You know how in movies sometimes a devil and angel sit on the protagonist’s shoulders? I, too, have good and evil tempting me these days. Except my devil and angel are my kidneys.
My bad kidney, the one that hoards stones, chides me every waking hour, “You can’t work; you’re in pain. Go back to bed and never drink water again.”
Good Kidney reassures me, “Don’t worry, you still have me.”
I tell Good Kidney that doesn’t really help the pain. Or the fact that I need surgery and a stent shoved up my pee hole.
Good Kidney retorts, “At least, you don’t have a penis.”
I can’t argue with that. So, I carry on and I ignore Bad Kidney.
However, on Monday, Good Kidney suddenly whimpered, “I don’t feel so good. We should go to the ER.”
I considered ignoring both kidneys, but the internet told me that doesn’t usually turn out well. By the time I got to the ER, Good Kidney was crying, Bad Kidney was screaming, and I was asking for a wheelchair.
The nurse offered pain medication, and I initially refused for fear of a mast cell reaction. However, Bad Kidney was insistent, “Pain meds! Pain meds! Now, now, now!”
So the nurse came back with Diluadid. I’ve had it before, also for kidney stones, but I couldn’t remember how it felt. (That’s probably because I was passing a 5mm stone and blacked out.) As soon as the nurse pushed the medicine, pressure rushed through my body, filling me like an overinflated balloon.
I braced for anaphylaxis, certain my mast cells had been activated. Nothing. I am led to believe my mast cells are Team Bad Kidney.
I tried to relax, despite the overwhelming desire to burst out of my skin. I took a deep breath. I wondered if this is how gingerbread men feel when they are cut with a cookie cutter? Do they mourn their leftover body on the cookie sheet?
Are we all one big cookie?
The medication wasn’t worth the hangover. I could still feel Bad Kidney, although it was more tolerable. The doctor recommended surgery sooner. Feeling defeated, I left the ER, made cookies (?!), and went to bed.