A week ago Wednesday (July 22nd, the date of the well-debated post on the Match Tiebreaker), I woke with constant pain in my lower-left abdomen. My self-diagnosis (aided by WebMD.com) was diverticulitis … an inflammation of a crevice/poach in the intestine.
I walked around with the pain for three days and finally went to the emergency room on the fourth day to confirm the diagnosis and get needed anti-biotic to cure the problem. The doctor agreed that it was probably diverticulitis, but wanted to do a cat scan to be sure. He said that same pain can be from a variety of different ailments.
After three hours of drinking the dye, waiting for it to travel, taking the scan, and waiting for the results… the doctor said, “We were both wrong. It was a 4 mm kidney stone.”
He gave me a prescription for the powerful pain killer Oxycodone and sent me home to wait for it to pass (which normally happens in 48 hours).
That Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Days 4, 5 and 6) I did virtually nothing but drink water (to help flush the stone), pee, and sleep from the pill. But nothing changed.
So I went to Plan B … Exercise. I forced myself to play tennis (very poorly) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Days 7, 8 and 9) and, although it is not supposed to happen much, I believe the stone disintegrated and came out on Day 9!
Tennis buddy Bob Wilkie observed that I must have lost at least 10% of muscle mass on my calves in just that short time of inactivity. And I lost a full eight pounds. It is incredible how fast your body reacts to a layoff!
The U.S. Heath Care System
My other global observation from this experience in trying to get someone to help is the change in the health care system in the last few years…
• Fewer doctors taking on new patients.
• One doctor I called in New Hampshire who was taking on patients had his first available appointment in SEPTEMBER
• The urology clinic that came to the local hospital eventually called me back, but couldn’t see me for two weeks
• And the urology department at Dartmouth never called back after receiving my scans from the emergency room
Without pain now, trying to get back in shape for the mid-summer doubles tournament next weekend at the local college!
P.S. Special thanks for the only good medical advice it did get, from retired Dr. Michael Fenster!!
You have kidney stone experience??
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