I had a procedure known as laser lithotripsy. Sounds pretty cool, right? LASERS! PEW! PEW! PEW!
I can attest there were no Star Wars cosplay sessions involved.
If you are so inclined, you can go read more about the procedure. What I will tell you is when I visited with the urologist, he said something like, “There’s a couple different ways we can deal with these stones. The first way uses a stent (go read the article for more detail if you wish) and the second way we blast them with sound waves from the outside—that’s what I would do”. After he described what a stent is and how large it is and what they do to remove the stones, I asked him quickly to sign me up for the sound thingy. I wanted to ask if they played Motörhead as the sound to break up the stones, but I was still thinking about the stent and the process to get that where it needed to go.
All cool, right? Yeah. But that procedure was scheduled 3 weeks from when I saw the doc and my kidney stone was not patient (as kidney stones go).
I was back in the ER and they said I was going to have the lithotripsy the following day. I thought that meant Motörhead playing against my kidneys, but alas, it was not.
I’ll skip the boring part where I get anesthesia (for the first time ever) and fast forward to the part where I wake up with an “urgency” I have not had since I was 4 and we were on a long car ride after drinking a liter of Tang. Besides the “urgency”, I was feeling much better. Like—-multitudes better. I get back to my room, the nurse gives me a bottle (which you should never mistaken for a drinking vessel) to help with the “urgency”.
I was very thankful for the bottle and for feeling better, but then I notice a black thread…….there. It wasn’t until later when the doctor came in and told me that everything went great and that I can remove the stent in 5 days. Hold up. What did you just say? He said, “Studies have shown less pain with self-removal”. I beg to differ. At that point I ask him, “so what happens if I were to just leave it in there, you know, forever”. There was some medical mumbo jumbo about infection and possible death. Blah blah blah. All I heard was that it was an option.
I could get use to a thread there, right? How bad can it be? Maybe I learn to braid? If I am ever on that TV show Nekkid and Terrified (or whatever), I would have cordage to build a shelter or string a very small bow. Bonus.
The doctor insisted that I remove it in 5 days…and that’s when the countdown began.