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Reader feedback: Kidney stones less painful than childbirth?


A large kidney stone (Photo via Wikipedia.com)

In my latest Inside Story column, I whined about a painful kidney stone but included this asterisk:

(Quick note to female readers: Yes, I am so grateful that God knew better than to ask my wimpy gender to endure the pain of childbirth.)

That note has prompted some humorous feedback from Christian Chronicle readers.
David Rogers, former longtime minister for the Heritage Church of Christ in Keller, Texas, sent an e-mail with the subject line “Wimpy?”
Rogers wrote:

I recently read a man’s article concerning what he considered to be proof that kidney stone pain trumped childbirth pain. Thought you might like to know. He reasoned that he had met a number of women who had birthed a child, and in most cases, a year or two after birthing a child, the women were known to say, “I believe I’d like to have another one.” However, of all the men, or women, he had known who had endured a kidney stone, he had never met one that said, “I believe I’d like to have another one.” Hmmmmmmm.

Carol A. Ashby sent this e-mail:

As a female who is now waiting for her seventh kidney stone to pass, I assure you, giving child birth is easier.  Not only do you get to take a precious little bundle home, the pain is less. (At least for me.)  I have had two stones that were too large to pass and had to have them crushed.  The one I have now is 4.6 mm and is too high for them to do anything yet. Enjoyed your article.

Joyce Burgess responded:

In reading your article on kidney stone, I noticed you mentioned the quote, “This, too, shall come to pass.” Could you tell me where in  Ecclesiastes I  could find this quote. Although you said it is not in  these exact words.

I referred her to Ecclesiastes 3, which speaks of “a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” The King James version even refers to “a time to cast away stones.”

  • Feedback
    I had 2 children in the 1980’s naturally (no pain meds or epidurals).
    I have had 5 stones in my life..Give me the babies anytime….
    Mary Phares
    April, 18 2013

    Although I have never personally had a kidney stone, they seem to be prevalent in members of our family. My daughter has given birth to four children and has had several kidney stones. She says she would rather give birth anytime than have a kidney stone. She said, “Believe me, you don’t pass kidney stones, you deliver them.”
    Mary Lee Berg
    April, 18 2013

    Having had four children and a large kidney stone , to large to pass, I would rank them as equal in pain. At least I had four beautiful babies to take home.
    Frances Collins
    April, 18 2013

    As for men being a “wimpy” gender, unable to cope with pain, I submit… Jesus.
    Keith Roberts
    April, 18 2013

    Well, yeah, there is that, Keith. 🙂
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    April, 18 2013

    It took over a month for me to pass my first kidney stone a few years ago. As I recall there were at least two trips to the emergency room during that period. During one visit a triage nurse mentioned that business about the comparable pain of labor versus a kidney stone. As I lay writhing on the gurney, I wondered if she had ever given birth and if she had, was she in labor for over a month?
    Dennis Cox
    April, 19 2013

Filed under: News Extras Reader Feedback

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