A stone, but no tablet, at the emergency room

It’s been a difficult few weeks for your friendly neighborhood GetReligionistas.

First, George endured major spinal surgery.

Then Mollie seriously injured her ankle.

I’ve got to tell you: I’ve been praying hard that tmatt — and not me — would be the next member of our team struck by a painful malady. But apparently, GR’s head honcho has deeper connections than I realized.

For me, that realization came just before midnight Friday when an excruciating pain struck my lower back. I immediately suspected the culprit: a kidney stone.

I had experienced the same ailment last summer and figured I knew how to treat it. I started chugging water and popping Tylenol and Lortab. I ran repeated hot baths and found a little relief in the tub. I repented of many sins and asked God to take away my punishment (I don’t claim perfect theology in the state I was in!).

Mainly, I lay on my bed and alternated between moaning and groaning.

I was home alone — with my wife and daughter visiting my in-laws in southeastern Oklahoma and my sons enjoying down time in San Antonio after a spring-break mission trip to Mexico. At some point, I decided I needed to go to the emergency room, but I didn’t want to call and wake up any of my local friends in the middle of the night.

By 7 a.m., I couldn’t take it anymore.

I grabbed the previous day’s pants out of the hamper and put on my Nikes (sans socks). And I drove to the hospital. Fortunately, we don’t live far from Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City.

Before I even got to the end of our street, I realized that I had left my cell phone on the kitchen table. For a split-second, I considered turning around and going to get it. I quickly decided against it. I did remember to bring my insurance card.

The kind folks at Mercy got me into a room quickly. The nurse gave me a gown to change into and a plastic bottle in which to provide a urine sample. I was a little slow providing the sample. So I was standing in my boxers — having not yet put on the gown — when the nurse returned. The good news: I was in no condition to be embarrassed.

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