I have wondered for a long time if I am one of the millions of people who suffer a mental illness. In a magazine article about obsessive-compulsive disorder, I matched three of the five signs, and told The Big Daddy that I might be in need of some professional help. "Nahhhh", he said. "I'm pretty sure your crazy meter is in the normal range."
On an early morning while drinking coffee, I read in the newspaper that Jackie Chan suffered a back injury while filming a movie, and then immediately got a stabbing pain in my left side. Wow, I just need to read about someone else’s pain and I start hurting. I wasn’t sure what category of mental disorders that fell into, but I made note of it and got some ibuprofen. A few hours later I was in the emergency room, hooked up to an i.v. and diagnosed with a kidney stone. I was sent home with instructions to drink gallons of water per day and pee into a strainer. If all went well, my stone would come out or break apart on its own and I would be fine. If all didn’t go well, I would need surgery. With my new best friend, Vicodin, I nursed my little rock and told The Big Daddy when he called to check on me, “I’m after me lucky charm.” Only slurred.
For three weeks I drank and peed, with nothing to show for it but another appointment with the urologist. I wasn't feeling much better, and was resigned to the fact that I would have to have surgery. Initially, a resident came in and asked me how I was doing. “Oh, I’m still having quite a bit of pain.” “Left side flank pain?” he asked. “Yes, yes, that's it,” I said. I don't even know where the flank of me is. “Well,” he said, “that’s interesting because we don’t see any sign of the stone on the x-ray. I’m going to talk to the doctor and we’ll try to figure out what to do next.” It was at that moment that I believe Jesus healed me, because as soon as he said they couldn’t find the stone, I felt much better. Maybe I shouldn't have been so loosey-goosey with the Vicodin and paid more attention to what was landing in the strainer.
Eventually, Dr. Ologist came in the room and I flashed him a big healthy smile and assured him that my pain would probably subside soon.. Like as soon as I got to the parking garage. He seemed concerned and told me that I could call him at any time should things change. The Big Daddy watched this interchange, and the look on his face convinced me that he now understood that I was nuts. I didn’t need to schedule another scan or appointment. I only needed someone to suggest that I was well, and lo and behold, I was cured.
I am back to my old self, but I have to wonder whatever happened to that stone. Maybe a piece of it broke off and is lodged near my aorta, and I need to start making plans for the afterlife.
Or maybe I'm straddling a wall of crazy.