Tuesday, September 30, 2003

More about the Kidney Stone

Well now that the ordeal is finally all done, I should explain all that happened.

Well since the last posting regarding my kidney stone I've had quite the exciting time. I didn't take any of the pain killers that they had given me, but Sunday night I really wished I had. Saturday I had a couple of small pain attacks, but nothing too bad. But Sunday night I got hit hard again. I was really worried. The ER doctor on Wednesday said the stone was at the end of my ureter, near the bladder. That kinda pain wasn't good. I was worried that it was blocked. I had the ambulance take me to the emergency room again. John met me there and kept me company as they ran bloodwork and another CT scan.

This scan showed that the stone was up close to my kidney. Ok so did the first doctor not know what he was doing? The stone couldn't have gone back up. This doctor sent me home again and told me to take my pain killers. That night was a night of pain and not much sleep. I got sick a few times. I lost my dinner twice. Once before I headed to the emergency room and then again later after I was home, having ate again. I spent as much time in the bathroom as I did in bed. Finally about 3am or so I grabbed one of the couch coushns and laid down in the bathroom. That worked. I was feeling ok in the morning so I took some more pain killers and slept much of the day away.

Tuesday morning I woke up and I was feeling pretty good. I had some cran-grape juice, but nothing to eat. I was feeling like I could go to work, so I drove in.

About half way to work I started to feel the pain again. It started at a small and manageable level and then began to slowly increase. By the time I got to the parking garage I was in some pretty bad pain. I parked my car and didn't get any further than that.

I called up to the office and I had some water brought down to me. It wasn't too long before I got sick. Luckily I had the sense to get out of my car before that. Oddly after being sick the pain often subsided. I was taken home and I tried to rest, but for the next two hours I was in terrible pain. Finally after vomiting nothing but water, with some blood in it, I called the urologists number that the ER doctor had given me. They looked at the CT scans and what had been going on and quickly determined I needed to go in for surgery. The prognosis was that the stone was stuck and was causing swelling of the ureter and surrounding tissue near the kidney. That was what the pain was from rather than the movement of the stone itself. Luckily after that last vomit the pain subsided and the pain killers did their work for the rest of the day.

Wednesday (Sept 24th) morning I had to get up early. I had to be at the surgery center at 6:30 am. This wasn't too bad. I did the normal paperwork stuff and laid in my bed with my IV waiting for the surgery. The anesthesiologist gave me a couple pills to help reduce queezyness after the operation. After that I don't remember anything else until I woke up after surgery.

The procedure was to be: The were going to take a double J stent and push the stone back into my kidney where they'd then use Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy to blast the stone into sand, which would pass much easier. Unfortunately when they went to find it they couldn't see it on the scopes (whatever they used) to blast it. They sent me to the urologists office. They told me to come back in the next morning early and have another CT scan done.

More to come later...

Life in Tokyo

If you haven't checked out Hunkabutta yet, you should read the entry from Sept. 29th. Mike and his wife are from Canada but live in Tokyo. Mike is a great photographer but dabbles in a number of other things. Right now he's trying to get a job as a wedding pastor at Tokyo Disneyland. You'll have to read it.

I enjoy reading about his point of view, as a westerner, in an eastern megalopolis. Plus I think the Japanese are kinda neat anyway, so this is another perspective that most people wouldn't ever get.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


I'm not 100% sure about this, but hey the results MUST be true right? lol

You come from Heaven. You're the purest of pure, a
saint. You're probably an angel sent directly
from Heaven.

Where Did Your Soul Originate?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Underworld and Movie Critics

I just got home from seeing Underworld, a movie about vampires and werewolves and their age old war. Yea I know it was news to me too. I didn't know about this "war" until yesterday and it was most likely a promotional 'documentary' for Underworld, as there were a large number of clips from the movie supplied to this show on the AMC channel.

All in all I liked the movie. It was a nice combination of Matrix and Blade with fleas mixed in. The vampires weren't nearly as romantic as those in Interview with a Vampire or as super powered as in Blade but they were more convincing as 'real' people. If you've seen the goth crowd you know how corny they can look. Way over done with black nail polish and lipstick, dripping with piercing and tattoos. The vampires here, while still 'goth' were much more fashionable.

The lyconthropes (werewolves) were convincing as well. Grungy hairy guys you really wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, or any where else for that matter. Their 'change' was the staring CG trick in the movie. The bodies gurgled and contorted with realism, rather than looking computer generated. They are finally starting to seamlessly blend the CG into the movies were you don't even notice it any more.

