Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neman: Everybody Must Get (Kidney) Stoned

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Neman: Everybody Must Get (Kidney) Stoned

Article excerpt

The kidney stone diet? I can't say I'd recommend it.

I had always heard that certain ailments make you lose your appetite, but I never quite understood what that meant. How could you lose your appetite? It's part of your whole being, an innate portion of your personality. Often, my appetite is all I have going for me.

So losing it isn't even an option. I want; therefore, I am.

Or at least so I thought until what I like to think of as my little visitor made himself known. He was, I was told, about nine millimeters around and mean as hell.

This is not the first time I have been stoned, kidney-wise. My first attack was maybe 10 years ago or so, and I have to say, if this happens once a decade it is still way too frequent for my taste.

This time, it hurt more, the difference being the difference between nine millimeters and, I don't know, maybe three or four millimeters. Had you told me the first time that the second time would be even worse, I would not have believed you. I would not have thought it possible.

We're talking doubled-over, scream-for-your-mommy pain. Last time, it felt like someone wearing a steel-tipped boot was kicking me repeatedly in the kidney. This time, it felt like he was kicking me harder and more often. And with a spike on the front.

And so I found myself with a lost appetite. Most of the time, I had very little desire to eat. Two whole days went by during which I ate a little fruit and a single plate of braised short-rib hash with poached eggs.

I may not have been hungry, but at least I still ate in style.

So the good news (Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?) is that I have at least lost a little weight during this ordeal, right?

So they would have you believe. But here's the thing about kidney stones: They hurt. A lot. I might not have been clear about that, but they do. The pain comes and goes, and frankly it goes more often than it comes, but when it is there, it is quite intense. And there is only one way to treat it with a heavy-duty, industrial-strength painkiller.

They first tried morphine. Morphine did absolutely nothing for me. I scoff at morphine. So they hit me up intravenously with Toradol, and that did the trick. …

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