The Punk Vault


So Wednesday started off like any other day in the past couple weeks. I woke up cursing my alarm for waking me up, went to work at my temp gig, then drove home in shitty traffic, but it didn’t end up like most days.

I’m sitting on the couch watching TV and having a snack before going to work on a shopping a pinball machine for money and all of a sudden my upset stomach that I’ve had off and on for the past week or so suddenly got a lot worse. I can’t blame the food, I only ate breadsticks and how can they possibly cause an upset stomach? The pain seems to get worse as time passes, so I lay down, then my side starts hurting, and hurting, and hurting. I try and find comfort but can’t and it doesn’t look like it is going to pass, and then it hits me that I may in fact know what the problem is.

So I grabbed my car keys and wallet and drive myself over to the hospital, all the while the incredible pain in my side especially, keeps getting worse. Luckily it is only a one mile trip and the one stoplight between my house and the hospital changed quickly to my favor and didn’t hold me up. I park, walk in the ER and tell the receptionist my troubles. Luckily it was pretty empty in there and they brought me in right away. After answering some questions, waiting, answering more questions and getting my blood pressure checked (which by the way is insanely high due to the fact that I think I’m dying) they tell me they are going to put me in a room and the doctor would be with me shortly. I tell them they better give me a bucket because I suddenly started getting very nauseous from the pain. The minute I sit on the bed in the room they put me in, I start filling the bucket. I was in such pain, I was throwing up.

After some blood is drawn, an IV inserted and some question asking by the doc, they give me a shot for pain and a shot for nausea. The pain shot wasn’t strong enough, so I had to get another one, which wasn’t’ strong enough. Then they took a cat-scan of me and then they give me a double shot of more pain medicine which finally starts helping and I actually almost blacked out because I was pretty doped up at this point, which was a welcome relief from the pain I’d been enduring up to that point.

The result? Kidney stones, something I have had before, and suspected I may have this time, though wasn’t sure since it had been 11 years since I last had a bout of them. They tell me there are a few, but the culprit that caused all this trouble was huge, like a third of an inch big! I’m admitted into a regular room in the hospital and was told a Urologist would be in to see me in the morning.

After a long night of little sleep and a few more shots to hold back the pain, morning comes and so does the doctor. I’m told that the stone is too big to pass, and too big to surgically remove like I had done many years back. What they have to do is to put a stint in the kidney to relieve the pressure and keep it open, and then on another day next week they do a procedure where they send some sort of shockwaves through your kidney to bust up the stones. Part A would happen at noon that day, which means the breakfast I just ordered had to be cancelled cuz you can’t have food in you when they are going to do surgery on you, and I was pretty damn hungry at this point!

So noon came and they wheeled me down to the OR. I went over my concerns of nausea caused by anesthesia with the doctor and was assured they’d pump me full of anti-nausea meds during the surgery. They put the mask on me and the last thing I remember was one of them telling me I’ll be asleep in a couple minutes.

When I came to, I was in the recovery room and all I remember was telling the nurse that I had to pee when she was telling me to breathe. The rest is kind of fuzzy but I do recall being transported back to my room and slowly moving from the gurney to my bed and still proclaiming that I had to pee. Eventually the haze wore off, which seemed to happen a lot sooner than it had for me in previous surgeries.

After finally getting a meal, I’m told if I’m up to it, I’m free to go home or I could stay until the morning. When I realize that the food I ate was going to stay down, I opted to go home with my prescription for vicodin and my instructions on what to do to follow up and get part B done next week.

Kidney stones are perhaps the most painful thing a person can go through. You literally feel like you are dying. It was a rather hellish 27 hour experience which still isn’t over. I’m home but still in discomfort, peeing like every 15 minutes, eating vicodin like it was pez and probably will be until they can blast these things out of me. Not only that but since I’m barely working, I carry my own health insurance with a VERY high deductible, which I more than easily surpassed in my day in the hospital, which means I’m now going to be in the hole a few grand in medical bills. That part hurts almost as much as the stones!


  • Hope all goes well. I can’t believe you are having another setback. Hopefully, you are fully recovered for the show on the 3rd!

  • Wow! Been there. The first time I passed out in the hospital, awoke on a bed. I am grateful every time I have had a kidney stone, it was passable. The pain is like nothing else. I have been lucky they never get too big and pass after a few weeks or so. Lots of blood in my urine, which kind of freaks me out…still. I am glad you are o.k. Take care.

  • Oh, Mike! Damn. I remember this happening to you a couple of times already and I thought they fixed you up so it wouldn’t happen again!

    I can’t even imagine how painful that must be, and I’m sorry you’re enduring it again. The money part of it sucks, of course, but that’s just salt in the wound at this point.

    A speedy recovery to you, sir! You deserve a big fucking break and things to start going right immediately!

  • Well, I found this site and can relate to the pain. “like you are dying” I was just told yesterday that I will be having the stint and the blast (same day) Wednesday. I have been in the hospital once (for the delivery of my son, which I would take a hundred times over compared to this pain). Can you PLEASE tell me about recovery. I am scared to death.


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