TRANSCRIPT Oh No, Ross and Carrie!: Ross and Carrie Break Drew’s Kidney Stone: Roller Coaster Edition

Drew and Carrie go to the local rickety roller coaster to break up Drew’s kidney stone, then tell Ross all about it. Plus, details on the fascinating study that inspired them!

Podcast: Oh No, Ross and Carrie!

Episode number: 379


[00:00:00] Music: “Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song” by Brian Keith Dalton. A jaunty, upbeat instrumental.

[00:00:09] Drew Spears: Hello! This is Ross and Carrie, the podcast where we show up, so you don’t have to. I’m your host Ross Blocher. And I’m Carrie Poppy. Right?

[00:00:21] Carrie Poppy: Yeah! Great job!

[00:00:22] Ross Blocher: Yeah. That’s pretty much it. Yeah!

[00:00:23] Drew Spears: Did I miss any of it? What did I—what did I miss?

[00:00:25] Ross Blocher: “Where we don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal, but—”

[00:00:29] Carrie Poppy: “—take part ourselves.”

[00:00:30] Ross Blocher: But otherwise, you got it. You got our names.

[00:00:32] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, you did great!

[00:00:33] Drew Spears: I did get y’all’s names, which—thank goodness.

[00:00:36] Ross Blocher: I’m particularly impressed you remembered Carrie’s name, being her husband and all.

(Drew chuckles.)

[00:00:40] Carrie Poppy: This is Drew, here.

[00:00:42] Drew Spears: Hey!

[00:00:42] Ross Blocher: Drew Spears! Welcome—!

[00:00:44] Drew Spears: Hey, thanks for having me!

[00:00:45] Ross Blocher: —back to the show. Probably our most frequent guest.

[00:00:48] Carrie Poppy: I would think so.

[00:00:48] Drew Spears: Yeah. I mean, if you count times where like I’ve just like popped on mic for like five seconds.

[00:00:54] Ross Blocher: I count them.

(Carrie agrees.)

[00:00:55] Drew Spears: Okay. Then yeah, absolutely.

[00:00:57] Carrie Poppy: Do you count my dog Ella’s clip-clops as she walks across the floor? ‘Cause then she—

[00:01:03] Ross Blocher: No. ‘Cause that complicates the previous conversation.

[00:01:05] Carrie Poppy: Okay. That’s fair. That’s fair. Well, listen. Drew has a kidney stone.

[00:01:10] Ross Blocher: Welcome everybody! Yeah, that’s right.

[00:01:12] Carrie Poppy: And that’s why he’s on the show today.

[00:01:14] Ross Blocher: And I’m here with you, listener, on this journey. All I heard is that there is a story to be told about Drew’s kidney stone. And I did no preparation. In fact, I’ve never been 100% sure what makes a kidney stone so stony. Like, I want to call it like a calcious mass or something, but I don’t know. Is calcium involved? I don’t know!

[00:01:35] Carrie Poppy: Oh, Drew has an answer.

[00:01:35] Drew Spears: I’ve done—I’m gonna answer by saying I’ve done very little to no research on what kidney stone actually is.

[00:01:42] Ross Blocher: While it ravages your body?

[00:01:43] Drew Spears: Yeah, I know it’s like a like compound of like uric acid or there’s a couple of different ones, then breaks off from your kidney, goes into the ureter—which I didn’t know what that—

[00:01:53] Ross Blocher: Did you say ureter?

[00:01:55] Drew Spears: Ureter. Yeah.

(Carrie confirms.)

And then, it gets stuck.

[00:01:58] Ross Blocher: I am the ureter. I am the one that uter-s!

[00:02:00] Carrie Poppy: The ureter goes from your kidney to your bladder.

(Drew confirms.)

The urethra goes from your bladder to your exit point. Yeah. But what’s a kidney stone made of? That’s what you’re asking. And that’s what I’m googling as I talk slowly so that I can answer you as if I had the answer prepared.

[00:02:18] Drew Spears: None of us thought to look this up beforehand.

[00:02:19] Carrie Poppy: And—well, here’s what I did know. Okay. I knew that it starts out tiny and then collects stuff around it. Like a pearl. That’s all I knew.

[00:02:31] Ross Blocher: Okay, yeah. Or a snowball.

[00:02:33] Carrie Poppy: Yes. Or a snowball. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:02:35] Drew Spears: Like the ball in Katamari Damasy, the video game.

[00:02:38] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. A reference we all know.

[00:02:39] Ross Blocher: Or every snowflake, to go more microscopic on that earlier example.

(They agree.)

Okay. Now that we’ve established that.

(They laugh.)

[00:02:47] Carrie Poppy: So, it’s made of calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine and phosphate. If you ask me. Or if you ask The National Kidney Foundation.

[00:02:56] Ross Blocher: That’s who I would’ve asked. And there’s calcium in there, so I’m happy. That was like the first listed ingredient.

[00:03:01] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, exactly. (Chuckles.) And I bet they put it in order. I bet they did. Okay, so what done happened is you and I were going to record an episode about something totally different, and then I said, “Ross, Ross, Ross, Ross, Ross! Drew has a kidney stone, and we are performing an experiment on him.”

[00:03:19] Ross Blocher: I almost thought you were gonna say, “We are performing an exorcism,” but that makes more sense.

[00:03:23] Carrie Poppy: (Giggles.) That would—

[00:03:24] Drew Spears: We’ve invited Bob Larson.

[00:03:26] Carrie Poppy: That’s its own kind of experiment. And Drew discovered that he had a kidney stone, because he was in a lot of pain last week.

[00:03:34] Drew Spears: Mm-hm. The very first thing that I didn’t make the connection was—and if you listen to this episode, yeah, we’re gonna talk about urine and other stuff quite a—yeah.

(Carrie confirms.)

[00:03:42] Ross Blocher: Our listeners can’t handle that kind of thing.

(Carrie chuckles.)

[00:03:45] Drew Spears: Great. I just want—I just didn’t wanna be like, “Oh, they’re dropping—” You know what this episode is.

[00:03:49] Carrie Poppy: Piss!

[00:03:49] Drew Spears: Yeah. My urine was discolored around last week, and I didn’t find it all that strange. I was like, “Well, I mean, there are some days where I don’t get like enough water.” I don’t have the jug that has the “go for it!”—that condescending like, “You’re a baby. This is how much water to drink.”

(Ross chuckles.)

I just kind of drink water when I want to, and—

[00:04:09] Carrie Poppy: I’ve thought about getting those, but they all start at like 7:00 AM and I’m like, “What?!” Like they need to make one for someone who gets up at 10.

[00:04:14] Ross Blocher: You’re making it sound like it was discolored in a way that just looked like you were dehydrated or something.

[00:04:18] Drew Spears: Well, okay. So, I would later find out that there was blood in my urine.

[00:04:23] Ross Blocher: Oh, okay, and that was giving the deeper shade.

[00:04:24] Drew Spears: But when I—if I was to say that I found blood in my urine, that would suggest something I think a far more severe than what I actually saw. I did notice it, and I was like, “This is—”

[00:04:32] Carrie Poppy: It was darker.

[00:04:33] Drew Spears: I was like, “This is pretty dark. I should—like, let’s put a pin in this. Let’s chug some water. Let’s, you know—it’s heating up in LA, like I thought easy-peasy. Then last Sunday, Carrie and I were at the movies. We were seeing a retrospective of Ken Russell’s horror at Whammy Analog Media in Echo Park.

(Carrie confirms.)

Great place. Check it out. Very cool.

[00:04:57] Ross Blocher: What would be a Ken Russell horror film that I’ve heard of?

[00:04:59] Drew Spears: Oh, well that’s a good question.

[00:05:01] Carrie Poppy: That is a good question.

[00:05:02] Drew Spears: But that’s not what I said.

[00:05:04] Carrie Poppy: The answer to your question is the movie The Devils, which is one of my favorite movies and is a horror movie.

[00:05:09] Drew Spears: Yeah. You might consider Tommy.

[00:05:10] Carrie Poppy: The Who’s Tommy. But this movie is called Whore.

(Drew echoes the title.)

W-H-O-R-E. Yeah,

[00:05:16] Drew Spears: Whooore. I guess, if anyone’s curious about that movie—um, how much did you like it, Care?

[00:05:22] Carrie Poppy: It’s fine.

[00:05:23] Drew Spears: It’s fine. It’s like very late in his career.

