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This is not a pleasant diary.  It's not about politics- though I was reminded of Sicko a few times during the ordeal. If you're not a kidney stone sufferer or don't know anyone who is or was, best to skip on by. I've been plagued by stones for the past 7 years or so, but this time something really unusual seems to be occurring. Every time in the past the problem, though excruciatingly painful initially, was over within hours. This time its two weeks and counting.

I've been a Kossack almost forever (UID 801) and rarely post but am a true lurkaholic. I don't like sharing these embarrassing medical details but I'm at wit's end as to what's going on and figure there may well be knowledgeable doctors or scientists or just smart folks who may have some helpful advice.

My timeline of delight is just after the flip.

Friday, 9/14, 5am: Woke up with an ache in lower back that felt like the onset of renal colic (caused a stone passing from the kidney to the bladder via one of the ureters. Took a Toradol (anti-inflammatory) prescribed for past attacks, pain subsided and I went back to sleep.

Noonish same day: took another Toradol as the pain came back a little, still quite mild. Pain subsided. Pain went on and off for next couple of days, but no stone passed. Figured I must have just missed it somehow and all was over.

Wednesday, 9/19, 5:30am: Sudden, severe renal colic (Wikipedia page for Kidney Stones says this is "most severe pain ever felt"). Onset so swift no time to medicate. Had my wife take me to the emergency room only a mile away. They put me on Toradol via I-V. Pain subsided quickly and I was discharged. Started screening all urine. For next several days, felt on and off milder attacks of renal colic. Still no stone.

Tuesday, 9/25, 1am: Could not sleep due to inability to urinate over prior 12 hours. Felt like gravel in my bladder. Drove myself to an emergency room half an hour away with better facilities where they could do an XRay scan to see what was in there. They wouldn't do it. They claimed I had a urinary tract infection, gave me Cipro (antibiotic) and more Toradol. Said I'd feel better in a couple of days. Also worth noting that they attempted to insert a catheter to drain my bladder, failed and had to get a different technician with a different type of catheter. Finally succeeded. Discharged me.

Wednesday, 9/26, 7am: Sudden and severe renal colic again. On doctors orders was driven to my third E.R. about 40 minutes away where they hit me with Dilaudid to stop absolutely gut-wrenching pain. It worked. Finally got a CT-scan which showed two stones, one in each ureter on the way to the bladder. Contacted my doctor from there, made an appt at midday (only 5 minutes away). Dilaudid and pain had worn off by this time. By the time the doctor returned from lunch about twenty minutes late, I was having another attack. He suggested I be admitted to the hospital I'd just come from. I said fine. He could give me nothing for pain which was becoming truly intolerable. Went back to hospital to be admitted, a procedure that took only half an hour or so but felt like an eternity. A nurse then entered my room and I felt joy at release from pain. Unbelievably, she informed me I couldn't get a shot for 30 to 40 minutes because "I wasn't in the system yet." It turned out to be more like another hour, the whole time me being in agony. Finally they got me hooked up and started regular Dilaudid and Toradol treatments. The next two days I needed them very much as the pain cycles increased in frequency and intensity.

Friday, 9/28, 1pm: Had both kidney stones surgically removed. Operation was a success. I came home yesterday the 29th thinking all was well.

Sunday, 9/30, Noon: Sudden and severe renal colic- possibly the worst of the entire two weeks. Rushed to local emergency room for two shots of morphine. Feeling fine but wondering what in the hell to do next.

So, if you made it this far and have any advice to offer, I'm all ears.

Note: this sort of uncomfortably reminds me of the guy several years back who blogged his Brown Recluse Spider bite- with pictures. At one point someone commented something like "Just die already!" That's not the kind of feedback I'm looking for.

Update: Looks like I'm in the clear for now. The doc thinks the last blast was just a temporary clot in the ureter from the swelling after surgery- not another stone. I hope he's right. I thank all of you  who contributed your oft' times painful wisdom to this diary. I will consider much of it in ongoing treatment.

Originally posted to Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 05:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My sympathies (10+ / 0-)

    My wife has suffered with an embedded kidney stone for  the past year.  They went in to get it out only to find it stuck behind the tissue of the kidney (very rare).  The pain of the stents kept in the ureters was unbearable (she described as worse than child birth).   This might be what you are feeling now.  I hope so, as it will pass once stents are removed.  Meantime, percocet is your best friend.

