Mama is a valetudinarian


I finally had my follow-up visit with my urologist, to discuss my kidney stones, and how best to dig and/or drill them out of me.

And guess what? There’s no good way to do it.

It turns out that my kidney stones appear and disappear on a dime. In December 2011 I had one the size of a marble; it was gone six months later. The doctor informed me that there’s really no treatment for the kind of stones I have. I could undergo lithotripsy – the ultrasound treatment that shatters stones – but it appears that my body is already doing that: the stones form and then dissolve again, and I pass them with little or no pain. The only discomfort I have is a dull ache, like a toothache in my back. It goes away for days, or weeks, or months, and then comes back.

So it is a chronic condition.

Which means I will be moaning and complaining about it for a very long time.

Which makes me a valetudinarian.


val·e·tu·di·nar·i·an [val-i-tood-n-air-ee-uh n, -tyood-] Noun

  1. 1.   an invalid.

  1. 2.   a person who is excessively concerned about his or her poor health or ailments.


  1. 3.   in poor health; sickly; invalid.

  1. 4.   excessively concerned about one’s poor health or ailments.

  1. 5.   of, pertaining to, or characterized by invalidism.

I am all of the above.

Mazel tov to all of you.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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