June 14, 2006
Congressman Tim Bishop took a sick day recently.
The congressman was a patient in the emergency room of George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., early last Wednesday after suffering from kidney stone pain.
After being seen at the emergency room, Bishop was transferred to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, where he remained until midmorning on Thursday.
The congressman, in an interview this Monday, said he is scheduled to return to Bethesda Naval Medical Center on Friday for a procedure to remove the kidney stones.
"Then, on Friday evening, presumably, I'll be done with all of that," he said.
According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse, kidney stones are hard masses developed from crystals that separate from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. But, the inhibitors do not work for everyone and some form stones.
Symptoms of kidney stones include pain during urination, nausea, and vomiting.
According to the Clearinghouse, the number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. The prevalence of stone-forming disease rose from 3.8 percent in the late 1970s to 5.2 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. White Americans are more prone to develop kidney stones than African- Americans, and the crystal masses occur more frequently in men. The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s, and continues to rise into their 70s.
Treatment includes drinking lots of water to pass the kidney stones; if that does not work, surgery is needed.
Bishop said he was surprised at the concern shown for him. "I have a common medical condition which I'm dealing with," he said. "It is not affecting the way I do my job."
The congressman said, however, that he was touched by the compassion of his constituents. "I appreciate the concern a great many people have shown," he said.