Stone Laser Blues

by Doug Magill

It’s about time. I am headed back to the OR tomorrow morning.

Been a painful and uncomfortable 10 days.  Headed to the ER on the 23rd before dawn (so you know it was serious – the dawn and I are rarely friends).  Shuffled (literally) into the reception area, doubled over in pain from a kidney stone.  Admitted right away?  Hah, between bureaucracy, regulations insurance the receptionist had to take at least 10 minutes asking background questions – seriously; here I am, bent over, wiggling around because of bladder spasms, trying hard not to reach through the glass partition to acquire a good grip on her neck, answering tedious and repetitive questions about the medical history of my distant cousins during wartime and testing my memory of former girlfriends phone numbers.  Someone forgot to notify me of the new AMA pain tolerance pre-admission requirements test.

Once through that then we had to go through few other tests, including a CT scan, before they finally gave me some morphine.  I’m a middle child and fortunately God gave me patience…though I never expected it to be challenged this much.  Then via ambulance to the OR….stent inserted, some great pictures of the inside of my bladder.  Really, I could share them if you’d like.  Soon to be coffee table material for our next party.  Too much inflammation, have to wait for 10 days to get it to subside.

Been a really fun time.  Bladder spasms from the stent, serious flare ups from the kidney stone, not feeling like doing much….and of course, contractor activities in the house.  An aside – a couple days after my attack I had to decline a fishing trip with my friend Jeff who offered his sympathies, but two days after that he had a kidney stone attack.  “I didn’t know those things were contagious!”  Heh, talked to him later in the ER, he passed his, a measly 3mm stone.  Mine, of course, is 9mm.  A monster – go big or go home baby.  Real men have big ones.  Less than 5mm can be passed – mine, not so much.  No internal organ I have is big enough to pass that.

So tomorrow my friendly MD will go back in to blast the thing with a laser.  Should I worry that he is myopic?  I hope he has good aim.  I need to remember to ask him if he has occasional target practice.  I’d hate to hear him say, “oops, missed it.  That hole in the bladder isn’t too big, we can fix that.  Oh well, We’ll get it next time…..hah, well, OK right through the stomach that time.  Cool.  That’ll leave a mark!”  Sigh.  Remind me to have him show me his credentials in accurate laser blasting – no video game certificates, please. 

Doug Magill is a consultant, freelance writer, and voice-over talent.  He can be reached at


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