(Carrie titters.)

It’s not very like elaborate. There—it’s pretty intense. It vacillates between like really broad comedy and very like upsetting portrayals of sex work. And so, like the tone’s kind of all over the place. And it’s also almost entirely direct to camera.

[00:05:44] Ross Blocher: To video? Oh. (Chuckles.)

[00:05:45] Drew Spears: Well, it looks very direct-to-video, but it’s all like—this sex worker is constantly talking to the camera, like—

[00:05:51] Carrie Poppy: So, your back starts hurting!

[00:05:53] Drew Spears: Yeah. My back starts hurting. It’s like Malcolm in the Middle, the uh—

[00:05:56] Ross Blocher: Doing the—breaking the fourth wall.

[00:05:57] Drew Spears: Yeah. So, like in the middle of that I’m like, “Oh, my side kind of hurts.” I’m like, “Well, I’m kind of leaning in at a weird way. Maybe I’ve strained something.” Carrie and I went on a long-ish walk that weekend, and like we live somewhere where there’s a lot of hills and sometimes that can kind of pull something. So, like I didn’t really make the connection until like Monday morning, where I was like, “Kidney still hurts. The urine is still a little weird.” I was like, “This isn’t great. What could this be?”

I got through Monday, and I don’t know if you’ve had kidney pain. Have either of y’all had anything with it?

[00:06:34] Ross Blocher: I don’t think so.

[00:06:35] Carrie Poppy: I would never know that it was, if I had.

[00:06:36] Ross Blocher: I was just thinking in my mind, I assume kidney stones are something that befall everyone. That—

[00:06:43] Carrie Poppy: No.

[00:06:44] Ross Blocher: Ooh! Okay.

[00:06:45] Carrie Poppy: You mean below the clinical threshold?

[00:06:47] Ross Blocher: It just like something that’s very common that anyone can get, you don’t have to have any specific genetic predisposition.

[00:06:54] Carrie Poppy: Oh, that I don’t know. I just know it’s about 1 in 11 Americans will get one over their lifetime.

[00:06:59] Ross Blocher: Oh! 1 in 11. I would’ve thought more. Okay. And I just assumed there but for the grace of God go I, I have not gotten one yet.

[00:07:07] Carrie Poppy: And if you get one, you have a 50% chance of getting a second.

[00:07:10] Drew Spears: Yeah.

[00:07:11] Ross Blocher: Oh, that’s not good.

[00:07:12] Drew Spears: So, I was really hoping it wasn’t it, ’cause I’ve heard, “Oh, it’s really painful,” and like kidney pain is so specific. The only other time I’ve really had kidney pain was back when I used to drink, it would be like the next day hangovers you would feel—

[00:07:25] Carrie Poppy: Ooh, wow, that’s some drinking!

[00:07:26] Drew Spears: Yeah. Well, yeah.

(Carrie chuckles.)

But like you’d be like, “Oh, I can feel my body filtrating this. They’re really—it’s really working.”

[00:07:35] Ross Blocher: “I’m putting it through the ringer.”

[00:07:36] Drew Spears: Yeah. And I’m like, “Well, I don’t think this is a kidney stone. ‘Cause it—” You always hear it’s the most intense pain you’ll ever experience.

[00:07:43] Ross Blocher: And you’re like, “This is not the most intense pain. This isn’t as bad as childbirth,” is probably what you were thinking.

[00:07:47] Drew Spears: Or denial. Like, you’re just like, “Oh, I don’t want it to be that, certainly.” I had a brief chat with someone I work with who has had kidney troubles. They’ve never had a kidney stone, but I was like, “Yeah, this and this.”

And he was just like, “Uuuh, I don’t know.”

And pretty much I was at the grocery store grabbing some things, and like the pain threshold just hit a level where I was like, “This—I need to go to urgent care.” I was like, “I can either rough this—” Because I think I do have a fairly high pain tolerance. I think I can grit through like quite a lot, but I was like aware of that I was like, “Drew, don’t like grit through this. Don’t do it. Don’t like try to tough this out.”

And so, I have Kaiser Barry, and I went to Kaiser Urgent Care. Kaiser’s great. Big fan. I’m new to that healthcare provider.

[00:08:33] Ross Blocher: Sorry, I’m just working this out in my head, but I’m thinking their catchphrase should be, “Kaiser Will-help.” (Kaiser Wilhelm.)

[00:08:40] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, I go through all these Kaiser references in my head every time I’m there.

[00:08:41] Ross Blocher: “I was working up at Kaiser-Wilhelm.” Yeah.

(They laugh.)

[00:08:46] Carrie Poppy: “Well, that one’s not good. Don’t use that one!”

[00:08:47] Ross Blocher: Continue, sorry.

(Carrie laughs and agrees.)

That was a needless interruption.

[00:08:50] Drew Spears: I feel very like proactive. ‘Cause like it’s been a little under 24 hours since I’ve had initial pain. I’m like, “Well, if this is anything, I’m getting it early. Awesome. This is not a huge deal. The pain hasn’t gotten really bad.” I go see the urgent care. They take some blood. They do a CT scan, and they tell me that I have a kidney stone that’s six millimeters,

[00:09:15] Carrie Poppy: So.

[00:09:16] Ross Blocher: That sounds so small!

[00:09:17] Drew Spears: It does seem very small.

[00:09:19] Carrie Poppy: It’s about the size of a pencil eraser.

[00:09:21] Ross Blocher: But wait, no, now that I’m thinking of it, six—wait, six millimeters?!

(Carrie confirms.)

Oh, never mind. That sounds quite large! Often when I hear about these obstructions in the body, I think like, “That’s so minuscule!” But okay. Wow. Six—

[00:09:33] Carrie Poppy: If it needs to travel through one of those tiny tubes.

[00:09:35] Ross Blocher: That took me a second. That’s more than half a centimeter. Wow!

[00:09:38] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Pretty, pretty big.

[00:09:40] Drew Spears: They consider large kidney stones above five.

[00:09:43] Carrie Poppy: Five. Yeah, five and up and you’ve got large. So, they were quite impressed.

[00:09:46] Ross Blocher: You might not notice them otherwise or if they’re under a certain threshold.

[00:09:49] Carrie Poppy: No, you’ll probably still notice and feel them, but you might be able to pass them.

[00:09:53] Drew Spears: Them easier.

[00:09:54] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, you might be able to pass them without any intervention.

[00:09:56] Ross Blocher: It’s like how a meteor could be just the size of a grain of sand. But the perturbation of going through our atmosphere—

[00:10:02] Carrie Poppy: Is that right?!

(Ross confirms.)

Woooah. That’s nuts.

[00:10:06] Ross Blocher: So—I know, right?! And that’s one of those things like you think like, “Wow, that just is so counterintuitive.” And in the same way, this causes ripples in your internal organs.

[00:10:14] Carrie Poppy: Totally.

[00:10:15] Ross Blocher: And nothing extraordinary yet, though. So far, my understanding of science and physics has not been rocked.

[00:10:20] Carrie Poppy: Is in place. Yeah.

[00:10:21] Drew Spears: They send me home with Flomax, which I think is supposed to like widen your shit.

(Carrie laughs and agrees.)

I don’t know exactly what, but like—

[00:10:30] Ross Blocher: Metaphorical shit.

[00:10:31] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Loosens those pathways, so that hopefully that stone can move more freely.

[00:10:35] Drew Spears: They gave me some Norco, which is hydrocodone plus Tylenol, and then two strainers, which you’re supposed to urinate through it. And so—in hopes of catching the stone, so they can look at the stone and be like, “This is what you need to change about your lifestyle to—”

[00:10:53] Carrie Poppy: That’s not it!

(Drew confirms.)


[00:10:55] Drew Spears: Both to confirm that you get—but you need to bring it into the urologist, and so they can—

[00:10:59] Carrie Poppy: Okay, see, I would’ve thought that, but they were like, “You can check it.” One of them said, “You can check it.”

[00:11:03] Drew Spears: That was wrong. Yeah, they were wrong.

[00:11:04] Carrie Poppy: Okay, I thought that was weird. I’m glad you heard otherwise. I was like, “That seems anti-science!”

[00:11:09] Drew Spears: There’s like four different kinds of kidney stones that you can have. And they’re made—it’s like there are the ones that are largely made up of—and don’t correct—or correct me, I don’t know. Um, there’s just a couple of different kinds.

