Life seems like a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. And sometimes it hurts.

On January 25 th, 2011, I had a very good day at work. I came home on time and helped my youngest daughter with her homework.

After this, I thought I would have time for myself to relax…

It was about 19:15 in the evening.

Suddenly, I started to feel a sharp pain in my flank , lower abdomen and groin. My face became white as a ghost and my hands turned blue as a dead corpse. I started to tremble and was feeling cold all over. The physiological changes in my body were happening so quickly that I asked myself: What is happening to me right now?

It felt like I was watching a movie in slow motion and experiencing every painful moment vividly.

Since I was alone with my 11 year old daugther, I decided to call  an ambulance because I wasn’t able to drive myself to the hospital.

Once I was in the hospital, the pain started to intensify and I was vomitting abundantly. For a full hour, waiting for my medication, I experienced the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life. Apparently this kind of pain is almost as horrible as what a woman experiences while giving birth. After receiving the IV ( intravenous injection), the pain was slowly going away. The doctor told me that I was experiencing “a textbook case of kidney stone “.

When someone like me writes everyday about the value of time and life, an experience like this really hit me right at the center of my being because I couldn’t help but ask myself:Is my time coming right now? Is this it ?     (Ignorance makes us more afraid than we should be…)

As I was living through this adventure, I realized that it only reinforced my commitment to keep writing on the subject of time and life as long as it will be possible.

Each lesson provides a path to the future.

Never stop learning. Never stop experiencing. Look for further education in all areas of life. Even when It hurts…



The next day, after being stabilized, I started to read on Wikipedia about kidney stones and my readings confirmed everything I had experienced the night before.

I discovered that I share at least one thing in common with Isaac Newton, Isaac Asimov ( was afraid to get addicted to morphine), Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin.

What?   Well if I can’t share their fame… I can share some of their pain .     🙂

I feel a little bit better now…


The little history of kidney stones.

The existence of kidney stones has been recorded since the beginning of civilization, and lithotomy for the removal of stones is one of the earliest known surgical procedures.[61] In 1901, a stone was discovered in the pelvis of an ancient Egyptian mummy, and was dated to 4,800 BC. Medical text from ancient Mesopotamia, India, China, Persia, Greece and Rome all mentioned calculous disease. Part of the Hippocratic oath suggests that there were practicing surgeons in Ancient Greece to whom physicians should defer for lithotomies. The Roman medical treatise De Medicina by Cornelius Celsus contained a description of lithotomy, and this work served as the basis for this procedure up until the 18th century.[62]

Among the famous leaders who were kidney stone formers are Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor Napoleon III, Peter the Great, Louis XIV, George IV, Oliver Cromwell, and former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Other notable individuals who endured stones include Benjamin Franklin, the philosophers Michel de Montaigne and Sir Francis Bacon, the scientist Sir Isaac Newton, the civil servant and diarist Samuel Pepys, the physicians William Harvey and Herman Boerhaave, and the anatomist Antonio Scarpa.[63] Interestingly, astronauts seem to have a higher risk of developing kidney stones during or after long duration space flights.[64]

New techniques in lithotomy began to emerge starting in 1520, but the operation remained risky. It was only after Henry Jacob Bigelow popularized the technique of litholapaxy in 1878 that the mortality rate dropped from about 24% down to 2.4%. However, other treatment techniques were developed that continued to produce a high level of mortality, especially among inexperienced urologists.[62][63] In 1980, Dornier MedTech introduced extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for breaking up stones via acoustical pulses, and this technique has come into widespread use.[65]

Kidney stones were once referred to as gravel or gravel disease during the 1800s in the United States. One such example is documented in the Oak Ridge Cemetery records for Charles Muir Campbell who died 13 Oct 1874 in Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois, USA

Source, Wikipedia,  January 27, 2011.


For those of you who like Seinfeld… A little bit of humor with Kramer who gets a kidney stone.  🙂