Hello gents. I have been somewhat ill recently. I am still recovering from surgery 5 days ago. Rather than type out the details, I will copy/paste my Facebook post and edit a little. If you ever have the condition I picked up, it will be a cautionary tale. Keep in mind, it is relatively common, routine and minor, but hurt like hell. Read on if you wish:
I took ill last week and had to spend some time in hospital. I am now out and recovering, painfully and slowly. What happened to me wasn’t really all that serious and much worse things have happened to others. Luckily the surgery is fairly routine. I had a kidney stone drop and lodged in my urethra on the way to my bladder. Unfortunately for me, a normal stone is about 4mm and will pass on its own, but mine was 7.5mm and was going nowhere and causing great pain.
In retrospect, I should have seen it coming. I was in Sydney for 3 days, starting my new job and I noticed that my urine was coffee coloured. Like any male, I didn’t think much of it, dismissing it as something I ate. I arrived back in Tasmania on Wednesday night and half way home, I felt a very sharp, winding pains in my side. Stubbornly as usual, despite protestations from Debbie, I kept driving. I got home and went to the toilet, assuming it to be bowel related. Shortly after, I collapsed to the floor with level 10 pain. Shortly after I became non responsive and Debbie called an ambulance.
After getting to the local hospital, I regained speech and movement and the pain disappeared. I was ready to go home, but I went to the toilet and the pain returned, savagely. They gave me morphine which just took the edge of it. Another medication, an anti-inflammatory did an even better job (see additional story at the bottom, no pun intended ..... you'll see). Eventually they gave me a CT scan and found the stone, which I heard a doctor jokingly refer to as Ayers Rock. I had no idea what that really meant. So they transferred me to Launceston. I waited a long time for an ambulance as they were very busy and eventually went in one with another patient who also had a kidney stone, who was in the back and I sat up front, which seems odd as I had a bigger stone.
In Launceston I was admitted and then started a parade of beds and rooms. They had no bed to put me in and over the next 12 hours I was moved into 4 different trolleys in 4 different section of emergency, including the overflow of the overflow. Despite this, I was treated superbly by all of the staff and remain grateful for our medical system, which is free and universal. During the whole stay in hospital, I had only one more pain attack and felt I was wasting everyone’s time.
Eventually I got a room, which gave me a more comfortable bed to be in. They were trying to get me to urinate the stone out, so they gave me 3 days of IV, but to no avail, it was not going to move. After an x-ray on Sunday afternoon, with no movement, they booked me in for surgery that night. This was my first ever surgery, so to be completely honest, I was really scared. The surgery was successful, as they crushed the stone internally and then removed it. That was the easy part.
I woke up with my penis as sore as it could possibly be and testicles that seemed unnaturally large. I could not move without excruciating pain. It gets worse. The next morning they took the the catheter out. They said it would sting a little and that was like saying Hitler was a bit racist. The tube was apparently twice the size of the one they normally use, for whatever reason and it wasn’t because of the size of my penis. I will have nightmares for months reliving the memory of that procedure. I have never felt such pain, and all the blood was just nasty.
With the catheter behind me, all I had to do to get out of hospital was urinate 3 times successfully. That was more pain as the first one stung like hell, but it was successful, with none left in my bladder. The second one was also successful, but led to chaos. I was in terrible pain and when I got out of the toilet, I more or less passed out. I vaguely remember all the people around me, carrying me to the bed, stripping me and wiring me up, my doctor and some guy from ICU. It was bedlam and so many questions I could barely answer. No idea what caused me to pass out, but afterwards they didn’t seem to think it was a big problem. Eventually I successfully urinated a third time and saw myself discharged Monday afternoon.
I still have to go back for day surgery in 3 weeks to have a stent removed from my urethra, which also sounds horribly unpleasant, as it involves a camera with a claw up the penis and pulling the stent out. This is done with just a local anaesthetic, so I must remember not to look. Then they will come back in 6 weeks to tell me what the stone consisted of, to see if it is likely to happen again.
All in all, as I said, not remarkable as a story, but if you ever have a kidney stone, remember what I told you here, so you are not surprised by what occurs. The timing of this illness was terrible, as I just started a new job 3 days prior, but they have been wonderfully supportive and I should be back at work Thursday next week (11 working days off after just starting a job). On the other side, I was very lucky, as the attack came just 45 minutes after I was was on an aeroplane. Imagine the chaos I would have caused if I had been on the floor screaming at altitude? Also, it could have occurred in Sydney and I would have been stuck in a hospital, all alone, far away from Debbie. With that in mind, this is a good news story, especially when I had such wonderful people caring for me in hospital and left with no debt. We have a wonderful healthcare system even if it is underfunded.
I hope you enjoyed my tale of woe.
I never believed that there would come a day where I enjoyed something being stuck up my bum, but that day happened.
Morphine didn't really help with the pain from my kidney stone, but something did. It was an anti-inflammatory suppository. I used 3 of them in total and it was wonderful. What I can't believe was that 3 young and pretty nurses were expected to put them in. No young girl should ever have to suffer such indignity, so I spared them the agony and did it myself. The first one was hilarious and made me laugh even with the excruciating pain, sliding around everywhere, taking me numerous goes to get it in - forgive me, I am not experienced at things going up my bum.