2:15 Sunday. I sit down on the couch to eat a bowl of Rice Krispies. The ones with the dried strawberries. 2 hours later, I'm lying on the floor outside the bathroom, curled up around a garbage can, sweaty and semi coherent, wondering what the hell just happened.
I can't say that I woke up thinking, "I hope I pass a kidney stone today, to the end that I might truly feel alive through a long bout of nearly unbearable pain. I really just wanna feel alive." I hear that emo kids cut themselves for that reason; to feel validated through the pain. When one feels nothing inside, pain reminds one that they he/she really exists, that life blood isn't futilely pumping through veins numbed by sorrow.
Well, tiny emo kids--you wanna really feel alive? Quit that cutting nonsense and brew up a kidney stone. I'll tell you this; you can't possibly feel more alive than while earnestly wishing for death. Because that minuscule hunk of calcium (or a plethora of other mineral combinations) feels like a tiny little man is wearing ice climbing cleats and playing DDR inside your kidney. And when he didn't get a perfect score, he proceeded to remove his cleats and then stab and bludgeon everyone in sight with said cleats. And by everyone, I mean every visceral organ boxed in between your lowest left rib, down past your belly button, on towards the groinal area, and then left around to the region just above the pelvis. And he's pist for about 2 hours.
In the midst of eating the second bowl of Krispies, I began to feel a sharp pain in my lower back/side region, just above the top of my pelvis. I dismissed it as back pain from spending most of the night crammed on a couch. I realized that I was sorely mistaken about 3 minutes later as I stumbled over to our hideous long/wide child birthing/kidney stone passing couch, pain erupting through my side. Not waves. Not a throb. Just constant, like a knife twisting in my flesh methodically, robotically.
Panic ensued, as I tried to frantically recall in which side dwelt the appendix, that most worthless time bomb of an organ. I called my friend in medical school. He didn't answer. I sent a rather desperate text, "For the love of God, call me," to which he responded rather quickly. He informed me that the aforementioned useless organ was located on the right side. "Oh good," I said (panted,) "I guess it's just a kidney stone (shit.)"
I tried calling both parents, to no avail. I recalled that while passing a kidney stone, the poor forsaken soul will often vomit mightily, due to the intensity of the pain involved. So I got the biggest bowl I could find in the kitchen and then staggered back to the birthing couch, panting in agony.
When one has cramps or an upset stomach, curling up in the fetal position alleviates the pain somewhat.
Not so with a stone.
Every position hurts. I tried the side, curling up, sitting down, hunching over, and all merely exacerbated the pain. Laying on my back with my knees bent was the only position that didn't augment the misery.
I called Andre. He and Jared came over to give me a blessing. When they arrived, my toes were curling in agony. Unfortunately, (for me) passing a kidney stone is a situation rife with comedic opportunity. I mean, it's like an alien is going to burst from your chest. Obviously Jared began cracking jokes, at which point I had to beg him to stop, as laughing caused the pain to multiply.
The pain slowly seemed to move from my side, into a section just above and a hair to the left of my belly button. By this point, Andre had fetched me a small garbage can in which I could empty out the 3 lbs of Rice Krispies that I had previously consumed. As I lay there, toes curling, one hand clawing the couch, the other crinkling a water bottle over and over again, panting and grunting, I could feel my stomach start to lurch. My stomach throbbed, my arms tingled. It seriously felt like a creature was going to claw its way out of my stomach, and then dance a jig on my chest. I could feel the bile begin to climb up my esophagus, and my mouth filled with anticipatory saliva. I panicked, because I knew if I threw up those Rice Krispies, I'd never be able to stomach them again. And dammit I love those things. That, and I had just purchased 5 boxes of them the night before. Plus, the thought of rolling over on my side, augmenting the pain, and retching into a garbage can for the first time in over 14 years was less than a pleasant thought. So I swallowed it back, over and over again, focusing on not letting it escape. Somehow, I succeeded.
Slowly, the pain seemed to move to my lower abdomen, just above the groin. Eventually I sent all who still remained away. There was no point in them further witnessing my pitiful, writhing state. After they left, I decided to attempt to piss the stone out. I hobbled my way into the bathroom and collapsed upon the toilet. I couldn't piss, and the pain only increased in that position, so I drug myself back into the hallway and collapsed on the floor. After 10 or 15 more minutes of increased pain, it finally began to die off, and I passed out for about 20 minutes. And there I awoke, sweaty and alone, except for the garbage can and the many micro creatures living in our filthy carpet.
26 with a kidney stone. Just kill me now.
I started drinking exorbitant amounts of water. About an hour after the episode, I finally had to urinate. I assumed I would piss it right out, and that it would be a rather agonizing experience. I have never been so nervous to let urine begin its cascading journey towards the toilet bowl.
No pain, no stone.
Throughout the rest of the day, and through a lot of Monday, I dwelt in fear of the final passing. Or that perhaps it wasn't done moving through my kidney, and I would have a gut wrenching repeat.
About 4 o'clock, I had to piss. I almost didn't strain it, as it wasn't going to be much. Upon completion, I looked down, and there he was; a tiny, black, newborn baby boy. The blessed seed of my womb, almost carelessly shot into the toilet, never to be noticed or found. How on earth could something so small cause so much pain? I didn't know a human being could be in that much pain, and not be dying. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life, holding that little guy in my hand and knowing that I wasn't just a ticking time bomb, waiting to crumple to the floor at work with another episode.
I don't know who the mother is, but once I find out, I shall avoid her like the plague.