I was also a paramedic…during Vietnam. So I am perhaps a little older.
I woke up with the low back pain about 3 years ago. And had diagnosed myself about 30 minutes later.
My GP, also ex-military, decided to shoot an X-ray although as he said, stones are rarely large enough to be seen. The larger plan was a trip to the hospital for a CAT scan and treatment plan.
Yeah right. He walked in with film and said “Hey, look at this thing”, referring to the 11 millimeter stone that stood out as a giant white dot.
Got scanned, admitted, and woke up with a drain (a plastic cord from someone’s window blinds they jammed up in there) that I kept for 2 weeks.
It got removed shortly after I woke up one morning with an erection, which was the absolute last thing I wanted or needed. The pain, while not as bad as the Rock Of Gibraltar, was exquisite in its own right.
Now, all better and a distant memory…except for those mornings when the back hurts a little and I think “is it old guy stiffness” or “The Return Of The Piss Boulder”?