Have you ever said to someone, “Good to see you”? And the person says in response, “It’s good to be seen.” The world is filled with smart-alecks, isn’t it?
In 1976 I went way more than fifteen rounds with my first kidney stone. I named it Rocky, same as the movie which had come out a few weeks earlier. It really didn’t move around much, had terrible footwork. And all it could deliver was a rabbit or kidney punch, but it packed a wallop! Initially, I had no idea what was causing the pain. My wife Cheri woke up at 5:00a.m. to find me crawling on the floor as though that would somehow help me escape the backache. She’s good at diagnosing problems and figured it must be a kidney stone.
We were living in Galveston, TX at the time. She drove to John Sealy Hospital as I crawled about the backseat testing this and that position, looking for something in an effort to get comfortable. Nothing worked.
Although John Sealy was Texas’ only charity hospital, everyone I knew went there. What I didn’t know was that those who could pay for their treatment entered by a different door than I did. I entered through the door for charity patients, which basically meant I would receive no treatment until Hollywood released Rocky II. Actually, Rocky III. (I hope John Sealy has since changed its policy.)
And I didn’t help my case. As I waited for treatment I fidgeted, sat, stood, walked, lay down on the cold hard floor, even did the Funky Chicken. I also crawled around on my hands and knees on the waiting room floor in search of relief. Little did I know that such gyrations made the hospital staff think that I was a drug addict. Faking a kidney stone was one of the ruses used by addicts at the time to get painkillers.
I waited and waited. Hour after hour. I asked a nurse when a doctor could see me. Not only did she tell me to wait my turn, but she actually said that having a baby hurts more. Sexist! I would have left the building, but there was nowhere else on a Saturday afternoon to be treated. This happened back in the “olden days”.
Remember the old saying? Back in the days of old when knights were bold and you had a cold, you just suffered through it. Well, the same applied to kidney stones.
And so I waited and waited and waited. Finally, at 3:15 in the afternoon, nine hours after I arrived, I was on my hands and knees studying the linoleum when I heard a familiar voice saying, “Dewey, is that you?”
I looked up and recognized an intern who lived in the same apartment complex as I did. He had been walking down a corridor when he saw a person whom he thought was a drug addict trying to get pain meds. But looking more closely he recognized the gyrations as those of his boring neighbor. At that point I knew I was saved. He’d see to it that I got treatment. And I did.
Have you ever said to someone, “It’s good to see you?” And this person says, “It’s good to be seen.” The world is filled with smart alecks, but as I learned with the intern, at times it truly is good to be seen.