Friday, June 1, 2018

Passing a Kidney Stone Is NOT the Same As Giving Birth

As a man, there is no way I'll ever understand what it's like to be pregnant and give birth to a baby. There's no comparison that makes any sense. Some people have said that passing a kidney stone is about the same as giving birth to a child. I don't believe that. It's not even close.

The Wife has given birth to four wonderful, beautiful children. Over the years, I have passed enough kidney stones to make my own little gravel pit. Believe me, the children are much more attractive than the stones. Difficult, too.

Aside from that, if you took all of the kidney stones that I've passed (and there are quite a few of them) and added them together into one giant stone, it still wouldn't be anywhere near as big as even one of the babies.

Also, I've never walked around with kidney stone pain for nine months before passing one. It's not the same.

So, the next time you hear someone say that passing a kidney stone is the same as giving birth, tell them they have no idea what they are talking about. (I was going to say to slap them upside the head, but decided that I shouldn't be promoting violence.)

Why do I bring this subject up, you ask? Because I just got stoned. Again.

My latest kidney stone! (The one on the left.) Not very big, but also not very fun.

Earlier this week I woke up at two-something in the morning thinking that my back hurt. It only took a minute or so for me to realize, "Hey, that's no ordinary back pain, that's kidney stone back pain!" I was not happy.

Of course, the first time I had a kidney stone, I had no idea there was a difference between regular back pain and kidney stone back pain. I was single and living in an apartment by myself. I came home from work one Friday afternoon, and my back was hurting. I didn't think too much of it, and went to bed. I didn't sleep very well.

I got up on Saturday and my back was still hurting. I took a soak in a hot bath. That helped, for a while. Then, the back pain came back, so I took a second soak in the tub. That helped, but not as much. As the day went on, I ended up taking four or five baths, each one bringing a little less relief from the pain.

I tried to go to sleep that night, but couldn't. I wandered down to the 24 hour grocery store and bought some Doan's Back Pain pills. Why Doan's? I remembered as a kid seeing their ads, which featured a man with his hands on his back, in obvious pain, as flames shot out of the spot on his back that was hurting. I thought, "Hey, that's just how I feel!" Unfortunately, the pills didn't help, they just made me feel a camaraderie with the guy on the pill box.

I woke up (from not sleeping) on Sunday morning and I was even more miserable than the day before. I didn't know what to do. Finally, I decided that I needed help, so I called The Saint. (The Saint is what I will be calling my sister-in-law. Why "The Saint?" Because not only was she there to help me when I needed it, she was also saintly enough to actually marry my crazy brother.)

The problem was, by the time I decided to call The Saint, she and my brother were already at church for the day. To this day I'm not sure how I had the mental acuity to do it, but I ended up calling the church building they were at and asking whoever it was that answered the phone if they could find my sister-in-law. Amazingly, this worked and soon I was talking with The Saint.

I told her my symptoms and she immediately said, "Sounds like kidney stones to me." She left the church post-haste and drove across the valley to take care of me.

There is no truth to the rumor that kidney beans are made of kidney stones. (As far as I know.)

And that's not the only time The Saint came to my rescue. A few years later I had a particularly bad day at work: my truck broke down and I had kidney stone pain. The Saint saved me that day, too. (My boss wasn't very happy that I left my truck in the parking lot where it broke down, but by the time I took some of the pain pills The Saint brought me, I was in no condition to drive.)

This time, I was lucky. I felt the kidney stone back pain, but I was able to go back to sleep. And then I woke up, went to the bathroom, and out came the kidney stone! All together, this kidney stone managed to give me about ten total minutes of mild discomfort. Compare that to even the easiest nine month pregnancy and delivery, and you see there's still no comparison.

So, please don't think it's even close to the same thing. It's not. (Unless you've passed a seven pound, two ounce kidney stone. Then we can talk.)

Edited and updated from a post originally published on 5/29/2015. (That first photograph is current, though, from a kidney stone passed on 5/29/2018.)

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