Since the Wild Boar was sixteen years old he has been plagued with kidney stones. PLAGUED. We have taken him to the ER so many times for pain management our hooligans could drive their Dad there themselves, check him in and answer basic questions about his medical history.
For those of you who have never had a kidney stone, or been lucky enough to be around someone who has a kidney stone, it is probably one of the worst, most horrific, crappiest, life-altering, did I mention HORRIBLE pains to be inflicted upon a person while inhabiting this planet.
When the Wild Boar has these kidney stone attacks the pain is so extreme his blood pressure has sky rocketed to numbers as high as 205/110; something invariably in the range of stroke-out mode. And as hideous as this pain is for him, I must say to be a bystander during these episodes of the extreme pain Olympics is quite horrifying.
You cannot touch a kidney stone sufferer during an attack, you cannot talk to them, make a sound, chew anything or hit any type of minuscule bump in the road while driving them to the ER; they will go ballistic; like YOU are the reason for all their suffering. A kidney stone patient can hear your eyes blinking and your lungs breathing and they want you to stop. I have been asked on many occasions to keep my eyes closed and to no longer let breath pass from my lungs. Their pain is colicky in nature with crazy, spasmodic waves of hellish-horror. It is very daunting when the most gentle person in your life is chucking cups of ice across the room because the ice chunks are too big or too small or too cold or wet or icy; needless to say nothing is right. NOTHING.
To put things into perspective, the Wild Boar has had many of his own patient’s whose babies he has delivered and those same patient’s have also been inflicted with kidney stones. These women all say, hands down, birthing an 8 lb infant was nothing to passing a 5 mm kidney stone. Yikes!
So anyway, WB recently had a kidney boulder stuck in his ureter (the tiny tube connecting the kidney to the bladder). The stone was too large to pass through this very tiny area. So there it stayed for several weeks until a procedure called Lithotripsy could be scheduled. This procedure is one that non-invasivly breaks up the kidney stones with soundwaves. The stones become smaller, passable fragments. Ouch! And even though this procedure is non-invasive, you are still sedated during its course of action.
So a few days after the Lithotripsy was performed we were on our way to Oregon to check on our vineyard site . We were staying at a hotel in the city and it was to be expected the WB would be passing the smaller fragments of the larger stone he just had blasted.
Nature took its course and lots of baby stones were coming out as expected. Lovely right? But at least at this point the pain is manageable and does not resemble crazy-circus-sideshow type of behavior.
The broken-up, more substantial in size stones that end up in the toilet need to be retrieved (Eeewww) and sent off to the laboratory for evaluation.
So unbeknownst to me the WB was passing these stones at every trip to the potty and in typical man-style-fashion was lining his retrieved treasures up on top of the TV in the hotel room. Can you picture it? Apparently he couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them. I guess using a Ziploc baggie (that I always, always have with us when traveling) would not be secure enough for his precious man-made crystalline formations.
Now these stones are very, very small. But when you do look at them close-up they are these cool, little, crystal aggregations. Really they are. Okay, basically they are dissolved minerals in urine, but I like to think of them as crystals, it makes it easier to deal with when they are occupying little cups all over your house.
Anyway, WB amassed a nice little collection of crystals on top of the television during the whole week we were at the hotel.
When it was time to return home we drove to the airport and as soon as we sat down on the plane, WB grabbed his head and said, “Darn it.” I asked him what was wrong and that’s when he explained what he had been doing all week.
“I’ve been lining up my stones on top of the TV in the hotel room all week, but I forgot them.”
“Oh gross,” I said. “Why did you put them there? And how many were there?”
“Eighteen.” He said.
“What! Eighteen! You only need like two or three for evaluation. What the heck were you saving so many for?” I said, in a really grossed out tone.
Well he had his reasons but I’m convinced he was saving them to make me a kidney stone necklace or have them set in a cocktail ring. I know he was. He knows how much I love a funky new piece of jewelry. This would by far have been the FUNKIEST.
Now, I have visions of some kid amassing these kidney stones into a crystal-rock-collection. YUCK!
“Look Mommy, I found these cool, crystals on the TV. Can I keep them?” The kid would say.
So if by any chance you have recently stayed at an Oregon hotel and your kid has the coolest collection of tiny crystal-like formations……ummmm….their ours….and we want them back.