Bag of Happiness

Life Lived to the Edge of Possibility

David Kinne

David Kinne
Volcano, Hawaii, USA
June 15
Founder & President
La Vida Buena Partnership
David Kinne is the possibility of people living extraordinary lives of creativity, joy and full self expression. He has led over 2,000 seminars in 6 countries. He is currently working to complete a book of his photos and text about life lived fully called "Mysteries/Answers"


SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 3:38PM

Sisyphus Only Had to Roll His Stone Uphill - Updated

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Sisyphus t shirt

 I’ve been bothered by lower back pain for weeks. I thought I had pulled something when I moved out of my house a few weeks ago. Yesterday the pain got worse, a lot worse, and I was nauseous, so I saw my doctor, who promptly had me wheeled into the emergency room at St. David’s, where I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening.

The remarkable thing about it was the intensity of the pain. I’ve had several surgeries, lots of nasty dental work, and been through both a very bad motorcycle wreck and a California divorce. This pain was worse. They gave me morphine, and it didn’t even dent this pain. Then they gave me a cocktail of stuff that finally dulled it while they arranged for a sonogram and a CAT scan to look inside, while they did workups on blood and urine. There was lots of blood in the urine, so that pointed them in the right direction.  Good news: No blood clots, no infection. Bad News: a 2mm kidney stone.

Under 5mm in size the regimen is to drink lots of water while it works its way out naturally, hopefully. Strong pain meds. Refrigerated suppositories for the nausea, yippee. Just the thought of poking one of those icy torpedoes up the wazoo makes me nauseous. And peeing through a strainer to try and catch the little bugger for lab analysis, because there are five different kinds of kidney stones. Who knew?

I think Sisyphus had a better deal. He only had to roll his stone up a hill every day. I get to roll mine downhill, but it has to pass through my favorite body part, and yoweee, 2mm is like ¼ of an inch, right? And this rock has sharp points on it, which is why… oh, crap, now I’m feeling nauseous again.

When I was a kid I was fascinated by a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not item about a Dutch guy who had cut out his own kidney stone with a paring knife and lived to tell the tale. I always wondered why somebody would do that. Now I know why. You just want that pain to STOP NOW! And then there’s that whole thing about shoving a camel through the eye of a needle. Errrppp. Time for a visit to the fridge.

Why couldn’t they have at least made it a mojito pop?

But this too shall pass!


 * * * 

9/16/10 Update -  And thankfully it did, with one last little burst of drama, followed by immediate relief. Amazing that such a little thing, like a runty grain of rice, could cause so much grief. Thanks for sharing the journey with me, and thanks for all the good wishes. 

Picture follows, if you have the stomach for it. If not, no worries.











Kidney stone The CULPRIT!


Love, David 


© David Kinne.

T-shirt photo courtesy of

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So sorry, I hope it moves through quickly. rated with compassion.
Believe me, I sympathize. I enjoyed this.
Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I enjoyed your pain--only your humorous telling of it.
Pain is a, well, pain. Wishing you a speedy recovery. And good drugs.
You write about the pain very amusingly, but I know it's not amusing. When one of our boys was about ten he came down with mono--little did I know that some people get mono along with terrible nausea. So after a trip to the ER for an IV, we learned to deal with those little tinfoil fridge rockets...still laughing about your mojito idea. Hang in there...sending positive passing thoughts your way.
and great title, by the way.
David, I passed one in a bar in Cheyenne, WY that I thought was going to kill me. I tried to man up, keep drinking beer until it came out. It did. Blood was everywhere and I hit the floor. No, I didn't save that sucker!
RP - Thank you. Getting a few laughs out of it helps pass the, umm, time.

Sarah - I knew what you meant. Thanks.

FLW - You know, I've always been averse to pain meds. This time, no hay problema. Uno mas, por favor.

Fetlock - I had no clue. But I guess it makes sense. If you can't keep anything down, oral meds aren't gonna work.

