Flopping around on the floor of the bathroom should have felt familiar. I had been there before. Or at least someplace very similar. There wasn't any comfort in that thought. There was only pain. The pain was only vaguely familiar. It was the kind that brought me to tears, and not because of that familiarity. This was the kidney stone pain that I had worked so hard to forget.
And yet, here it was again.
The first twenty minutes was spent in solid denial, but all that flopping brought me to my son's attention. "Dad? Are you okay?"
As it turns out, I wasn't. I wasn't in ways only described by the way a fifty-one year old generally responsible man could be reduced to a blubbering idiot, capable of uttering very few words outside of "Ow."
This monologue continued as I piled into the back of the car, the one that came came roaring up as my wife returned from her meeting, the one that I had so rudely interrupted with my medical condition. The one we call kidney stone. All of my histrionics got my wife to adopt some of my son's video game driving techniques. We made it to the emergency room in record time.
Not that I was fully aware of time or space. Later we were asked by the doctors and nurses why we chose an emergency room that wasn't part of our health care group. Our health care group asked the same thing. Our answer was simple: it was the closest to our home. The good news was that kidney stones will get you attention ahead of a whole lot of other potential patients.
What I wondered, as the miracle drugs found their way to the Ow parts, was how much better I would feel, along with my wife and son if I didn't have to figure out which emergency room would be best. The best should be the one that's closest, right? If you can afford it.
And the parking lot ticket you can get for leaving your car out front while trying to get your blubbering husband the care he needs. This too shall pass.