Sticks and Stones (and all kinds of things that cause us pain)

This is an x-ray of a two kidney stones.
Enormous ones.
It could be my x-ray.
But it’s not.
For that, I’m very grateful.

Once a year I take a deep breath and walk into my urologist’s office for a KUB x-ray that reveals how many kidney stones I’ve been transporting around in my body for the previous 12 months. I’m always a little apprehensive when I lay down on the flat examination bed, take a deep breath, hold, and wait for the radiologist to tell me to breath again. Honestly, I don’t really draw a deep breath until after I’ve seen my doctor and we compare my x-ray from last year to this year’s current one.

As I wait in the exam room for my doctor to come in, I can’t help remembering the history we’ve built between us over the past twenty odd years. Has it been that long?

I still recall meeting this particular specialist for the first time because I was laying in a hospital bed with a kidney stone that just wouldn’t pass and I was tired out (from having gotten up the previous three nights for midnight runs to the ER) and scared (I didn’t know what was happening in my body at that point.)

What I do recall is how kind and confident my doctor was…it’s true that we often don’t remember every word people say to us…but we sure do remember how they make us feel. On that morning, I was full of dread, but my physician’s words provided immediate relief (not from my physical pain, but from my emotional distress.)

He smiled at me, squeezed my foot under the blankets, and told me he was going to take good care of me. I believed him. And he did.

People say that we humans bond through shared pain and I believe that too.

Whenever I think about my dratted kidney stone history as a stone producer, I cringe.
Whenever I think about my doctor who has walked this long painful road with me, I smile.
Somehow, it all evens out.

I remember a quote by John Maxwell and I’ve used it before but it so applies here.

When you help someone when they’re at their lowest point, you make them a friend for life.

Another good reason to reach out today and offer our hands and our hearts in any way possible to ease some of the pain we see all around us. We may even make a friend or two along the way.


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