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Karl Rove and Me

Notablog readers may have noticed fewer posts from me over the past week or so. It can't all be blamed on my obsession with baseball.

In truth, I've been dealing with a medical issue that plagues many people, regardless of intellectual orientation or political affiliation. I know this is definition by nonessentials, but in truth, I have something in common with Karl Rove. Recently, NY Daily News columnist Lloyd Grove gave us the lowdown on Rove's trials and tribulations. He writes here:

Never mind those planned congressional hearings on the hows and whys of government incompetence in the attempt to cope with Hurricane Katrina. There were not only logistical and bureaucratic troubles but, astonishingly for the Bush White House, political snafus. Maybe there's a simple explanation: Karl Rove's kidney stones.
Washington insiders have been buzzing that President Bush's guru-in-chief—often called "Bush's Brain"—has been suffering from the painful urinary-tract malady for the past couple of weeks, causing him to miss some key Katrina strategy sessions. ...
My esteemed colleague and Daily News Washington Bureau chief, Tom DeFrank, who has also suffered from the condition, yesterday told me: "The pain, depending on the size of the stone, goes from horrible to excruciating." DeFrank added: "Karl may be a certified political genius, but there's no way he could be in a meeting dispensing advice to anybody. The only thing he could dispense would be low, pitiable moans."

I know this only too well, since this is now my third bout with kidney stones. I'll have some sonic blasting of these merciless objects next week, and may be out of commission for a bit. But if I avoid a hospital stay and further complications, you can rest assured that the music will go on.

Comments welcome.


Ouch. My husband had a stone a few years back. Oh, boy, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Hope you get well soon. And be careful of what you eat (and drink). :-)

Keep on truckin', Chris. Show them stones who does the throwing.


My condolences, my father had one a while back and it must have felt like hell. I didn't like it one bit. If you had this more than once, than you have been truly unlucky.

Oi, Chris! Good luck with the surgery and recovery.

I suffered from a kidney infection many years ago and you have my total sympathy. Get well! Thanks for the Song of the Day

Let me join in the chorus of well-wishing voices.

May the time between now and the surgery be manageable; may the surgery succeed supremely; and may your recovery be smooth, rapid and gratifying.

Best wishes Chris. You ~have~ to get well so you can do that Ellington tribute in December you've been promising. :-)

Dont let me down now.

Chris, I am sorry to hear that you have developed a health problem.

Chris: A speedy recovery, my friend! I've missed your regular presence on SOLO. You're a true gem, so send those wretched stones packing and rejoin us as soon as you can, OK?


I hope you get well, soon!

Your wisdom is needed, so leave no stone unturned to get better! (I hope you don't mind my kidneying around.)

(puns are the most painful kind of humor)

Chris, wishing you a speedy recovery. I'm sure Blondie will nurse you back to health in no time. Sam and I are thinking of you.


From the heart, I hope that you get through this thing quickly and do not suffer too much. We need you better. I need you better. You are very important to me. May your doctors be highly competent and attentive, and even chaos and chance contribute to your full recovery.

Kat fully echos these words to you.

Warm embrace,

Michael & Kat

All the best as always Chris, always love visiting your site to see what you're thinking about. I know you're strong and you'll pull through, and you'll have to so I can keep reading your stuff!



Sorry to hear you're unwell. I look forward to seeing your writings again and perhaps we will be able to meet up next time I am in NY.

Best wishes,


Really sorry you have to have such a painful illness. No fun, of course, but better the surgery takes place soon and you'll be on the road to recovery.

Hey Chris,

I hope all goes well with the surgery! Keep us up to date.

Get well soon buddy! :-)


best wishes to a speedy recovery - stones are always painful things to feel

Hang in there, Chris! We need to see more of your "Diabolical Dialectics" on SOLO!

Dr. Sciabarra, my father had kidney stones several years ago, and I still remember how they pained him. I hope the treatment goes well, and that you recover swiftly.

I see that my post here and a Linz announcement at SOLO here (with additional well-wishers posting here) has brought many supportive comments to Notablog.

(What would a Sciabarra reply be without links, links, links?)

I'd like to thank each of you personally for the kind words of support; they are deeply appreciated.

