Welcome to Spring Enjoy Your Kidney Stone

close-up photo of a snowdrop in bud

A few weeks ago, when we were out for a walk, we passed a man who got off the sidewalk for us. And then he smiled and pointed to the ground, at a tiny bunch of snowdrops barely in bud.

“Spring is on its way!” he announced with a big smile. “See?”

Grief is an odd thing.

My heart wants to stay in the moment when he was still here. But time is heartless.

I find myself surprised and then outraged at the way this season is advancing, away from him.

A few weeks ago, Alan and I sat down to dinner. And then I sat up really straight.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, as my eyes grew big and I clutched my chair.

“I don’t know,” I muttered. “Gas, maybe?”

But the pain didn’t go away, no matter how I shifted or paced.

“I don’t know what to do,” he said at one point as I lay on the bed crying.

“But I really need you to know!”

This is not a kind thing to shout at anyone, especially someone with no medical training.

Midnight found us Googling appendicitis symptoms.

Then I called the Telehealth line. The lovely woman who answered the phone apologized. “But there’s a 4-hour wait to talk to a nurse.”

“Holy shit!” I said. And hung up on her. And if that was you, I’m so sorry. I’m not usually that rude.

Alan finally dropped me off at the hospital. He wasn’t allowed to accompany me because of Covid. Which is good, actually. He was able to go home and have a restful if guilt-filled sleep.

They hooked me to an IV, filled me full of painkillers, and let me sleep until my scan at 6:00. By that point, the stone had passed.

“You’ll be a little sore for the next couple of days,” the doctor said. “Do you want to go with Tylenol and Advil, or would you like a prescription for some painkillers?”

“Oh, yes, please!” I said, trying not to appear too eager. But one of the issues with Rheumatoid Arthritis, even when you’re taking eye-wateringly expensive drugs, is that sometimes the pain is unbearable.

I now have a small bottle of strong painkillers in my nightstand for those moments. I so wanted to text Douglass to tell him that I finally had access to the good stuff.

I’ve taken precisely two.

The weather here warmed up for a while, and we could sit on our balcony for dinners.

Last year, we would call a hello if someone we knew walked past. Or if we got caught flirting with stranger’s doggies.

Last week we were out there, and a couple walking by, strangers to us, called up a hello.

“Nice to see you sitting out!”

Nice to see anyone, in fact. We’re all so lonely that we’re losing our inhibitions. I hope we continue to say hello to strangers long after we can see our friends again.

We’re back in indefinite lockdown.

There’s snow in the forecast again.

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Photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

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4 Responses to Welcome to Spring Enjoy Your Kidney Stone

  1. Pam says:

    I could feel your pain. You know opioids have a very long shelf life. Don’t believe the Exp. Date. You can make those things last.

  2. Margaret says:

    Sending tons of love xoxo

  3. Sacha says:

    Gentle squishy hugs. Glad you got the good stuff – but sorry at what it took to get you there. I am also so irritated at the world for continuing to turn when he’s not here to provide his commentary, his quiet thoughtful supports.

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