    •  Kidney Stones (5+ / 0-)

      Sung to the tune of Cover of the Rolling Stones (Dr Hook & the Medicine Show)

      Well, I'm a big tough guy,
      But thought that i would die,
      When I got sick the other night,
      I thought, "I'm in trouble!",
      I was bent over double,
      And my wife was sick with fright.

      She threw me in the car,
      Sped right to the E.R.,
      And they did every test that is known,
      Oh, I cried like a baby,
      Cause there ain't no maybe,
      The doc said I have a kidney stone!

      Chorus:
      Kidney stone,
      Oh man, it's a pain like no other,
      Stone,
      Geez Louise! It's hurtin' like a mother!
      Stone,
      Gonna go right out of my mind,
      If I don't pass this kidney stone!!

      Now I do like kisses, and I love my missus,
      But right now I don't need hugs,
      Just pour me glasses of water,
      And pass me that vial of drugs.

      Now I never thought,
      I could be this distraught,
      This sure is no way to live!
      I sit here drugged and loopy,
      With eyes red and droopy,
      And they got me pissing through a sieve!

      Chorus

      Normal urination,
      Would bring such elation,
      If I could get this damned thing to pass,
      Being sick is such a bummer,
      To hurt like this is a pain in the ass.

      I've got a busy life, with the kids and the wife,
      But right now it all must be postponed,
      This pain in my gut,
      Really kicked my butt,
      So, for now, I'm just gonna stay stoned.

      Chorus

      © Donna Daugherty 2004

      -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

      by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:56:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've never been up close to this (9+ / 0-)

    but I can't pass you by. I'm so sorry you're suffering like this - I have nothing useful to offer you, but I hope like hell you can heal quickly and permanently. Best wishes for a rapid and conclusive recovery.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 05:36:02 PM PDT

    •  Passing the damned stone is the only quick (5+ / 0-)

      recovery. Otherwise you get what is called a lithotripsy, which is no fun either. I've suffered through three of those and the damned urologist wants to do more. I have at least five stones that are not bothering anyone, especially me. But a lithotripsy will benefit the hospital at least $10K.
       
      That said I do have one that if it moves in the wrong way could cause me trouble, it's too big to pass. So if it moves I'll have to have at least one more lithotripsy.
       
      BTW. it's not neccessarily the size of the stone that causes the problem as it is the shape. One of mine that  got caught in the ureter was "U" shaped. Fun was had by all.

      -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

      by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:09:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You just gave me something damn useful (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumblebums, TexDem, BachFan, Rippen Kitten

      Sympathy. It works better than most medications. Well, Dilaudid has its place :)

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:12:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Glad I Don't Feel Your Pain (7+ / 0-)

    They say its as painful as childbirth. Ten days of childbirth sounds terrible. I'm glad I've never had kidney stones. Unfortunately, my family does have a history of kidney stones, so I'm expecting the worst.

    •  Drink lots of water (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, el dorado gal, Rippen Kitten

      keep your uric acid level in your urine low. High levels of uric acid allows the uric acid to crystallize which is the culprit. You can also have calcium based stones or combos.
       
      Drink lots of water. Oh and don't drink grape juice, it has a high uric acid content.

      -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

      by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:13:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  or coffee or tea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexDem

        Oxalates should also be avoided by people who have a tendency to form stones.  There may be some protective effect in green tea and/or peppermint tea (search pubmed.com for relevant articles). You have my sympathy...I wish I could give more. Hang in there.

  •  Renal colic (5+ / 0-)

    Other symptoms? Nausea, vomiting? Blood in urine?

    It could be colic, but it could also be another stone.

    My sympathies either way. The old saw about a kidney stone being more painful than childbirth is true, I think.

  •  Cranberry Juice (7+ / 0-)

    A holistic treatment for my father from all places the VA Hospital system.

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 05:41:37 PM PDT

  •  I'm not a doctor and (11+ / 0-)

    I haven't had kidney stones, but I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.  Do you have someone close to you that can fight the doctors in your behalf.  They need to get off their duffs and figure out what is wrong with you.  I would insist on an MRI.  Maybe there are small fragments left in your ureter.  Good luck, but you need some help in getting the doctors to do something.  I have heard more and more stories of lack of concern by doctors lately. Best of luck.

    •  recommended for (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, TexDem, Kingsmeg, Rippen Kitten

      "someone close to you that can fight the doctors in your behalf"

      Not because they are 'evil', just because they can be wrong at times. When you are in pain, it really helps to have a friend who is a medical professional [nurse, doctor, even someone familiar with administration - hell, maybe that would be the very BEST friend to have, the one that knows 'administration' inside and out] to be an advocate.

