Dear reader,  

Just because the holiday season is upon us doesn’t mean we will not have any health related problems during this festive season. Fortunately, emergency care will be available in case we have a need for help.

Last Christmas I submitted a poem for the holiday as an example of what could happen and what to do about it. Judging from no feedback, I am not sure anyone read it. Or, worse, they read it and didn’t think much of it. If nothing else, I am stubborn. So, here it is again.

Unless I get either positive or negative feedback about it, I plan to use it every holiday season. Please let me know. I can take it.

A Christmas poem and almost true story
(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Except for me, who awoke with a terrible pain.
I thought for a moment ‘twas the end of the game.

The pain, like a knife kept coming and going.
I woke up my wife with all of my moaning.

She asked me my problem, I could not even talk.
But the look on my face made me pale as white chalk.

I must call the doctor, she said with concern.
I told her “don’t bother; I’m sure it’s heartburn.

And just as I said it the pain hit its peak.
So we decided an ER would we seek.

But, what would be open at this time of night.
On Christmas Eve doors would be closed very tight.

Not so, we discovered at the hospital nearby.
In fact it was busy so we gave it a try.

When she looked at my face the nurse took me right in.
And the doctor who followed treated me like his kin.

An X-ray was ordered, some blood tests were made.
When the doctor returned my pain started to fade.

He said he discovered what gave me my plight.
And then he assured me I would soon be all right.

A stone in my kidney was the cause of my pain.
He said it would pass and he was right on again.

We left shortly thereafter since I was pain free.
I knew that my stone would my best present be.

When the doctor waved as we drove out of sight.
I heard him yell out, “happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Dr. Michael M. Warren is Ashbel Smith professor of surgery at University of Texas Medical Branch Division of Urology. Write him at