…K is for Kidney stone…

Good times. I mean REALLY good. Passed a kidney stone today. Well not technically – it’s still in there somewhere…trust me, I’ve been looking. It’s probably curled up in my bladder right now with some Kafka and a nice cup of coffee enjoying the view of my spleen. But I managed to pass it part of the way from kidney to toilet and, quite honestly, “passed” doesn’t quite do the experience justice – “birthed” or “labored” or “agonized” might be more accurate. “Hey honey, I agonized a kidney stone today.” Yeah, that’s more like it. I had one back in 1998 that dropped me to my knees…literally…for hours. Another in 1999, not quite as bad. This one falls somewhere in between, but what it may lack in punch (and that isn’t much) it more than makes up for in timing. Nothing like a medical emergency sans health insurance while on a road trip to make you appreciate the universal health coverage we have in this country. Wait, sorry, I was confusing us with Canada.

Still it was worth every penny of the $102 I shelled out yesterday to hear “I think it’s just another kidney stone, Mr. Evans” instead of “you have kidney disease” or “you’ve been spending too much quality time with the candiru fish and it’s now living in your good bits” or “oh yeah, that’s this new virus that’s going around…ebola something or other.” I’ve never been so relieved to hear the words “kidney stone.” And yet, today, at 11am when I was summarily doubled over for two hours and found myself heaving into the New Jersey sand below me “DEAR GOD MAKE IT PASS!!!” that c-note didn’t seem like such a bargain.

That said, I still had a fun day. Finally spent some time at the beach (granted, far more of it writhing on all fours than I would have liked, but hey, it’s still the beach), managed to squeeze in a little video editing (I know, I know…it’s coming), and had a wonderful dinner with our new friend Austin (a fellow Treehugger video contest entrant) and his lovely family in Maplewood. He was even kind enough to acquaint us a little with a shindig they have going on there right now called MapleWoodstock – too cool. Now we’re off to northern Jersey for a few days to cover more environmental issues before heading to Rhode Island. Here’s hoping the only “stones” I encounter from here on are on the iPod or under my feet.

A special thanks to Willie, Amy, Jim and the Hurley family – Dan, Ryan, Nadira, Zorah, Liam & Sienna – for their incredible hospitality and enlightening and engaging company over the last few days. And, of course, to my dear friend Peter Hurley for making it all possible. We are immeasurably grateful.

And now a haiku:

strange tickle below
drops head to sand pain pain pain
childbirth but no child

until next time,

Ben

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