Monday, January 29, 2018

My Kidney Stone, My Penis and My Urologist's Laser

Was is June? July? One summer night, back when I was still working at Douglas College as a tutor, you could find me at the hospital, doubled over with pain in the mid-back, sitting on the floor of the ER because the nurses wouldn't give me a chair (because I might be infectious, and because they apparently all had chips on their shoulder, some weird hate-on for sick, unpleasant men - because who can be pleasant in the state I was in?). The tiny hard hospital cot was too uncomfortable, and too high off the ground for a guy who needed to barf pretty frequently, so, chairless, I was slumped there on the tiles with the trash bin between my legs, projectile-puking and moaning, the doctors and nurses staying well away, and my understandably disgusted but still supportive wife standing, worrying about me, from the opposite corner of the room... it was several months ago, now... worst night healthwise of my life since I got over my tongue cancer surgery...

I figure  now that that day was when the kidney stone left my left kidney and began its passage down my ureter (the tube that leads from the kidney to the bladder). At 9mm long (and whatever the diameter - "it's a big one," my urologist tells me) it is too big to actually pass into the bladder, too big to be effectively shockwaved into fragmenting, too big to pass with the help of products like Flomax (which my urologist doesn't trust, anyhow, and which has, I gather, some scary dick-damaging side-effects). So as soon as they can book an appointment, they're going to admit me to the hospital, put me under, and stuff a camera and laser on tubes UP MY PENIS, THROUGH MY BLADDER, and INTO MY URETER to laserblast my rock into fragments that I might actually piss out, hopefully without cutting my urethra to ribbons, and without them accidentally lasering through my internal tubing. "It's a very small risk," my urologist said...

It's only taken six months of the BC medical system to get me to this point, from the diagnosis of a "possible kidney stone," even before my ER trip, to a diagnosis of "likely kidney stone" to an inconclusive ultrasound to a conclusive CT scan, each spaced out by a month or two, as my symptoms persisted unabated and untreated. Having a partially blocked ureter means your body wants to pee more to flush out the blockage, so you dehydrate a bit, and wake up to pee a lot, no matter how much water you do or don't drink. Because my blockage - a lump of calcium and minerals presumably about the size of a playing marble - is actually too big to pee out, there has been some buildup behind it in the ureter of substances that it traps; for all I know, it's gotten bigger. (Infection and inflammation are obvious other risks). The pain is actually fairly mild - a dull lower back ache on the left side. Some days I don't even notice it. But I am told if it goes untreated much longer, the pain will worsen, and my urologist seems intent on fast-tracking me. With my apnea and my being overweight and so forth it takes a little while for them to get all the paperwork in place for a surgical procedure, but, if he speaks the truth, it could be as soon as next week.

I never would have guessed that there would come a point where I was looking forward to having ANYTHING stuffed up my penis, but here I am. If it's the most likely treatment to have the desired effect - if there are, really, no other good options, then, like I said today to my urologist, "Doc, you go ahead and stuff that laser up my penis, and the sooner the better." 

If that's not the most unlikely combination of words I have ever strung together, I dunno what is.


Unknown said...

Yikes! Any idea how long until the surgery? Hang in there buddy.

And WTF some nurses can be so cruel and condescending. Like cliquey, vicious high schoolers.


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I have been in an ER with someone whose kidney stone had reached the overly painful state. Guy cussed like a punk rock sailor.