About Me

I'm Phil! American living in Japan. Teacher. Ex-independent professional wrestler. Student of Japanese. Traveler. Article writer for Mythic Scribes. Also written four manga, novels, and various short stories and poems. For my fantasy-related blog, check out http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/.


Drill Bits: random thoughts, bloggy stuff
Japan Hammer: topics about Japan
Story Time: stories I felt like posting

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Don't Trust Doctors Sometimes

I've been silent on the blogs for a while and I'd like to say so for good reason. Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from chronic kidney disease. Meaning I get loads of kidney stones. I actually at the moment have half a dozen small ones floating around in my kidneys. This being after I've severely restricted my diet and have drank almost nothing but water. But that's how my life is I suppose. I'll deal with stone after stone and just hope I can pull through.

Most important to note is that I've had a shadow looming over me since November of 2012. Literally. I went to the doctor and he said I had a "concerning shadow." Since November, I put it out of my head and went on living my life, made a trip to Mississippi to visit and get officially married (have a ceremony anyway, I was already officially married). Upon returning, I began doing yoga and dieting. I lost weight at first and things seemed to be going fine.

That is until I went to go get my check up about this ominous shadow.

When I sit down with the doctor to discuss things, I notice Kumi seemed unnerved by what he's saying. Since I don't understand Japanese much, I just sit there blinking.

That is until he turns to me, points at the shadow and says the words no one wants to hear from a doctor:


I remember my heart racing suddenly and my mouth going dry. "Sorry, what?"

"I think it's a tumor."

My mind raced. My blood tests came back fine last time. How could I have a tumor? Wouldn't that have shown up? I panicked, I freaked, and sat there wanting to go home.

This was early May. My next appointment with this doctor was May 31st. I had to wait a whole month to find out if I had a tumor.

I remember that night I came home and started riding my exercise bike. The number one thing my doctor said to do was lose weight. I rode it so fast, my legs started burning and going numb. I just broke down crying, blubbering, trying to figure out what I could do. They could remove my kidney, right? At least then if I had a tumor it wouldn't spread. Or maybe it was benign and not bad.

I'm already a hypochondriac. To hear I might have a tumor confirmed all my irrational fears all these years.

Here it is June 16th and after talking to two kidney specialists, I've found out that no, I don't have a tumor. I do have a cyst though. Apparently that isn't anything to worry about and doesn't require treatment at the time. Cysts can be cancerous in rare circumstances but apparently the one I have isn't one to worry about or else I assume they would have said something. I need to follow up on it in a year and see if it's changed.

Regardless of my diagnosis, I've come to terms that my kidneys are going to be a constant source of problems for the rest of my adult life. There's a chance I may have to lose a kidney down the road or require dialysis. My doctors are hoping that diet change, lowering my sodium intake, and losing weight will help control my issues. Perhaps I can get to a point where I don't have stones and I just need to monitor that cyst to see if it changes at all.

In any case, I've learned that going to the wrong doctor and getting a poor diagnosis can disrupt a life pretty easily. I lost motivation at work, found myself floundering in my daily life, and have felt the need for drastic changes in all aspects of my future.

So, here's hoping I have some good doctors this time. And here's hoping these stones go the way of the dodo one of these days.


  1. I've had a few kidney stones, so I can say that they're not a fun thing to live with. Glad the situation turned out NOT to be a tumor. Hang in there and move forward, and keep yourself as healty as you can. Got to see you back online.

  2. Thanks Terry! Things seem to be looking up at the moment. Kidney problems definitely suck!