On Monday, I felt some discomfort…

On Tuesday, I drove one friend to the airport, and then sat with another in a crowded cafe filled with fans watching the USA-Belgium match. The sheer excitement of that game was, at times, a distraction from the increasingly awful stabbing pains in my abdomen…

On Tuesday night, I ended up in the Cedars-Sinai ER for IV painkillers and a CAT scan that revealed the source of my agony: a 4mm kidney stone…

On Wednesday, I discovered that Norco (narcotic-amped Tylenol) wasn’t cutting the mustard with my pain – or, maybe it was doing a good job of bending the pain curve down from “give me death” to “merely unbearable”?…

On Thursday, I woke up feeling pain free – for one glorious minute. Later that day, I took advantage of an ebb tide to go to the supermarket. I hadn’t eaten in more than two days and though I didn’t really have any appetite, I was starving! My “end times” shopping list? Corn chowder, a freshly baked loaf of french bread, and liverwurst…

On Thursday night, I made a meal of some corn chowder and bread with butter. Small victory! Then came a miserable night…

Today. Friday. The Fourth of July. I awoke, six hours ago, seemingly pain free. Still some discomfort. I haven’t felt the marauder pass yet (sorry), so I am technically not out of the woods… but I am about to feast on a liverwurst sandwich for lunch – and all the Michelin stars in the sky couldn’t possibly taste any better right now…

At some point in my delirium I wrote a haiku. It is my first, therefore my best, and likely my last. Because 17 syllables? Really?

Dancing through wildflowers

Unimaginable pain

Fuck you kidney stone!

I’ve read everything on the internet to do with kidney stones, especially the how-to-prevent-them bits. Much of it is confusing and contradictory (spinach is good. spinach is bad. chocolate is good. chocolate is bad). Here is what I’ve distilled from it:

1. Drink lots of water, all day long. 12 glasses a day, minimum.

2. Repeat 1.

3. See 2.

4. There are many lists of “don’t eats” and “do eats”. What they all seem to have in common is MAGNESIUM. So I am going to boost my magnesium intake to 500mg/day. Fortunately, some of my fave foods are rich in Mg. Here’s a good article with shopping list:

The 11 Best Sources of Magnesium

If you do nothing else,  just drink more water every day. Especially in summer. Becoming dehydrated, even mildly, is the key cause of kidney stones. And you never, ever want to get one of these little bastards.

The End (so far)

photo credit: thanks to Edvard Munch for his classic painting, The Kidney Stone
(aka The Scream)


I won my freedom from this heinous pebble late into the night on Independence Day.




  1. My deepest sympathies. That was not a little stone you passed!!

    The big question however is … are there any more?

    I’m hoping the answer is no … but I’ve never known anyone to have only one 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. There are no “little” kidney stones! Actually, this was at the small end of the scale. They can be big enough to require surgery. Fortunately, I was able to ride this one out… and the CAT scan did not show any others. Let me be the first body you know to produce only one! 😮


  2. Oooohhhhh! Awful! I have been hospitalized for kidney stones twice and the last time needed a procedure to “blast” the little enemy! Yes, it was worse than childbirth. I’ve done all the reading, too, and at the time of these kidney stones (at last 15 years ago) I was still drinking a lot of diet soda and iced tea. So I think I was probably continually dehydrated and didn’t know it. Your last photo is amazing. I hope you’re doing better now! Water is your new best friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s crazy, isn’t it?! From out of nowhere – WHAM! I hate that you also had to endure these marauders — but I am thrilling to the sound of “15 years ago”! You know, I lived in the California desert for six years, and I’ve never fallen out of the habit of drinking water, all the time. But I’ll be drinking even more now — and I’ve gulped my last diet soda. That stuff is poison in so many ways. Cheers 3WB!


  3. I’ve jettison a few in my day, the old fashion way. Drinking a lot of water is one way to frak those frakkers. But I found drinking beer more fun and medicinal as a diuretic. One caveat, don’t frak and drive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yegads! You have my sincere sympathies. Hubby had one a few years back and well, I’ll leave it at that. I *do* hope you were warned about what to watch for. Fever, etc. Hugs. (Very gentle ones.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to read this particular post. It doesn’t quite go with the theme of “happy” that you had going for a stretch! FEEL BETTER SOON! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear Dr Stringer:

      It was so kind of you to take the Google machine all the way back to 1994 for state-of-the-art kidney stone treatment in a newspaper ad from a Pittsburgh hospital. 🍒🍒🍒

      The good doctors and nurses with whom I spent six hours that night sent me home with instructions to eat the pain pills and some other meds to help evict the culprit.

      It has either worked – or I have been enjoying a 13-hours-and-counting hiatus. Stay tuned…

      In the meantime, do you think you can find someone to repair my 8-track tape player? ☺


      1. Well, *I* thought it was fun ! [grin]
        My father was once given medication for gout that caused kidney stones. Medicine was wonderful, back then. Not.
        I hope you WILL let me know re progress: if you haven’t had pain for 13 hours, it seems hopeful … I have crossed all my fingers and toes for you, mate.
        XO !

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve,

    Perhaps not the most propitious way to get in touch, but I too feel your pain. So sorry you’re going through this! And yeah, however much water we’re drinking, it’s not enough–every time after the first one that I’ve been afflicted with the stone, I’ve been a little lax on hydration.

    Glad you’re on the mend, and the Nobel Literature folk will be on the phone later in the week about the haiku.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ouch! Liverwurst… Well feel better and no more Tums.. I had a manager who popped those like Xanax… Worse thing for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I tell you I feel your pain, believe it. I have had three or four stones in recent years and the pain is beyond description, except possibly to a pregnant woman giving birth to quadruplets without benefit of drugs. Try getting sympathy from her.

    We head tomorrow after two glorious weeks in this glorious country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t want to hear the myth about childbirth being the most pain a person can endure. Puhleeze! Women choose to have second, even third children. No one in the history of the species ever choose to have a second kidney stone! I rest my case. (And I’m a bit testy, because my celebration was apparently a tad premature…)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reminds me of the friends episode where Joey passes a kidney stone while Phoebe has triplets.

        Glad you’re feeling better and not so maternal with the stone. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Bark, don't bite.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s