The year was 2007 or 2008, I cannot even remember this morning so I cannot remember the exact year. But it was the Shabbos of Purim, of that I am sure. We had company for lunch. The company was our internist and his wonderful family. The meal was lovely, animated, full of intelligent conversation and words of Torah. Okay, I am probably exaggerating. It was probably filled with other words other than ones of Torah, but that is okay. We were all discussing where we were going to hear the megillah reading that night and shalach manot themes; all very important matters. Purim is a wonderful time of year in our community. Everyone is friendly. It must be the alcohol. But I digress.
The meal was over, I was cleaning up (of course I remember that, and even if I didn’t I am sure that I was the one cleaning up). From upstairs I heard cries for help. They were coming from husband #1. So I kept cleaning. But the cries turned into loud whimpers and I got a little nervous so I quickly ran upstairs. And there he was. Lying on the bed, writhing in pain. “It really hurts.” I looked at him. “It really, really hurts.” I asked him what hurt and he just looked at me. “What do you want me to do?” I asked with all the compassion I could muster. “I don’t know,” he responded, “but it really hurts.”
So since we had just had lunch with our internist, I didn’t want to bother him so I ran across the street to the ER doctor. He came into the house, up the stairs and saw what I saw. Husband #1 writhing in pain. “Appendix?” We didn’t know. I ran down the block and got the internist. He ran over and went up the stairs and he saw what I saw and the ER doctor saw, husband #1 writhing in pain. Hmm, what to do, what to do.
It was Shabbos, but this was a medical emergency. In the car we went, internist, husband #1 and I. Off to Valley Hospital. And we discovered that it was kidney stones. We had never had kidney stones before. So to make a long story short, we came home after Shabbos ended. We had a strainer, some pain medication and instructions for husband #1 to drink a lot of water. And then he lained the megillah for our internist.
Fast forward to Shavuot. We had company. It was our internist and his wonderful family. The conversation was lovely and filled with…who knows, who cares. Lunch is over. Company goes home. I am cleaning up and, yes, husband #1 is screaming in pain from upstairs. This time I skipped over the ER doctor and went right over to the internist. He came over, looked at husband #1 writhing in pain and said, “Time to go to the hospital.” And back to Valley we went where they diagnosed the kidney stones and sent us home with another strainer, more pain medication and instructions for husband #1 to go see a urologist.
If you have ever gone to a urologist for kidney stones, they give you a lovely pitcher to take home and pee into for a 24-hour period. Then they test your deposit and see what they can find. What they find about husband #1 is that he drank too much coke. I could have told them that. So doctor told husband #1 that Coke was now a no-no and if he really needed to drink soda, he should drink Fanta. Any of you who know my husband, know that he now only drinks Fanta. I think we keep them in business.
Fast forward to last week. Husband #1 calls from work and says, “I think I have another kidney stone.” I asked him what he wanted me to do. He said I didn’t have to do anything and he would drive himself to the ER. Well, being the loving wife that I am I could not have him go to the hospital without me. I am supportive. I am helpful. I am compassionate and concerned. So after sitting in traffic, writhing in pain, husband #1 arrives home and off to Valley Hospital we go. Another kidney stone. Where, oh where, did the Fanta go wrong?
This stone was a stubborn one and we still don’t know if it passed, but this is what we do know. Our internist has A LOT of patience. You see, husband #1 never learned to swallow pills. No, I am not joking. Yes, another wonderful quality I can blame on his mother. So our wonderful internist had to find antibiotics and pain medication that 1. Comes in liquid and 2. Is carried by our pharmacy. Good times. The lesson of this column? Hope you never have a kidney stone…and try to live near your doctor. The doctor might not be thrilled, but it sure comes in handy.
Banji Ganchrow is currently mourning the loss of her computer and everything that was on it. She is not a happy camper.
By Banji Latkin Ganchrow