[00:11:22] Carrie Poppy: Calcium oxalate, urate, cystine, zanpine, and phosphate. Mm-hm.

[00:11:23] Drew Spears: You have to urinate through this strainer.

[00:11:26] Ross Blocher: Did you say Sistine, like the chapel?

[00:11:28] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Cystine. Yeah.

[00:11:29] Ross Blocher: That’s a bad alternate chapel. My regret right now is that I did not bring the Pisscabulary with me.

[00:11:35] Drew Spears: We had so much fun with the Pisscabulary.

[00:11:38] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I got sent a copy of Brother Sage’s new book, by Brother Sage!

[00:11:42] Carrie Poppy: One of our interviewees who drinks his own urine to cure various things.

[00:11:45] Ross Blocher: Yeah. If you haven’t listened to that episode—well, you haven’t listened to it.

[00:11:47] Carrie Poppy: You could.

[00:11:48] Ross Blocher:  You could! (Laughs.)

[00:11:49] Drew Spears: If you’re enjoying all this talk about your urine and you’re like, “I wish they would really double down—”

[00:11:51] Carrie Poppy: You really wanna like turn it up a notch.

(They laugh.)

I drank Ross’s pee in it. Ross drinks my pee in it.

[00:11:59] Ross Blocher: Yeah, urine (you’re in) for a good time.

(Carrie forces a laugh.)

Ey-o! So, anyways, I don’t have the Pisscabulary with me.

[00:12:05] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. It is like a dictionary of pee puns.

[00:12:09] Ross Blocher: Pee terms that nobody asked for. Anyways, continue.

[00:12:09] Carrie Poppy: Anyway. Okay, back to Drew.

[00:12:11] Drew Spears: So, peeing through a strainer is annoying. You have to do it—you’ll want to go to the bathroom and forget it. And you have to kind of carry it around your day-to-day life. (Chuckles.)

(Carrie confirms.)

[00:12:24] Ross Blocher: A pee strainer.

[00:12:25] Carrie Poppy: You wanna see it?

[00:12:26] Drew Spears: Yeah, I think—yeah, I’m gonna grab it.

[00:12:27] Ross Blocher: Let’s describe it for the audience.

[00:12:29] Carrie Poppy: Okay. Yeah. It looks like a funnel. Drew’s going to get it. I think it looks like a funnel.

(Drew confirms.)

But it has like a sieve-like quality at the end of the funnel to grab the stones.

[00:12:39] Ross Blocher: So, it’s gonna let some stuff through, but it’s gonna keep—

[00:12:42] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, let the urine itself through.

[00:12:44] Ross Blocher: Okay. So, Drew has—I see. So, it is like your normal plastic funnel. It’s white. It has the flanged edge but then it comes down to just a little cylinder. And then, there’s the little catching—what is that? A mesh?

[00:12:58] Carrie Poppy: Webbing kind of stuff at the bottom? Yeah.

[00:12:59] Ross Blocher: Oh, yeah. Okay. It looks like kind of a soft, flexible mesh, but—okay. So, then every time you pee, you’re supposed to pee through that just in case some hard evidence comes out.

[00:13:07] Carrie Poppy: That’s right.

[00:13:08] Drew Spears: Yeah. So, peeing through a strainer is hard, because you’re trying to catch this—and the other thing is when you have a kidney stone, like to pass it, people suggest like—you want to kind of hold onto your urine until you have like a good flow, ’cause you’re trying to push it out. So, like flow is the name of the game, and also with a kidney stone, you’ll feel like you need to urinate really badly, and then you won’t have to urinate all that much. ‘Cause there’s a bit of a blockage, as I understand it. So, like you’re trying to pee as hard as you can through this like funnel and like you’ve like urinated somewhere where there’s splash back or you know—

(They confirm.)

It’s not—

[00:13:45] Carrie Poppy: You don’t like it?

[00:13:45] Drew Spears: Yeah. I’m not a fan.

[00:13:47] Carrie Poppy: One time I had to fill up a jug with urine over 24 hours, and you just pee into the same jug over and over.

[00:13:54] Ross Blocher: And who’s the unlucky recipient? This is a medical thing.

[00:13:57] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, it was because I’d like to eventually donate one of my kidneys to the Kidney Donation Circle. But they had to check my pee to make sure I had, you know, good functioning kidneys. But they’re like, “Can you pee into this for 24 hours? You’re gonna pee on your old pee.” Like, ugh. It’s like your own personal porta-potty. Yeah. It’s real gross.

[00:14:15] Ross Blocher: Oh, yeah. No. A really gross, stinky stink comes out every time. Fun.

[00:14:20] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s right. Okay! Anyway, back to Drew.

[00:14:23] Drew Spears: So, like that’s the strainer. And then I think we were at the urgent care ‘til late. The next morning, I woke up at like 5AM in probably the worst pain.

(Carrie confirms.)

I have thus far been somewhat lucky that I feel like I haven’t had the most intense pain. So, I kind of don’t know where that leaves me. But—

[00:14:43] Ross Blocher: But you woke up with the one that felt like, “Oh, this is earning its reputation.”

[00:14:46] Drew Spears: Or it was on its way. Yeah, I took a Norco real quick.

[00:14:50] Ross Blocher: That’s scary too, when you know the pain could shoot up.

[00:14:53] Drew Spears: Yes. That is the thing is there’s very much like an anticipatory—

[00:14:57] Ross Blocher: Dread.

[00:14:58] Drew Spears: I mean, right until the end, pretty much. Like, that’s supposed to be not super fun.

[00:15:03] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, so—

[00:15:04] Ross Blocher: So, you’re like, okay, all these medical professionals are trying to help me, but we need more.

[00:15:08] Carrie Poppy: We need more. So, that morning I woke up with a start, because I had had a revelation in my sleep. I sit bolt upright.

[00:15:19] Ross Blocher: A download.

[00:15:20] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. (Laughs.) I sit bolt upright, and I say, “Babe! We gotta take you on a rollercoaster!”

[00:15:26] Ross Blocher: So, this is something you’d heard before?

(Carrie confirms.)

I’d never heard this.

[00:15:30] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. So, I think while I slept all of that information got, you know, reorganized, and then my brain connected it to this old story I had heard in 2016 where a urologist did a study where he took a fake kidney on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and discovers that if you sit in the caboose and your kidney stone is under a certain size, you have a 67% chance of passing the stone.

[00:16:01] Ross Blocher: Well, then you get on the ride, and then if you don’t pass it, then you get back on. And then, it seems like you just increasingly, eventually, as you ride the ride many times—

[00:16:13] Carrie Poppy: Mm. Yeah! That might be the gambler’s fallacy. I’m not sure.

[00:16:15] Ross Blocher: It’s gonna pass. Yeah. Is it like—either does or doesn’t? Doesn’t matter how many times you ride it? But now it seems like a very sure thing to me. Like, I’m just gonna keep writing Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is a notably fun ride.

[00:16:26] Drew Spears: It is a fun ride.

[00:16:27] Carrie Poppy: It is. It’s 35 miles per hour. It’s $309 for two people to go on it who haven’t planned on going on it that day, because you have to go to Disneyland first.

[00:16:35] Ross Blocher: Oh, and buy—(laughs).

[00:16:36] Drew Spears: It’s also the first week of LA’s like heat wave.

[00:16:40] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. It was Blisteringly hot, so I was like, “Okay, can we find another, 35 miles per hour, rickety rollercoaster that we can sit in the caboose on that’s not $309 and in Anaheim?” And we discovered a 35 miles per hour rollercoaster in Santa Monica, off the coast of LA, where it’s fairly rickety.

[00:17:02] Drew Spears: Yeah, it’s on the pier.

[00:17:03] Carrie Poppy: It’s on the pier.

[00:17:04] Drew Spears: Santa Monica Pier. Super fun.

[00:17:05] Ross Blocher: The Pacific Ocean Pier? Or was that the old name of the park there? I don’t know.

[00:17:09] Drew Spears: Yeah, that’s the name of the—

[00:17:09] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, Pacific Pier. That’s right. So, I’d love to play you guys a three-minute clip of the researcher who did this study explaining exactly how he did it when I first heard this, when the news was released.

(They agree.)

[00:17:23] Clip:

Speaker: Dr. Wartinger, when did you first suspect that a rollercoaster ride might help pass kidney stones?

