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I Got Stoned at Work Today

Mike Cash

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Early this morning I was experiencing some abdominal discomfort. Then a very short while later I was suffering some abdominal pain. I was at a customer's place in Tomioka, waiting to unload a container, and the pain just kept getting worse and worse until I finally decided I not only couldn't drive in that condition but that as soon as the customer's showed up and I could get the truck into a position for them to unload it I was going to call an ambulance.

The customer called an ambulance for me and after about a ten minute wait one arrived and took me to Tomioka General Hospital. I got poked and prodded and stuck with needles for a while in the emergency room. Then I was taken to have x-rays of my chest and abdomen. After that the doctor and based on the x-rays and the results of my blood and urine tests he said he wanted to do a CT scan since there didn't seem to be anything wrong with my chitlins, so off we went to do the that. The CT scan got cut short when the doctor came out and told me I had a very clearly visible kidney stone.

We went back to the emergency room, where I finally did what I had felt like doing for the previous three hours, which was to puke my guts out. I hadn't eaten for about 24 hours so I very quickly got to graduate to everybody's favorite, the dry heaves.

Meanwhile my company had sent out a couple of people, one to fetch my truck and one to fetch me. My pain was increasing and while it never got to the "I want to die!" level it did pass the "I wonder if this hurts as much as labor pains?" threshold. They finally gave me some pain medication. One was by IV drip. The other was by suppository administered by a male nurse. The pain also passed the "I am perfectly willing...nay, eager...to have another man stick his finger in my butt if the other pain will go away" threshold.

Then a nice urologist came and did an ultrasound on me and determined I have a 7mm stone just about to depart my ureter and enter my bladder, after which passing it should be a relatively painless matter. I am to recover the stone and take it for Show-And-Tell with my local doctor if possible and it might be anywhere up to a month before the thing actually drops into my bladder.

Anyway, my boss patiently waited a couple of hours for me then fetched me home in his Nissan Leaf, my first ride in an electric vehicle.

It wasn't the most pleasant morning I've ever spent.

There's no way to say this without sounding like a snot, but this is the kind of situation where you're glad you made the effort to learn the language well enough to handle it on your own and not have to worry about whether the staff speaks English or a translator is available. The staff appreciates the hell out of it as well.
 

Uncle Frank

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Kstone.jpg From all the painful stories I've heard , I sure hope I never get one.
 

Mike Cash

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Wow Mike

Sorry to hear about that. So are you OK now?
I'm down from agony to mild discomfort, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, but I haven't given birth yet.
 

Kraise

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My father had it too. I remember it was the only time I saw him become completely paralyzed due to some medical condition, we had to drive him to the emergency nearby because he couldnt stand the pain.

I believe it was a 9mm stone inside his kidney. A week later we took him to the hospital so the doctors could perform some procedure to break it in smaller pieces so that they could depart easier. I'm not sure you want to know what kind of procedure it was though.

Hope you get rid of this pain quickly, people often say here in Brazil that this is the male equivalent pain of giving birth to a child
 

Mike Cash

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Do you have to go back to the hospital?
Going tomorrow to a local hospital. Just to establish monitoring and not for any procedures would be my guess.

Hope you get rid of this pain quickly, people often say here in Brazil that this is the male equivalent pain of giving birth to a child
Thank you.

They're right. Untreated it is definitely a pain that will make you appreciate your mother.
 

Majestic

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My father had it too. I remember it was the only time I saw him become completely paralyzed due to some medical condition
Same here. He was about 47 when he had his kidney stone. Still kicking. But it looked painful...I hope I never have one.
 

WonkoTheSane

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I feel your pain! I'm prone to them and I've had 6 major ones and countless smaller ones.

I'm considering donating my right kidney just to be rid of the thing.

Though I only went to a hospital for the first one. After that I kept some painkillers just in case because the thought of being stuck in a hospital during that kind of pain is unbearable to me.
 

thomas

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My best wishes for a speedy and painless delivery, Mike!
 

Uncle Frank

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My brother-in-law had a lot of large ones. He had an interesting treatment. He set in a large tub of water and they blasted him with ultra-sonic waves which broke the large stones into smaller pieces. Years ago they used to recommend drinking lots of cranberry juice and lemonade because the acid in them would help prevent and dissolve stones. I'm not sure if it worked , but a lot of my patients used to drink it. I like lemonade year round and so far no stones.
 

Mike Cash

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the thought of being stuck in a hospital during that kind of pain is unbearable to me.
The thought of not being in a hospital during that kind of pain is unimaginable to me. At its very worst, just before the medicine kicked in, I don't mind admitting I was about a half inch from squalling like a baby and yelling for my mother. I've had knee surgery without anaesthetic that was more pleasant than this was.

