Time:- Winter of 2009 (or thereabouts)
It was a cold, bright January morning. I had some trouble getting off to sleep due to pains in my stomach. I thought it was stomach cramps when I woke up, but the pains seemed to be getting worse.
I was sitting in the front room when the pains got stronger and stronger, so much so in fact, that I thought I was dying. I was rolling round the floor in agony. My ex-wife thought I was messing about. But when I called out that I wasn’t, and needed help, an ambulance was called. The pains were absolutely excruciating.
The ambulance arrived within five minutes, and I was escorted into the vehicle. The paramedic gave me some gas and air, which is what they give pregnant women. The ambulance roared off to the hospital at speed of sound, and I was soon in the A&E ward. The pains were so bad that I literally wanted to scream the place down.
A nurse thought it might be renal colic (pains caused by kidney stones). She gave me some pain reliever and the pain did subside for a while. I was wheeled off for an x-ray, I had dye run through me, and finally a doctor, who initially thought it was a strained back, gave me a small receptacle and asked me to pass some water in the cubicle.
When I passed the water, it wasn’t the usual yellowy colour. It was deep red, with a tinge of brown. I looked on horror and when the doctor took the receptacle away, he came back to confirm I had kidney stones.
The pains come and go, but the paramedic said there is one comparable pain with kidney stone pain, and that is childbirth. That didn’t make me feel much better, and after another flying visit to the hospital the following day, the pains came and went. Some days were agony, others not so bad. I had a great difficulty in going to the loo during this time.
I was booked in for a procedure at the hospital. I was shown a picture of the x-ray, and a small white dot was visible in one of my kidneys. That was the offending article; no bigger than a grain of sand.
The procedure was cancelled, because after a second x-ray, the surgeon could find no evidence of the stone in the kidney. It had obviously been passed through on my painful and often visits to the loo. All this lasted about two months. But, believe me, that cold January morning I felt was my last. The pains were so intense that I thought my number was up.
Being of a slightly dark nature, considering what went on over the next year, I think death would have been a painless release from what was turning into a very miserable existence. I’m still here, ups and downs that have been experienced, are still being experienced. If something doesn’t kill you, you will become stronger. I am strong on occasions, but not all the time.
So that was my one very physically painful experience. Mentally, it was only the start.
Allen Brooks xx