Pain Made Me A Junkie For A Day

We have all felt pain in our lives. Pain is like a rainbow as in comes in all colors and hurts in many different ways. Some pain is physical and other pain is emotional, but all pain hurts. Add to that we all have different levels of pain tolerance.

I get up from my reclining chair and feel a lightning bolt of pain above my groin area. I write it off to working out. For the next hour, I am the surfer riding a tsunami of hurt. I have never had any major injuries in my life so this pain was new to me. It consumed me. An hour later the wave subsided and it was like nothing happened.

Having written a blog about missing the warning signs, I still have not learned my lesson. This is because Lady Fate has that soft underbelly, which always tries to warn us to stop and assess our situations, fully aware so few of us will listen to her siren, I continue on like nothing has happened.

The next 2 days I was hit with more pain filled episodes.  But something changed each time; I got a little more concerned that something was not right. I did a hundred laps around my house at 4 am trying to walk the pain out to no avail. What was my problem? It was my apprehension of dealing with the medical system that we endured with Michele’s cancer.  I feared entering that quagmire as I would soon find out I won’t be able to avoid it…

The 4th day after a hard workout and hot tub, I fall asleep only to be awaken by that intense pain. But a new devil had come along for the ride. I now had a rash from my scalp to my ankles. 2 ailments in a week finally tipped the scales and I called my doctor. He was not available, so I decided to see if the pain would finally just go away on its own.

That night, I awake at 1am sick to my stomach and in intense pain. I tossed and turned for a few hours barely able to not puke. That was it I was seeing any doctor the next day!

After being touched, listened to, poked and peeing in a cup and putting it in the little lab cabinet I was ready for my diagnosis. The pee cabinet made me crack me up as I see myself as a 1950’s milkman opening the little trap door on the house and leaving behind a bottle of milk.

The doctor said I might have a kidney stone so I go across the street to the hospital for a CAT scan. It showed a 9 x 12mm kidney stone that was highly unlikely to pass. I was given some urologists to call the next day. Quick sidebar: Medicine is the only thing you pay for and have to beg to see you what you bought. I asked the X-ray tech to see my kidney stone and she said no, she was too busy. My sarcastic reply, I paid for it and your salary and now you won’t let me see it!  I’m sorry the health care system is broken because the customer has no rights.

The next day at the urologist I get the full story.  My kidney stone was in a location between normal treatment options. He suggested another X-ray to see if it has moved – it did not but my bill did, maxing out my copay.

I go for a hard workout to try and speed things up. I feel great afterwards hoping for a full night’s sleep.

At 4 am it felt like a hot iron was doing a slow walk down the path from my kidney to bladder. I must have rolled into a million positions, from yoga stretches to walking circles around the house. Nothing dented the pain. I finally fall asleep for a few minutes to be awakened by my phone. The urologist had the operating room scheduled for 3pm. Macho man gets up and dressed for work. That only lasted for a few hours, until they said my face looked white and I finally drove to the hospital.

It took 5 injections of morphine over an hour to deaden the kidney stone pain and 30 seconds having my nurse Peggy drag my IV pole next to me as I walked around to give me the emotional pain of embarrassment!  I parade around with that crappy hospital gown flapping open and closed, giving everyone a nice show of my ass hanging out. I’m sorry what were they thinking, because that tie in the back string to close it never works!

That gave me another pain, an emotional one. I have been the Peggy for Michele, my parents and grandparents, now my time had come. I realize I’m getting older, and more medical issues will present themselves. That hurts, but the Band-Aid of how lucky I have been medically in my life so far quickly closes the wound.

That leaves me writing this under a drugged induced haze, my Jimi Hendrix purple haze moment, when pain made me a junkie for a day.

The interesting thing is when you are in intense pain morphine kills the pain but you don’t get high. I wake up in the recovery room with the score – Kidney Stone 1 Stent 1 Lorry 0

The first attempt to get the stone failed, so they put this unpleasant thing called a stent in from my kidney to my bladder so I could urinate.

For the next week we substituted the pain of the kidney stone for the untold times a day the stent dug into my kidney and bladder especially when urinating. This was my first episode of chronic pain that I would have for 2 weeks. A week later, I go back to the operating room and awaken to no kidney stone, but I still have that nasty stent.  And I got a big surprise. My son Dustin flew in from Jackson WY for my birthday and was there when I awoke.

10 days more days of stent pain latter it came to an end. Taking out my stent was a new type of pain. The pain of its finally over, after hearing the Urologist say it’s in here somewhere, and seeing him act like a fisherman with a big one on the line pulling hard to set the hook the stent comes out and I have an eerie unsettling relief – the pain is over.

In 3 weeks I experienced the rainbow of pain, acute, chronic, emotional, and the final pain before relief. The lesson I learned is strange but very important for all of us.

That pain:

•    Told me I was alive.
•    Made me stronger.
•    Reminded me I getting older.
•    Taught me to listen to those warning signs.
•    Comes in rainbow of emotional and physical manifestations.
•    Can be managed.
•    Is something I want to avoid it if I can.

Hospital Gift Bag Porn

The least known Obamacare program during February was you get a free pair of socks and adult depends with every $25,000 you spend on hospital care. It’s like frequent flyer points. I love our government programs!


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