Feeling Bad (and Good)

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Yesterday at the cooking event I was having pain in the lower abdominal area. When I came home, I was feeling drained and slept four hours instead of going to shuji class. This was the first chance to practice the tanabata model (七夕手本) on which I would like to perform well, so I was a little disappointed, but my body was clearly in need of rest.

This morning I awoke to severe pain in my lower and right abdomen, as well as a stabbing pain in a back muscle. Logically, I thought I would feel better if I brushed my teeth and showered, but the pain was severe enough that I could hardly stand up and walk. I spent some time breathing and trying to assess what was wrong. When no amount of breathing and relaxing was relieving the pain, I started searching my long term memory for locations of appendix (盲腸), gall bladder (胆嚢), and such. I couldn’t recall much, but I was pretty sure this wasn’t something like gastritis. (Funny story about that later.)

I phoned up the Good Doctor, figuring an English-speaker who is head of a hospital might be able to help me, but got no answer on his cell phone. My next call was to a friend I visited several times when she was hospitalized. She wasn’t excited by an early morning wake-up call, but tracked down a nearby hospital with a GI specialist attending for the day.

At the hospital we could locate the point of the pain, but the doctor said all manner of problems might cause that; so, next stop was x-rays (レントゲン) and CT. When the images came back, we were happy to see a couple of stones (結石) in my urinary tract. This is a pretty benign problem (other than the pain) and beats a ruptured appendix any day. Doctor’s orders are to drink a lot of just about anything – including beer – until the stones find their way out.

They were nice enough to give me high strength pain killers for the big event, which I hear is unpleasant. Japanese aspirin normally comes in a powdered, and very low strength, form to mix with water and drink. Hospitals can dispense the stronger form… which is… a suppository. I can’t say I’m looking forward to using these.

By awesome chance, as I was leaving the hospital and retrieving my cell phone, I got a call from friends who live a couple hours away. Their home is where I learn about carving stone seals (篆刻). They were just getting ready to have lunch at a museum nearby. If I had been a few minutes longer, I couldn’t have hooked up with them. Also, there was just enough time for a relaxed lunch before I went to pick up another friend and head to a concert at the Kawage Marina (河芸マリナ).

OK, the funny story is from way back when I was working in Houston. Clients from a Japanese oil refinery came to complete a project phase. Naturally, we wanted to take them out for a good time, so we watched a ballgame in the Astrodome. The next day, one of the clients was rushed to the hospital because he was certain he had severe appendicitis. By the end of the day we were all having a good laugh. He wanted the full dome experience: dome foam, dome dog, and a few other dome foods I wouldn’t touch. He got a little bonus: dome gastritis.

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6 Responses to “Feeling Bad (and Good)”

  1. sunkissd1 Says:

    Once you pass the stones, “they” (being the medical community) can analyze them to determine the cause. I’ve known people who’ve gotten them from excessive coffee drinking. Milk was another culprit.

    Were they able to determine whether they were gall or kidney stones?

    This friend of mine used to work at a jewelry store in Bell-square and had a client who had kidney stones during labor and was in excruciating pain. To make her feel better, her husband said whatever size stone she passed, he’d buy her a diamond the same size. I don’t think he realized how big it would be. He ended up buying her something like a 3-1/2 karat rock!!

  2. びっくり Says:

    The doctor said they were small. He didn’t recommend any screening to save the stones, so I won’t get much of a look at the size. I think he said they were in the urethra (Or was it ureter? In Japanese sounds they are so close.), and he insisted the gall bladder was not related at all.

    Funny that you mentioned milk. I drank a lot of milk the night before because I had a craving.

    Several co-workers have told me that jumping rope helps shake them out of the system. They insist that doctors tell them this… I wonder…

  3. sunkissd1 Says:

    That tidbit of advice sounds like an old wives tale, doesn’t it? Are you feeling better? Since you’re not screening, I guess no diamonds for you!! 🙂

  4. びっくり Says:

    Well, if they don’t pass soon, I may be out buying a jumprope.

  5. The Wolves Den « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] a youchien (幼稚園) I was talking to the teachers about having a stone in my urinary tract (尿道), pronounced nyoudou. Well, dou means ‘road’, […]

  6. No Incredible Journey « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] only suggested that I avoid hard liquor. That shouldn’t be too difficult. Beer is fine. The kidney stone doctor also said the same thing. I think Japanese doctors are afraid to tell patients not to drink […]

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