last night around 4am i woke up because i was having pains in my lower back and i had a shortness of breath.
i went to the bathroom but i knew what it was, especially when i couldn’t pee: kidney stones.
i fuddled around my pad trying to prepare for the super long wait in the ER and doing my best not to wake up Amber. but i failed at everything.
i couldn’t find my sweat pants, i couldn’t find my cubs knit hat and i disturbed the pretty girl, who then put on her clothes and walked me to Kaiser Permanente, where i had delivered my previous two stones.
that’s right, in four years working for the Academy, i have now had three kidney stones.
i try to be a cool customer, and most of the time i pull it off but the two block walk was endless. every step hurt and when we finally made it to the hospital and they told us to go upstairs and walk to the ER i began crying.
for so many reasons.
the biggest reason is i know what is needed to end the pain: heroin. they dont call it that in the hospital, they call it Demerol or Morphine or some other less hysterical name but it’s heroin and once they inject it into you, your body relaxes, you get super pukey, and then you drift off into a beautiful daze.
but when you enter the hospital, if you mention pain killers even once, the machine stops and you will be delayed your sweet reward for at least an hour. trust me, i know.
so you suck it up. and it makes you cry because if you are someone like me who is not shy about communication, it kills you not to say, “please just one shot in the ass and we can do all the other things.” because if you say that they think you’re an addict and uggggghhhhh.
we get to the window and thank God i was already in the system due to the previous visits and Lord Above they don’t make me do any paperwork. Also, blessings upon blessings, theres only one other person in the entire waiting room.
so a nurse hooks me up to the blood pressure machine and murphys law it doesnt seem to wanna work so im moaning and crying and writhing around in the seat. inside all i want to do is say “BRO MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS 1000 over 10 million, lets make this happen!” but you have to be cool.
and cry. just keep crying. just let it out, which is just as bad as the pain for me because why am i crying? im crying because this is death. i am totally out of control, i am at the mercy of people who are up at 4am who cant even get their GD blood pressure machine to work and im gonna die right there on Sunset Blvd. im crying because no doctor or specialist has been able to tell me how to avoid this. im crying because theres a pretty girl listening to me not be cool.
my BP is 178 over 125. HAPPY EVERYONE?
they take me to room 10. amber helps me out of my shirt. im laying on the gurney and im just moaning like a bear who has been shot in the fucking head but he aint dead yet. theres a few other people in this part of the ER and because i am highly sensitive in all areas at this point i can hear them all saying, what the hells wrong with that guy?
and fortunately Amber parts the curtains and very politely asks a nurse, can we do something about this pain?
then the longest ten minutes in human history passed and finally a nurse came in with a cocktail of morphine, anti-puke meds, high blood pressure pills, and a shot of rum.
it cut right through the pain. but naggingly it was still there. they asked me to pee, and i peed. lawdy lawdy did i pee.
i peed so much i felt like maybe the stone was gone. but no i could still feel it. so they took me to the cat scan where i met a man who looked like all my relatives. and it turned out he was from DC. so we chatted, and took a picture together but when i got up i doubled over.
then a nurse came in and asked what the pain level was. i said it was a 10 then a 2 now we are back up to 8. and they gave me another dose of morphine and i drifted into a nether land.
before i floated too far, i said, amber, if i fall asleep just go home. youve been awake since 4:20, no need for you to soldier through this. but she went to starbucks and came back. i had a phone that could get tv shows. she wasnt interested and soon the doc said i was free to go.
but life isnt fair and the hospital pharmacy doesn’t allow me to get drugs there so we took a Lyft to the Walgreens a few miles away. and i felt so good.
i felt like i had delivered a baby and it had already graduated college.
the contrast between ultimate pain and a quick lack of pain was bizarre and slightly unnerving. how can we feel like we are going to die at 6am but at 9am alls kool and the gang? got the meds, took one of the pain pills and drifted off again.
and then slept and slept.
so whats the lesson: simple. always have a little stash of heroin around the house just incase.
tomorrow morning i have to be in santa monica at 8:30am to fight a traffic ticket. i wonder if i pass out.