A very interesting day here in the people's Republic of Gumbolia. It's not often one gets serenaded by Jimi Hendrix while urinating.
What's that, you say? Some explanation is needed? Of course, allow me.
So last week I chronicled my unfortunate encounter with a kidney stone. I am happy to report that most of the week was relatively pain-free. I say relatively because now my Pain-o-Meter has been recalibrated thanks to the aforementioned kidney stone. I followed the doctor's instructions to drink lots (LOTS) of fluids, and stick to the medicine, and wait for things to...pass. They advised me to monitor my 'output' even if that meant filtering said 'output' through a strainer to better catch anything (this becomes critical, later, you'll see). They can be sent for testing, to better determine how to prevent recurrence.
Well, the only strainer I have in the house is my trusty little tea strainer...and there is no way I was going to whiz through that, even if I sterilized it in boiling water. Just couldn't do it.
I didn't have time to go strainer shopping, so I decide to take my chances and bide my time, trusting that the stone would be evicted by the natural flow of things, and that I would know when it did. It's a jagged little stone, right, traveling through rather constricted spaces, right? Some rather sensitive constricted spaces, I must add.
All the past week, I anxiously awaited results. And every day since last Monday, nothing. Nothing, that is, until Sunday morning.
Things...shifted. I noticed a little disturbance going on in Brother John early, and hoped that this might be the end of it. First trip to the loo...a little scratchy, but no stone. Second trip, mid-morning: did the pee-pee dance, still scratchy. Still, no stone. Third trip, just past noon: They told me that sometimes an 'escapee' can be heard hitting the, um...bowl of whatever miracle of modern sanitation one happens to be, um...using. And so it was. Clink.
Amen and hallelujah, I thought, looking down, and there it was, big as day. Well, it felt bigger than day but was really only about the size of a grain of rice. Sitting there, all ready for retrieval...except there was a catch. I wasn't using a strainer. I wasn't even at home.
I was at a urinal in the public restroom at a local park. An automatic flush urinal, right next to the door.
I slowly zipped up, trying not to move too far. Also, I didn't have any tissues or gloves with me, and I couldn't walk away to get some tissue or a towel for fear of setting off the auto flush and thereby washing away the "fruits of my labor", as it were. So it was me, stock still, contemplating reaching into a public urinal(!) barehanded to pick up(!) a kidney stone. And what if someone walked in just as I lifting the "prize" out of the urinal? How to explain that?
Eventually, intellectual curiosity won out over revulsion...I took a deep breath, prayed that no one would come in, and make a lightning grab for the stone. I was like a peregrine falcon on a pigeon, I was moving so fast. Amazingly, I snagged the stone in one try.
I immediately hot-footed it over to the sink before any one else ventured in. I hurriedly washed the thing off (and with a thorough washing of my hands!) and wrapped it in some tissue paper for safekeeping. Hopefully, some good will come of this rather distasteful brush with the public sewer system.
The soundtrack to this farce? "Stone Free" by Jimi Hendrix was playing in my head the whole time.
"...Stone free do what I please
Stone free to ride the breeze
Stone free I can't stay
Got to got to got to get away..."
Lyrics from "Stone Free" by Jimi Hendrix. This song may end up in a Flomax commercial...