I've been in the habit of pre-posting my blog for a long time. We have vacations, gardening, grandchildren, housework and friends to visit. So, when I find a quiet day with little to do, I often schedule four or five posts. All of January's posts were created in late December or early January so when I had to visit the Emergency Room on January 16th, I didn't have to worry about getting posts in on time. I've had a previous kidney stone attack, so I was very familiar with the symptoms. The E.R. doctor said I had a stone that was 4 or 5 mm in size and with time, I would pass it. He loaded me up with narcotics and sent me home with instructions to call my urologist in three or four days if I didn't feel better. Well, I didn't feel better so I saw my urologist on the 20th. His call on the Cat Scan was a 7.4mm stone which could never be passed so he scheduled me for surgery on the 21st. I would like to commend the surgical staff at OSF in Peoria, IL. They kept as much of my dignity as possible under the circumstances. For those of you who have never experienced kidney stones, I envy you. The pain is worse than giving birth and surgery is just the first part. After the stone is broken up by laser, a stent is inserted to keep all openings large enough to pass the pieces of the stone. This causes great discomfort for a week. Removal is also extremely uncomfortable but is done in the doctor's office. A large number of people suffer from pain as bad as the stones or even worse for several days after the stent is removed and I was one of those. Being on strong pain meds fogs your brain so no craft work. By the time the pain had started to ease and I was up and moving, I caught a serious head cold which I still have. Usually colds last a week but this one goes on and on. On the up side, I lost 11 pounds which is just a start on what I want to lose and my stomach has shrunk which is a good thing. Instead of the big butter dish for breakfast cereal, I'm down to the salad dish that came with my dishes. Two pieces of pizza is more than enough when I used to share a large with hubs. I'm hoping to keep that up along with ten to thirteen 8 oz glasses of water per day. Trust me, I may grow gills.