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kidney stone update

[EDITED AGAIN: COMMENTS HAVE BEEN TURNED OFF FOR THIS MESSAGE, AND ALL COMMENTS DELETED.]

[EDITED TO ADD: SEE YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A KIDNEY STONE. THIS IS NOT A MEDICAL SITE!]

Went to have a lithotripsy simulation today ... the idea is to find out if a real one is worthwhile. It isn't ... my stone doesn't show up on ordinary x-rays, only on cat scans, and lithotripsy relies on x-ray, so another option is gone. Basically, if I want the stone removed, I gotta let 'em go in and get it.

Now, the nurse said I could go to my grave without ever feeling pain again, or I might feel morphine-level pain tomorrow ... there's no telling.

As for food ... understand that I have other physical ailments that require dietary attention ... low on carbs and sugars to keep me from being diabetic, low on all sorts of foods, many of them veggies, because they can cause stones. And I have high cholesterol, which knocks off another bunch of foods. Today I was told the following likely contributed to my current stone situation: eating meat, losing weight, drinking diet coke.

So I shouldn't eat meat, shouldn't eat carbs, shouldn't eat sugars, shouldn't eat most veggies, can't drink coke ... by my calculations that leaves water and Atkins low-carb "bread." Yes, it's come to this: the only thing I can eat is what you give prisoners when you want to punish them.

Meanwhile, the nurse told me about patients she's seen who ... well, I can hardly believe this, myself. You see, most fad diets cause kidney stones ... actually, the nurse said most diets in general cause stones, v.gradual weight loss accompanied by exercise and a billion gallons of water a day is about all that works. But you know how people are ... they want to lose weight and lose it NOW. So, the nurse said, they've been seeing a lot of people in lithotripsy these days, partly because of the popularity of Atkins-style diets. (Note this is not a condemnation of those diets, just a recognition that they are probably not a good idea for people who get stones.) Well, she said, they now get patients who lose weight and keep it off w/Atkins, and that's all that matters to them, and if they have to go in once a year to fix a kidney stone, that's a small price to pay.

Folks, I know most of you reading this have never had a kidney stone, and y'all know I'm prone to exaggeration to make a good story, so perhaps I haven't been clear enough on this one point: it is possible that a kidney stone creates the worst pain known to humankind. Every woman who has had both will tell you a stone hurts more than having a baby. The worst non-stone pain I have had was the recurring migraines I had for 40+ years ... well, that and the time I dropped a 3/4 ton die on my fingers ... and I can tell you, kidney stones hurt more than those things. There is, quite simply, nothing more horrible in the world of pain than a kidney stone. The idea that there are people out there so desperate to lose weight that they consider a kidney stone a reasonable tradeoff ... that frightens me.

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