You’ve seen this look before, the gaunt features, the unfocused eyes, the shuffling gait. At times I stumble into things, unable to separate reality from dream. I toss and turn at night, trying to cast out the demon within me. My days are spent longing for the rest I have been denied.
I am a stoner. My body has the ability to convert anything I eat or drink into kidney stones. Sounds sort of like a magical transformation, doesn’t it? Magical perhaps, but not to be desired. My recent go-round with the ‘Boulders of Punishment’ wasn’t exactly a carnival ride. I’ll try to describe the ‘neat’ sensations available to you if your system begins to generate stones.
There are often three bodily zones, or phases, taking their part in ‘passing a stone’. I can’t recommend ANY of them! Here they are:
1. Rather like the Oort cloud, where comets are formed, there is a distant realm within the body where stones come into being. Within this realm, known as the ‘kidney’, there are calcium accretions floating there somewhat like grapes, or bowling balls. With the right impetus, these tiny (read:HUGE) rocks begin their torturous journey to ‘the outside world’. Also within the ‘kidney’ are the PAIN AMPLIFIERS. These PA’s detect the tiniest motion of a departing stone and *multiply* the sensation so you’ll get the full experience. The pain will radiate from the area of the kidneys to distant parts of the body, basically rendering you helpless – you can’t think of *anything* else but that pain. There is probably some secret position your body can assume that lessens the pain, but to date, NO ONE has been able to find it.
2. Next, we have the ‘handoff zone’, where these rocks are being routed down down down from the kidneys, through internal plumbing ducts, on their way to the ‘teary eyed zone’. Somehow, Mother Nature forgot to allow enough clearance in the natural piping of the body to allow for these occasional travelers to easily clear the tubing walls. It’s kinda like this: imagine a small single-lane tunnel through the mountain, a small road leading into it, a small road leading out of it. Now imagine several semi-trailers racing down the mountain, barreling toward that tiny opening, all determined to be the first to transit, and all of them arriving exactly at the same time. This single-lane tunnel is YOU, dear friend. Ok, got the picture? One more thing – now imagine the open trailers of the semi’s are fully loaded with flaming porcupines. Are ya starting to feel the moment?
3. The ‘teary eyed zone’ is the final holding area where one final set of PAIN AMPLIFIERS are located. Here the stones circle and circle, causing more and more pain, gathering speed until there is a tremendous collision….. and nothing happens. Yes, this is the part where you stand (or sit, you women) at the toilet, holding tightly onto those two grab rails, biting on a chunk of wood, waiting for that ‘obstruction bloop’ sensation that tells you that the offending item has left your person and is on its way to who knows where. Oh, and by the way, your urologist probably told you that he wants to analyze that rock, so now you get to fish around down there, trying to bring up the treasure. By this time, your eyes are watering so badly you can hardly see, so this is no small task.
Sound like fun? Maybe we can sign you up for the next event. And, if you’re lucky, like me, you can have the added fun of passing one stone first, then the next day passing TWO MORE! OUCH! OUCH!
Did I mention that there could be some level of PAIN associated with passing a stone? Oh, ok – I won’t dwell on that.