Dr. Wartinger: Well, all of the credit belongs to my patients. Basically, what happens is, I think one of my patients rode Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster, down in Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom. He rode the coaster and got off and immediately passed a kidney stone. He got on the same coaster, got off, passed another stone. Rode it a third time, got off, passed three stones in a row.

Speaker: Was this all on the same day?

Dr. Wartinger: Three consecutive rides! Now, we’ve had individual accounts where patients would come back from spring break taking their children down to the Orlando area, and they’d come back and follow up and report that they had passed a stone over a vacation. But never such a dramatic, you know, one-to-one: I rode. I passed a stone, three in a row.

Speaker: So, why didn’t you just conclude, “Well, this is one particular guy. It’s a weird coincidence,” and leave it at that? Why did you think you had to pursue the research?

Dr. Wartinger: Oh, simple matter of curiosity. I was fascinated by the idea. I was a trainer of urologic surgeons. Our surgical residents were required to do a research project every year, and I brought this to the attention of an absolutely brilliant resident who spent about a year working on a model that we could actually test this theory.

Speaker: Okay, now this is the—(chuckling) this is where it gets very interesting. So, you actually—just describe what it is that you created, or he created.

Dr. Wartinger: So, a computerized tomographic study of the person’s kidney. We used the software to create a three-dimensional model of the hollow space inside the kidney. We then filled the block up with urine and kidney stones and resealed it, and we were able to take our simulated pyelocaliceal system full of urine and stones on whatever ride or activity we wanted, to see what forces made a kidney stone pass.

Speaker: Wait a second. Just—it’s a simulation. So, you said it’s full of urine, but like water, right?

Dr. Wartinger: No, uh, urine.

Speaker: Urine. Real pee.

Dr. Wartinger: Well, yes.

Speaker: And what happened to the kidney stones?

Dr. Wartinger: It’s interesting. It depends where you sit on the coaster. If you sit in the last car of the rollercoaster, you’re far more likely to pass the kidney stone than if you’re in the front passenger area of the rollercoaster. And that just has to do with how forces are generated by rollercoasters as they go up and down and right and left and hit rough spots in the track.

Speaker: But it worked. You found that it did—if you were in the right place, it actually—you proved that the rollercoaster ride could help this kidney stone to pass.

Dr. Wartinger: Absolutely. And in fact, after—the study that has just been published, looks at simply 20 rides on the rollercoaster. Since that time, we have taken multiple stones on multiple rides, and we now have over 240 stone rides as we describe them to analyze. The recommendation is whatever is your local amusement theme park thrill ride option, go and ride all of the rides that you feel comfortable riding.

[00:20:29] Carrie Poppy: So, we did that.

[00:20:31] Ross Blocher: Oh my goodness. I have so many reactions to that.

(Carrie laughs.)

The first of which is just this is doing science right. That’s fantastic. I’m impressed with the model they built!

[00:20:39] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. It’s cool. Right? Okay, babe. Yeah, tell us.

[00:20:41] Drew Spears: But he got pee, and then he like was like, “I’m gonna take this onto Thunder Mountain.” And he—so, like he just brought like an external thing of—

[00:20:52] Ross Blocher: A pee-soaked 3D print.

[00:20:55] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, it was in a backpack. So, it was a sealed-up kidney with real pee and real kidney stones in it. ‘Cause you gotta create the actual environment. In a backpack.

[00:21:02] Ross Blocher: I wanna be behind these people in line, and I wanna see them holding the fake kidney.

[00:21:07] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Yeah, yeah. Supposedly you couldn’t see it, and there was very little splash risk and no splash in actuality. So. Don’t worry.

(Ross grumbles doubtfully.)

[00:21:15] Drew Spears: Boy, but heaven forbid you vape in Disney World.

(They laugh.)

[00:21:19] Carrie Poppy: If you ever wanna vape in Disney, the person you wanna bring is Natalie. She will convince them to let your vape in.

[00:21:25] Ross Blocher: Oh, that’s interesting.

[00:21:26] Carrie Poppy: Yes. I mean, are we—are we surprised? No.

[00:21:29] Ross Blocher: No, we’re not. And I’m also thinking now, given this is a scientifically verified, not yet podcast verified—we’re getting there, maybe. But given the research behind this, there should be a special access line where you can say, “Hey—”

[00:21:45] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) Kidney line!

[00:21:46] Ross Blocher: “I’m here because I have a kidney stone.”

And they’ll be like, “Right this way, sir.”

[00:21:51] Carrie Poppy: Well, I did think we’re gonna have to ask for the caboose, but we naturally fell in the line where we sat in the caboose!

[00:21:56] Ross Blocher: Oh, perfect. Because I know they’ll honor those requests anyway, if you’re just like—you know, “This is where I have the most fun.”

[00:22:02] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, you’re like, “I’m a caboose freak.”

[00:22:05] Ross Blocher: And I am all about getting the Maximum Fun.

[00:22:08] Carrie Poppy: Right, right, right. (Chuckles.) Which is now a co-op.

[00:22:10] Ross Blocher: (Gasps.) That’s riiight! It’s a co-op. Yay, official.

[00:22:12] Drew Spears: Uh, so we probably—we headed out. You know, it took us a while to get to Santa Monica, ’cause it was rush hour. We got to the pier.

[00:22:18] Carrie Poppy: LA.

[00:22:19] Drew Spears: Uh, the pier’s fun. It feels like just like your old, classic amusement in park, that’s not like super—like, you know, it’s like a fair kind of.

[00:22:28] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Carnival.

(Drew agrees.)

Yeah, no. A beach boardwalk carnival, everybody.

[00:22:32] Ross Blocher: Well, I come from Santa Cruz, home of the beach boardwalk.

[00:22:33] Carrie Poppy: Oh, right! Exactly. We knew that we needed to go—

[00:22:37] Ross Blocher: I would’ve gone on the Giant Dipper to get rid of my kidney stone, if I needed a local option when I was living in Santa Cruz.

[00:22:42] Carrie Poppy: Oh, interesting. Yeah, they definitely—in all the coverage, people kept noting that it needs to be kind of slow. It can’t be like a fast-paced rollercoaster. You won’t get more out of that.

[00:22:52] Ross Blocher: Oh! Interesting!

[00:22:53] Carrie Poppy: 35 is the sweet spot.

[00:22:55] Ross Blocher: Because—he addressed this, but my first thought was, “What if there is something specifically about the layout of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad that makes it perfectly ideal to shaking loose kidney stones? And all other pretenders are just that.”

[00:23:09] Carrie Poppy: So, in another interview, the researcher pointed out that everyone’s kidney environment is shaped differently, and what he would really recommend is go to a theme park and just ride everything. You know, don’t limit yourself to Big Thunder. Go ahead and ride Space Mountain, whatever. But like—

[00:23:24] Ross Blocher: Your mileage may vary.

[00:23:25] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, but the most consistently working thing is these like really janky, you know, pushes you around rides that are going kind of slow, really.

[00:23:34] Ross Blocher: Did we say this researcher’s name?

[00:23:35] Carrie Poppy: Uh, David Wartinger.

[00:23:36] Ross Blocher: Okay. I feel it’s important to acknowledge him.

[00:23:40] Carrie Poppy: Absolutely. And his study was in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

[00:23:45] Drew Spears: Mm-hm. I feel like now would be a good time to point out I don’t like rollercoasters.

[00:23:50] Ross Blocher: Oooh nooo.

[00:23:51] Carrie Poppy: Yes! So, Drew actually had as one of his goals for 2023 to ride a big roller coaster.

[00:23:59] Ross Blocher: Oh, like the Colossus or something like at Six Flags.

[00:24:02] Drew Spears: Something that’s like—that you could just like go—I want it to be tall. I don’t know if I feel comfortable with a loop-da-loop yet, but I just have some height stuff. And you know, I’ve gone on two rollercoasters thus far. I wouldn’t call either of them huge.

[00:24:15] Carrie Poppy: In your life?! You’ve been on more than two!

[00:24:16] Drew Spears: No, no. This year.

[00:24:16] Carrie Poppy: Okay. This year. Yeah. Yeah. Working up some stamina. So, of course then I pitched to Drew like, “Oh, great! We need to take you on a rollercoaster!” But he was totally game.

[00:24:26] Drew Spears: Yeah. Also, like when you get there, it’s not a giant coaster. It’s manageable.

[00:24:31] Carrie Poppy: It’s manageable.

