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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse


My apologies for missing deadline last week, but have I got a story for you.


It’s about me and my dear friend Nikko. Picture us enjoying the hot sun in an outdoor café along a coastal village in the Greek Islands, indulging in a jug of wine and munching on gluten-free crackers while watching the choppy waves of cool, blue salt water lap up against the rugged coastline. ABBA music plays in the background. Can you visualize it? Good. Now snap out of it. That’s not what happened. Not even close.

Turns out Nikko was not a dear friend, just a very close one. He is 100% the reason I missed deadline. He doesn’t care either. While my annoying little friend would tell you the fault lies with my lack of organization, noting I should have a file folder with to-be-published columns at the ready (especially given my propensity for medical mishaps), we will ignore what Nikko says about that because, frankly, nobody asked him.

That smug Nikko was nothing more than a giant pain in my kidneys. Measuring in at a whopping 7mm, and weighing in at a thousand pounds of excruciating pain, Nikko was a barbed-wire beast of a calcium deposit that travelled with his own entourage, a genuine rock band in a club known as the Gravel Pit (that’s literally how the nice CT scan man referred to my left kidney). I was medicated to the point that I laughed at the joke, even though I knew my body was the punch line.

Nikko was determined to shake, rattle and roll all the way down my urethra to centre stage, but it appears his ego was too big for the both of us (if you didn’t just wince a little there, you are not human).

It seems Nikko and I have been cohabitants since early December. I had all the signs trouble was brewing. This would be my fourth kidney stone dance since I decided natural child birth wasn’t quite painful enough. I didn’t want to tell anyone because my medical history tends to scare those I love. I quietly sought medical attention before Christmas and despite clearly explaining that my symptoms were familiar with past kidney stone marathons, Nikko was misdiagnosed as a bladder infection. Right. Lesson: nobody knows your body better than you do. Self-advocate. Demand the ultrasound. Listen to your kidneys before the rock band goes on tour.

If you are wondering how Nikko got his name, well, over the Christmas holidays, my daughter was gifted the film Mamma Mia 2. The only thing more painful than watching that film is a kidney stone. Cher as Meryl Streep’s mom? Really? I digress. I remember sitting on the couch thinking I have a kidney stone brewing, this is going to be ugly and painful and all I can do is sit here and wait while the Gravel Pit prepares to turn out its greatest hits tour.

I may never see Greece. I may never dance to ABBA on Skopelos island with some tall, dashing Greek God named Nikko. Why? Because I am a living  gravel pit.

You’ll be happy to know Nikko has been evicted, but boy oh boy, he has left his mark. Nothing will humble you faster than your own body. I am grateful for pain medication and doctors who listen.

And the good wishes of people who care. Let the healing begin.





Vol 52 Issue 04


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