Better living though chemistry

I should be celebrating, because the first draft of Gamers and Gods: Asklepios is complete.

I should be…but I’m not. I’m in the process of trying to pass a 4mm kidney stone.

The good people in the ER gave me a prescription for Percocet, but this pain is so intense that the painkillers aren’t killing it, they are only managing it.

I got home from the hospital at 7:30 yesterday morning. By 10am the stuff they had pushed into my IV at the ER was wearing off, so I took a Percocet.

It lasted for about 6 hours. I took another one at 4pm and it lasted 6 hours too. (the prescriptions had said 1-2 tablets every 4 hours).

At 10PM I took a third Percocet, figuring if the trend continued it would take me through most of the night.

It didn’t. The third pill wore off around 2 am — only lasted 4 hours. This means that either the third one was less potent or the stone was definitely on the move again.

For those of you who have never passed a kidney stone, I can tell you that the rumors of it being as bad as childbirth are pretty true. What happens is that the stone, a tiny chunk of minerals crystallized out of the urine in the kidney, has to pass through tight-fitting tubes: it cuts grooves, etching its way down these tubes.

When it does this, the tubes go into spasm, which generates the pain.

Kidney stones can apparently take years to form if the cause is excess uric acid (which also causes gout if the crystallization occurs in joints or¬†extremities). They can also form in as little as a few days if the body is dehydrated so there is not enough water in the urine to keep the minerals dissolved. It’s been hot here in Florida, and I sweat most of the time, even in my sleep. This may have led to my problem. I have to force myself to drink more fluids than I did in my air-conditioned apartment in Virginia.

Since I am awake most of the night with this pain, I am distracting myself by beginning the sequel.


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