[00:24:32] Drew Spears: We get on the pier. Two teenagers on BMX bikes immediately crash into me, and then laugh about it.

(Carrie laughs and confirms.)

[00:24:39] Ross Blocher: What?!

[00:24:39] Drew Spears: They leave a mark on my hand.

[00:24:41] Carrie Poppy: Drew’s scarred now, literally.

[00:24:43] Drew Spears: I told them to fuck off very loudly, which—probably not—

[00:24:46] Carrie Poppy: Oh, I didn’t even hear that.

[00:24:47] Drew Spears: Yeah. Probably not wise, as like—I don’t know. They probably could kick my ass. I don’t know. But you know, I was in a bit of a mood.

[00:24:56] Ross Blocher: Yeah! But this was entering the park.

[00:24:58] Drew Spears: No, this is like on the pier.

(Carrie confirms.)

Yeah. I don’t think they were supposed to be riding like BMX bikes, but you know. It’s pretty—like, this isn’t Disney where you have a bunch of cast members, like—

[00:25:08] Ross Blocher: Nobody gets their BMX bike inside of Disneyland. That’s what you pay the $300 for.

(They laugh.)

[00:25:13] Drew Spears: Mm-hm. Yeah. This is very much like summer job vibes. Yeah.

[00:25:18] Carrie Poppy: So, it was 24 bucks for the two of us to ride this coaster, instead of 309. Which, again, 309.

[00:25:26] Ross Blocher: Well, you know, check in with Uncle Ross.

[00:25:28] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yeah. We should ask Ross. Did you know Ross works at Disney? I didn’t know that. Sorry.

[00:25:33] Drew Spears: (Playfully) I think I heard that somewhere. It seems like—

[00:25:36] Carrie Poppy: Can you hear pitches?

[00:25:38] Ross Blocher: I—what?!

[00:25:38] Carrie Poppy: Can you hear pitches?

[00:25:39] Drew Spears: Well, right now is absolutely the time to pitch someone—

[00:25:41] Ross Blocher: Can you hear—? You didn’t finish the sentence.

[00:25:42] Drew Spears: —who works at Disney a creative project.

[00:25:44] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. In the middle of a strike. Cool. Okay! So, we go on the coaster, and should I show Ross what happens? Or you wanna tell him?

[00:25:53] Drew Spears: Well, let’s first—let’s talk about the coaster a bit.

[00:25:56] Carrie Poppy: Okay. We’ll talk about it first.

[00:25:57] Ross Blocher: Alright.

[00:25:57] Carrie Poppy: Okay. Please.

[00:25:58] Drew Spears: There’s a couple fun dips on it. Like, I thought that there’s like a couple—

[00:26:03] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) Yeah, tell us about the coaster itself. Yeah.

[00:26:05] Drew Spears: It goes around at like a nice speed, but there is like a fair amount of jostling. Not as much as Big Thunder Mountain, and it is like very jerky—those cart rides. The other one is like there’s a dinosaur cart ride in—somewhere in Walt Disney World that I remember finding very—

[00:26:19] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, animal kingdom.

[00:26:21] Ross Blocher: That’s why I was saying like the Giant Dipper. ‘Cause that’s a wooden rollercoaster, and it’ll rough you up.

[00:26:25] Carrie Poppy: Okay, gotcha.

[00:26:26] Drew Spears: Yeah, you wanna feel like you’ve been like hit.

[00:26:28] Carrie Poppy: I mean, you’re trying to knock something loose in an organ here.

[00:26:32] Drew Spears: Because like when you can’t pass a kidney stone—I don’t think we mentioned this—but like what the urologist will do is take a sound wave machine and like shoot it at you for an hour. That’s how they break it up.

[00:26:43] Ross Blocher: Because like Space Mountain changes your access of rotation all the time. It moves all over the place, but it’s not like that rough of a ride. You don’t get shaken. You get stirred.

[00:26:53] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. (Laughs.) In one of the pieces of news coverage, one of the researchers said that Space Mountain seemed not to work. That maybe the G-Force was actually too great.

[00:27:03] Ross Blocher: Oh, interesting. And it just seems like you need a little bit of jostling.

[00:27:06] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You wanna get shaken around.

[00:27:08] Drew Spears: You need to go to like your class—you need to go to King’s Island in Ohio. You need—you need to go on your Judge Roy Screams in North Texas. I know the names of some of these.

[00:27:18] Carrie Poppy: You know these names! Wow.

[00:27:19] Drew Spears: Yeah. Well, because these are the things I don’t want to go on.

(They giggle.)

So, I spent my time in fear of these things.

[00:27:25] Carrie Poppy: Oh, wow! Okay.

[00:27:26] Drew Spears: Um, I could—I won’t go into what the Judge Roy Scream is. It was named after a judge in the early 1800s, in Texas. But it was like during the time when you could just like call yourself a judge. He like owned a bar. Judge Roy Bean, he owned a bar, and he was like, “I guess I’m the—”

[00:27:41] Carrie Poppy: Judge Roy Bean?!

[00:27:42] Drew Spears: Yeah. He was like, “I’m the judge now.” And he would regularly just make decisions based on like who bribed him. And like back in those days, it just was like, “Well. No jurisdiction.”

[00:27:51] Carrie Poppy: And now there’s a rollercoaster named after him?

[00:27:52] Drew Spears: Yeah. Everyone was like, “This is awesome. Thank you, sir.”

[00:27:55] Carrie Poppy: Texas. Okay.

[00:27:56] Drew Spears: Yeah. That one you would ride backwards at a point. They’d like take you backwards.

[00:27:59] Carrie Poppy: Oh yeah. I like a backwards rollercoaster.

[00:28:00] Drew Spears: I don’t think I’d like it.

[00:28:01] Carrie Poppy: Yeah but hold on everybody. Before we go one inch further, I want to talk about websites.

[00:28:09] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Before you go one square inch further!

[00:28:11] Carrie Poppy: Mm-hm! Mm-hm. That reminds me. I love a website called Squarespace.

[00:28:18] Ross Blocher: It’s true. You talk about it all the time, but for good reason.

[00:28:21] Carrie Poppy: Mm! MMMM! I love how I can make any website I want there. I can put out misinformation if I want. Or real information.

[00:28:31] Ross Blocher: But whatever kind of information you provide, it will come with a suite of integrated features and useful guides that help maximize prominence among search results.

[00:28:42] Carrie Poppy: Mm-hm! Mm-hm! And with Squarespace extensions, you can connect your store to vetted third party tools to extend the functionality of your website.

[00:28:51] Ross Blocher: And I think this is new: Fluid Engine! It’s a next generation website design system from Squarespace, and it’s never been easier for anyone to unlock unbreakable creativity. Unbreakable?

[00:29:03] Carrie Poppy: Hm. Unbreakable. You cannot break it. Come back here. If your creativity’s broken, we lied to you.

[00:29:09] Ross Blocher: So, I knew they had a really cool website design system. I didn’t know it was called Fluid Engine.

[00:29:14] Carrie Poppy: Oh yeah, okay.

[00:29:14] Ross Blocher: I’ve learned new things.

[00:29:15] Carrie Poppy: I didn’t know that either. So, you’ll start with a best-in-class website template, and then customize every design detail with reimagined drag-and-drop technology for desktop or mobile.

[00:29:26] Ross Blocher: Wait, maybe this is new. I need to just go back into Squarespace and start dragging and dropping things, but uh—

[00:29:32] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. I love dragging. I love dropping.

[00:29:33] Ross Blocher: The tools are fantastic and a very space age.

[00:29:36] Carrie Poppy: It’s always nice when they allow extensions too, because then you get to capitalize on the innovations of others.

[00:29:42] Ross Blocher: Yeah. And it creates a marketplace. Other people can join in, make stuff. Yeah. All good. Everybody wins.

[00:29:48] Carrie Poppy: So, head to for free trial. And when you’re ready to launch, you’ll use that offer code, “ohno”, to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

[00:29:58] Ross Blocher: Squarespace much better than a kidney stone.

[00:30:02] Carrie Poppy: True that! Oh, and while you are at it, you should check out this MaxFun show…

[00:30:06] Promo:

Music: “Medicines” from the album Exhilarating News by The Taxpayers.

Justin McElroy: Hey, Sydnee. You’re a physician and the co-host of Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, right?

Sydnee McElroy: That’s true, Justin.

Justin: Is it true that our medical history podcast is just as good as a visit to your primary care physician?

