Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

I Got Kidney Stones for Christmas

Illustration by Tali Hastings

Twas the night before break, and all through the campus, not a student was stirring – except me.

My night began with a lack of holiday spirit, with my eyes glued to the clock of Phi Delta Theta, eagerly awaiting my flight that would take off in less than 24 hours and 31 minutes, all while the fraternal members sang carols and decked the halls. Suddenly, a wave of agony doubled me over, and out of nowhere, one of the brothers appeared before me as though he were a magical little elf with a message. 

I clutched my side as the elf explained that it was because I was so un-jolly, not even bothering to hang up a single stocking, that the usual naughty-list punishments would be impossible. And so, instead of leaving me coal for my Scrooge-like behavior, he settled for gifting me a life-threatening diagnosis of appendicitis, and basically said I deserved it.

There was, however, a cure, if I went with him to the North Pole of Walla Walla’s Emergency Hospital. Of course, I said yes, but not without stopping by my house to get my insurance card (no matter the holidays, this was North America after all).

As I entered the hospital, thrashing, dashing and prancing in pain, I wailed to the symphony of screaming patients and the fumes of candy canes. I clutched my abdomen, watching the unhurried hospital staff dressed in scrubs adorned with peppermint stripes and hoping to be put on whichever of Santa’s lists would put me out of my misery. 

Then all of a sudden, there he was. With his twinkling eyes and his nose like a cherry, with his belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly, the only doctor on staff in the hospital. The man who made three hours of agonizing pain waiting in line completely worth it.

The frat-elf’s eyes gleamed in awe, awaiting praise for diagnosing me. However, his face shifted with disappointment upon learning that three semesters as a BBMB major and access to Google wasn’t enough to accurately decide I needed emergency surgery on my appendix. Instead, as the Doctor put it, “It’s just kidney stones.”

Moments later, eight mg of morphine entered my bloodstream, and I found myself falling into Christmas bliss. It was then that I realized the true meaning of the holiday season. It wasn’t about tinsel or mistletoe or even Brotherhood, but about the merciful commercialization of America’s Healthcare system.

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  • W

    WendyFeb 5, 2024 at 7:39 pm

    EXCELLENT writing ! Very detailed and humorous! Loved it!
    Glad you are feeling better!

  • O

    Olga ShevtsovaFeb 2, 2024 at 6:47 am

    Brilliant, as always, but oh so painful! Your observations are very keen 🙂 I absolutely love reading your pieces!