Finding evidence of stones brought me back to the X-rays. If only I knew somebody that knew how to read them and tell me how to look for stones. At this point I thought of Dr. Chuck. We attended undergraduate school together, both chemistry majors, spending many late nights solving reactions and resolving issues with the universe. A Minnesota native with a funny accent (think about the movie Fargo, and then cast a role for Foghorn Leghorn ), we had much in common. Our favorite snack was to make a large pan of Duncan Hines brownies, cut it in half, and split a gallon of whole milk. I was never fat in those days, burning all the calories playing on the school soccer team and chasing redheads, blondes, and brunettes in my spare time. Chuck was the best man at our wedding many moons ago (I finally caught a redhead) and had since attended a prestigious medical school, completed internship, and Gastrointestinal (GI) residency. Subsequently he achieved a lifelong dream of a staff position at the world famous Mayo Clinic. Like many dreams it did not hold up well in the face of reality, and Dr. Chuck moved on to a medical teaching position at prestigious university in another state. After many years of doing good research and practicing good medicine for practically free, he had the audacity to ask for a raise that was in line with the funding he was bringing into the organization via many avenues. While the powers that be recognized the logic of his argument, such things were simply not done. So Dr. Chuck resigned, dabbled a bit in private practice, and became the head GI doctor at a prestigious medical center in another state, finally earning maybe half of what he is worth. But even that got boring and continued to drain his life force. So he packed it all in, dropped off the radar screen, relocated to his hometown in Minnesota, joined a small clinic as a GI doctor, and developed a life. Since he is semi-famous and wants to live in peace, we will just refer to him from now on as Dr. Chuck.
I was able to track him down on the internet, though he was able to stay incognito for the prior year. Found his home and office numbers and got in touch with him. I spent about 5 minutes bringing him up to speed and explained that I wanted X-ray training. He told me what to look for in great detail (stones would be bright white in the non-contrast films) and asked me to keep him in the loop. Turning back to the films, Kathryn and I were able to find nothing that resembled stones, but I did observe a cyst (always benign) on one kidney. All in all I had more information, but I still didn't know anything new.