Sydnee: No, Justin. That is absolutely not true. Uh, however, our podcast is funny and interesting and a great way to learn about the medical misdeeds of the past, as well as some current, not-so-legit healthcare fads.

Justin: So, you’re saying that by listening to our podcast, people will feel better?

Sydnee: Sure.

Justin: And isn’t that the same reason that you go to the doctor?

Sydnee: Well, uh, you could say that, but—

Justin: And our podcast is free?

Sydnee: Yes, it is free.

Justin: You heard it here first, folks. Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, right here on Maximum Fun: just as good as going to the doctor.

Sydnee: No, no, no. Still not just as good as going to the doctor, but pretty good.

Justin: (Softly.) It’s up there.

(Music ends.)

[00:30:52] Carrie Poppy: Okay, so! We get in the caboose. We go through all the twisty-turnies. We get off. Now—

[00:30:58] Drew Spears: Oh, they take you around twice.

[00:30:59] Carrie Poppy: That’s true. They take you around twice. So technically we rode it twice. Yeah. Okay. Now shall I show Ross the video?

[00:31:05] Ross Blocher: Though I guess the serving size is two rounds.

[00:31:08] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly right. They—when you get back around—

[00:31:13] Ross Blocher: (Chuckling.) Nobody gets to be like, Yeah, I’m good! Let me—”

[00:31:15] Carrie Poppy: No, they do! They—so, you come around, and they give you like a thumbs-up questioning look.

[00:31:19] Ross Blocher: Oh my god!

[00:31:19] Carrie Poppy: And they wait for every person to be yep.

[00:31:21] Drew Spears: If you’re like a whiny child or a whiny 34-year-old—

[00:31:23] Carrie Poppy: Or it’s really scary for you! (Laughs.)

[00:31:25] Drew Spears: —that like, you know, doesn’t care for it.

[00:31:27] Carrie Poppy: Or you feel sick or whatever.

[00:31:29] Ross Blocher: Wow! Okay!

[00:31:30] Carrie Poppy: If you need out, they’ll let you out.

[00:31:31] Ross Blocher: I’m learning so many new things.

[00:31:34] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Okay. So, then I made this one-minute documentary about Drew’s experience and the outcome of the scientific experiment.

[00:31:44] Ross Blocher: You told me not to watch this, and I have not.

[00:31:46] Carrie Poppy: Exactly. Everyone should watch Presommar, though, if you haven’t yet. Really good film.

[00:31:51] Drew Spears: This podcast is just increasingly becoming Carrie plugging her DIY filmmaking career.

[00:31:56] Carrie Poppy: My video project.

[00:31:57] Ross Blocher: We are now a rollercoaster podcast that promotes Presommar.

[00:32:03] Clip:

(Distant crowd chatter.)

Drew Spears: Hey, I have kidney stones. Carrie’s read a couple studies that say being on a rollercoaster is good. I’ve heard from people anecdotally it’s good to be on a coaster, so let’s try to break up these kidney stones on the coaster as opposed to—why are you zooming in on my penis?

Carrie Poppy: And babe, why is it brave that you’re going on this rollercoaster?

Drew Spears: Well, I don’t really like rollercoasters. I guess you could call it a mild phobia. But this one isn’t giant, so. It’s about heigh and dips. And this one—this one seems fine.

(Scene change.)

You know, it was like how you would expect a lot of rollercoasters to go—some back and forth. I felt pretty jostled, which I think is good for this experiment.

Carrie Poppy: Stone’s all broken up, you think?

Drew Spears: Uh, well, we’ll only know in one way. And that’s, uh—come on! Stop filming!

(A door closes.)

[00:32:58] Ross Blocher: (Disappointed.) Aww!

(Carrie laughs.)

After all that?!

[00:33:01] Carrie Poppy: That’s right. No file drawer effect on, Oh No, Ross and Carrie!—when we get—

[00:33:07] Ross Blocher: We report negative results!

[00:33:08] Carrie Poppy: That’s right! When—we just confirmed that Drew’s stone is too large for the rollercoaster! Still, we come to you with the news!

[00:33:17] Drew Spears: Mm-hm. And maybe if we did it a couple of times, maybe if we went on Thunder Mountain—

[00:33:22] Ross Blocher: That interview with the scientist, that seemed to bear out the whole idea of going on repeat times.

[00:33:26] Carrie Poppy: It did, but he also said it doesn’t seem to work with people whose stones are over four millimeters. And Drew’s is six.

[00:33:32] Ross Blocher: Oh, okay. And did you know that before the whole—?

[00:33:36] Carrie Poppy: Before we drove to Santa Monica.

(Ross confirms.)

No, I don’t think I had heard that particular parameter. Though, I think we probably still would’ve tried.

[00:33:42] Drew Spears: Yeah. I don’t think it’s like a hard rule. I think everyone’s body’s different. I mean, ’cause like you hear a lot of people being like, “You can’t pass six-millimeter stones easily.” So, you know, I’ve done research on Reddit—which I mean, I think has a confirmation bias of people who are really experiencing the most amount of distress and pain over there. And like some people are like, “Yeah, I passed the six-millimeter. It was hard.” And some people are like, “No, I had to have it pulverized.”

[00:34:06] Carrie Poppy: Right. And then people who had normal, unnotable experiences don’t go to Reddit.

[00:34:10] Ross Blocher: Oh, and then when they have to pulverize one, do they do some kind of like laparoscopic thing?

[00:34:15] Drew Spears: So, there’s two things they can do. One is they can—or actually I guess three. One is they can shoot a sound wave at you for around 60 minutes. It’s apparently—feels like getting punched in the kidney. So, that’s on the table. That—I haven’t had my appointment yet with my new urologist, who I’m sure I’m gonna be fast friends with.

(Carrie laughs.)

The other thing is that they can do a small incision in your back and go in and, you know, take it out that way. And then, I do think that there is a through the urethra up your stuff.

[00:34:49] Carrie Poppy: Up the dick. Up the oooool’ dick.

[00:34:51] Drew Spears: Or I mean, it could be—you know.

[00:34:52] Ross Blocher: I’d be like, “Punch me first with sound.” That would be my preference.

[00:34:55] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Oh, is there another option? Oh, through the balls?

[00:34:58] Drew Spears: No, I meant like you—you know, if you have a vagina…

[00:35:01] Carrie Poppy: Oh, sure. But I meant for you.

[00:35:02] Drew Spears: For me, yes. It would be, uh—

[00:35:04] Carrie Poppy: I mean, your dick is like a star of that video, so yeah.

(Drew agrees.)

[00:35:07] Ross Blocher: You couldn’t see the visual pun there, but you could hear Drew observing it. The camera just kept drifting down.

(Drew confirms and Carrie giggles.)

Carrie forgot where Drew’s eyes were.

[00:35:17] Drew Spears: Other DIY cures was drinking more citrus, which Carrie has gotten me a bottle of lemon juice. (Laughing.) Like, I’m drinking—but I’ve been slowly sipping it. And then you’re making it—should we make it into the smoothie? Like, I mean—

[00:35:34] Carrie Poppy: Sure! I don’t think the listeners need to hear you drink a smoothie, but yeah. It’s gonna be a lemon and peach smoothie.

[00:35:39] Ross Blocher: This is another DIY thing. Okay.

[00:35:41] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Lemon. I—well, you don’t even know.

[00:35:42] Ross Blocher: So, you still know you still have this obstreperous kidney stone.

[00:35:46] Carrie Poppy: It’s still in there!

[00:35:47] Drew Spears: Yeah. There was a couple of days where I didn’t feel much pain, but recently it feels like it has started to migrate.

[00:35:53] Ross Blocher: And I guess you really don’t tell until you pee it out later.

[00:35:56] Drew Spears: Yeah. That’s why—well, you want—because you don’t wanna not know.

[00:36:01] Ross Blocher: But would’ve sent you back on that rollercoaster many times.

[00:36:04] Carrie Poppy: Yeeeah. It’s $12 a pop though.

[00:36:05] Ross Blocher: Oh, wooow. $12 at Pacific Ocean Park.

[00:36:06] Drew Spears: We could have paid $40 to be able to do it multiple times.

[00:36:10] Carrie Poppy: Say again?

[00:36:11] Drew Spears: We could’ve paid $40.

[00:36:12] Carrie Poppy: That’s true. Maybe we should have.

[00:36:13] Drew Spears: So, it’s like we would’ve—I’d have done it at least four trips to make it worth it.

