Tea might just be evil.


the dude giving the thumbs up to let everyone know he’s ok

I was having a really great day yesterday. I met the food editor from The Charlotte Observer and she is really cool. We talked about my blog and I asked her a lot of questions and learned a lot about food journalism. I was going to write about that but then my day took a wrong turn. So, I decided to write about the wrong turn today instead. I’ll write about my meeting with Kathleen soon, though, because it was really awesome.

If you live in the South or are from here, you know that tea is everything. You have tea with biscuits, tea with a nice roast, tea on a hot day, tea on a cold day, tea when you are sick, tea when you are happy, tea when you are sad, tea for all occasions. If you serve someone bad tea, you may as well have just cussed out their mama. It’s just part of life here.

Well, I learned something about tea last night and I want to tell you about it. Last night, I learned that tea might just be evil. It makes you love it, all sweet and tasty. But it can sure do a number on you, it turns out.

Mom said I should put a warning here that this might be considered gross.

Ok, this might be gross.

Gonna get grossed out? Stop here. Not gonna get grossed out? Good. Here we go.

About 5:30 yesterday my belly started to hurt. I kept feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom and I don’t mean to pee, but nothing would happen when I would go. It was pretty annoying. Then it got…hellish. About 7:30, mom came to ask if I was going to come have dinner. I must have looked bad because mom did that thing where she tries to not look worried but totally looks worried anyway. She just realized when I was telling her this just now so she could type for me that I caught on to this. Oops. She asked me all kinds of questions about does this hurt? Does that hurt? Do you have a headache? Nausea? Diarrhea? She took my pulse, looked at my fingernails, and a few other annoying things. She asked me if I wanted to go see my doctor on Monday and I said “Please take me to the ER. It feels like my insides are going to explode.” She had me out of the house and into the car faster than I had time to tell all the house lions goodbye and off we went. I don’t like it when I don’t get to tell them all goodbye.

We got to the ER about 8:15. The nurse who took me to triage was a nice guy named Mike. I was not so nice to him. I feel really bad about that. I was pretty scared and just wanted the pain to stop. Plus, I was a little afraid I might actually die. There were some little kids running around in the waiting room and I was so annoyed. Like, why are you little people so happy? I’m over here feeling like that scene from Alien.

Another nurse came into my room when I got taken back to a room. She started an IV, which I wasn’t happy about, but she was super nice. Her name was Tristen. I hope I didn’t spell it wrong. She could tell I was in a lot of pain and she was very nice to me. She kept coming in telling me the doctor would come soon and to just hang in there a little bit longer. Dad got off work and came and sat in my room with me. He did what he does: made lame jokes and tried to make me laugh or at least take my mind off how crappy I was feeling. Poor dad and his lame jokes. He tries, though. I love my dad. And I was really glad when he got there. I was kinda crappy to him and I feel bad about it.

The doctor finally came in. It seemed like I waited forever, but mom says it was only about an hour after we got there. Dr. Little was really nice to me and he said it was time to make my pain go away so he ordered some stuff for my IV. It worked. Very well. He said he was going to send me for a CT scan to make sure I didn’t have appendicitis, a blockage, an issue with my shunt catheter, or a few other things he could think of. So…they came and got me and we did that. The ladies in the CT room were really nice, too. I didn’t catch their names, though.

It wasn’t long after I got back from that at all that Dr. Little came back in the room and told me the problem: “Mr. Jenkins, you have kidney stones. That’s why you are having allllllllllll this terrible pain. I’ve had them myself. Not fun! But you don’t have appendicitis, a blockage, an issue with your shunt catheter, or anything that means you need surgery.” I was sure relieved. I hate surgery. But that’s when I learned the most shocking thing I have heard in a while.

Dr. Little asked me if I drink a lot of tea. I said “No, not really.” My mom said my idea of a lot and most people’s is a different thing. The doctor told me that we live in “The Kidney Stone Belt” and that the only people who have kidney stones more than Southerners are the Chinese because we all REALLY like our tea. He told me that it’s a double whammy here in the South because since we have a lot of limestone in our water table, we get more calcium and given how much tea we drink, we are just the perfect kidney stone making machines. I learned a new word: oxylate. Dr. Little explained how stones are made in your body. It was pretty cool, aside the fact they really hurt.

He told me I should drink a lot more water and a lot less tea. It was probably good that he waited until I had some pretty heavy drugs in my system to tell me that. I can’t really imagine not having tea all the time. It feels like a punishment. Mom asked me if I’d rather keep drinking tea like it was a full time job or have kidney stones again. No thank you to kidney stones ever again. I said something a little stronger than that but mom said to keep that language out of my blog. The first nurse, Mike, came back into my room. Turns out he was going to be the one who got me ready to be discharged. I told him I was sorry about earlier. He laughed and said “You were fine. I could tell you were in a lot of pain. You look like you feel a lot better now!” He’s cool. He likes metal and he, my dad, and me like some of the same bands.

We got home about 1AM and my poor dad has to work a 12 hour shift today on very little sleep. My dad is pretty awesome to stay up so late and make sure I am ok like that when he has to work such a long day. I hope he isn’t drinking tea today. I don’t think he would enjoy kidney stones. Don’t drink tea, dad.

So now I get to pee in a strainer for a few days and see if this kidney stone that caused all this chaos passes. If it does, I go on with life. If not, I go see a urologist to see if I need some kind of other treatment.

All of this because of tea. I feel betrayed.

Now, I love my tea. I drink it pretty much all day every day. But after what I learned last night, I think tea might just be evil.


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