Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another entry in the Public Address Medical Journal

433 Responses

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  • Luke Williamson,

    I would like to say thanks for the ups to the medical profession at the end Russell. My wife is a nurse and has worked the wards on and off over the years. It is a hugely tiring job, difficult and 95% unacknowledged. Yes, that's their job but nurses take a lot of shit at the coal face and have to do their very best in difficult circumstances. Equally the docs. My dad was a GP and most people only want to tell you about the time the doctor got it wrong. Every now and then you need to remind yourself of why humans live twice as long as they did 200 years ago.
    Hope all is well for you soon.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    That was a difficult post to read, but very rewarding.

    I am glad you back to a wine-drinking standard of health.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    pain induced puking painful

    At one point I was asked if I'd been nauseous, and I said no, I just threw up from the pain ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Of all the things that could happen to me in hospital, having a catheter attached to me is the thing that worries me the most.

    Irrational male fear, no doubt, given all the crappy reasons you can be in hospital, but still there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    @Luke

    Good GPs are absolute gold.
    I've had perfectly fine ones and condescending ones, but even if we end up moving I think I'll still be going to Malcolm (practice currently just down the street). Just so calm and sensible and practical.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Man - I feel sorry for you. The old saying "I've got my health" is never more prominent than when you don't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 180 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Glad you're feeling able to write again Russell. I dread kidney stones, having watched a friend go through the pain of them. Bloody awful to stand there and not be able to do anything.

    Next time, call the ambulance early! You're not wasting their time.

    And doesn't this incredible level of medical service, no money required, best level of care, just show that with its faults NZ has a bloody amazing medical system? Every time some wanker describes it as "third world" I want to shake them and take them to a real thrid world hospital.

    Rant over, ;-) Get better!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Every time some wanker describes it as "third world" I want to shake them and take them to a real thrid world hospital.

    Quite. The care I got was generally outstanding, and, as I indicated, it involved involved human qualities as well as technical skill on the part of those giving it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Good to hear you're on the mend.

    Quesiton: did knowing you could write about it afterwards help? Because it's a trick I discovered some years ago. It has since helped a lot in pain-related situations of one kind or another. (I'm not good with pain, and the one time I was given morphine, after I reported with chest pains one morning, it gave me instant, violent nausea)

    I think your reaction to the catheter - as in 'get the damn thing out' - is quite common for guys. I know of several who have felt that way (one of whom tried to rip it out). Personally I wince whenever anyone even says the word.

    Oh, and amen to Michael's comment about the 'third world' thing. I've often had the same thought.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    Glad you're on the improve, Russell - my dad had the 'stones and I remember graphically how much pain he was in before they were removed.

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    Quite. The care I got was generally outstanding, and, as I indicated, it involved involved human qualities as well as technical skill on the part of those giving it.

    And think, you didn't have to spend every lucid moment in the A&E worrying about any possible undisclosed conditions.

    We don't know how lucky we are.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Great post, great replies, great life. :)

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    This has reminded me of an episode of That's Incredible where they showed how a team in China had developed an experimental technique which used small explosive charges to shatter kidney stones inside the body. The resulting fragments would then be passed out through the urethra. I don't know if it ever caught on but I do recall it was only used on women. Weird what you remember from your childhood...

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Which sounds kind of ludicrous now, but I'm sure that next time I get a stone I'll be screaming "where are my mini-Chinese kidney bombs?!"

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    my dad had the 'stones and I remember graphically how much pain he was in before they were removed

    "Mick! Stop that!"

    I think your reaction to the catheter - as in 'get the damn thing out' - is quite common for guys.

    The most pain I experienced with the birth of my first was having a catheter inserted afterwards. I did get very angry and aggressive about it, and even angrier when they tried to force me to take pethedeine for it. I guess it's the indignity that makes people so angry.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The transition from having a 'telescopic device' inserted into your penis to what OS software you had on your iPhone surely now stands as the most quintessentially Russell-Brown-esque prose of all time. Hope you're better now and on the mend.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    "Mick! Stop that!"

    I think it was whatever Keith was smoking at the time that was the worst...

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The transition from having a 'telescopic device' inserted into your penis to what OS software you had on your iPhone surely now stands as the most quintessentially Russell-Brown-esque prose of all time.

    Heh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Ooh, I love a good medical story, and that was quite a story.

    A few years ago I spend hours in Auckland Hospital ED with a suspected blod clot that turned out to be just a sore leg. Because I was low on the triage, I spent most of the time waiting and waiting and waiting. Not only did I get some Friday night crazies (including one fellow who just seemed to have been brought in for tunelessly singing "Buffalo Soldier") but I also got the hushed conversation from people nearby who were actually quite ill.

    Also, last week was International Men's Health Awareness Week, and I think the tale of the kidney stone has helped, well, bring some awareness to that area.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1869 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Stories abound of expectant fathers having a go on it while the expectant mothers aren't using it and the medical professionals are elsewhere.

    Been there and done that. Huffed on the stuff all night. Conclusion: bloody useless.

    Thanks for the great positive ending to your post, RB. I can't help but contrast it with how medical stories play out on other blogs - socialized medicine blah blah private insurance blah blah tax cuts blah blah.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Poor Russell!
    I know, I had to have some
    removed last year. The pain
    is excruciating, rather akin to
    a woman giving birth, although
    apparently, they debate that...

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    Thank you for sharing this fanastic post, Russell.

    And, well, I'm in my mid thirties, and starting to get those mild constant nagging pains and twinges here and there, now and then, and you've got me thinking. Time to see a GP, I think!

    Wishing you a speedy and comfortable recovery!

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    This has reminded me of an episode of That's Incredible where they showed how a team in China had developed an experimental technique which used small explosive charges to shatter kidney stones inside the body. The resulting fragments would then be passed out through the urethra.

    I also remember seeing something like that on That's Incredible - I wonder if this is what they were talking about.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I know you're trying to be down with the kids, Russell, but dude, writing about genital surgery is so 2005!

    (Also: I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm glad there was followup to the alarming twitters!)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I hope this doesn't come across as condescending and such, but are *all* New Zealand women alarmingly good writers?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

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