No more kidney stones please


A kidney stone, painful, tough nights in the hospital, Tahrir Square, Boston Marathon terrorism, my daughter’s wedding.

It started on a Shabbat morning at about 5. The pain on the lower right side of my abdomen wasn’t going to let me sleep. It shot through my side in waves that were angry.

I wandered down stairs in a quiet house. Sat on the sofa and somehow three hours later, awoke pain free.

Maybe it was just gas. Perhaps I had slept in a position causing the pain. I put it out of my mind.
Then came Monday morning, also about 5. The pain was back, only this time it didn’t go away after two hours. There was not one position in bed I could find to get it to ease up. My body felt like it was on fire.

So like a dummy, I drove to work in Rockville. I had this misplaced hope that the pain would be gone by the time I got to Rockville Pike. It just got worse as I tried to find some position of comfort while driving on East Randolph Road.

Finally, I called my doctor’s office. A quick call back and my doctor wanted me to find an emergency room.

Even though I was in suburban D.C., I chose to go to the hospital nearest my home in Baltimore, Sinai.

Once there, I was admitted after a CT Scan showed an 8 mm stone in my kidney. No appendicitis, it was a kidney stone that couldn’t be passed.

Meanwhile on the TV in my ER room, the sound was on mute, but the images of bombings in Boston were played over and over again. While awaiting a visit from the ER doctor, I turned up the volume, watched and listen to the nightmarish news coming from Boston.

I was given a pain killer injected through my IV to alleviate my discomfort. It settled me down completely and I could feel he warmth of the medicine as it entered my body through my arm.

A room was found for me, and I was placed in another hospital bed. With the pain killer given again several hours later, I found myself in a constant state of mental cloudiness. So when my urologist came to talk to me about what was going to be done the next day, and about how he was going to go in and “get” the kidney stone, and leave behind a stent, I quickly moved into an area of “too much information.”

Yet, how can it be too much information, if it is being done to you?

Despite assurances from everyone, that this was routine and I’d be okay, I was freaked out, over the top.

But on Wednesday, in they went and managed to get almost all of the stone out of me.

That weekend started off well. But the pain resulting from the stent started to worsen to the point where my doctor placed me back in the ER, and again I was admitted.

The following morning, the doctor came to see me, and this time he said he was going to send me home, that when the stent was removed on Thursday, I’d be in less pain.

Meanwhile the news from Boston was getting much more dramatic, and at times much more difficult to watch.

There was something that rang very familiar to me. It was in February of 2011 the last time I was brought down by some sort of medical condition. In that case it was a horrible flu that just stopped me in my tracks. I was on the sofa for entire days going in and out of chills and fever. In front of me, though, my obsession for news was being facilitated by the violence coming from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. It was riveting even though I felt awful. To have a breaking news story occur when one is sprawled out on the sofa with nowhere to go does help the day go by, but at the same time it comes at a cost that is way too high.

As far as Boston was concerned, I would have given anything to just have had seen the winners cross the finish line instead of the death and wounding of so many innocents.

For the networks, who did provide thorough coverage, it did become the very example of reality programming.

Speaking of reality, while all of this was going on in Boston and in my body, my wife and I were at the end of the planning for our youngest daughter’s wedding, which was held on Lag ‘Omer, Sunday, April 28.

Unable to really move much from my bed, and not feeling well enough to hold a phone conversation, it was up to my wife Lisa, the groom’s mother, M.J. Minton and the bride, Emily to make all happen.

Bottom line, Boston is showing the strength and care that makes it one of the world’s great cities.

The terrorists were stopped.

My 8 mm kidney stone is now history. By the way, I was surprised by how many people I know have had kidney stone experiences. There were no shortages of emails and phone calls relaying painful, difficult experiences.

I can thank God that Emily Jacobs was married to Garen Minton last Sunday.

And I am so grateful to be back at my WJW desk.

No more kidney stones, please!

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