Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Real Life - part 16 (I think)

As I wrote about last month I have a problem that comes back to haunt me every 5 – 10 years. I get kidney stones. Mostly they’re not fatal, and don’t do a lot of harm. However they are extremely painful and debilitating. I’ve currently got three of the little darlings lodged variously in my kidneys and I’m waiting for an appointment to be shot with sound waves to make their passage easier. Or something like that.

This time round, however, not content with blasting me with a sonic attack laser the consultant wants to get to the “underlying pathology” (what he means is he wants to find out why I get them).

So I have been referred to a consultant pathologist. Before she can see me she needs to do some tests, so she needs some samples. The usual fluids, - blood and urine.

The blood is straight forward, - just a syringe full. The urine is another matter. I am required  to provide three 24 hour urine samples. That is collect for three separate 24 hour periods all of my urine in three separate receptacles.

I didn't quite believe it at first so I phoned the consultant's secretary for clarification. She confirmed my understanding was correct. I asked how I was to deal with storage and transportation. She put my mind at rest, - these are good, sturdy, sizeable containers like those you get lots of anti-freeze in during the winter. The one to use first has a preservative in it (hydrochloric acid, so careful not to spill it when in use), and when they are taken back they are to be transported in discrete black plastic bags.

So I went down to the path lab to pick up the containers. Sure enough they are as described, and they do come in black plastic zip-lock carrier bags.

Which are very discrete. The only way you'd know what was in them is because they have “24 HOUR URINE SAMPLE” printed on the side in big bold letters. If you don't believe me I'll post a picture sometime.

Fortunately they don't have to be filled on consecutive days, so I don't need to take a day off work just to p*ss in a bottle. But I will have to use up two weekends.

Someone, somewhere is having a good laugh.


  1. I have had the occasional kidney stone myself . . . and they are NOT FUN.

    One of the times I ended up in hospital and they gave me morphine for the pain . . . and it did NOT do much to relieve it.

    Back then they didn't have the "sound thing" . . . but I do hope that it works for you.

    You have my sympathy, sir.

    -- Jeff

  2. Jeff,

    Thanks for your good wishes. I agree the pain can be excruciating, but I'm in "remission" at the moment just waiting for the little blighters to move again.

    Of course even though they blast them to bits you still have to pee the bits out.


  3. My dad suffers with stones so I sympathise.

    I had to give urine sample once and was provided with a small plastic pot labelled with a very neatly handwritten note. I worried how I could a) provide the right amount and b) not ruining the label, if you know what I mean. I ended up filling an old mug and using that to fill the sample pot. And yes, I did throw away the mug afterwards.


  4. Matt,

    Given that your internet handle often translates as "all over the place" you were probably very wise.

    As for me I have started the first 24 hour bottle peeing session.

    What fun.


  5. Just remember, 'Damnation Alley, it's a hell of a mess'

  6. Matt is too polite to tell you that "All over the place" applies only to the Gunners*. For Sappers, the translation is "Everywhere" :O)

    Kind regards, Chris

    * Unless you are referring to the after effects of an overly exhuberent "Controlled Demolition".