Pain and Endurance

The past week or so, I’ve been dealing with what turns out to be an 8.7mm kidney stone.

I’ve had kidney stones a number of times in the past, but this is the first time in several years that I’ve had one bad enough to send me to the Emergency Room.

Last weekend, Kim was supposed to head down to my mom’s house in Arizona for a girl’s weekend, also including my Aunt B., Cousin A., Other cousin A’s wife R., and Mom’s best friend S.

I was hoping that I would be able to suppress the pain long enough to get Kim on the plane so I could just deal with my stone alone … but it got to be too strong, and I had to wake her up to take me to the E.R.

Morphine is a wonderful thing.

Eventually, after the CT scan, the morphine, etc., I was discharged with prescriptions for lots of painkillers and orders to see a urologist.

I was feeling better enough that I was still able to get Kim to go to Arizona. I prefer to suffer alone, and knew that there wasn’t a whole lot she’d be able to do for me over the weekend.

The weekend was pretty much a lost cause for me … doped up on painkillers, plopped on the couch in front of of the TV, watching movies, until Kim got home on Sunday night.

Monday was another wasted day. Tuesday, Kim took me up to the Salt Lake Surgical Center to have an ESWL (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy) done, to shatter the stone into smaller, passable pieces.

Another wasted day on Wednesday, trying to get the painkillers cleared out of my system, as the pain has subsided by multiple degrees, even though I’ve not yet actually passed the stones.

Went back to work yesterday (Thursday), but I’m not sure I was really ready for it. I just felt completely drained of energy.

So I came home and plopped myself on the couch again, to watch The Endurance—Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition.

As much misery as I was in this past week, I couldn’t imagine the fortitude that it would take to survive trapped in the ice and lost in the Antarctic for nearly 2 years … and yet Shackleton lost NONE of his men. All 28 men; leader, captain, and crew survived the ordeal.

Shackleton’s ship was named Endurance from his family’s motto, Fortitudine Vincimus — “by endurance, we conquer”.

While they didn’t conquer the Antarctic, reaching the South Pole (as was their initial goal), they did conquer the elements to survive.

Makes my own troubles appear really small.