The story was good, not great, but different from all the other vampire fair. Was it exceptional? No. There was the usual melodramatic love lost and ancient desires. I give the writers credit for throwing in the werewolves to mix things up a bit but we need a new vampire. The classic is great, but rarely done correctly. The current generation of vampires are geared very much towards the goth crowd. The characters act as if a goth kid today became a vampire, not as a real vampire would. Of course I wouldn't know so I could be wrong. Perhaps some vampire will come visit me tonight and drain me. LOL

Vampires are a kind of leach but at least they have some dignity and charm. The movie critics on the other hand have none. I was visiting Rotten Tomatoes and I was appalled at the reviews this movie got. While it's no rich piece of art, it was a quality movie that entertained. Isn't that what a movie should do? The points I made in my review are valid, in my opinion, but I present them in as a critique. If you read some of the reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes site you quickly see that many of these reviewers just trash the movie. I fear they have become jaded and cold after having to sit through too many straight to video releases that probably did deserve a thrashing.

While it is not right of me to defend someone else's movie I will say that movie critics are in general a bunch of self-absorbed, self-important twits that need to reevaluate why people go to the movies in the first place. Many of us are not going to see high art. Yes seeing a quality movie that provokes emotions and new thoughts is great, but do you honestly think the vast majority of movie goers (many who are in the 13-25 age bracket) want to see that in every movie?

Movies are a type of escapism entertainment. Movies are competing with video games, many which have the same weak plots and great special effects. It's my opinion that people want something fun that takes their minds of the daily hum-drum. When was the last time you thought about vampires and werewolves fighting, while at work? (Those responsible for this movie are exempt from answering that question.)

Bottom line... The movie was good enough to get me fired up enough to write this. You make you own opinion.

Thursday, September 18, 2003


Yesterday (Sept. 17th), at about 8:35 a.m. I had a nice little experience. I had just sat down at my desk at work. Fired up my email, my IM clients and the webcam. I IMed my sweety to let her know I made it to work safe and sound. While waiting for her reply I got a real ache in my left side. I was thinking it was gas or something. I was near my kidney. The pain didn't subside as it would have with gas. I started to get concerned. The pain was growing and not going away. My first thought and concern was, "What if its my appendix?" I didn't think the appendix was in that area, but I wasn't sure and I was starting to get scared.

I started to wonder what to do next. I was kinda embarassed to yell for help if it was just gas or something. But the pain kept on getting worse. All this thinking seemed longer than it was, probably less than 30 seconds. I IMed a guy in my department. I knew he was right across the hall I saw him as I went into my office. I'm not currently sharing an office with anyone, so I was on my own. I typed to him, "please help". He replied but I didn't read it. I laid on the floor hoping the pain would reduce, but it didn't. I realized I needed help at this point, real help. I started yelling for Eric, the guy across the hall. He came in after a couple of yells and found me writhing in pain on the floor. He got the receptionist to call the ambulance. I don't know how long it took or who all came in to check on me. My eyes were closed in pain. I was able to answer everyone's questions though. Dave, my boss was trying to cheer me up with jokes and dumb questions. I knew he was trying to help so I didn't yell at him but god I wanted to tell him to shut up. LOL I didn't though.

The fire department was the first to arrive. I'm not sure why they came at all, but that's alright too. They had been fighting a fire that
morning and I could smell burnt wood on them. I opened my eyes and saw fire boots. Actually I noticed the boots before the smell. I remember thinking that was odd, but it didn't occur to me at first. It did give me something aside from the pain to think about.

Finally the EMTs showed up. One of their questions was, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it?" Of course I'm thinking, "How am I supposed to know how bad a 10 is?" I've experienced some pain in my life, but this was unique. I splashed some dishwasher detergent in my right eye about 6 years ago. THAT hurt like hell, but it was a quick burning pain. What was going on in my side was a strong constant pain. I remember being asked if it felt like a stabbing pain. I replied, "I don't know I've never been stabbed!" Bottom-line, it hurt like hell! I was on the floor, not wanting to move, my hands clenched in fists and my eyes closed.

The EMTs helped me to my feet. I was surprised I was able to walk. I was OK and it didn't make the pain worse, or better for that matter. I guess the floor was just as good a place as any to be in pain. Safer too, no worries about falling and hitting something.

They asked which hospital I wanted to go to. Where I work I'm literally blocks away from three hospitals and a fourth one is only a few miles away. Like a guy is supposed to know this question when he's in pain? I guess I should have had my hospital of choice in my head before getting hurt. Well I just picked the closest one.

Once they got me into the ambulance they got me on an IV drip. I'm pretty sure it was just saline. The first dude tried to get the needle in a vein on the top of my hand but screwed up. He was going in at too high of an angle. The second guy fixed it up higher on my forearm. That hurt too dang it! Actually the ache in my side had subsided a lot by this time. From a 10 it had gone to maybe a 8, then a 6. By the time I got to the hospital emergency room it was almost gone. They were telling how my heart rate and blood pressure were fine, which made me feel better.

The nurse at the hospital took some blood and gave me a non-narcotic pain killer. She also asked for a urine sample. The standard fair. The doctor came and saw me after a bit and told me he was fairly certain it was a kidney stone. He then told me they were going to give me a CT scan to be sure.

