How a kidney stone taught me that medicine has changed me

To me, a kidney stone wasn't really a big deal. But to my husband, it was a family crisis, and it taught me how medicine has changed me.

My husband, Peter, texted me one afternoon: His father was violently ill and had been rushed to the hospital. The doctors thought he might have a kidney stone, a painful, but fairly common, ailment that often resolves itself.

I didn’t think much of it —  I talked to my father-in-law, we laughed about drinking more water, and, as I was at work, I moved on to my next patient.

What I didn’t know right away was how concerned my husband was — the image of his father in pain led to several worried phone calls throughout the day.

That night, after dinner, he

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