Scanner - Sounds like something The Dude would do.
Wishing you well, David. I vicariously passed one with my former husband and I know the process you must have endured. It happened as we were driving through Atlantic Canada, where we had to stop and have him hospitalized for a day. That's the closest you'll come to childbirth, my friend. Hope you'll stop at one.
I have been there so many times you have NO idea.
I would rather birth 10 kids..
Just got home and a little late reading..
Rated with hugs
I know several people with that same torturous ailment. Eat half a large watermelon every day. (So the "experts" say)
I'm happy you find some humor in this, like Sarah did, but believe me, I'm not laughing.
I am, however, thankful that all I have is lower back pain from 40 years of manual labor.
"But this too shall pass!" HA! Oh, you poor man. Sorry for your plight.
Oh David, pain is such a bitch. Especially the one you are describing. I'm in the middle of finding out whether I'm going to have my foot operated on or not. Sometimes growing older really does suck. -R-
Sticks and rocks
Tear at your socks
But a stone can ruin was that post of yours a few back?
Poor David. I ditto RP and also found the post very interesting. I don't think I have read a kidney stone piece of prose.
yikes. stay with the good drugs.
David-Sorry you have to go through this painful event. I will help you push the stone out and a speedy recovery to you my friend.
Smile - Jali Girl. R
Oh wow. You made this so clever in spite of it all.~r
Kate - I was thinking of a "Romancing the Stone" theme party, but maybe not.
I thought they shattered these things with ultra-sound these days...

Myriad - They only do that with larger stones.

Or more accurately, insurance only covers it with larger stones. They figure under 5mm they'll work their way out anyway, so why go for the highly effective but expensive ultrasound treatment?
eh. a grapenut. Try pushing a bowling ball down your hooha.
excellently written even if painful
hope you heal soon
Gabby - I bow down to women who choose to give birth. I don't know how they do it, and I especially don't know how they do it more than once. It's inconceivable to me.

On the other hand, it is MY grapenut, and MY hooha, and I don't like this "pushing one out" one damn bit!
Been there - didn't quite do exactly that.
First: 2mm is about, approximately, in the area of, ballpark figure, almost, roughly, .07874 of an inch. Nearly. That makes it less than 1/10th of an inch. A size your urethra can handle easily.

Most men have had, a stinging sensation in their johnson at one time or another, maybe quite often. That is probably caused by passing a 'stone'.

Mine didn't cause the level of pain that yours did. I was persistent pain though, slowly building over about 4 days. As my body automatically twisted to try to escape the pain, my back muscles began to ache too. Morphine was blessed relief.

The doctor's advice, "Drink LOTS of fluids. If it will pass, we won't have to operate."
My response: "OPERATE??!! ARE YOU CRAZY??!!" may have led that poor intern to think that I took this thing personally. He was right. I most certainly did.

But the rest of his advice seemed sound. And it fit in beautifully with my own lifestyle. My wife was stunned when I came home with the prescription, in two boxes of 24 each.

"Beer?!!" She was a tad upset. "You go out of here at 4 am in the morning to go to the hospital because you can't stand the back pain and you come strolling back in here at 10 am, with two boxes of beer?!!!!! (I feel bound to point out that two boxes of beer are heavy and that neither I nor anyone else can come "strolling in" anywhere carrying that much weight.)

I spent the entire 3-day weekend taking my medicine. During most of which time I had completely forgotten that it even was medicine, or what it was intended to do. I woke up Tuesday morning, with no back pain, a slight stinging in my johnson, with the odd ability to hear, painfully, every footfall of every ant in the house.

I have had occasion to resort to this remedy twice more in the intervening years - works every time; but, for heaven's sake, can't somebody give those ants some slippers?
i don't know how you can be comedic while in such pain, good meds, eh?
SP - You say ureththra, I say Highway to Heaven, and I am not enamored of the idea of anything with sharp enough points to chop up the inside of my kidney passing down thataway, no matter what the size. Besides, I think the real bottleneck could be the prostate, since I am a man of a certain age. I know you know what I mean.

Watermelon is an old folk remedy, because watermelon is not only full of water, it's also a natural diuretic. So if you eat a lot, you go a lot. And you get the side benefit of having a lot of seeds to spit, which can help distract you from the ordeal. But all in all, I think I like your plan better. I'll put a slice of watermelon out to draw the ants away.
sooooo sorry. my hubs had one years ago, and it was one ugly painful episode. take whatever pain meds they'll give you 'til it's out. the good news is? when it's out, it's over completely. how you wrote (this well, too) about it while it was going on ... well, maybe those drugs helped.

Well this explains why I was worried about you today. I can survive a lot of pain, but I get to hate it and so does everyone else who feels pain. If it gets very bad, then yes take meds, then at least you can be stoned and laugh while you're suffering.

Come on over, you can complain every time it hurts and later we can suck down some Mojitos. If people are too wimpy to listen to people hurting so what, I'm tough, bring it on. Forget people who whine when someone else is in pain. I'm sorry your hurting but glad it's going to be okay. Healing and love to you David.
What lovely timing, Bleue. I've had an exhausting day. This pain is so draining. But you showed up just in time to tuck me in for the night with a smile on my face. Blessings.