In between these things John came down to the hospital to keep me company. That was great. He kept my spirit high. I also called Eric at the office and asked him to let Melly know, via IM, I was ok and that I had a kidney stone. Just as another nurse came in to wheel me off to the CT scan Melly called. I couldn't talk but for a second but I could tell she was very worried. I let her know I was ok but I felt bad I couldn't talk longer to reassure her.

I was feeling odd about being wheeled in a wheel chair. I was feeling pretty ok at this point. I didn't say anything to the CT scanning room. The scan was pretty boring. When I was done and the nurse was going to take me back I suggested that I could talk, she gently told me that wasn't an option. She said that she didn't know what I had been given and I had and IV. As I was currently under her care I was her responsibility and she wasn't about to have to deal with the paper work if I got hurt because she let me walk. I didn't feel so guilty then. Was I ok to walk? Yes. Could she take that chance? No.

After awhile laying in my bed chatting with John the doctor came back in and let me know that it WAS a kidney stone and the pain I had experienced was the passing of the stone from the kidney to the bladder. He drew me a little chart that showed where the stone was, right at the end of the tube. It wasn't yet in the bladder. He felt it was small enough for me to pass without sonically blasting it to dust.

To wrap up, I've been home since they discharged me from the hospital around 11:30. I assumed at that point that I'd pass the stone fairly quickly. They gave me a little strainer to pee into to catch the stone. I STILL haven't passed the damn thing! I can still feel it in there too. That bothers me. I'm starting to get worried that it's still in the ureter, stuck. I'll call the urologist that the emergency doctor suggested tomorrow morning if I'm still dealing with it. I've been giving it time as they say it can take 24 to 48 hours to pass. Well tomorrow morning will be 48 hours. I'm tired of dealing with this. Ugh!

I'm ready to have this little mineral baby already!

Informative Links

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearing House - Kidney Stones in Adults

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Junk Yard Wars

I had an odd dream this morning that I was participating in a "Junk Yard Wars"-like contest. We had to build a mountain bike and race it. Any of you who have really mountain biked or spent any time in a bike shop that specializes in mountain bikes knows that these are no Huffys. You have to pay $1000-1500 (and significantly more for some) for a bike that is even competition ready. Any thing less will ride, but the racer will be handicapped and possibly plauged with mechanical failures, something you don't want while screaming down the side of a mountain at 50-60 mph on 2 1/4 inch wheels.

So in the dream these guys were handing me pieces and parts from old beat up ten speeds. One guy handed me a frame that was so flimsy it wigged when you held it. I asked him why in the world he thought that frame was even remotely what we were looking for. His reply was that it didn't need to be that strong! So I asked him if he wanted to be the one riding it. Then he tried to recover saying that the frame would absorb the shocks. Yea, once, as it crumpled up like a ball of aluminum foil.

so we desided to weld our own. Build it from scratch. I know nothing about this process, but in my dream I sure did. It was kinda funky looking still. Next we had to find wheels and all the other parts. About then I started to wake up. When I did I realize just how dangerous it would be to ride a cobbled together mountain bike. It's doubtful they would gain any significant speed, or if you did you would have little to no control. Breaks would give out, chains would fall off, tires would blow, etc etc. None of those things would be good.

It wouldn't be so dangerous with a cross-country course, but that wouldn't be nearly as fun. lol

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Unreal Tournament 2003 Skins

Google must have found my UT2003 skins page. This month I've gotten over 100 hits from search engines looking for unreal 2003 skins. I'm pretty pleased over all. I made them primarly for myself and Melly but I'm happy that others are downloading them as well. My Viking robot skin has already been downloaded 21 times this month. Sweet!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

oh yea

I forgot the main reason I blogged tonight! I was going to say that I don't believe i'll be blogging as much due to the time that school will require. I very much want to do very well in my classes this time around so I'll have to study better.

Busy Busy

Well I started my first full semester at Belmont University. I took a summer class, but this is my first 'official' semester. It's weird being back in school again. I walk on campus and see fresh faced teens running around. I know that i'm about ten years older than most of them and in a totally different place in my life than they are.

I remember those times. They were innocent and fun. The first taste of freedom that quickly became the more bitter taste of responsibility. I hope for their sakes they don't go through what I did. I didn't know what I wanted to do for the first two, ok ok 7 years. Yes I took class after class with no direction for nearly 7 years. I took a two year track for computers, but that school was closed, leaving me to go back and try again.

Anyway, finally after all this time I realized that I must go back to school. I need the education that returning to school provides. I've been working in IT for the last 7 to 8 years now, but I've come to a bit of a dead end. My tech skills are fine, but my business skills are limited and weak. So I'm working on a business degree.

I'm taking Statistics and Business Law this fall. I skipped stats the first time around, but I can't this time. Oh well, it'll suck, but I can get through it. The business law class doesn't start until November. It's a 4 week accelerated weekend class. I've heard from a number of people that it's a fun and interesting class. I hope they are right.

Going back to school has really made things extreamly busy for me though. Ok "extreamly" may be the wrong word, but I've not quite adjusted yet. As the semester progresses it'll get easier. I hope!