Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Stones in Me

It was a few days after Aidil Fitri, the Muslim celebration after a month of fasting in Ramadhan. I woke up with an intense urge for the loo. Rushed in, got in position expecting relief but nothing happens. The pain nags, I push, nothing comes out, neither liquid nor solid. Sweat starts beading, cold sweat in the cool morning air. After some time, I gave up. Maybe the heavy, spicy, oily food yesterday is really screwing up my system. Get out and on reflex doubled up on the sofa. The pain is excruciating. Never had I chanted the name of Allah before in begging for mercy to be relieved of the pain that now felt as if its encircling my lower abdomen. Truthfully, chanting his name did bring some relief, lessening the stabbing pain. The wife and kids looked scared. I am unable to offer comfort as I am consumed in the pain.

A few minutes later, my brother in law arrive and took me to the emergency entrance of SJMC. The doctor attending to me at a glance knew what it was all about. He did not say anything though, most likely because he is a foreigner and me dressed in an old sarong and what used to be a white pagoda night shirt looked like someone who could not communicate in English. He did not bother and just gave me a magical injection that almost immediately took the pain away. A nurse then came and told my wife to have me registered and proceed to the clinic for a proper check up. The registration counter in as nice a manner as possible quoted RM4,000 deposit without which I will just have to pay for the jab that I have just received and would have to look for treatment elsewhere. We had all three kids there, all on my company GL and there I was being treated like unwanted trade. In all probability, it was because both of us really looked shabby and poor on that particular morning.

Manage to get things sorted out with the registration counter finally beaming a most wonderful smile after a GL is faxed from my office. Luckily the person responsible was in the office to do the necessary.

Went to the Clinic, was subsequently scanned and confirmed with stones in my kidney or was it in my bladder, anyway, its there and it needs to be removed. There are three options. One, have a tube inserted in my urinary tract. Two, have a minor incision on my back and a scope inserted or three blast the stones using sound waves. The doctor (who smelled heavily of cigarette smoke – reminding me that I haven't had my fix of the day yet) recommended option three. I was elated as I can't bear the thought of a tube going into me or being cut up no matter how small the incision will be. After all, how bad or painful can sound waves be, right ? Wrong, its not the sound itself but what it does that will be excruciating.

A nurse came to wheel me to the day ward while waiting for the procedure. After some time another nurse came, gave me a bunch of pills and told me to get into hospital gown. You know, the ridiculous ones that have strings at the back. She told me to take off everything, even dentures if I am wearing one.

"Everything ?".

" Yes, everything".

So, there I was buck naked underneath a flimsy gown with strings in the back and cold breeze blowing up my behind. Not a pretty situation nor sight that made.

Yet another nurse came and wheeled me to the operating room. Being fully conscious, I was amazed on entering the room as there's only one doctor and a young nurse who greeted me. The room looked more like part of a space ship to me. Screens and machines everywhere with a huge circular metal tub taking center stage. The nurse pulled away my blanket and asked me to take off my gown. As I was lying on my back, I sat up, untied the gown and just pull it off.

She gasped, "Mr. Noor, why are you naked ?"

At that point all my shrivelled bits just shrivelled further.

"But the nurse told me to take off everything."

"Well, never mind." She says and promptly throws a small towel over my midriff. The doctor was giggling in front of his monitor.

Here's a tip, if you have to do this keep your underwear on, make sure its clean and if possible new. For actual operations where they need to cut you up, take off everything. For this, no.

The nudity out of the way, she starts manipulating a harness that is attached to a hook which in turn is connected and forms part of a network of rails fixed to the ceiling. Its not a harness actually, more a skeletal seat. I was made to sit on it, with the towel covering my front and my bum open to the cold air again. The seat has metal strips with support for my head, shoulder, lower back, thighs, heel and feet. The rest is open to the elements. I was then secured with belts at all support points. It did cross my mind, hmmm sort of kinky. Naked, on a harness, being tied down...

Once that is done, the nurse again manipulated her remote control. The machines starts humming and purring and I began to rise and move towards the metal tub.

"The water is a bit warm, we will lower you slowly, tell us if its too hot."

That is just what they did. Ahhhhh, so nice to feel the warm water cover and protect me from the cold air in the room. Once I was properly positioned in the center of the tub with only my head above water, the nurse came, pulled the towel away and sticks those electrode wire thingies on me.

"OK, Mr. Noor, we will start soon, tell us if it gets too uncomfortable."

