Quick health update

What a week it’s been. It started over a week ago when I felt a ripping pain through the abdomen, kind of like a pinched nerve. The kind of pain where you double over and turn white. Luckily, it came and went, and only seemed to hit when I made certain movements, like getting up from a chair or stretching. That same day I had to make an emergency business trip to Beijing, and the problem got steadily worse while I was there, ruining my plans to meet up with some of you (apologies). I saw the doctor on Monday, who determined it was some form of intestinal strangulation, or maybe a contracted muscle along the gastrointestinal wall (whatever that means). They gave me medicine that made it far less acute, but it’s still there. It was only today that the excellent doctors here narrowed it down. It’s some sort of kidney problem, where there’s definitely a chronic infection (again, whatever that means). Today the pain shifted rather dramatically from the abdomen to the right-lower back. I’m okay until I make a suden move. Walking home from the bus stop tonight along the rainy sidewalk, I slipped on some garbage and landed hard on my right foot, which set off an excruciating pain in the right kidney that’s still making me miserable an hour later. And I have to wait a full week to go back for the final test to determine whether it’s a kidney stone (if it is, I will be gone from blogging for yet another extended period). The doctor said today I should go to the ER if I was suffering acute pain, and I’m weighing doing that right now. Next Wednesday sounds like light years away. å“Žå‘€,å?¯æ†?çš„ç?†æŸ¥!

Okay, I am really sorry to bore you all with these very personal details. But in case I disappear into thin air in the days ahead, you’ll know why. This is turning into a much more complicated mess than I expected.

The Discussion: 18 Comments

We’ve got your back, Richard (no pun intended.) Personally I have another guest-blog-post in the works which will probably go up tomorrow (Thursday). Warning: it will involve lots of cartoons. 😉

November 15, 2006 @ 7:14 pm | Comment

As I’ve spent most of the last week in a hospital (with the missus, not for myself), you’ve got my sympathies.

Best of luck and heal quick. Don’t worry about us readers, we’ll be here when you get back.

November 15, 2006 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Richard, that does sound like kidney stones to me. If you start to have fever and chills or acute pain, ER is the way to go, because it may mean that there is an infection. The best thing to do at the moment is to have plenty of rests.

November 15, 2006 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Ivan, I can’t wait! Ryan, thanks for the support. I’ve read about some of your own medical travails in China, and I totally sympathize.

Fat Cat, there certainly was acute pain after my stumble, and anytime I arch my back, but it’s not so serious to require a trip to the ER. At least not yet. I’ve had a very low-grade fever since this started a week ago (only 99.6) as well as high blood pressure, and today’s test showed there is indeed an infection, but the doctor said it could wait until after I get the final test (renal or reno echo, whatever that is) on Wednesday. I think I’ll have to keep everyone in suspense until then. It might not be a kidney stone (God, I hope not) butit’s definitely a kidney problem of some sort.

November 15, 2006 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

Sounds painful. Hope you get back on your feet/blog soon again Richard. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

November 15, 2006 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

Wow! Sounds terrible. Hope you recover quickly.

November 15, 2006 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

Richard, our thoughts are with you.

November 16, 2006 @ 12:13 am | Comment

Richard, on the plus side, kidney stones can and do resolve themselves. You can also have them treated using ultrasound – the soundwaves blast the little buggers into tiny pieces. So you are not necessarily looking at any kind of invasive procedure. Let’s hope for that outcome!

November 16, 2006 @ 1:30 am | Comment

Yeah, and if you have them smashed up with ultrasound, just think of it as a Rolling Stones concert going on inside of you….

November 16, 2006 @ 2:09 am | Comment

Winged a little prayer to the cosmos asking for a comfortable recovery – whatever the cause.


November 16, 2006 @ 2:15 am | Comment

Oh god, that sounds awful. Get well soon, Richard. We all miss you over here.

November 16, 2006 @ 3:27 am | Comment

Get well soon!

November 16, 2006 @ 5:54 am | Comment

For whatever it’s worth – Which is worse: i) Going to the ER and not having a life threatening problem diagonosed or treated, or ii) Not going to the ER because you don’t want to be a pest and then dropping over you know what.

November 16, 2006 @ 7:23 am | Comment

Hang in there, Richard, we’re praying for ya.

November 16, 2006 @ 8:19 am | Comment

Hang in there, SOMEBODY has to serve as a bulwark against the haughty anti-americanism of Philip Cunningham!!

November 16, 2006 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

And now, a joke that only makes sense if you’re familiar with the Belfast accent:

Two ducks are walking across the street in Belfast, one in front of the other. The duck in behind says, “quack quack.” The duck in front says “I’m goin’ as quack as I can!”

Get better quack, Richard!

November 16, 2006 @ 3:06 pm | Comment


That reminds me of a cartoon in the Guardian a few years ago, where an Ian Paisley’s wife tells him, “Ian, we need to focus on tactics!” And Ian Paisley replies, “Tag Taigs? Why, that’s a very good idea!”

November 16, 2006 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

Thanks for the laughs, guys. Unfortunately, I’m going to be semi-crazed until I get the final test results next Thursday, and expect to be here only intermittently in the meantime.

November 16, 2006 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

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