While staying in the UK, I woke at around 4am with a throbbing pain in my lower back. Initially I thought it might have been indigestion or a strained muscle, but when the pain became unbearable, I dragged myself out of bed and drove to the hospital. In the car, I started taking heaving breaths to calm myself, wondering whether this was anything like the pain that women feel during childbirth. 15 minutes later, I was at the emergency ward, and after a few endless minutes of check in, a Doctor diagnosed me as having either pancreatitis or a kidney stone. To ease the pain, I was given two shots of Morphine and an IV, at which point I became comfortably numb. The nurses took a couple of blood samples and an X-ray, and then I was taken in a wheelchair into a regular ward bed. Unfortunately, the blood samples got lost so I had to have them taken a few hours later. Finally, I drifted off to sleep, and when I awoke, the pain had completely gone. After a couple more X-rays, this time taken after I was pumped full of a trace chemical, I was diagnosed with having passed a small kidney stone, perhaps 1-2 millimeters around. I've since learnt that a kidney stone is one of the most painful experiences anyone can have, even more so than childbirth or a gunshot wound. I'll certainly attest to that. I thank my lucky stars that I had this incident in the UK with the help of the National Health, rather than on board a plane over the Atlantic. And apparently the most likely reason that I had a stone in the first place is due to my coffee intake. Drats!