Spiller Alert: This post may contain TMI about Miracle Workers and Bodily Fluids. You can stop now.
“It wasn’t there in 2009, so that’s a bit suspicious,” I heard the CAT-scan doctor say. He wasn’t talking to me, thank God, because I hadn’t had my CAT scan yet, but it gave me pause for thought and gratitude.
The other day while teaching I suddenly briefly felt really ill with a pain in my lower back and then broke out in a copious cold sweat over every part of me; even the hair on my head was as wet as though I’d had a five mile run. I thought it was a muscle or bone pain from running that had gotten exacerbated, but, after thinking a while and really not feeling too good, I wondered if it mightn’t be a recurrence of a kidney stone I once had, which hadn’t been too bad at all. Because I was supposed to go on a long airplane trip the following day, I went to the kidney stone doctor, a very nice man who saw me on short notice at 5 in the afternoon.
He poked and ultrasounded and saw nothing. If you have a kidney stone that’s blocking things on its way out, he explained, it causes fluid to back up into the appropriate kidney, and that fluid shows up as dark stuff on the ultrasound. There wasn’t any. The only way that wouldn’t be the case, he told me, was if the blockage had just happened and there hadn’t been time for backing up.