Without warning, the machine purrs again and suddenly two huge cylinders with diameters as big as a small scooter wheel came towards me and positioned itself on my sides. I swear that Star Trek came to mind – resistance is futile - no more kinkiness, just trapped in the machine. Once that is done I start hearing soft pinging noises not unlike the sounds of sonars in a submarine. The ones that I saw in the movies sounded like that anyway. As the ping grew louder, my skin starts tingling which progresses to feel like its being continuously pinched in rhythm with the pinging sound.

"OK, Mr. Noor, brace yourself."

Brace myself for what ? Its all a sort of pleasant sensation so far, warm bath, relaxing rhythm massaging my skin, imagination running wild...

As soon as this thought crossed my mind, the frequency of the sound intensifies and suddenly my body was jolted out of the harness at such a force that the restraining belt bit into my skin. But deep inside of me another pain is burning my senses. The sound has just blasted and exploded one of the stones that was inside my kidney/bladder.

The nurse came, gave me a jab, tighten my belts and say "OK, relax Mr. Noor."

And the machine again starts purring and humming trying to locate the next target. Once a stone is blasted, it broke into smaller pieces, the machine then targets these fragment to blast it into yet smaller and smaller pieces until it is of a size that can pass through when I urinate. Every time this happens, I will be jolted no matter how hard I try to anticipate and prepare for it, my vital signs go off the charts and the nurse will give me a jab which numbs the pain. This continue for about two hours. By the time I was off the tub, I was like a vegetable, unable to control any movement or even to move. All I remembered was that I was taken off the harness like a rag doll. Nudity, kinkiness, space adventures all gone. I was put back in the ward and left to rest for a couple hours.

Once I came to, I was given a drink and told to go to the toilet when I am ready. I did so with a nurse coming into the cubicle with me. Modesty prevails and I told her to wait outside. Another shocker, no wonder the nurse wanted to be there, the first shot of urine that hits the pristine white hospital toilet bowl shook me up that I nearly collapsed at its sight.

Not yellowish orange liquid that I was subconsciously expecting, instead it was dark red blood with blackish brown fragments of the stones splattering the white toilet bowl accompanied by bits and pieces of my tissues and flesh that was carved by the blasting. No pain though, just a shocking sight. I held on to the walls to keep from collapsing.

A week later, I had to do it again as the first round did not totally clear all the stones, thinking that I have been through it before, I was prepared. Boy, was I wrong, the second time was worst. Perhaps the wounds from the earlier blasting had not yet healed. The pain was doubled, at least. The cost ? About RM4,500 for the first blast with a 30% or is it 40% discount for the second one as it was done immediately after the first.

Once you had the stones, it will come back approximately every four years. In my case, this holds true and last year when it came, I decided to try a different solution. It worked. No pain, low cost, but that's another story.


J.T. said...

What a painful ordeal! that was definitely a descriptive account which left me uncomfortable along with you.

She gasped, "Mr. Noor, why are you naked ?"
"At that point all my shrivelled bits just shrivelled further."
Oh gosh.. the ultimate embarassment to find out that you didn't need to shed everything? The doctor giggling didn't help much either, huh?

Well, glad you got over that and found a different option last year. Poor Apandi.. what an ordeal.

Apandi said...

That certainly was an experience which only seems funny now... ha ha...

Raden Galoh said...

Oh My... I held my breath reading your ordeal... I don't know whether to laugh or to be serious... your 'made-naked' experience is surely funny...but the ordeal is something that sounds so scary...

Didn't know that stones have history to comeback... Hope now everything is okay with you bro...take care.

david santos said...

Beautiful work, Apandi. And fhoto is fantastic!
Thanks and have a good week.

Anonymous said...


Gue rase luu ni natural nudist kot? Plenty clubs in US and Europe for u.. sorry not in Meshia! Just kidding, glad you're ok!


Apandi said...

rg, we should all learn to laugh at ourselves and our experiences.

ds, thanks. you too.

anon, now that's a thought. U.Lee did a piece on a cruise some time back with the ladies as his guests dressed to the nines. Any takers for a nudist outing... kah kah kah...

J.T. said...

Are you serious Apandi? Do you really want to do a fantasy story - hosting a nudist party? Now, that would be something!
Unlike U.Lee, you don't have to worry about dressing up your guests. hahahaha

Apandi said...

jt, errr not yet lah, need to get in shape first ha ha ha...