Of Kidney Stones

I haven’t been blogging or doing any other writing in the past two weeks due to a delightful episode involving kidney stones that started Sunday two weeks ago.  Various members of my family, my parents and siblings, had been afflicted with them, but I had begun to imagine myself quite immune.  I was too active, too healthy in my habits, too lucky to get them.  It is not so.  Alas.

Kidney stones are crystals, measured in millimeters, that form in kidneys.  They are usually calcium based, but can be of other materials.  They form and they sit.  Inside a kidney, they do no harm.  Sometimes, they move with the flow of liquid in the kidney out through the ureter to the bladder.  This is when they hurt.  The ureter is, as the emergency room doctor cheerfully explained to me, like a piece of vermicelli.  That is, it is very thin and not very straight.  A stone does not move through it easily.  The stones are not necessarily little round things that might easily pass through a string of vermicelli. The pain, extending from the lower back down into the groin, comes from the blockages they cause, keeping urine from passing to the bladder. The emergency room doctor told me that mine was not very big, just three millimeters.  I’d pass it soon.  A week later, a urologist told me that the same stone was still in me, might have been in me for months, and was in fact closer to nine millimeters in length and not likely to ever pass.  Hence the protracted period of pain and nausea I had endured and which has not quite ended yet.  The plan is that it will be removed in an unpleasant sounding but actually not painful procedure on Wednesday of this week.  I will be unconscious and am grateful for that.

I haven’t been writing.  At first, and for days, there was no position for my body that did not hurt.  I was lucky if I could sleep, and I did very little of that.  The only time I did not hurt was in the hospital with an I. V. in my arm.  Finally, when I could sleep, I did that in lieu of writing, for I have missed four days of work due to this problem and worked extra to make up what I can of them.

I have not been inspired, as they say, to anything I wished to share.  Now that the pain is finally gone, and I am caught up with work and personal business on which I was behind, I write this to get back into the groove and to inform you, my dear readers, as to why I have been absent.  Something else, more in line with what I usually do, will be coming soon, inspiration being neither here nor there.

Thank you.

Robert J. Krog

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