My Patriotic Kidney

There’s a bit of irony to living in the United States without health insurance and having to make a trip to the emergency room on Independence Day because it feels like Chuck Norris is squeezing your bladder and kidney with needle-covered hands. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

I woke up on the 4th with what I thought was the start of a UTI, so instead of enjoying a day of encased meat I spent it on the couch watching The Sopranos. The pain became progressively worse and it wasn’t until midnight that I woke up and told Josh I needed to go to the doctor immediately. Urgent care was closed so I had to make my second trip to the ER since being born (the first was when I was 9 and couldn’t poop. You’re welcome).

After some blood and pee tests I had a CAT scan and the doctor was like yep, you have a kidney stone that’s lodged in a weird spot so it’s going to be quite the ride trying to get that thing to pass. I was less freaked out by that and more freaked out by the fact that I’m a 26 year old female with a kidney stone. I thought those were reserved for dads. Hasn’t everyone’s dad had a kidney stone? What did I do to deserve this? Is it because I put sriracha sauce on my chocolate?

The good news is that they were really nice and felt really bad for me so they gave me morphine. I’ve never had morphine before, except for maybe when I got my wisdom teeth out but I don’t remember any of that. The bad news is that the nurse had a hell of a time trying to get the IV in me because, her words not mine, I have “really tough skin.” I made sure to tell her I workout. She started laughing, pulled out the needle, and blood gushed EVERYWHERE. Her natural reaction was to yell “CRIME SCEEEEEEEEENE” as she bandaged it up and mopped up the mess with her foot. I didn’t even care because morphine.

So now I’m at home taking medicine to help birth a 3.5mm piece of sharp mystery deposit, then peeing into a plastic thing on my toilet that’s shaped like half a leprechaun hat, then pouring it into a paint strainer and looking for a stone. Wild times. Josh said I should save the toilet hat and paint it green for next St. Patty’s Day. It would be all worth it when some drunk asshole at the bar puts it on his head and I can be like “oh yeah, I peed in that thing like 50 times. You can keep it.”

I don’t know if I’m more afraid for when this thing decides to come out or for when the hospital bill decides to show up in my mailbox. Living without insurance in the United States has never seemed like a risk to me because I never get sick to the point where I need a doctor, but now that I’ve experienced it without lube, I’m thinking it’s time to look into some cheap plans. You win, Uncle Sam. I hope you spend your next birthday trying to pass a baseball through your butt.

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About the Author: Becky