I've got some serious stones.


Guys, having a kidney stone hurts. A LOT.

This is why I have been M.I.A. from blogging for a while. I thought I would give it a touch of good humored drama, but also straight facts because, to be honest, I knew people got kidney stones and they hurt, but they really stink more than people let on. So here's the play-by-play...

Friday night was just its usual glory. Tom and I had heated up some leftover mac n' cheese and decided to wash it down with some bloody mary's. We snuggled and went about our Friday as usual.

Saturday morning:


Woke up from a terrible, uncomfortable, aching pain in my back on the right. Nothing made it feel better, so Tom threw me some sweatpants and got me in the car to go to the ER (I have never EVER been to the hospital before. Let alone an ER)


Been checked in for a while, in my ER room, writhing in pain, but bearing it. Wouldn't let my husband touch me. ALL OF THE PAIN EVER. Doctor Nice Guy called me skinny and is my new BFF.


Finally some relief of IV pain meds. Then a CT scan. Also, had to carry my IV bag to the bathroom in that weird robe = awkward. Why are hospital blankets so thin?? Freezing up in here!


The news - I have a kidney stone, and two more hanging out in my kidney that may or may not show up at some point in the future. Pain meds wearing off...


From what I've been told, the pain from kidney stones is worse than that of childbirth. Admittedly, I am kind of a baby when I get sick or have a headache or something menial. So naturally, Tom thinks I am going to be such a wuss in childbirth. I can't really blame him for thinking that... but it does kind of stink when your own husband doesn't believe in your pain tolerance for birthing his future children.

When my nurse came into my room to discharge me, she said, "Okay, I just really have to tell you. You must have a really high pain tolerance. In all my years as an ER nurse, I have never seen someone bear kidney stone pain like you. Most people can't lay down and handle it. They walk around and try to get comfortable, even though there is no getting comfortable with that pain. But you just laid there and took it like a champ! Seriously, good job!"

*smug look towards Tom* NOW DO YOU BELIEVE I'LL BE A WUSS? HUH?? Okay, again, I can't blame him... I mean, the fact that I nearly fainted from reading about a broken nose says it all. I'm shocked I made it through this ordeal.


After I got released, we rushed over to the nearest Target to get my Rx's filled. Once the drugs were in hand, I took them all at once. Guys? That is a really bad decision if you have next to nothing in your stomach. I puked up everything that touched my lips over the course of 20 hours... including water. So be careful with those pain pills. I quit taking them by the end of day one, because I knew hydration needed to trump pain. Also, just those few pain pills made me drowsy enough to sleep for (no joke) about 30 or more hours... and not just like dosing off, like knocked OUT... I would wake up for 10-15 minute intervals after a few hours asleep and then go back to it. It was crazyyy.

So I sort of missed Saturday and Sunday because I was asleep the entire time and dealing with the pain. Monday was my "day of hope." I could eat and drink and was determined to get this sucker out. I had been reading that gravity and loads of fluids worked in your favor in this situation. So, I kid you not, I sat on the edge of my bed and bounced and chugged water and bounced, bounced, bounced. The pain was still lingering and going in bursts, but I was getting desperate. LO AND BEHOLD the next morning that little nugget showed up in my pee strainer (that the hospital gave me, it wasn't from my kitchen, people). I obviously had to wake up Tom for the announcement, and the heavens rang out in alleluias. If you're wondering, it was TINY. Smaller than a pin head... how disappointing, right? Something SO TINY caused me so much pain!?!? Obviously I'm weird enough to keep it, so it's in a baggy in the bathroom closet.

Here is the true goodness of this long-winded record of my kidney stone ordeal (that maybe you didn't even care about reading... haha):

Some people out there are just meant to give perspective to the world. In such amazing, yet small, ways. As we were leaving the ER, Tom ran out to pull the car around. I was standing in the waiting room, hugging myself in clear pain. Writhing, really. I started to shuffle out the automatic doors in my baggy sweatpants, kind of gimping along, really slowly... when I suddenly heard from behind me, "I hope you feel better..." I turned around to see an older man with a prosthetic leg looking at me with a half-smile. I stopped in my tracks and thanked him as genuinely as possible. But I was blown away... here I am gimping out to the car that my husband brought around for me, and this kind gentleman with no leg hopes I feel better. That's incredible. Perspective is a crazy thing. Yeah, I'm really in a lot of pain, there is no denying that. But that dude lost his leg... could have been in war or from an infection, but that doesn't really matter. Every single day his life is harder than mine and he hopes I feel better? What perfect timing to get that perspective. God bless him.

Then, in Target, as I waited for the prescriptions to get filled, Tom ran up to buy me some apple juice. He came back and told me that the woman in front of him, with two young children in tow, had snatched the apple juice and paid for it. He told her no, but she insisted, "It's already scanned. I'm not going to make you wait for me to go all the way through. Merry Christmas!" Seriously? This sweet lady didn't even know that Tom was getting that juice for his sick wife. What a small, unforgettable gesture.

Moral of the story, always keep perspective. I've shared with you a detailed account of my awful kidney stone ordeal, which I hope was somewhat amusing... and if not, I can read it to my children as a bedtime story one day, right? Honestly though - no matter what you're struggling with, remember there are people who have it worse, and they still manage to keep their chin up. I would encourage you to remember this especially in the upcoming holiday season, but really, we should be remembering this all year round. Maybe the next time I see a parent with young kids, I can offer to help them get their shopping to their car, because that kind of person once helped me. Or pay for the car behind me in the drive-thru. Or take care of my incredible husband the same way he cared for me while I was sick. Or even just to acknowledge someone who looks lonely and brighten their day. It doesn't need to be anything fancy or costly... because the cost of perspective and compassion is priceless.

LifeJoy Johnson