Romancing the (Kidney) Stone: (Blogging Through Pain)

It’s tough enough to blog every week much less through pain. They say writing is a romantic art. Well, if that’s true, last week as I wrote my blog, I was literally romancing the stone, the kidney stone, that is.

The pain was subtle at first and very deceptive. I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Was that lower back pain from a random job around the house last weekend? The pain initially was difficult to describe. Was it dull pain? Was it a muscle strain? Was it a cramp? Suddenly, a second wave hit me. This time it was clear. Stabbing pain! Who stuck a screwdriver in my kidney?

Next came bent-over pain. I don’t know about you, but I can’t write with my head between my legs. Typically, ER pain comes next. ER pain is rushing to the Emergency Room and telling the nurse you have a kidney stone and begging her to give you something for the pain. Naturally, she replies, “No, I’m sorry, but we have to determine if you have a kidney stone first.”

By this time your body is fully committed to your self-diagnosis but the nurse won’t buy it despite the fact that your voice is elevated a few octaves and your blood pressure is hovering somewhere near a NASA satellite.

I was lucky, I bypassed ER pain and went directly to OR pain. A few hours after diagnosis, I went straight to the operating room. The stone was blasted by a sonic wave, broken into fragments and I passed them a few days later. I expected the fragments to be the size of grains of sand. I got five chunks of Mt. Everest.

What does this have to do with blogging and the writer’s life? Simply this. Despite spending a week at home recovering from surgery, I never lost my passion to write. Even when I could not sit behind the computer, I was thinking about my work as a writer. Am I crazy? Am I committed? (Or should I be committed?) Why the compulsion to blog through physical pain?

Perhaps it is nothing more than the unwavering belief that writing is what I was made to do. I read recently that no one can duplicate your life. It got me thinking about how the writing gifts we bring to the world will never be expressed unless we express them.

Think about that for your life. If you don’t share your work with the world, the world misses out—forever. For me, that is a powerful motivation to write, to make my life count and to do what I was made to do.

After my surgery last week I knew I needed to get back in the game. Whether I felt like blogging or not, I needed to jump back in. What’s a good rule of thumb?

Blog when you feel like it,

blog when you don’t feel like it,

blog until you feel like it.


The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of encouragement.

Blog entries are posted on Thursday.

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Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, my! I’ve never had a kidney stone, but I had a friend who did. She called me about five am to come watch her kids so she could go the hospital. The memory of her pain is enough to make me cringe!

    Loved your little “blog when” jingle. 🙂 And your story. A sign of a true writer for sure. Hopefully you have recovered and are back to typing furiously. 🙂

  2. Jim, I sympathize with this entirely. My husband has kidney stones occasionally, and they reduce an otherwise confident, capable man into moaning prisoner of pain, begging for mercy from the torture. You must love writing indeed to be able to keep it up through what you’ve been through.

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