I am forty three years old. I have been blessedly healthy all those years, with nary a serious illness, a broken bone, nor a hospital stay. But yesterday, I had the pleasure of my first CT scan.
Let me back up.
Three mornings ago, I had a little back pain. Then the pain shifted around to the front, and became abdominal pain. Then it became very strong gas/bloating pain. And then I was writhing around on the guest bed, trying not to wake anyone up with my mewling. I was retching, and twisting, and cursing and in about as much pain as I have ever been. I finally woke my wife up, and not being in a hazy fog of agony, she suggested medicine. I took a gas thing, and the pain went away.
The rest of the day was fine. I had some plentiful but innocuous gas later on, and I thought all was well. Yay, flatulence!
Two mornings ago, I woke up fine, but my stomach muscles were a little sore. From all the retching, surely. After all, I’d given the muscles a real workout when I was busy dying the previous morning. Then the gas came back, slowly, but surely, and soon I was grimacing and stamping about. At this point we decided I was clearly in labor. Walking felt better, breathing made it tolerable, squatting relieved the pressure. Yay! A new baby! We laughed about that, I took more gas stuff and painkiller, and it went away.
Yesterday morning, it was back. The Internets had been consulted back on day one, and while abject muscle surrender and gas were still the number one choice, appendicitis started to rise in the ranks of probability. I practiced my New Year’s resolution to curse more violently, and even the dog slunk away to hide.
And finally I decided to see my doctor.
Turns out, I have a kidney stone.
Which is a great relief. Because, you know, people die from appendicitis.
But I have to tell you, I anticipate that there will be moments in the near future when I will beg for a nice hospital stay and some surgery.
Plus, there’s a certain cachet to appendicitis. After all, there’s infection, fever, surgery, maybe even an ambulance. It lends a very serious aura to your suffering. That is a mystique that kidney stones just don’t have, because, you know, “Ha ha! It hurts when you pee! Har!”
For the record, the CT scan showed this wee little rock to be six millimeters in diameter. Please find yourself a ruler and check that out. I have pain drugs, and I intend to use them.