A 4mm Jump Start

A shot taken during one of the better times last night. Now just imagine a look of pure pain, and then you have the image of when the waves from the 4 mm kidney stone hit. 

Often, wake up calls arrive in ways we would not prefer, and they throw things into high gear as we move towards a future we knew we should have been heading from the beginning but yet a form of paralysis of sorts had kept us from ever taken more than a step or two towards that destiny. The latest wake up call for me hit last night a little after 8 when sharp, severe pains in my lower back led to a trip to the emergency room, where thankfully I was diagnosed with only a 4 mm kidney stone. The wave of pains would come and go as my dear friend Bailey, who rushed to my side so I wouldn’t be alone in the hospital after I texted her to see if she could give me a ride home after learning the narcotics that had been given to me would prevent me from driving afterward, unfortunately had to endure seeing a roller coaster of my emotions with our going from conversations about community efforts, hearing me mutter curse words as I tried to fight back tears, joking around about all sorts of things, watching me cringe in pain, and so on. Needless to say, Bailey is amazingly wonderful.

During the short windows of relief, I have tried to do what I can to prepare for what is coming. The waves of pain continued to hit after arriving home around midnight (Thanks once again to the fantastic Bailey for always being there for me). Lemon juice and all sorts of other home remedies entered into my system (but sadly did not stay thanks to radiating severe pain) with hopes the stone would pass. Around 3:47 AM, sleep finally came, and I awoke fearing drinking water or eating any food, for I knew full well what would occur once I began that cycle, so I used the morning hours to prepare for what’s to come with my swinging by the office to take care of a few things, getting last night’s paperwork to my doctor so the suggested ER referral to a specialist could be made, and picking up the prescription of pain medicine that will likely become my best friend soon enough. In fact, I typed most of these words as I waited for that final prep work before I returned home to have a lot of water, lemon juice, and a late breakfast.

All through this, a conversation I had earlier in the day with a friend played over in my mind about how both of us look back at our past, know we have had some great ideas that we may have started them but did not carry them out to completion. The list of mine are long to say the least. There’s the finished first draft of a novel that awaits to be revised. A positive campaign for positive campaigns needing to be continued. The same goes for everything else on the list of New Year’s Resolutions. So many more ideas have come and vanished into wherever past years go.

This year’s New Year’s Resolutions alone could have done wonders for me to help avoid my current predicament. The focus on healthy eating could have led to my not being a glutton on certain food items like peanut butter and heavily salted popcorn, both of which contain elements that can lead to kidney stones. Plus, an increase in drinking water would have so great for me too in many different ways. Both of these should have been on my mind already thanks to two members in my immediate family being prone to having kidney stones, but never did I really check out what foods could possibly lead to these little devils until around 2:00 AM today.

On top of the diet goals, keeping a financial budget would have alleviated my worries of how I will end up paying for the ER visit and future doctor appointments.

These are just the beginning of things too. However, now going with the cliché, when life gives you a bowl of lemons  . .  .


And now as I work to part with this little souvenir from past decisions, I prepare myself for much better future ones to avoid going down this road ever again. With my being serious about it this time, I like to believe one day I will smile at the mere thought of how something only 4 mm in size redirected my life path. Then again, perhaps a smile is going to far.

This whole experience has also led to my listening to this song repeatedly too to try to find some sort of amusement with these ongoing  waves:


And now to continue the grind forward . . .


One thought on “A 4mm Jump Start”

  1. Ryan, I can always count on you for excellent perspective, even in the midst of crippling pain (which I’m so sorry you had to endure!). But as you say, sometimes it takes this kind of wake-up call to get us moving, and I’m sure you’ll turn the experience into something productive. I’m all too familiar with the procrastination that you’re facing and have been lamenting it in myself lately too. I now feel somewhat like a heroin dealer, luring you back in with that sweet taste you know so well… because I have a couple self-help sources on the topic to share. 1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Resistance to create is the enemy, it comes in a thousand different forms, and it requires constant, dedicated pursuit to keep it at bay. Very well written; highly quotable. Wait. Did I send you this already? 2. http://startupbros.com/overthinkers-guide-taking-action-complete-guide/ I suspect you might also suffer from being an overthinker. I will admit – I haven’t read the whole thing (it’s epically long and has been sitting as an open tab in my browser for longer than I care to mention. Procrastinating about reading about procrastinating? Check.). But the parts I have read really seem to be calling me out, which I find helpful.

    That said, I’m also trying to back away from the mountain of helpful self-analysis information available today (see “action” above), so feel completely free to–no, actually you’re totally encouraged to–not check them out.

    Finally, I’m dismayed to learn that so many of my favorite foods cause kidney stones! Spinach, sweet potatoes, nuts, beets, chocolate… Nope, they’re too delicious. Instead, I’ll make sure my rhubarb intake remains low and drink some extra water. 🙂 Hope it’s the last one you’ll ever have to experience and that it leaves you in peace very soon. And most importantly, that you share some of your brilliant ideas with the world, and soon. Wanna race? 😉

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