Kage Baker was well-acquainted with the eccentricities of my kidney during our teen-aged years.
She did a lot of writing and sketching with her notebooks propped up on me, where I lay on my back on the cafeteria table. She carried plastic bags in her enormous ragbag purse, to hand to me when the pain in my side reached the “throw up or die” phase – and constantly assured me that dying was the worse option. Yes, it was, don’t argue, just aim for the bag!
When I was hospitalized for The Final Solution (ha!) Kage smuggled in an entire pizza for me. After being folded in quarters and stuffed into that same huge woven purse (I think there was a dimensional portal in that thing) the pizza resembled some form of Jovian flatfish with a serious rupture – but jeez Louise! It tasted wonderful! She sat with me for hours, she brought me stories – her own, and I cannot now imagine the courage it took her, at age 19, to leave those hand-written sheets in the custody of the drug-addled post-surgery moron I was for the first few days.
My personal plan, at that time, was to have the kidney removed and given to Kimberly. (She smuggled me in milk shakes during this.) Kimberly has always loved cats, and has usually always had at least one. I figured she could give the kitties a treat – fresh kidney! Alas, my surgeon did not agree. No surgeon ever has, though the damned thing was not totally fixed by that first surgery, and has plagued me at intervals ever since.
The latest fit started last week and has made my life miserable for days. The pain has waxed and waned; and while I’m duly grateful for the waning, the waxing has worn pretty damned thin. I am very tired of essaying some bit of normal life -like, sitting up for a half hour or so – and having a pound of caltrops materialize in my right side and start rolling around like marbles in a bag.
It hurts. That’s all the English language has to describe this ghastly sensation. And it’s inadequate.
Some medical sadist compiled a list of the worst pains you can encounter in the course of getting sick or injured. Kidney pain is in the top 3. Some “experts” rate it worse than labour, although I notice that all those “experts” are male … on the other hand, the pain of labour is somewhat ameliorated by the realization that at least a baby is going to be the result. None of us baby-producing folks enjoy that amazing feeling of trying to pass a bowling ball, but when it’s over – at least you have a lovely end product.
Not so with kidney pain. All you’re left with is the desperate hope it’s over for awhile. And maybe a left-over plastic bag …
So, anyway, I have mostly been lying down trying to be unconscious for the last several days. Now that I can sit up again, I can resume writing – along with so many past-times set aside while I lay miserably abed and argued with the cat over who had first rights to the cool pillow. (I lose that argument a surprising amount of the time. ) And tomorrow, I go to see my doctor. It’s just a post-surgical check-up (and I have no doubts all is quite well on that score) but she’s gonna get an earful over the resurgent kidney problem, and what can be done about it.
Something has to be. This cannot be permitted to once more establish its insane reign of terror over my life. I have a lot more to do with my time than when I was a callow 17.
So maybe Kimberly’s cats will finally get their treat. It’s sure as hell my first choice.