[00:36:16] Carrie Poppy: We were also hungry though. It was really long.

[00:36:17] Drew Spears: The line was also—it took us like probably like 40—it was like a Disneyland-sized—

[00:36:22] Ross Blocher: “Excuse us. This is for science. Can we just get right back on please?”

[00:36:26] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) “And also, I’m hungry.”

[00:36:27] Drew Spears: Yeah, I think we probably could have gone on one or two more times, ’cause that does close somewhat early. We did get a nice cup of esquites. Which is great.

[00:36:34] Carrie Poppy: And those were good.

[00:36:36] Ross Blocher: I’m glad to hear your negative result, ’cause I agree you should publish negative results. But I don’t feel completely disabused of this idea of getting on the rollercoaster.

(Carrie agrees.)

It seems like a really good idea, especially if you’ve got one of those four-millimeter and under kidney stones.

[00:36:50] Carrie Poppy: Another thing that I think is cool about this is it’s a good example of clinical science working well. So, a bunch of people were reporting anecdotally that they thought maybe their vacations were impacting their rate of passing their stone. And all these urologists were noticing that. But you know, I wanna be scientific about it. Maybe this is confirmation bias.

[00:37:11] Ross Blocher: What did you do on this vacation? Get more details.

[00:37:13] Carrie Poppy: So—yeah, so first you’ve got all those anecdotes, then a doctor recognized a possibility for a case study. And ideally, a case study teaches you how to create the perfect experiment. And now, the study gets performed and the information gets to us, and we’re connected to all those people now!

[00:37:31] Ross Blocher: That’s great! I like that.

[00:37:32] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Isn’t that neat?

[00:37:33] Drew Spears: I think, yeah—it’s definitely the best version of the like—yeah, like anecdotal becomes like real. And I’m personally very fortunate. I feel really supported by my healthcare provider, and I have access to healthcare, but like I could see—I mean, it’s stressful having a kidney stone, but it can be so much more stressful if you like don’t wanna pay for an ER visit or like, you know, going to see a urologist. I mean, that’s a specialty. And like, so I can imagine someone just kind of like trying to tough this out and like looking for other ways and like, you know, it’s funny talking about pee or whatever, but like urinary track stuff—it can end in death. Like, you know.

I mean usually with an older population, but so it’s, it is nice to be like, oh—

[00:38:13] Carrie Poppy: Jeraldine Saunders, the woman who wrote The Love Boats died of such.

[00:38:17] Ross Blocher: Oh. Oh no! Okay.

[00:38:19] Drew Spears: So, it’s like it’s nice that there is something that you can kind of do proactively.

[00:38:24] Ross Blocher: To increase the odds of…

[00:38:26] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Being able to do something proactive is so nice. Like, when you’re just sitting there waiting for like something that you’ve been told is going to be super painful, but you can’t really do anything about it! At least you can do something about it.

[00:38:36] Drew Spears: It’s like would you prefer to get like punched in the face right now or be told sometime in the next week you’re gonna get punched in the face? It’s like I’d take the hit.

[00:38:44] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Punched in the face right now.

[00:38:46] Ross Blocher: Yeah, okay. Let’s get it out of the way. Yeah. You’re not in pain right now?

[00:38:50] Drew Spears: A little. So, today it started back up a little, and it’s migrated down. It’s more my groin area. I’m also doing this thing where I’m trying to drink water and then like retain it and then wait for a good flow. So, I am like needing to pee almost constantly.

[00:39:10] Ross Blocher: And you’ve got a cup of—?

[00:39:12] Carrie Poppy: Water.

[00:39:13] Drew Spears: I have a 32-ounce cup that Carrie got from the LA County Fair, starring Thummer—which interesting enough that Carrie’s wearing a Thummer t-shirt.

[00:39:23] Ross Blocher: What is going on?! Yeah.

[00:39:25] Drew Spears: So, like I’m like drinking like what would be a Big Gulp.

[00:39:28] Ross Blocher: ‘Cause you want to micturate as often as you can.

[00:39:32] Drew Spears: Yeah. Presuming that means pee, yes.

[00:39:33] Ross Blocher: Yeah. It’s just my favorite word for peeing. So, I had to use it once in this episode.

[00:39:39] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Fair. So, we don’t know what tomorrow brings, but for now—

[00:39:43] Drew Spears: Will there be a tomorrow?! Whose biography was that?

[00:39:45] Ross Blocher: Deep.

[00:39:47] Carrie Poppy: Oh, Will There Really Be a Morning is—yeah, supposedly Francis Farmer. I think a little interpolated, but.

[00:39:53] Ross Blocher: Well, we are recording this the day before I leave for Camp Quest West. And you’ll be hearing this probably the day after I get back from Camp Quest West. So, if something changes in the next week, please record an extra little bit!

[00:40:07] Carrie Poppy: We’ll give an update! Yeah, you got it.

[00:40:08] Ross Blocher: We’ll have time to add it.

[00:40:10] Drew Spears: People have Kenny Stones for weeks and months, so if you have a DIY cure, like I don’t have to do it on the show. I’ll just do it. Like whatever.

[00:40:18] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. And! I have a birthday this week.

[00:40:22] Ross Blocher: Yay! Happy birthday!

[00:40:23] Carrie Poppy: Thank you. Thank you. It was my 40th birthday, and I just wanna spread the word: for your 40th birthday, everyone gets to do one science experiment on their spoooouse! Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!

[00:40:38] Ross Blocher: Seems like a fair rule. Well, your 40th birthday is far in the offing, but you can plan in advance what science experiments—

[00:40:47] Carrie Poppy: Five and a half years away. Yeah.

[00:40:48] Drew Spears: Yeah, it’s in February 2029.

[00:40:50] Ross Blocher: Then you can play back this podcast and be like, “Remember when you said…?”

[00:40:53] Drew Spears: I’ll be like slowly like feeding Carrie a lot of phosphorus heavy foods so that she gets one.

[00:40:58] Carrie Poppy: Wow! Wow! Wooow!

[00:41:00] Drew Spears: Right! We can do A test, B test.

[00:41:02] Carrie Poppy: You wanna give me kidney stones?

[00:41:05] Drew Spears: I don’t want to. I wanna do the same experiment.

[00:41:07] Carrie Poppy: Okay. You would have to give me kidney stones.

[00:41:09] Ross Blocher: Hey, you might just coincidentally get a kidney stone.

[00:41:12] Carrie Poppy: That’s true.

[00:41:12] Drew Spears: I hope not. I don’t think it would be fun.

[00:41:14] Carrie Poppy: Currently 50% of our family has kidney stones.

(Drew confirms.)

Ella and Drew. Golly and I? Fine.

[00:41:21] Drew Spears: Yeah. We found out Ella had kidney stones like what? In uh, April?

[00:41:25] Carrie Poppy: I don’t know.

[00:41:26] Drew Spears:  But it’s funny ’cause like so much of our brain space had been—

[00:41:27] Carrie Poppy: Ella’s a dog.

[00:41:29] Drew Spears: —filled up with like talking about kidney stones for Ella and how can we help Ella pass it and the medications and going to kidney doctors. So, we’ve been talking about kidney stones like really nonstop for the last three months. And then, there is like a part of me that’s like, “Well, I do kind of know what Ella is experiencing now.”

[00:41:46] Ross Blocher: Are you worried that you put it out in the universe? Now it’s law of attraction bringing your kidney stones?

[00:41:51] Drew Spears: Sure! Yeah.

[00:41:52] Carrie Poppy: Oh, wow.

[00:41:53] Drew Spears: Ross suggested it in just now, and I—

[00:41:55] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah. You don’t need to be afraid of that.

[00:41:58] Ross Blocher: And we glossed over the very important fact that Carrie has now ascended into 4D.

[00:42:03] Carrie Poppy: Yes! That’s right. That’s right. Every decade I will be ascending into the new established D.

(Ross chuckles.)

[00:42:09] Carrie Poppy: So, I’m currently in 4D. Ross is in 4D. Unfortunately, babe, you’re still 3D. I’m so sorry.

[00:42:14] Drew Spears: Wait, okay. Let me hear this. I mean, I understand what like three dimension is and four dimensions. So, when you get a decade older, you become a different dimension?

[00:42:22] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. What’s not clear for you?

[00:42:23] Ross Blocher: Nobody says this except for us. We just invented that.

