…and so I awoke on the Friday morning four years ago, the day when I was due to revisit the young female doctor for the result of the useless blood test to establish that I might have prostate cancer, or might not because that all that the test will tell you – hopefully things may have changed now, the PSA blood test might be more accurate, but four years ago all it would tell you was that you might have prostate cancer, or you might not have prostate cancer, thats how accurate it was.
There was a very certain prospect that later that day a young female doctor would be wanting to stick at least one of her fingers up my arse to confirm what the PSA test hadn’t told her, it was not going to be a good day.
And then it got worse…
I actually awoke at 5am went to the bathroom and took a leak, no problem there. Went back to bed and awoke at 6am with the constant feeling of a need to urinate strangely absent.
I found out why when I stood up.
In that hour someone had crept up to me while I was asleep and inserted twenty seven dozen red hot needles into the small of my back, left hand side. I had never felt pain like that at all, never.
And ladies, do not tell me about childbirth, I’m not listening, you could easily have carried a child for ten months and given birth to a fifteen pound baby with a head like a bowling ball and it would not have even come close to the pain – I know this because the paramedics gave me Entonox, the gas that you birthing ladies enthuse over so much – it didn’t work, my pain was much worse than yours, you’ll have to believe me.
For some reason I walked downstairs, decided that was a stupid thing to do so went back upstairs and lay on the bed where Suzanne soon awoke to find me soaked in sweat and clutching the sheets in screaming agony, she gave me two paracetomols which were as useless as slapping me in the face and telling me to pull myself together and called the doctor.
After a long discussion with the emergency NHS Direct person it was decided to bypass my GP and head for the hospital and so an ambulance was called, but as my agony was not life threatening (all this from just a telephone conversation, clever aren’t they ?) I wasn’t a priority.
The paramedic in the ambulance handed me the Entonox, told me it would make the pain go away and that I’d soon be feeling nice and drunk, I otld her that I didn’t like feeling drunk, that it always made me sick, I avoid feeling drunk at all possible cost, she said I’d like this type of feeling drunk though and the pain would all go away , it didn’t, it made me feel drunk, the pain didn’t go away, and then I was sick, as predicted.
Quickly assigned to a cubicle in the A&E department at the Leeds General Infirmary I answered all the same questions all over again with the dozens of hot pins still slicing through my left kidney like a hot knife through butter, like standing on an upturned electrical plug ten times every second, like a Chinese burn but constant, like catching a paper cut finger on the edge of something, like hell.
After blood had been taken the nurse noticed my writhing on the bed and groaning in agony and asked if I’d like a painkiller – I almost strangled her for asking the most stupid question of the year.
One tiny little white tablet, just 30mg of codeine and a 200mg tablet of ibuprofen and the pain went within three minutes, I told Suzanne to write down the name of those two drugs and find a source for them on eBay, with a packet of codeine a person could go through the rest of their life and never have pain again, ever.
Kidney stones, thats what I apparently had folks, kidney stones.
Tiny little crystals of salt and calcium, tiny little things that in my case didn’t even show up on an x-ray (they took two x-rays, nothing abnormal), tiny little grains that sit there pressing on a nerve making you want to constantly urinate and then one morning they decide to move along a little bit and BAM – you’re incapacitated with blinding agony, writhing, screaming, clenching, pain that cannot be merely described – and two little tablets make it go away.
They gave me three days supply of the tiny little codeine tablets, told me to go back if the pain returned, it never did, they told me to drink lots and lots of water with the emphasis on “lots” to try and wash the crystal grains away and I drank so much water over that weekend that a hosepipe ban was enforced in the locality.
The pain has never returned.
And now Gents, I’ll give you a small clue, something to keep an eye open for, and whist ladies can also get kidney stones there is no point in you reading this for men do something that you ladies don’t – while you are sitting down to take a leak and gazing around the walls of your cubicle or chatting to a friend in the cubicle next door or just writing on the walls, we men are standing up to take our pee’s, and we watch it.
Well you have to don’t you, in truth we’re fascinated with peeing up against a wall right from being little boys we know that when you drink a lot of water your pee is nearly clear and when you drink a lot of coffee its very cloudy and smells, we know all of this, we are experts on pee’ing – well Gents here’s what to look for – when you’ve nearly finished, when you’re getting ready to give it a shake and put it away, watch for the last dregs, if they come out cloudy then thats not good – start drinking lots of water, get them kidneys flushed out.
You seriously don’t want those salts crystalising inside your kidneys, been there done that, take it from me…
PS – I never did get the results of that PSA test, I’m sure they would have told me if it was at all unusual, I hope.