Throwing Stones. Firing Bullets.
"It may be -- forgive me for saying it -- that it's just the aging process and your body is prone to kidney stones."
That was my doc yesterday. I had barged my way in without an appointment because the night before, I was up at 1am with agonizing, intense pain from a stone that had hit me the week before, but seemed to pass. At that time, we were still traveling from London and had hit 30 foot seas. (Jim was, once again, working a cruise).
Since we met on a ship and are veteran sailors, going through rough waters doesn't bother us. But being thrown up and down while doubled over in pain? Not fun. Luckily, my doctor had previously supplied me with some strong pain meds after the nightmare of last month's visit to an ER with another stone.
Seemingly, the "ship stone" had passed, but it left me really, really weak. Walking like an old, old man. And while there was some residual pain, I thought it had passed. I was wrong.
Feeling beaten up and beaten down, my doctor let me in and gave me a little once-over. I was feeling stronger, though. I didn't actually feel the stone pass, but my body didn't have that same weakness I had been feeling. So, I don't know where we stand with it. I'm still sore. Is it the stone still sticking around?
I asked him, "What about the scan we did just before we left on our trip?"
He said, "Nothing. There was no trace of any stone on the scan. So, this new stone formed very quickly."
I remember the day before, I was sitting in a room with a group of HIV-positive older gay men. We were gathered to discuss our various issues. At one point, I actually broke down crying. I said to them, "Sometimes I just get so weary of the fight. I feel like an old tire that they keep re-inflating, but is still full of holes. The battle to stay alive and out of pain is so relentless, that I just get tired of it all. Just so very tired."
And that, of course, made me think of Gideon's speech in The Last Session, where he explains to Vicki about being tired of the fight. I have probably been here before in this, but it never really hit home as much as it did this day -- at least that I remember.
I said, "No matter how hard I fight, these hits feel like bullets being shot at me. Bam! Bam! Bam! And I take the bullet and stagger on. And stagger on. And stagger on. And I just get so tired of it all."
I was relating this to my doc, tears in my eyes, and he said, "Well, let's get rid of this one pill, and I'm going to refer you to a kidney specialist. He's like a detective. We will get to the bottom of this."
I do hope so. I really do.