I went snowboarding for the first time yesterday. On the drive home, my back started hurting. By the time I got home it was extremely uncomfortable and I was thinking “Great…old fart goes snowboarding and hurts his back. Now I’m even more of a cliche than I already was.”

The pain kept getting worse and worse until it felt like somebody had kicked me in the junk and my entire right side between my ribs and hips was a giant muscle spasm. I felt nauseous, but figured if I doubled down on ibuprofen I could man it out until the morning when I could get in to see my chiropractor. I put ice on it. No effect. Heat. No effect. A535 and muscle relaxants. No effect. It hurt to stand up, sit down, lay on my stomach, lay on my back, lay on my side. And it kept getting worse. This was clearly not a tweaked back. It was more serious.

So off to the ER we go. Triage took one look at me writhing in pain and when they heard my symptoms, they admitted me right away. The first thing the nurse did was fire some Toradol™ and morphine into me. After about 20 minutes I was still hurting, so she give me more morphine.

When the doctor showed up, I began by explaining that I went snowboarding, but didn’t take any weird falls or anything. She said “This isn’t related to snowboarding. The timing is coincidental. We think you have a kidney stone.”

I was given a CT scan to confirm her suspicions, and sure enough it was a kidney stone. It wasn’t big enough to break up with ultra-sound, so the plan was to load me up on pain killers until it passed from the kidney into my bladder. Apparently, that’s what causes the pain. The act of peeing out a small stone is no big deal because the pipe that leads from the bladder to the outside world (the urethra) is bigger than the pipe that leads from the kidney to the bladder (the ureter). That’s just a guess. I’m not an MD, only a doctor of keeping it real.


1) I have already broken my New Years resolution to not make assumptions. I assumed I had hurt myself snowboarding but I hadn’t. It was a perfectly timed coincidence.

2) The doctor said “Now you know how a woman in hard labour feels.” So…kudos to all you mothers that are reading this, especially those of you who declined the epidural. I had no idea how much that hurt. That said, I feel this needs to be qualified. Women are designed to give birth. It might hurt, but it’s at least the natural order. My dingaling was not designed to be shooting rocks…it’s a liquid delivery system only.

3) To those of you who had their doubts about an old fart like me taking up a sport like snowboarding; suck it. I only fell about half-a-dozen times in 3.5 hours on the hill. Zero times in the last 2 hours. Awesome sauce, I am it.

4) Total time in the ER = 3 hours. Total out of pocket expenses = $0. Eat that America. Our system is excellent.

5) I’ve never had morphine before and I must say that as I sit here writing this in a bit of an opiate haze…two thumbs up. This shit rocks.

The final conclusion comes courtesy of my friend Joanne, and is the most accurate of all; “Conclusion…. now you’re an Old Fart with Kidney Stones”.