I’m Tired

Pain is exhausting and humbling. Debilitating and frustrating. Pain reminds you that you’re really all alone.

I got kidney stones for the first time in January 2015. I thought I was dying. At the hospital, I was assured otherwise. Since then I’ve been there for the same thing countless times. I “got” kidney stones…well, apparently, I made them. And I keep making them. And feeling them. Every. Fucking. Time.

So when the meditation wears out, when the yoga doesn’t work anymore, when the exhaustion is so complete because no way are you going to be able to sleep through this, when being tired is a default and sore is perfunctory and the menacing little fuckers keep macheteing their way through your kidneys, eventually you’re just so damned sick and tired you get yourself back to the hospital. Kind nurses and doctors, auxiliary staff try to make you feel better. You leave with a bunch of IV narcotics in your system and a prescription for some oral ones. It’s all temporary.

And you try to keep in mind that everything is temporary: this world, this life, all of the feelings in it. This little blip you are on Earth’s radar won’t be remembered; one day you’ll be gone and so will everyone who knew you, and everyone who knew them, and the planet will be erased of your presence.

But those goddamned stones. They make it seem like everything is NOW, all the suffering in the world is concentrated in your left side, in your back, and how could anyone else possibly be suffering in the world, you are carrying so much pain inside? It’s exhausting. The throwing up, the nausea, the rocking to try to make it better (nothing makes it better, ever, nothing at all, but you’re trying here, to avoid another round of ER), the pacing, the puking, the shitting, the voiding your system of everything in it and nothing. Makes. It. Better.

I started cycling 20-30 miles every other day because I thought the aches and pains from that would nullify the pains from the stones. Also to lose weight, but really, to toughen myself up. I wouldn’t go to the hospital with cyclists’ knees or hip pain from poor carriage and improper cadence, so why would I go for other reasons?

Because those keep me up at night. Those have winnowed sleep to the tiniest and most minimal of dead-of-night hours, when finally exhaustion overcomes suffering and you nod off for awhile, only to wake up, rocking again.

I’m trying really hard not to go to the ER this time. I don’t know if I can do it.


I'm a writer living in Northern Colorado. I also help run the front of the house for the Fort Collins Bike Co-op. I have two cool roommates and a snorey cat. I love my life.

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