My husband and I recently appeared on “Larry King Live”, to debate which was more painful-his kidney stone, or my giving birth.
Giving birth, that’s a no-brainer. Let’s see… (A) Flushing a pebble through a small straw or (B) passing a bowling ball through a needle. I’ll take (B) for the win.
Years ago my husband suffered his first kidney stone. His complexion looked like Shrek after an all-night tequila binge. We raced to the hospital, certain he was dying. Huddled in the fetal position, he swore if he survived that he would never again eat blazing hot chicken wings.
We screeched to a halt in front of the ER. A pleasant nurse looked at him and yelled “it’s a kidney stone, light on the tongue depressors, a side order of bedpan, and hold the Mayo Clinic!” He was immediately whisked away like a high roller at the Bellagio.
I didn’t receive that Five Star service when I arrived at the hospital about to give birth, as my water leaked all over the lobby floor. Instead I was ordered to hand over my insurance card, provide three credit reports and recite the fifty states in alphabetical order.
Perhaps I would have been taken seriously if I’d suddenly exploded and an alien popped out, did a somersault across Miss Snotty’s admitting chart and slimed a paramedic.
Within minutes, my husband was on a stretcher, hooked up to an IV and high on morphine. He drifted into his “happy place” while babbling that I looked “hot” and he that he was going to get lucky. Knowing he was harmless, I made sure he wasn’t mistaken for a corpse and toe tagged. Whenever he regained consciousness, a Florence Nightingale would drift in with another happy shot.
Where was this angel of mercy when I was in labor, offering to pave her driveway, or give her a pedicure if she made the pain go away? I was told to tough it out like women had for hundreds of years. They squatted in the fields, give birth and went right back to work. So that explains their short life expectancy.
That was before the sexual revolution, push-up bras and Girls Gone Wild.
For years I listened as my husband embellished his kidney stone story, resulting in a chain reaction of grimacing males locking their knees together. It has now evolved from a fish story into an epic saga. He continues to drone on that kidney stones are definitely more painful than child birth. I must have missed the time when he passed a nine pound torpedo through a body orifice.
How painful could the pain be, with morphine coursing through your veins?
Recently, however, I was blessed with a kidney stone. It came on suddenly like a stampede of retired Hooters gals at the Victoria’s Secret half price sale. The back pain was intense. It felt as if I had been an organ donor without the benefit of anesthesia.
After sitting in the waiting room for an hour, my doctor confirmed the diagnosis. I was sent home with Tylenol, a used strainer and an extra long straw for the water tanker truck. Wait…where was my wheel chair and the morphine injections? Shouldn’t I be whisked away and sent to my “happy place?”
I tried to tough it out but finally demanded Vicodin. Whimpering for morphine only brought a visit from the Tooth Fairy. The “little” stone took up residency, and built a retaining wall refusing to leave. By this time, I was so hydrated that I started to resemble the Michelin Man on steroids. Alas, my endless screening failed to catch the intruder.
The age old battle between the sexes continues to rage on. Having suffered through both a kidney stone and childbirth, I can say without hesitation that they are “equality pains”. Plus, if my husband’s any indication of how men handle kidney stones, imagine how they would endure child birth. It would be the end to the human race as we know it.