[00:42:26] Drew Spears: (Chuckling.) Oh, wait. This is something—

[00:42:26] Ross Blocher: Because forty sounds like 4D.

[00:42:29] Carrie Poppy: Well, Conscious Life Expo people tend to talk about 4D and 5D a lot, that most of the world is in 3D, but if you get a little enlightened, you’re at 4D. And if you get really enlightened, you’re at 5D. So—

[00:42:40] Ross Blocher: And then, you get to look down your nose at all the people just living their lives in 3D. Ugh!

[00:42:45] Carrie Poppy: So, now we’re attributing it to age.

[00:42:45] Drew Spears: So, when we’re—okay. So, people—like people walk around and they just are like, “Oh, I’m seeing things in 4D.”

[00:42:51] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Kind of. But for them, that’s like, “I don’t see negative things anymore.”

[00:42:58] Drew Spears: Wait, so you see less?!

[00:42:59] Carrie Poppy: You don’t see covid, for example. People who are 5D tend to think like covid’s not real.

[00:43:02] Ross Blocher: You’re just vibrating at a higher frequency.

[00:43:05] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, that’s not your reality anymore. Yeah. Yeah.

(They laugh.)

So, I’m at 4D. You’re still at 3D. Ross is at 40 though.

[00:43:12] Ross Blocher: Well, I’m bummed that this did not result in immediate expulsion of—like there on the ride—of your kidney stone.

[00:43:20] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. But who knows? I mean, when we get the next CT scan—and I do mean we, ’cause I’m gonna operate it.

(Drew agrees.)

We’ll see whether it’s—maybe it’ll be two small stones! We should be so lucky.

[00:43:29] Drew Spears: Yeah. Now my next CT scan is actually for my sinuses though, so I wanna say the next-next one—

[00:43:33] Carrie Poppy: Okay. I don’t think it’s gonna be in there.

[00:43:35] Drew Spears: Yeah, maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

[00:43:36] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) If it’s in there, we need a lot more explaining what happened on that rollercoaster.

[00:43:38] Drew Spears: When you get to go to Kaiser, you get to go to the doctor and you’re like, “I want this, this, this, this, and this.” And they say yes, sir. And then, you get a bunch of CAT scans. That was my first CAT scan, at least as a—I think maybe I had one as baby, but yeah. It’s tough holding still. When some—I feel like when you tell me to hold still, it’s becomes a lot harder.

(Carrie agrees.)

[00:43:59] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) Just need to sneak it up on you. And by the way, let’s take a moment just to think of poor Ken Ham with his Twelve Stones Ministry. It’s a lot of stones.

[00:44:06] Carrie Poppy: That’s a lot of stones. I gave it the full moment.

[00:44:09] Drew Spears: I’d say it’s a dozen.

(Ross giggles.)

[00:44:11] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah. That’s a lot of stones. Oh, and Living Stones Ministry. We did an episode or two on them.

[00:44:17] Drew Spears: So, I’m gonna try to use the restroom in my strainer.

[00:44:21] Carrie Poppy: Okay! Okay, here we go folks! We’ll see: will Drew expel his stone on the show while we’re discussing it? Is that what it was waiting foooor?!

[00:44:33] Ross Blocher: Just putting it out there in the universe.

[00:44:35] Carrie Poppy: We will find out on this episode of Oh No, Ross and Carrie!. This has all been an intro.

[00:44:40] Ross Blocher: But keep in mind, putting things out in the universe does nothing.

[00:44:44] Carrie Poppy: It can change your focus. That’s it. Which can be phenomenal!

[00:44:50] Ross Blocher: Absolutely, if it helps your attitude. Just don’t expect it to influence the thought processes of others who haven’t heard that you put it out there.

[00:44:57] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Only in direct effects.

[00:44:58] Ross Blocher: Drew’s shaking his head.

[00:45:00] Carrie Poppy: Oh no!

[00:45:01] Drew Spears: Nothing.

[00:45:02] Carrie Poppy: Nothing. Folks, that’s it. Well, Drew, I’m sorry we didn’t fix your kidney stone yet.

[00:45:09] Drew Spears: All in time.

[00:45:10] Carrie Poppy: But thank you for being a willing subject. Citizen science.

[00:45:12] Drew Spears: Oh, my pleasure, Care. Of course. Yes, ma’am.

[00:45:15] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Piss-iten science. Hm. Urine hero? I don’t know.

[00:45:21] Ross Blocher: I got nothing.

[00:45:22] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Thank you.

[00:45:24] Drew Spears: You are welcome.

[00:45:25] Carrie Poppy: That’s it for our show!

[00:45:26] Ross Blocher: Our theme music is by Brian Keith Dalton.

[00:45:28] Carrie Poppy: This episode was edited by Victor Figueroa.

[00:45:30] Ross Blocher: Our administrative manager is Ian Kremer.

[00:45:32] Carrie Poppy: You can support this in all our investigations by going to

[00:45:37] Ross Blocher: Thank you so much for supporting us. We really, really appreciate all of you who do. You can also support us by telling a friend, playing this to a captive audience. Like, “Oh, you’re gonna listen to Oh No, Ross and Carrie! now, ’cause I’m driving.

[00:45:50] Carrie Poppy: And then you can show them Presommar. Or the Drew kidney video.

[00:45:51] Ross Blocher: That’s right. That’s right. What else can people find online about Drew?

[00:45:56] Drew Spears: Well, I have a production facility. If you are in film or media around Los Angeles and you’re looking for a place to film something or you need something filmed on location, you can find me at DSP Studio LA. And also, just real quick, I’ll plug the Entertainment Strike Fund—a strike of SAG and WGA right now. It takes a whole lot of people out of work. A lot of people who work in entertainment are not incredibly wealthy, and for the workers to get what they want, it will require supporting all aspects of workers in entertainment. The Entertainment Strike Fund helps people with financial hardship during this time of no work.

[00:46:37] Ross Blocher: Excellent. Thank you.

[00:46:38] Carrie Poppy: Thank you, Drew!

[00:46:39] Drew Spears: You’re welcome.

[00:46:40] Ross Blocher: And I’ll mention that very soon I’m gonna be visiting my hometown, Santa Cruz—which we mentioned earlier—where you find the Giant Dipper and the beach boardwalk. If you’re anywhere near the area and you wanna meet up, there’s a new Santa Cruz County Skeptics group. They have a banana slug in their logo with a magnifying lens.

[00:46:57] Carrie Poppy: Heeey, cute!

[00:46:59] Ross Blocher: Very cute. And they’re meeting Thursday, August 10th, from 6:30 to 9:30. And I’ll be there! So, you can find it on if you search for Santa Cruz County Skeptics. They’ll be meeting at the Abbott Square Market in downtown Santa Cruz. So, come by, say hi, make some new friends.

[00:47:18] Carrie Poppy: And remember!

[00:47:19] Clip:

Drew Spears: Gary’s read a couple studies that say being on a rollercoaster is good. I’ve heard from people anecdotally it’s good to be on a coaster. So, let’s try to break up these kidney stones on the coaster, as opposed to—w-why are you zooming in on my penis?!

[00:47:33] Music: “Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song” by Brian Keith Dalton. A jaunty, upbeat instrumental.

(Music ends.)

[00:47:40] Promo:

Music: Bright, brassy music.

Alex Schmidt: Hi, I’m ketchup.

Katie Goldin: And I’m socks.

Alex: And I’m ball bearings.

Katie: And I’m pigeons.

Alex: And I’m water towers.

Katie: And I’m cardboard?

Alex: Surprise! We are actually humans.

Katie: Humans making a podcast about those kinds of topics!

Alex: Because those are real episode topics on the podcast Secretly Incredibly Fascinating. That’s a podcast where we take ordinary-seeming things, like ketchup and socks and cardboard, and bring you the little-known history and science and stories that make those things secretly, incredibly fascinating.

Katie: Secretly Incredibly Fascinating!

Alex: The title of the podcast! Hear the back catalog anytime, and hear new, amazing episodes every Monday at

(Music fades out.)

[00:48:22] Sound Effect: Cheerful ukulele chord.

[00:48:24] Speaker 1: Maximum Fun.

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About the show

Welcome to Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, the show where we don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal, but take part ourselves. Follow us as we join religions, undergo alternative treatments, seek out the paranormal, and always find the humor in life’s biggest mysteries. We show up – so you don’t have to. Every week we share a new investigation, interview, or update.

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