June 26th, 2013

Tea is Poison

I am writing because I’m bored.

I’m bored because I don’t feel like doing anything. I managed to give myself another kidney stone, and I’m waiting for the remnants of it to make a graceful exit.

I woke up Sunday night with what seemed like stomach cramps. I had eaten a dubious Granny Smith apple, and I figured I was in for a case of the trots. Would that it were so. Eventually the pain became recognizable for what it was.

Thank God I had some painkillers in the house. I don’t care if Homeland Security reads this and they use it to put me in a penitentiary. I scrounge painkillers and hoard them. Kidney stones ALWAYS strike on a weekend, when your regular doctor is busy playing golf, so it can be tough getting relief in a timely manner, and if you don’t have a Percocet or something similar on hand, you are in for a world of pain.

I have heard some people say kidney stone pain has hit them suddenly. That has never happened to me. It has always built gradually, giving me just about enough time to choke down a Vicodin and get some relief. But if I had to go to an emergency room, I’d be waiting for hours. And that would be bad.

Everyone should hoard painkillers. There are lots of things that can happen, which cause severe pain in a hurry. Doctors do not care about this, and even if they did, our restrictive drug laws make it hard for them to help quickly. No one is going to put you in jail if you bring your kid to the hospital with a broken arm and he has already had a Tylenol 3. So if you get a prescription which you don’t use up, stick the pills in the fridge. You never know.

My dentist says it’s hard for anyone to get painkillers now, because of our useless drug laws. There’s a shortage. I am conservative, anti-drug, and religious, but I think it’s time to quit regulating mind-altering drugs. I know exactly what addicts are like, and I can tell you, they do not do without drugs simply because they’re illegal. Every addict you know is getting drugs for fun, but people like me have a hard time finding them, because a) we are not criminals, and b) we have not spent our lives perfecting drug-acquisition strategies. It’s like gun control. The idiots will always have whatever they want, and the rest of us will suffer. There are plenty of countries where you can walk into a store and buy codeine, and somehow, they don’t plunge into anarchy.

Generally, I don’t go to the doctor for kidney stones. It costs a lot of money, and they don’t really do anything. If the stones are small, you pee them out without help. If not, you will figure it out, and then you can get professional treatment. This time, though, I was low on drugs, and for that reason, I tried to make an appointment. My urologist could not see me until Tuesday, so off I went to my “PCP.” I just learned that that means “Primary Care Physician.” I have a guy who will treat just about anything if you let him, and he accepts patients without appointments.

I got myself a few painkillers, plus a prescription for an antibiotic, and then I went home to pee as much as possible. Naturally, whatever pain I had experienced disappeared as soon as I got to the doctor’s office, and of course, when I gave them a sample, the only pieces of stone that came out missed the cup and went into the toilet.

Yesterday they did a sonogram, and I still have some masonry to expel. I’m drinking lots of lemonade and waiting around. Sometimes I get irritation from little bits of stone that break loose, but I’m not getting the renal colic which really sends people through the ceiling.

One annoying part of kidney stone attacks is that they affect your mood. If you’re about to have renal colic (at least if you’re me), you will feel agitated long before you feel pain. You may be very anxious. You may have trouble thinking. There is something about irritation in the urinary tract that screws up your brain.

I figured this out on my own, but today I found proof on a kidney website:

Occasionally, stones take days or weeks to pass. During this time, a patient may not be able to sleep and may suffer from mood swings, lack of concentration, difficulties learning, inability to make decisions and paranoia.

How about that? So basically, I have PMS.

This is very interesting to me. I know I caused the problem myself, by drinking green tea with breakfast. And I’m sure it didn’t happen overnight. There must have been a certain amount of irritation going on for months, without urinary symptoms. So I’m thinking I may have sabotaged my own sleep, memory, and concentration by drinking tea.

Every time I get a stone, it’s because I’ve been drinking tea. I used to drink it because I liked it. Lately I’ve been drinking green tea because I thought it was good for me. And I was taking potassium citrate, which supposedly prevents stones. I ran out of potassium citrate and put off buying more, and now here I am, peeing through a strainer.

I think I’m going to have to live by a solid rule: tea no more than once a week. And I’m wondering if my concentration will improve, once the pee stalactites have been expelled.

I hope they don’t have to use lithotripsy or any other unpleasant stone-smashing methods. I will be really good from now on, if I can get this thing out.

I will continue praying. My last two stones were healed by prayer, at my old church.

Things like this make me wonder how much of mental illness is caused by simple mechanical problems in the body. If subliminal irritation from a kidney stone can screw up your concentration and make you paranoid, what else is possible?

I am still bored. I should try to write some music.

10 Responses to “Stoned”

  1. baldilocks Says:

    You are indeed under attack from the Enemy, physically and spiritually. I have, am and will pray for you.

  2. Leah Says:

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Hopefully your stone/s will pass quickly. Cranberry pills are a proven antiseptic for the bladder, may prevent other problems in that arena… feel better soon, prayers,

  3. bmq215 Says:

  4. Steve H. Says:

    I saw the stuff about green tea preventing kidney stones a while back. It’s one of the reasons I thought I could get away with it.

    Didn’t pan out for me.

  5. bmq215 Says:

    Yeah, it’s ridiculous how many things contain oxalates. Beans, spinach, rhubarb, pepper, the list goes on…

  6. blindshooter Says:

    Hi Steve, hope you get over the stones quickly. My Dad would get a urinary tract infection and if not caught in time he would get almost crazy. We thought it was caused by all his other health problems but I finally asked one of his doctors and he confirmed it, bladder and urinary infections can affect your mood and mental state especially if you have other significant health problems.
    Prayers for your quick recovery.

  7. Elisson Says:

    May you have a speedy and complete recovery. I’ve been there and done that… and I know it ain’t much fun, especially since it is one of the few conditions for which duck fat is not indicated. 😉

  8. Steve H. Says:

    Thanks, E. But let’s try to take a proper scientific perspective here. We have no proof that duck fat DOESN’T work.

  9. Jim Yates Says:

    Weren’t you the one who was so critical of Glenn Beck when he was complaining about kidney STONES?

  10. Steve H. Says:

    No. I criticized him when he did a teary video claiming a medical procedure almost killed him.

    And it turned out to he was talking about a hemorrhoid laser.