Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What is that pain?

Yesterday, we were headed to Little Rock to take a few pictures of Olivia in celebration of her 10th birthday. I’m sure that you’ll be able to see them if you go over to the family webpage after they’ve been posted.

Except there was one problem. As we were headed out of town, I started to feel a familiar stabbing pain in my right side. It was the same place and feeling that my previous three kidney stones have brought me. And such things are not pleasant.

The result? We went home. I took some ‘leftover’ prescription painkillers that we have, and drank lots of cranberry juice and water. That was my Tuesday. It wasn’t exactly pleasant…

Yet the pain has passed. So has, I think, my self-diagnosed medical issue. In retrospect, I want to offer a few thoughts on this whole thing:

1. Familiarity can be helpful: there was no panic, no freak out, no multi-thousand dollar medical bills for this kidney stone. That’s good.

2. Familiarity can be deceptive: the human body uses pain to communicate things, and locating that pain is fuzzy at best. The right side kidney and the appendix are fairly close, and for many people have of appendicitis starts with pain---about right there. Had this been more than a stone, I might have gotten myself in trouble.

3. Familiarity can be dangerous: I know what it was, and I know how to to treat the symptoms. Yet what if there’s a larger issue? Should I, perhaps, rather than just be casual, make sure there’s nothing else going on? Should I also consult on how to prevent the problem altogether?

It’s challenging for many of us: we know what our problems are, we’re aware of how to treat the symptoms, but we end up a little too casual about really fixing the problem. What do I need to do about kidney stones? Less Coke, more water---more exercise, less sedentary life.

What about the rest of life? What do we need to do?



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