Another blown weekend in the hospital…

Well, I was looking forward to the weekend to catch up on my lecture preparation and to prepare a midterm for my Computational Physics class. But I was awakened on Saturday morning at 3AM feeling just uncomfortable. Then uncomfortable turned to a sharp pain, low on my right side. Having been there once before, I knew what was coming. Without going into detail, let’s just say that I soon had some visual confirmation of my self-diagnosis of a kidney stone. I took some Panadol (the trade name here for Tylenol) and was able to sleep another hour or so. But after that the pain got bigger than the Panadol could handle and Kris and I were off for our second visit to Lakeside Adventist Hospital.

I was immediately seen by a doctor. With just a short description of the symptoms, he quickly injected me with a very strong pain killer and I was off to la-la land and pain-free. I was “warded” in the men’s ward, the private rooms all being occupied. I would like to think that the high occupancy rate was due to the high ratings I gave the hospital from my last visit. Poor Kris, she suffered more than I. Mostly, I slept. Whatever they gave me, I was zonked. Without benefit of narcotics, Kris mostly remained awake for the duration and must have been bored out of her mind.

I was surprised to learn that they were keeping me overnight. They scheduled me for an ultrasound and an X-ray on Sunday morning. Kris went home to get some much needed rest and I went back to sleep. The wakeup call in the men’s ward is 05:30. By this time I had been sleeping for almost 24 hours straight, so it was something of a relief to be awakened. Being an Adventist hospital, breakfast was vegetarian, of course. But it was a delicious bowl of black beans and coconut meat with a spicy condiment to pep it up, followed by a crisp apple. No coffee, though, sigh…

But then it was off to the ultrasound room. It turned out that the results were of the good news, bad news, good news variety. The good news was that I had, in fact, succeeded in passing the kidney stone on my right side. The bad news was there was one waiting “on deck” in my left kidney. The good news was that it was small. Then it was off to the X-ray room, where I gather not much additional was learned. Unfortunately, we then had to wait until the afternoon for the doctor to view my X-ray and to release me. So, Kris had another tiring, boring day, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and watching me sleep, but we were out of there by 5PM.

Two days, one night, all meals, all meds, all doctor’s fees, an ultrasound, an X-ray, all radiologist’s fees, total cost: $130.

Back in the US, if I feel another kidney stone coming on, I’m hopping the next flight to Kandy’s Lakeside Hospital. It will cost about the same as going to my local hospital and I’ll get to visit my friends in Sri Lanka again. I may stock up on some Oxycodone first though!




  1. Anna said,

    April 2, 2009 at 11:49 am

    So that would be $130 plus $2,500 for the airfare and $200 bucks for the Oxy at street value and the longest plane ride in history. Yep, I bet you are going for that. Glad you got past the stones and I truly wish no stones in your future. God Bless the doctor who understands how much it hurts. And the wife who patiently waits.

  2. Kris said,

    April 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks, you two! I wasn’t as bored as it might sound. I was reminded of a friend who has way too much experience being a hospital patient telling me that it really does make a difference to have someone present. Even under sedation she takes comfort from the quiet presence of a friend, so I felt confident that I was helping Tim even if his mind was, um, elsewhere. And I thrilled the nursing staff by taking photos of them, which I plan to print and give to them. I did some serious reading. And the hospital fed me, too, graciously and without hesitation. I learned that I don’t care for the Adventist staple, Vegimite(?), a healthful yeast glop with a bitter, medicinal flavor disguised as a spread for toast. Not recommended. And I got to see the monkey family watching us from the other side of the screen. Tim’s window had the only screens I’ve seen yet in Sri Lanka, but they weren’t for mosquitos–they were to keep the wild monkeys out.

  3. pat hovis said,

    April 15, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Well being raised as an Adventist I’m glad we did eat meat, we were the wilder order I guess, My folks even drank coffee.
    I’m glad this is over for you Tim. Will the other stone show up anytime, or do you you live in constant worry when will this next stone drop?
    It’s hard to believe your time is coming to a close before long. You will get to be a part of this country going through a morph, The days of excess is coming to a close and being in debt is not a good thing. I think it is heading in the right direction after the dust settles… Stay out of hospitals and enjoy the rest of your time in Sri Lanka…..Love Patty

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