Off to the hospital . . .

Later this morning I’m scheduled to have a kidney stone broken up.  I’ll be undergoing a procedure called ‘Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy‘, which sounds like a spaceship drive unit out of one of my science fiction novels!  I’ve been warned I’ll be black and blue after the procedure, and in pain for a few more days.  I hope Miss D. can stand it for a little longer – she’s already had more than enough of my pain-induced tetchiness for the past five weeks or so.

The thing I really don’t like about this procedure is that it has to be conducted under a general anesthetic.  I’ve had more than a dozen surgeries in my life, and I can’t help the niggling fear that one day, I may not wake up from one.  It’s statistically very unlikely, I know, but I just hate the feeling of not being in control of what happens to me.  Yeah, I know, it’s terribly male and all that . . . but that’s me, I guess.

At any rate, please say a prayer for a successful procedure, and for extra patience and tolerance for my poor wife over the next few days!  Blogging will be light today.  If I can, I’ll report in tonight;  otherwise, it’ll be tomorrow.



  1. Good luck, Peter. You're not alone with your dislike of anesthesia. As one Doc told me, his job is to lower me to one level above death. That's uncomfortable for an old war dog who's spent a lifetime trying to avoid that very state!
    Prayers for you and Miss D.

  2. My mother had this done, and I had to carry her around for a day afterward, but it really helped her. Good luck and recover soon.

  3. Statistically anaesthesia is about as safe as it gets (much safer than crossing the road) but … I empathise. (Oh and don't sweat the lithotripsy either – it varies between a 'massage buzz' and 'sitting on one of those silly vibrating exercise machines' in feeling even when conscious. The anaesthesia is mainly due to intermittent worsening of the pain due to the stone 'expanding' as it 'breaks up' is all).

    For me though, whilst I concur with the 'not in control' aspect, it's more from observing [literally] thousands of people in (post-op) Recovery. A sizeable percentage of whom have 'unusual' reactions as they 'come round'. I have many examples to cite but my 'favourite' was the gentleman who needed 'restraining' as in his confused/disorientated state he … stood on his bed and sang show-tunes (a medley of South Pacific, The King and I and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – with all the right 'dance moves/actions'!?!).

    Me? I (unnecessarily) panic and … listen to the entire Gilbert and Sullivan output (particularly The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado) so that I’ll at least have a decent … er, repertoire(?). After all, if you must embarrass yourself, do it with style and at least 'get the words right', no?

  4. I've had 30 plus stones in my life including 3 ambulance rides,4 ESWL treatments, and being knocked unconscious by the pain. I'm sorry to welcome you to the club nobody wants to join. the trouble with lithotripsy is that you can end up in just as much pain from passing all the little broken pieces and I would seriously consider endoscopic extraction if it ever happens again(although entering through and exit is an abomination in the eyes of the lord). Good luck and stay hydrated.

  5. Best of hopes for everything coming out alright. I've been unconscious under anesthetic more times than I want to remember. I'm sure you'll be fine.

  6. I've had the displeasure of this whole experience, about seven years ago. You have my utmost sympathy and well wishes. Take it easy for a few days, you're going to need it.

  7. "30 plus stones" Anonymous?!?! Dang! I felt like the "king of the hill" at 17!

    Prayers sent Pater! Ya will be passing "sand" for a bit but that's more "disturbing" than painful so there is that. Also, there is an end in sight!

    Hang in there and drink plenty of fluids! (beer is a fluid)

  8. I know a couple of anesthetists and they tell me that their number one job is to be sure the patient wakes up.

    (My wife had a c-section where the anesthesia did not work. Apparently, that's no fun either. 33 years and she still holds a grudge.)

  9. BTDT. I got by with valium and dilaudid. Best of luck on this, and we'll see you when you get back.

  10. Go with your God, my friend. BTDT complete with surgery.
    On the gripping hand combat vets get to be vets by surviving what life and Murphy decide what needs to faced by one. You have more to write, after all…

  11. My family has a weird reaction to general anesthesia. We stay awake. Interesting conversations to be had with your surgeon during two heart procedures with the monitors in plain view.

  12. I've had the procedure twice in the last 12 years. Didn't bruise either time and woke up in no pain.

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