62-year-old Dave Roederer is the budget chief for the state of Iowa, or Director of the Iowa Department of Management, if you want to be official about it. Most days, he feels the pain of trying to make the state’s numbers work to pay for all that lawmakers want. Wednesday, the pain was more severe. An ambulance took him to the hospital from the statehouse shortly before 11 this morning. Concern spread quickly because statehouse observers knew Roederer had one heart attack when he worked during Governor Terry Branstad’s previous time in office back in 1994.
As the ambulance drove away, onlookers wondered, what was going on? As it turned out, the ticker is fine. But the pain Roederer felt was very real. It was another attack of kidney stones. If you’ve never had them, consider yourself lucky. According to he National Kidney Foundation, Roederer fits two unfortunate profiles: he is a man and he is white. Kidney stones, for whatever reason, seem to hit white men the hardest. And they send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year.
Roederer was released from the hospital by the afternoon and can look forward to returning to work to deal with the normal discomfort he’s used to…politicians.