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Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Dave!I've had kidney stones twice before. Other than the excruciating pain, they're actually kind of boring to me now. Mostly because there's nothing for you to do except stay doped up on painkillers and ride it out until it passes. In the meanwhile, life goes on as usual... albeit in a drugged-out stupor.

If only there was a way to make kidney stones exciting again!

Like to have an attack while on an airplane!

Never one to pass up on interesting experiences, this is exactly what happened on my connecting flight from Minneapolis to Seattle. After spending 40 minutes on the tarmac at MSP, I started to get this dull ache in my side. After takeoff, this turned to a sharp pain. After an hour in the air, this turned into searing jabbing pain. Apparently all that water I had been drinking to keep my kidneys clear had no effect.

But fortunately, I had Percocet-Oxycodone with me for just such an occasion. The problem was that the pain made me nauseous, so I couldn't keep the pills down. Instead, I had to writhe in silent torment in my seat (thankfully I had been upgraded to first class so I had room to move around). By the time we touched down in Seattle, I was in total agony. It was all I could do to keep from screaming as I hobbled off the plane and made my way to the taxi stand.

"Is there a good hospital around" I ask the driver while doubled over. "Yes, yes... there is a hospital in Burien" he replies. "Will it take long to get there?" I query. "IT'S ABOUT TEN MINUTES... IF YOU WANT SOMETHING CLOSER HERE IN THE AIRPORT I CAN'T HELP YOU!!" he yells. And so I'm off to Highline Medical Center in Burien with a smart-ass taxi driving asshole who screams in his phone the entire journey.

Once I get there, everything else is routine... paperwork, evaluation, paperwork, a bed in the ER, an IV line inserted, morphine inserted, anti-nausea drugs inserted, CAT scan, doctor consult, paperwork, prescription for drugs, paperwork, discharged from the ER.


And I managed to do all that on my layover, arriving at the airport just in time to board my flight home.

Not the worst way I've spent a layover, but certainly the most unique.

Oh well. I'm home safe. Isn't that all that really matters?

Categories: Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink


  1. diane says:

    Yuckers. 🙁 Sorry to hear, Dave. But yeah, I often get kidney stones after either running a lot or flying. The motion jostles those little buggers right out of their hidey-holes.

  2. sizzle says:

    That’s awful! I am glad you made it to the hospital for help and are home safe.

  3. the patient says:

    woo hoo, first comment! oh no, wait. you moderate, so that means there are 100 comments ahead of me saying “hope you are feeling better” waiting for you to come out of your drug induced coma to approve.

    Sigh. Hope you feel better.

  4. foo says:

    Yikes Dave… Get some rest and pass those damn stones. Hope you feel better soon!

  5. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on the teevee however, I have had kidney stones. Once mine were gone, my urologist sent me to an endocrinologist. Best thing that ever happened to me. Might be worth looking into if you’ve never been to one. Hope you feel better soon.

  6. Sue (BSG) says:

    Jebus. Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Crail00 says:

    Hmmmmm – Sounds you were stoned twice. LOL

  8. Wow, best layover story ever. Wait. Or worst, depending on the way you look at it. I hope it/they pass quickly and thank god for painkillers.

    So you’re telling me that all this water I’m drinking to avoid those little stones of doom is futile? Well, bugger it, back to beer and diet coke for me then.

  9. lizriz says:

    Oh my gosh! That sounds horrible! I’m glad you’re home safe.

  10. Frick! I hate hearing this! I’m so sorry, Dave. I had my first in December, and . . . I’ve just started having the pain again this week. F***!

  11. A Lewis says:

    Oh boy, it does sound like you do, indeed, live the exciting life I tell everyone about. Nothing but fun and games.

  12. Robin says:

    ::wince:: I totally re-lived that with you. Seriously.

  13. Sarah says:

    My goodness. I am very happy that you made it home safe Dave.

    Just reading that made my side hurt.

  14. claire says:

    Ugh. Well, I’m glad you’re home safe and feeling better.

  15. delmer says:

    My layovers are never that interesting. Thankfully.

    Sorry to hear about the return of the kidney stones.

  16. Jeff says:

    “What does not kill us makes us stronger”.

    Dave, I think you’re strong enough already!

    Feel better soon!

  17. Mik says:

    Glad you got home safe, and welcome to Burien, my neck of the woods, albeit Highline hospital.

  18. Holy crap!!! I’m so sorry this happened, but I do appreciate the humorous way you’ve presented this information. Geepers though… Hope you’re feeling tons better very soon. How long does it usually take before you’re healed up?

  19. YOU POOR THING!!! It really is amazing that you managed to not scream in the plane!!

    Eeeek. 🙁

    Glad you’re home safe and sound.

    p.s. I can’t help but laugh at the screaming taxi-driver scenario. bwahahahahahahahaaa! Ahem. Yeah. Get well soon, please.

  20. Mrs RW says:

    Well, I fly every week now and so far I have no stories to top this…I hope it stays this way.

  21. Mrs RW says:

    Well, I fly every week now and so far I have no stories to top this…I hope it stays this way.

  22. Anthony McG says:

    Wow I’m suprised they did all that in a few hours. In Ireland it’s take them a week. Get well soon.

  23. Avitable says:

    That’s crazy – I can’t imagine trying to suffer through that in mid-air.

  24. Hilly says:

    Yeeesh, I think I will stop complaining about my terrible flight now! I am glad you are finally safe and home and all that good stuff. 🙂

  25. Sybil Law says:

    Ow!!! That would SUCK. 🙁
    Glad you’re home and… better?!

  26. Badger says:

    Holy crap, dude! I shudder to think what your worst layover experience was, if this wasn’t it. Damn.

  27. jenny says:

    Oh wow – glad to hear you’re on the mend. That just sucks!

  28. I can’t believe you got all that done on a layover! I hope this one passes quickly and you feel better soon.

  29. whall says:

    Couldn’t you at least done this while in Sydney? In between the traffic cones?

    then you could’ve had Kidney Stones in the Syndey Cones.

    more drugs please

  30. martymankins says:

    Is this one of those “once-a-year around the same time” things with these kidney stones? Last year, close to this time, you were in Salt Lake with kidney stones.

    I hope the pain won’t be as bad this time.

  31. Whitenoise says:

    yikes! Sounds like a miserable flight!

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