Lions of Al-Rassan

Near the beginning of the Guy Gavriel Kay book, Lions of Al-Rassan, there’s a guy who doesn’t go to a big party because he’s suffering from a temporary but painful medical condition, and his doctor won’t let him go. Everyone else who goes to the party gets killed, and the guy with the medical condition gets to flee the city because he’s recovered sufficiently to get up and go.

Well, I have what that guy had.

Kidney stones. Two of ’em. One is about 2mm in diameter; the other is about 5mm in diameter. Both of them are smaller than can be broken up by ultrasound; both of them probably have to pass without a whole lot of help or influence from me or doctors. The stones moved on Sunday; that’s why I was in so much pain, as reported. Yesterday, they moved again, just a little, around 11 am. I saw a doctor at 2:30, and got the full diagnosis today.

Passing a kidney stone is kind of like the male-equivalent of birthing a child. That’s what they tell me.

I am drinking water like crazy. I have pissed more times today than you’ve probably pissed in the last week (unless you have bladder problems). Whenever the stones aren’t moving, they don’t hurt. When they do move, it’s like having liquid fire from your spine to your bladder, right along the curve of your hip. My fencing matches for this weekend have been cancelled; my off-campus duties have been shifted to other people; and the school is really supporting me.

I had to explain to five classes today, “if I collapse in pain in the middle of my lecture over the next few weeks, don’t panic; it’s a kidney stone, not a heart attack. I’ll be fine — just go get an adult, and do your homework.” Some of the explanations were a little more involved than that; one class didn’t know what the kidneys were or what they did. Elementary biology as part of a history class…. sigh.

Basically, I’ve turned myself into a living biology lesson for the whole school. They never tell you, anywhere, that being a teacher involves being entertaining and interesting even when you’re talking about your own medical conditions.

Further news as it develops.

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30 comments

    • What a good idea…

      cutting back on stress, sodium, caffeine and sugar seems like a really good idea right about…

      now.

      Thanks for the advice.

      • Re: What a good idea…

        Continued best wishes. I’m sorry if the advice was ill-timed. I’ve been conitinuing to send good vibes your way.

  1. Re: How long?

    The first time, I went to the hospital sometime in the middle of the night, and strained my urine for a few days, but never caught it.

    (I caught the stone once. It looked like half a Cheerio, but scaled down 50%, with crystalline spiky bits. It was painful just to look at it and think of it being inside me.)

    I think the first time was the worst; the usual pattern since then has been to go to the hospital in the middle of the night in excruciating pain, get some drugs and sleep for a few hours, then go home in the morning and have no future problems. (I don’t know when the stone actually comes out, but by the time it gets to the bladder, it’s usually not uncomfortable anymore.)

    So I’m a bit surprised that yours has lasted so long. But I don’t have any real expertise, just my own experience.

    In 2001, I had a lithotripsy to break up some stones, and the stent they put in to widen the passage had me urinating blood and feeling unhappy for the week that it was installed. (And then pulling it out was mighty uncomfortable itself…)

    I apologize for all the grisly detail here.

  2. How long?

    How long does it generally take you between first detection and passing of the stone?

    I’m curious/morbidly fascinated to know how long it might be between when I first felt it on Sunday, and when the thing might actually come out of me.

    And I did vomit, on Sunday. I haven’t had a repeat of that. Yet.

  3. I’ve had kidney stones several times. You have my deep sympathies.

    My traditional symptoms are slightly different; I don’t feel the line of fire so much, but I have been known to vomit from the pain. It’s hard to say which version is preferable.

  4. I’ve had kidney stones several times. You have my deep sympathies.

    My traditional symptoms are slightly different; I don’t feel the line of fire so much, but I have been known to vomit from the pain. It’s hard to say which version is preferable.

    • How long?

      How long does it generally take you between first detection and passing of the stone?

      I’m curious/morbidly fascinated to know how long it might be between when I first felt it on Sunday, and when the thing might actually come out of me.

      And I did vomit, on Sunday. I haven’t had a repeat of that. Yet.

      • Re: How long?

        The first time, I went to the hospital sometime in the middle of the night, and strained my urine for a few days, but never caught it.

        (I caught the stone once. It looked like half a Cheerio, but scaled down 50%, with crystalline spiky bits. It was painful just to look at it and think of it being inside me.)

        I think the first time was the worst; the usual pattern since then has been to go to the hospital in the middle of the night in excruciating pain, get some drugs and sleep for a few hours, then go home in the morning and have no future problems. (I don’t know when the stone actually comes out, but by the time it gets to the bladder, it’s usually not uncomfortable anymore.)

        So I’m a bit surprised that yours has lasted so long. But I don’t have any real expertise, just my own experience.

        In 2001, I had a lithotripsy to break up some stones, and the stent they put in to widen the passage had me urinating blood and feeling unhappy for the week that it was installed. (And then pulling it out was mighty uncomfortable itself…)

        I apologize for all the grisly detail here.

  5. Sounds incredibly painful.
    I’m sorry you are going through such nastiness.
    Feel better.
    Hopefully they will pass quickly and without much pain.

    Good luck

  6. Sounds incredibly painful.
    I’m sorry you are going through such nastiness.
    Feel better.
    Hopefully they will pass quickly and without much pain.

    Good luck

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