Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coffee vs. Tea

I don’t drink coffee, never have ,never will. I may have had half a dozen cups in my life, always to save myself from embarrassment after it was poured and everyone else was partaking. I think that it tastes bitter, and even when drowned in cream and loaded with sugar, still tastes like coffee.

 

I drink a lot of iced tea. By a lot, I mean a lot. Above average. You know those giant iced tea glasses they give you at lesser dining establishments ? I average about three of those a day. When I am on the road I will pull over and get the largest iced tea the fast food place will sell me. I drink it in just a couple of minutes.

 

Tea has about half the caffeine of coffee and enters your blood system at a much slower rate. It does not give you a jolt like coffee does and some colas do (I do not drink carbonated beverages either). In order to make sure that the tea does not add any more weight to an already quite hefty body, I have never put any sugar in it. Just ice and tea. I have been drinking this much tea since 1989.

 

Late one night in 1989 I arose with a shooting pain in my back radiating down to the groin area. I was up walking around for two hours, unable to sit down or lie down without the pain. After a couple of hours it went away and never came back again. I decided to forget about it.

 

Some months later, I had eaten some Chinese takeout  and watched a Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn movie on T.V. when the pain returned. With a vengeance. I don’t know what child birth pain is like, and I never want to find out, but this was bad enough. The pain got so bad that my wife had to rush me to the E.R. because otherwise she would not have been able to get back to sleep. I was slapped on a gurney and wheeled off someplace where it was explained to me that they were going to inject some type of goo into my system so that they could x-ray me and find what they suspected to be a kidney stone. A very pretty young nurse came forward to insert something into me. I smiled and threw up on her. That is a bad feeling, throwing up on a nurse. Not as bad a feeling as the nurse has, but still, pretty bad.

 

 

After I was good and x-rayed I was carted into a room and approached by a  nurse who told me that I would be getting a shot for the pain. The fellow who had wheeled me back winked his eye at me and said “All right, you gonna get a high.” And I did. They tied me into a tube and ran that stuff into my veins all  night and all the next day. I never spent a more relaxing day. I wish I had some of that stuff right now. I felt like one of the Lotus Eaters in the Ulysses tale. I don’t recall for sure If there are any Lotus Eaters in that tale. I know that there are Sirens and Cyclops’s, Cyclopsi ?. I did not feel like either of those.

 

As I felt too good, they unhooked me and sent me home. They told me to get myself a pantyhose and urinate through it in order to catch the stone which they described to me as a small jagged rock that would rip its way through my system, causing the utmost pain when I passed it. Days went by and no rocks, jagged or otherwise, showed up in my pantyhose. But the pain came back. At one point, so bad that I had to go back to the E.R. where they gave me some heavy duty RX.Since it was after midnight, I had to find a 24 hour drug store to fill it. I handed it to the all night pharmacist and he took a look, frowned and filled it. Then he did a funny thing. He came around the counter and handed me his card. “Look” he said, “this is heavy duty stuff, they would not give this to you unless they were planning on stretching you on a rack (or something like that). “ This is my phone number, you call me day or night if you run out of this stuff. We don’t want you to ever be without it.” I remember thinking “hmmmmmmmm”. Then I swallowed a pill real fast.

 

After a few more days I went to see the urology team of Chopp and Hitt. As God is my witness, those were my urologists. Mine was Dr. Chopp.Although Hitt was always around too, kind of hanging out. They had a rough guy, about 60 ,who did their nursing. He had probably been a Master Sgt. at a Mash unit in Korea. Had craggy hands and was always bumping into things like trays and examining tables. Chopp recommended  a  hospital procedure to break up the stone. Hitt did not comment, but stood in the back and  nodded his head vigorously up and down during the recommendation.

 

To  make a very long story short, the procedure did not work. They put a stent into my penis which caused terrible pain upon urination. They sent out some pills to stop the pain and forgot to tell me that the pills would turn my urine a bright orange, which caused me to panic. After a week I went back and Nurse Craghands threw me up on a table for an x-ray, tripping over a chord of some kind. After the x-ray was done, he took the picture to Chopp who threw it up on one of those light boards in the next room.

 

What you don’t want to hear in the next room while you are lying on an examination table is . “Oh no, look at that” (Chopp). “Yeah, it’s wrapped all around there.” Nurse Craghands, “Better call Hitt” (Chopp).  Short delay, enter Hitt, “oh no, look at that.”

 

Finally they came in and told me that the stent was wrapped around something down there, I don’t recall what. They showed me the x-ray and told me that they would try to get it out but that maybe I would have to go back to the hospital. I did not have much of a choice but to let them try, which Chopp did while Hitt stared over his shoulder and Nurse Craghands held me down, there being no available whiskey for me to take a slug of. In this effort, Chopp was highly successful and what looked like fishing wire was pulled out of the penis. Hitt shouted out encouragement through the whole procedure.

 

Some days later, I finally passed the stone with no pain at all. I went back to see Dr. Chopp who made me promise to drink 64 oz of water every day for the rest of my life. It turned out that that was a boring thing to do and so I substituted tea. I have been stone free ever since.

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul D. Frazier said...

This is one of the most frightening blogs I have ever read in my life.

I had a kidney stone when I was 16 and I thought that was bad.

You win.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Jannie Funster said...

Gol - dang, I almost felt your pain. I think I got off easy having had a baby compared to your little foray into getting "stoned."

"I smiled and threw up on her. That is a bad feeling, throwing up on a nurse. Not as bad a feeling as the nurse has, but still, pretty bad." Classic Wade Porter line - CRACKED me up!

11:14 PM  

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