Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Week Three, Day 5

Well, today was the day: the "final checkup" in which they'd decide whether I needed to have surgery or not.

It was kind of a troubled morning. A huge typhoon was slowly crawling up the Japan Sea side of the country, lobbing alternating bouts of sauna-like weather and raging downpours. During the one-hour drive to Rousai Hospital, I experienced plenty of both. I actually allowed myself a bit of extra time to allow for unexpected squalls and the odd flash-flood, but I still managed to make good time. My scheduled appointment was for 9:30 with a couple of quick tests during the preceding half hour. I arrived with plenty of time to spare.

After my experience last time, I was leery of putting my card in the "repeat visit" reception machine. This time, however, it worked perfectly. A cute, animated image of a nurse bowed to me and asked me to touch the square on the screen confirming my appointment. I did so, and a ticket emerged saying my appointment was for 9:00 with tests during the preceding half hour.

I thought, WHAT???!?
I double-checked the appointment card I had been given before. Yep, 9:30. But the reception ticket most definitely said 9:00. What happened to that extra half hour? Was it a time-tax deduction?


I didn't have to wait long before being sent upstairs to the lab to pee in a cup and to the "radiation" section to get zapped yet again. This time it was an ordinary x-ray, and the machine looked kind of like an industrial lasercutter. It didn't help my spirits much.

The x-ray technician was one of those sorts that says everything in set, stock phrases and gets all flustered if you don't get what he means. When I lied down on the table, he said something that I later learned would probably best be translated, "Please release the strength in your legs." At the time, I didn't know the word he'd used for "release" (it was one of those fancy kanji constructions that aren't normally used in everyday discourse), so I didn't respond immediately. When he kept repeating the phrase, I tried raising my knees. He continued repeating the phrase, so I took the opposite tack and relaxed my legs. It turned out to be the correct response, as he stopped uttering the phrase, smiled, and pulled me into position by my ankles. He then proceeded to instruct me on how to hold my breath and release it using speech and mannerisms one normally uses with a preschooler. I figured being uncooperative wouldn't get me anywhere, so I just went along with it.

I went into the doctor's office less than half an hour after the X-ray (I LOVE appointments!). The doctor had all my various x-rays and CaT scans over the past three weeks hung up for comparison.

He was shaking his head.

"The good news is that your kidneys are back to normal and you're no longer passing blood," he said, biting his lip.

And the bad news?

"The stone is clearly still in there, but it has moved, and we can no longer see it at all."

Ack. So what do we do next?

The doctor smiled and wheeled over his ultrasound scanner. I think he just likes to play with that thing, but at least it's painless and doesn't pose a cancer risk.

He probed around the area for a while, like he did the time before, but then he nodded and uttered a very definite, "Ah..." Then he turned the monitor around so I could see it.

Yep, there it was. A nice, ugly, white blotch. It had indeed moved...almost all the way down. It was very likely that it would be preparing for launch soon.

The thing was so f***ing BIG...
No wonder it hurt like an SOB that day!
But wait a minute...did that mean I would be trying to pass that thing...?

The doctor told me happily that I most definitely didn't need either surgery, a catheter-mounted ultrasound blaster, or an injected solvent. It was clear that El Calcio Uglioso would eventually be coming out on its own one way or the other. He gave me a refill prescription for the medicine I've been taking to bloat my abdomen (not fun, I can tell you) and scheduled an appointment for me to come in after another two weeks.

In other words, it's not done yet. But at least I won't be cut open or have anything jammed into very unpleasant places anytime soon.


  • Now all you gotta do is piss a rock. Yow! That would make me scream PDKXXG!

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 12:37 AM  

  • I don't envy you that! Are you sure your doctor is a licensed lrtzcpx?

    At least you'll have a cool souvenier of the experience!

    (okay, that wasn't very funny at all. I'll probably get soundly BIFFED for that...)

    By Blogger DewKid, at 3:23 AM  

  • Obviously, if they had to go in and grab the thing, the grabber would have to be bigger than the stone itself, but the way you describe it makes it sound like you're going to have a couple of rough days ahead. Keep a ziplock bag with you, I want to see a picture when you pass this thing!

    Get well soon:-) or they may have to remove your qrfilr.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:48 AM  


    By Anonymous Ecaterina Szabo, at 7:56 PM  

  • Now look what you've done! You've gone and made her all twsphbur!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 7:57 PM  

  • Sngzh???!?!?

    By Anonymous Sngzh, at 7:58 PM  

  • Give it a name. How about Freida?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:44 AM  

  • Naw, I like Dqvhyly better.

    By Anonymous Riley, at 8:16 PM  

  • By the way. lovely diagram. oooooh excretion! Giggle shreik. ngrlmbkfd, r'lyeh r'lyeh gheisodhgndajhuf!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:55 PM  

  • So that's why those Mikimoto pearls are so expensive!

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 7:24 PM  

  • Interesting diagram of Irish bagpipes, by the way.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 2:45 PM  

  • Followed soon by one of Bulgarian bagpipes (i.e. the digestive system).

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 7:19 PM  

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