Love, David
Yikes Physical pain is tough. Give me simple emotional trauma over body pain anytime. Wishing you a speedy passing. Well, the stone will pass not you. You know what I mean. It is all only temporary. Breathe.
The Sisyphus Tshirt-tie-in is awesome.

The Sisyphus Tshirt-tie-in is awesome.

Actually most adults pass wee stones fairly often. Since they are usually very, very small when we do so, the only thing we might notice is an occasional stinging sensation after we pee. That goes away shortly, usually in less than an hour (or before you finish another 3 - 4 beer).

I joked around a tad in my comment above but I really have gotten rid of a stone three times in exactly that manner.

If drinking a lot of beer doesn't appeal to some folks then a large quantity of water will serve the purpose; if not as enjoyably.

If drinking fluids doesn't work the next thing is to give you something that is supposed to 'soften' the stone enough to make it susceptible to the "fluid treatment".

After that its the pinpoint laser or high-frequency sound, to break it up treatment. Again these involve lots of fluids to clear the bits away.

The final thing is a physical operation to remove the stone.

One final note: 99.99% of kidney stones never get any bigger than a grain of sand and get passed naturally without you even knowing that you had one (or more). Despite the excruciating pain, they cause little or no harm except to put a severe strain on your back muscles.

The foregoing will not help the pain you are feeling one damn bit. (a couple of 24s might though).
David, I can't help but laugh--you made me!--despite my sympathy for your pain. You've got me feeling conflicted, kind of disappointed in myself for laughing, but, darn it all, you made me do it! What a fine piece, thoroughly enjoyable--but you made me enjoy it. I wanted to sympathize, but you, clever writer that you are, made me laugh.
Why is it that sometimes the smallest of things cause the greatest of pain? Arrrgh! I've not had any stones, but there were a few times sciatic nerve damage left me unable to walk upright...
Zanelle - I'm with you on that. I can tough out emotional pain, but physical pain reduces me to whimpers. And blood coming out of me? I've been known to faint.

J & L - You doubled my pleasure, doubled my fun.

SkyPixie - Thanks for providing some balance. I love it when these little talks of ours can be both informative and silly.

Jerry - I'm deeply disappointed too. I don't know how you can live with yourself.

Belinda - Yes, I'm also familiar with the Ribbon of Fire. Need some meds? I'm well stocked.

mhold - I'll get back to you when I can formulate a proper response. Should be any day now.
No thanks on the meds. I'm a minimalist when it comes to taking drugs. I've learned pain management techniques usually work better than drugs and unless the pain is unbearable, I can tolerate occasional bouts of painful inflammation to nerves and connective tissues.

I can only suggest you drink tons of H2O and cranberry products; avoid greens and cocoa products.

When it hurts real bad, try getting angry and let loose with a loud growl. It works, I swear.
Thanks, Belinda, I'm with you. I had a bunch of teeth extracted a couple of years ago, took one pain pill 4 hours later, then nada. I had surgery this spring, took one pain pill 4 hours after I was discharged, then nothing. But this one, yeeesh, this one is different. I just had another off the scale attack this morning, but it seems to be moving down. One thing I do is just take enough meds to take the edge off and make the pain manageable. I don't try to obliterate it.
No one says we have to love it! but with a grape nut, there's no happy ending other than relief is there? I medicate the crap out of anyone with a stone...they have to be wheeled out and poured into the backseat to go home and moan. Its a sad sight but they're mercifully half conscious when I get done with 'em, and you know David, this too shall pass. Or, it'll get stuck 1/2 way down and they'll have to go get it~~yikes!! wish ya luck - you know, the GOOD kind!
Ah...the passing of time.
Good for you. Mine plinked out into the cup at the urology office after I peed thru a strainer for two or three weeks with no results. The pain of it passing from the kidney to the bladder was the worst I've ever experienced. Mine was about the same size.
That thing, like a little runty piece of rice, certainly can cause big, big problems.
Gak!!! I don't even want to look at it. I don't want to emulate that action (inner shudder), make it go away. What if there is some power of attraction in these things (more shuddering)?

I am glad to see it's out of you.
Oh, sorry Bleue. I should have thought of that. I went back and spaced the photo down so nobody would trip over it inadvertently.

At first glance, it seems to be that my calcium level is low. I have very little dairy in my diet... a little cheese occasionally, maybe an ice cream, and not so much dark green leafy stuff. Calcium binds uric acid for elimination, so I'll have to up my intake. Enjoying a little Greek Yogurt as I write this. With pomegranate! Not bad.
My God, i couldn't turn away in time. Ouch.