The Ideal Pet
When I was a kid pet rocks were all the rage. Amy Herzig brought hers to school one day and did a show and tell for us at recess. "it's very obedient, " she declared, placing it at her foot, and saying "heel." And there her pet rock sat, perfectly still. Everybody oohed and aahed but I was pea green with envy. I wanted my own pet rock. My idea of playing with a pet when I was little was to pull my poor siamese's whiskers, to get her to smile.
And there her pet rock sat, perfectly still
Be Careful What You Wish For
A genie must have heard my wish because in 2020, after a bout with diverticulitis, I found out through a scan that I had not one, but three kidney stones. Two of them were 5 millimeters each and I was told they would pass on their own. They eventually did, pretty uncomfortably.
I started having the same symptoms I'd experienced three years ago this past June and this time I was referred to a urologist. "I've studied your chart thoroughly'" Dr. Dunn said in his office, a few days later. "The remaining stone has moved from the last time you had the scan done in 2020. It's positioned in the ureter canal. It's ready to come out."
I panicked. "Won't it pass like the other two?"
"No," he chuckled. "This one measures 11 millimeters." Holy Toledo, more than double the size of the others. "Can't you go in, grab it and take it out?"
He looked at me kindly. "It's too big to pass through the ureter. You can get it done under general in the outpatient clinic. I would laser it and leave a stent in. A week later I'll remove it in the office. Whenever you're ready but the sooner we do it, the better. You don't want to have to get emergency surgery if it decides to move again."
Metrics is still a mystery to me so I grabbed my tape measure out as soon as I got home. Hmm, it looked big but I had no reference. Then I looked at carat sizes online. Crap. The biggest one on the right measured 11 millimeters. That wasn't a pebble, that was a freaking rock. A pet rock. My pet rock, my wish had come true.
I had a question for Dr. Dunn on the day of surgery two weeks ago. "I know this is crazy but can you keep a piece of the stone so I can see it?" He smiled. "Sure thing." As I was being wheeled into the OR, one of the nurses asked "what side are we taking the stone from?"
"The left side" I replied. He whipped out a sharpie and drew on my side. I could only hope it would fade eventually. Next thing I knew the doctor was handing me a vial with a teeny piece inside. "Sorry, there wasn't much left after we zapped it." I was too groggy to thank him.
On a scale of 1-10, the pain level was around a 13 for the rest of the day. Thank God for heating pads. Laying on the floor was strangely comforting. Paco (my cat of 10 years who, yes, I've learned to appreciate as a pet) was a little worried and kept watch on my bed until I got on it to go to sleep. I'm still in recovery mode but I went swimming a few days ago and it felt wonderful.
So long, pet rock. You won't be missed.
Pre-op: alert and awake Branded What's left of my pet rock......