Friday, September 2, 2011

The Loudshoes in Europe, Part 8: London

Because my cousin Eilish had so generously put us up (and put up with us) while we were in London, the least we could do was take her out to dinner. The girls stayed at her place and had watched British television (which, curiously, seems to consist of lots of "Friends" re-runs and show like "Pregnant and Impaled!". I wish I was making that up, but I'm not.) while we went out for some Indian food.

We walked to a restaurant Eilish knew of, and while we were on our way we detoured past site of the nearby riot a few nights before. It was terrible; an entire 3-storey building reduced to ruins, and all the homes and businesses around it destroyed as well.

While at dinner, my cousin and I yipped and yapped about all sorts of things...sharing some DNA meant that neither one of us had any trouble filling a silence. The Mister was pretty quiet during dinner, but I'm used to that when I'm in the room. But I also noticed that he didn't very much, not as much as he ususally would when faced with excellent chicken tikka masala and naan that was so puffy and warm you could curl up and go to sleep on it, and dal with coconut and gobi aloo that we would ususally have a fierce tussle over.
And then I noticed he didn't say one word on the walk home; I mean, he's a quiet guy but that was quiet, even for him.

When we got home I came up to our bedroom with a glass of water to find him hunched over on the bed, breathing hard between his teeth and rocking back and forth slightly. I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but even I could tell, something was up, and I had a pretty good idea of what, too. "Kidney stones" he hissed. Yup, just what I thought.

The Mister has had kidney stones before, and they are so painfully agonizing that I make sure the big knives are out of his reach, lest he try to go in after them himself. It's been about 6 years since he last had one, and they don't really give him any notice, the kidney stones just show up and attack, like terrorists.

At least he knew what it was, and it wasn't going to kill him, just mostly kill him, until it passed. And it would pass, eventually. (The one good thing about a kidney stone is that when you've peed it out, it's all overwith, the pain is good and gone in an instant. ) I asked if he wanted to go to a hospital to get some painkillers, but he declined and said he'd make do with the Tylenol I had in my bag.

Poor man, he had a long and miserable night. In the morning, I finally convinced him to go to the hospital; although he was feeling a bit better (he though he might have passed something), we were due to fly home in two days, and I really wanted him to have something to take care of the pain in case the tiny renal terrorists decided to strike at thirty thousand feet.

My cousin drove us to the nearest hospital, and thankfully, the waiting room was blissfully empty. (It had rained the night before, so the rioters took the night off.) He was seen fairly quickly, by a disturbingly young doctor....seriously, this guy looked like he still needed a babysitter and wore pull-ups to bed. But he had the authorization to order painkillers and x-rays, so I wasn't going get fussy about having canned goods older than him at home. I explained that we were here on vacation from Canada, that we had a 15 hour trip home in a couple of days and that all we really wanted was to get the Mister home without me having to bulldoze him through Heathrow on a luggage cart. ("Does it really take 15 hours to get to Canada?" he asked. "When you're as cheap as us, it does." I said.)

After an x-ray and examination, The Little Boy Who Went To Medical School determined that the Mister had probably passed a stone, and that there was another one in the kidney, but for the moment, it wasn't causing a problem, and he gave us some painkillers (just in case) and told us to take care of it when we got home.
We had traveller's medical insurance, and after calling them and determining that we were to pay the hospital and we'd be reimbursed later, I asked how much we owed them and where did I pay and hoped that the $9,000 remaining credit on my Visa card would cover it. And he answered "nothing, you don't owe a thing". At which point, I asked if they did hearing exams, as well.
It turns out the UK has a reciprocal agreement with Canada (among other countries) for emergency care; we were in the clear.
The Mister and I looked at each other, thanked the Boy Wonder and high-tailed it out of there before they could change their minds. How lucky were we??

The Mister has been fine ever since; his kidney hasn't bothered him at all since that night. And guess what? He hasn't done a thing about it since we got back; I'm sure he's waiting for it to show it's nasty self again, like on Christmas Eve or on our way to a wedding. At least we still have the pain killers.

No comments: