gauze and started rubbing it in all over. It was at this moment that a line from a movie popped into my head. More specifically it was a line given by Jack Nicholson from the movie As Good As It Gets. I am working on getting an actual video posted in but for now I will just tell you the line and here it is, "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch." Such bad timing for this to pop into my head. I felt myself starting to laugh as the doctor was "shampooing my crotch" so I had to bite on my lip to hold it in. The nurse though had never taken her eye off of me and saw all of this. I had a big smile on my face and when I noticed that she was still looking my face went bright red. I was mortified. All I could do was hunch my shoulders and look the other way, I promise you I was not enjoying the "shampooing." The nurse giggled a little bit. It never occurred to me that I should explain myself, I was to busy being embarrassed. It has since been brought to my attention that by not explaining myself I just made myself look like a fruit. Oh well, it was 12 years ago. The red in my face quickly went away when the Doctor grabbed a 3 foot long ureteroscope, a long tube with a tiny camera at the end of it and a little grabber claw on the inside that can only enter the body in one way. What the crap, where did he think that was going? Well, it went there, and it wasnt pleasant, at all. The tube came out and a few days later the stone passed right on down the "slip n' slide."
One day after that stone passed I started getting pain in my other kidney. Yep, number two, and I was still only 18. For the next 9 years I had one in each kidney every year. Usually one in the spring followed by one in the fall. Over the last 3 years though they have stepped up in frequency. This year alone I think I am on number 8. I stopped counting around 30, but I think it is pretty close to 4o stones that I have passed in the last 12 years. The good news is that I think that I am so torn up inside that I rarely get pain with the stones anymore, a little pain here and there but not like the first 10 or so. Also, I name all of my stones. I used to name them after x-girlfriends or others girls that caused me pain, but since I ran out of them years ago I now assign honorary names to them. Let me know if you want to be named after one and I will put your name down on the list and contact you when it takes place.
So whats the moral to my story...kidney stones suck, and when put in a position where your manhood/womanhood and possibly your sexual preference may be in question, always, always defend yourself!