You must have access to better painkillers than I do.

Wow. That sounds incredibly painful. I hope you get well soon!
Thank you very much. My very fondest wish for you is that never have one.
 

WonkoTheSane

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The thought of not being in a hospital during that kind of pain is unimaginable to me. At its very worst, just before the medicine kicked in, I don't mind admitting I was about a half inch from squalling like a baby and yelling for my mother. I've had knee surgery without anaesthetic that was more pleasant than this was.

You must have access to better painkillers than I do.
Probably mostly a different hospital experience. For me being stuck in a packed ER waiting room for 2.5+ hours before being seen while in that kind of pain was horrible. I will definitely go to the hospital if I have the issue here since I don't have any painkillers.

Hope you're doing better! Be careful with the liquids.
 

Glenski

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And to have to do it all the while being on the road in unfamiliar territory, too. Wow. Best wishes for a speedy and painless recovery.
 

Toritoribe

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I, too, have stones in my right kidney, so I think I can understand Mike-san's pain. I stayed one night in hospital for the same treatment Frank-san mentioned (超音波破砕). It's not a surgical operation, but I had to have anesthesia of the lower half of the body. The doctor handed me a headphone, and I listened Pachelbel's Canon repeatedly during the treatment (approximately 30 minutes). The next morning, my urine was red, literally pure deep red, as the doctor previously advised not to be surprised about it.

people often say here in Brazil that this is the male equivalent pain of giving birth to a child
I've heard the same saying also here in Japan. I totally agree with it. Hope Mike-san will never have the second baby. I always have painkillers(座薬) in my refrigerator, but I don't want to have opportunities to use it never again, never.
 

nice gaijin

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A friend of mine is also prone to them... everything I've heard about stones has my fingers crossed that I never experience it first hand. Glad you're back on your feet, Mike!

Agreed that it's another good reason to study the language if you're living in a foreign country, definitely could be much worse if you were unable to explain what you were feeling to hospital staff.
 

Mike Cash

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A friend of mine is also prone to them... everything I've heard about stones has my fingers crossed that I never experience it first hand. Glad you're back on your feet, Mike!

Agreed that it's another good reason to study the language if you're living in a foreign country, definitely could be much worse if you were unable to explain what you were feeling to hospital staff.
Thanks.

Despite the generally poor opinion many foreigners have of the quality of medical care here, I can't help but think one's opinion of it must be improved by being able to know what the hell everybody is saying.

I have no idea what an ambulance ride and the emergency room visit, tests, and treatment would have cost had this happened to me in the U.S. but I feel sure it would have been one hell of a lot more than it cost me here.
 

nice gaijin

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I have no idea what an ambulance ride and the emergency room visit, tests, and treatment would have cost had this happened to me in the U.S. but I feel sure it would have been one hell of a lot more than it cost me here.
Without a doubt! When my brother was hit by a car he got a hospital ride and spent most of the day in a hospital bed. Luckily he jumped just before impact so he rolled over the car and didn't break anything, and really aside from some abrasions he suffered no injuries. I think the total was around $20-30K. I'm not sure how much was covered by insurance, but I don't think "it's because he had insurance it wasn't too expensive," but rather the widespread acceptance of insurance as an analog for "health care" is responsible for the cost of care being so ridiculous in the first place.
 

musicisgood

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Went to the dentist yesterday for gum treatment, cleaning and a cavity treatment. Total cost 1310. yen. Yep! That's all it cost me.
 

nice gaijin

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I talked to my brother, he wasn't sure how much it cost for him to spend 6 hours in the hospital, but the 2.7 mile ambulance ride to the hospital was about $10,000.
 

Mike Cash

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I talked to my brother, he wasn't sure how much it cost for him to spend 6 hours in the hospital, but the 2.7 mile ambulance ride to the hospital was about $10,000.
Free ride here....with a crew of four.

I went and got a Big-Bag-o-Pills 15 day supply of prescription medicines yesterday....890 yen.

Hell, the emergency room, blood test, urine test, x-rays, CT scan, IV, painkillers, calling in a urologist to do a sonogram, getting a report to take to my local doctor and a CD with the CT data, and a separate 15 day supply of pills than the one mentioned above only ran a bit under 13,000 yen. I was in there maybe three hours.
 
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indojindesu

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I talked to my brother, he wasn't sure how much it cost for him to spend 6 hours in the hospital, but the 2.7 mile ambulance ride to the hospital was about $10,000.
Why is healthcare so expensive in US? I keep seeing this in various TV series(never been to US myself) . People seem to be scared of going to the hospital because of the bill you get when you are done.
 
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