Dying in the Shower: A sieve, a stone and a memorable trip to the hospital.

I walked to the bathroom to conduct my morning ritual. Hmm that’s weird. As I looked down, the usual crystal clear stream resembled an aged white zinfandel. I didn’t know I was that dehydrated. I should drink some water. I made my way to the kitchen, turned on the tap and chugged four glasses. I grabbed a yogurt and went into the living room to catch at least two episodes of Saved by the Bell before school. After an episode about Jessie’s addiction to caffeine pills, I decided to get cleaned up. Again, I tried to lower the water level, but the white zinfandel stream resembled a pinot noir. Fuck, is that blood? I am fucking dying. I am O.K. Millions of people have pissed blood before. Maybe I should call Mom. Nah.

I hopped in the shower and about midway through wash-rinse-repeat my right oblique started to burn. All right, I am going to die here in the shower. I guess I’m cool with that. I grabbed my phone and called my mom. She didn’t answer. I considered calling my dad, but knew how the conversation would go: It’s only pain if you acknowledge it. Pissing blood means your working hard. As I ran through these scenarios the burning became a throbbing. Water will fix this. I’ll just flush the system. As I stood chugging glass after glass of water, my Mom called back.

“Is everything O.K.? Did you get another ticket?”

“I am pissing blood?”

“What? Did your appendix rupture?”

“I’m not a doctor.”

“I’m on my way home.”

I watched another episode of Save By the Bell and browsed Web MD for possible diagnoses as I waited. HIV, kidney failure, internal bleeding were my top choices. Awesome. My mom pulled up and ran inside. “I called the doctor and he said to bring you straight to the hospital,” she announced. Every bump we hit along the incredibly far three-mile car ride felt like a knife plunged deeper into my side. I turned on the radio to make the time go by faster, but realized they turned Y100 alternative-rock, my favorite station, into Z100 Smooth R & B. Those fucking bastards.

The car screeched to a halt. We got out and made our way into the empty emergency room.

“Fill out these forms and give me your insurance card,” the nurse said.

“My son is peeing blood.”

“Oh My. Bring him right back.”

After about 12 different people prodded my side, the doctor said, “You have a kidney stone. We just have to wait for you to pass it.” They hooked me up to an IV and handed me a sieve to collect the stone. After the drugs kicked in, I fell asleep for two hours. When I regained consciousness I saw my “concerned” father sitting next to my mom.

“I have to go the bathroom,” I said.

I got up and dragged the IV into the bathroom while holding the sieve. I tried to pee, but nothing came out. Now I’m really fucked. I can’t even pee blood. I felt like the middle-age man in Avodart commercial. Yes, I do have a going problem? After about 10 minutes of deep concentration it happened. A small stone the size of one of those Nerd candies shot out into the sieve followed by a gushing stream of crystal clear, warm urine.

“I did it. I passed it,” I said to my parents holding up the sieve in rejoice. My parents have probably not been that happy to see me pee since my potty-training days. As I laid back down to recover from passing a stone through a hole that is not made for stones my dad asked, “you want me to drive you back to school, bud?” I dozed off.

Ten days later the doctor called, “Your kidneys look great and the stone was just a calcium deposit,” he said. This should have been good news, but I was still pissed at the fact they didn’t let me keep the stone as a memento.

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