I'm an old pro at this sort of thing, and I rarely post about it; my health problems (which I discuss briefly here) are life-long, and the most recent bout of kidney stones is actually an outgrowth of a congenital and chronic intestinal condition.

But this too shall pass. I have too much work to do to be kept out of commission for too long.

I will be posting here as long as I'm not hospitalized for any length of time. And as I recover, I'll be returning to the major responsibilities I still hold as an editor and an author. So keep checking back here regularly. I'm not going anywhere!

Ouch ouch ouch - I've known people who have those, & I've heard the condition described to be as painful as childbirth :-(

Hope you make a speedy & full recovery :-)

Get well soon. I'd shoot those stones if I could!


Keep Aquaman close by, so you know I'm thinking of you.

Gosh he must be unwell!

The links in his reply were not contained in footnotes. ;-) ;-)

And once they're out, throw them the hell away. Geebus did I get tired of my father shaking this little glass vial (because that's what they had back then, little glass vials) of my grandfather's kidney stones. Those must have been "issued" in the mid-40's. And there were six or seven of the little rocky-asteriod-shaped things.

Either way, I could never focus on whatever point my father was making, I was hypmotized and mezmoized by those things.

Best of luck. 8^]

Hey, folks, thanks for the additional posts, and also for the very nice email greetings I've received. There's also a bit of discussion that has been posted at SOLO (which I've referenced above). I posted a reply here and here. Aside from a little good-natured horseplay with the participants there, I did say a bit more about my overall condition; I reproduce that here for those who have expressed to me genuine concern. Suffice it to say, I don't think this is the place for me to provide a full medical history, but the problems I am facing have been life-long. I just keep rollin' with the punches (as I suggest below). Here's what I said at SOLO:

Thanks, folks, for the additional thoughts, good wishes, and information!
I wrote to Ed offlist (sent to your email address, Ed); I won't bore people with the details... but the root cause of my own kidney stone problem (third bout over the past ten years) is a rather complex set of complications from a relentless, congenital intestinal condition, for which I required life-saving intestinal by-pass surgery back in my teens. (I talk a bit about that condition in this article.) My current post-operative condition has not been life-threatening, but there is no known cure for the condition or truly effective treatment or lifestyle-dietary alternatives that could make a difference. (And take it from me, I've tried everything available: Western, Eastern, you name it!)
As one might expect of Dr. Diabolical Dialectical, I should add: the human organism is an organic unity and if one is to be a genuine radical (not merely a Russian Radical), one must go to the root in order to create fundamental change. In this instance, the root is the intestinal condition; until or unless that disease is cured, I will continue to roll with the punches.
And don't worry: In the end, I will be left standing. :)

Thanks again... and keep the good wishes coming. I go in on this coming Tuesday for the procedure that will take care of the most immediate problem.

All my very best, always,

Dear Chris,

I think it's high time you put your feet up and let Blondie nurse you for a while considering all you've done!

Seriously, take it easy and hang in there!

Hey, take good care of you!! Many warm squeezesssssss!

Hey, Cam, Sunni, thanks for your thoughts and support, as always.

I'm going to be taking it easy for sure---at least for two days; tomorrow is the procedure, after all! :)

I'll be putting up a couple of "Songs of the Day" tonight, ahead of schedule---to keep y'all humming along till I return.

Till then... take good care!


My Aquarian soul mate, take it easy...you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Love always, Debbie

My brother's email directory is inaccessible to me at the current time, making it impossible for me to send out emails to those who have expressed their concern about his health.

In lieu of an email update, I'm hoping that his many concerned friends and colleagues will check his Notablog for this note.

His surgical procedure is now over; he will be recovering for a few days and hopes to post on his blog and to answer emails thereafter.

Thank you for all your expressed support.

Oh, Chris, please be well, I wish you so much wellness, and not knowing more about the situation, I send my devoted affection, because you are perhaps the loveliest person I've ever interacted with, as far as I know you. I hope that this is just something of a near miss if not much less, which will be put behind you, and that we have much more time to be sincere intellectuals together, and get to know each other, beyond the genuineness I already learned about you in our few correspondences.... You are so lovely, and I never thought I didn't have time to get to know you better. I hope it's just a wake-up call for me!

Heartfelt wishes for good health,

Kate Herrick

P.S. Forgive me if I'm overreacting. I guess that wouldn't hurt either of us. :/