      Many times relatives just won't cut it as advocates, unless they are professionally involved in the medical profession.

      socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

      by shpilk on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:29:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Having a facility familiar with kidneystones (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rippen Kitten

        helps. They know how to deal with the pain. An experienced facility will deal with the pain first and the confirm the stone.

        Or, so that has fortunately been my experience.

        -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

        by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:28:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I find I have to read my chart myself (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rippen Kitten

        if I want to know what's going on.  The doctors simply won't tell me anything.  But if I read the chart and ask questions, then they will either answer the questions (good) or start avoiding me (bad... change doctors immediately).

        So, if they gave you antibiotics, what did the cultures show?  Did anyone ever tell you?  Surely they didn't diagnose a kidney/bladder infection without taking a urine sample and doing a culture?

        BTW, I've had 7 of these now, I've always passed them in my sleep.  I take whatever opiates are necessary to bring the pain down to a level where I can doze off, then something about that relaxes all the muscles in my back and gut, and that makes it so much easier for the stone to pass (IMHO, I'm not a doctor).  Pain causes you to clench all your muscles, which is guaranteed to cause a lot more pain when you're dealing with something like a kidney stone or back problems.

        Mark Twain -Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

        by Kingsmeg on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:36:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's why I was thinking of becoming an (0+ / 0-)

        independent patient advocate, along the lines of a doula when she acts as advocate for her clients.
        It's not so much that the doula demands treatment or acts as a doctor, more or less she says things like-
        "that's not on your birth plan, do you have any questions you would like to ask before they break the bag of waters?", most women still choose the medical intervention but they also feel powerful, like they are actively participating in their care instead of, as one woman said to me-"having things done to me down there".

        Plus, there was a study that showed nurses/doctors gave better, more compassionate care when someone else was in the room with the patient.

  •  Similar situation just happened to a good friend (6+ / 0-)

    He had kidney stones removed, went on vacation because he thought the problem was solved, but developed severe pain when more stones began to pass from his kidneys. His doctor had to do a second procedure to remove the new stones.

    I'd suggest seeing a doctor and hopefully getting another CT scan as soon as possible.

    Wishing you relief and healing!

    Better to live on your feet than die crawling...DarkSyde

    by Ekaterin on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 05:50:39 PM PDT

  •  My Advice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, greenreflex, Tenn Wisc Dem

    Follow the advice of your doctor, not Daily Kos folks!!  Seriously.

    I think Sen. Clinton would make a very good president.

    by bink on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 05:56:45 PM PDT

    •  ? (9+ / 0-)

      Did you see where these Einsteins refused to give Max an X-Ray and extended the suffering for another week?

      I don't trust anyone implicitly with my health.

      My SO almost died when the brilliant asshat of a doc recommended both Lasix and Zaroxlyn for simple leg edema without monitoring the levels of salt in the blood. Almost killed my SO.

      The admitting ER doc said "I've never seen such low sodium and potassium levels ever" .. he thought my SO could have a fatal heart attack any moment.

      Three days in cardiac ICU.

      Two bags of potassium, one in each arm going full blast for 2 days .. it burns going in, too. All because we listened to the advice of the doctor.

      The real solution is to learn, challenge and get an advocate for your own health. Work with a doctor you trust, but never ever implicitly trust anyone with your life or the life of your loved one.

      Just sayin'.

      socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

      by shpilk on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:17:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Know (0+ / 0-)

        But the amount of valid medical advice you might get around here is quite small, when compared to the amount of potentially invalid advice, which is infinite.

        I think Sen. Clinton would make a very good president.

        by bink on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:27:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Any advice should be followed up (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, shpilk, TexDem, Rippen Kitten

          with recommendation from the treating MD in my opinion. That said sometimes a fresh set of eyes or someone who has already undergone similar circumstances can give advice or offer suggestions that might not already be applicable right now that can be brought to the doctor. Personally, I really think its difficult to give advice without knowing what exactly the doctors have or haven't done and you really can't tell what that case is with the post. I mean the poster says that the ER was treating for a UTI as well as for stones so his pain could be caused by that. Additionally I know that even after my stones were gone I felt crappy for almost a month and I had a far less invasive procedure done. It's really so hard to tell with the info here what to tell OP other than hope he/she feels better and to get in touch with MD.

          •  No UTI (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TexDem, cwaltz, Rippen Kitten

            It was confirmed not to be the case by further urine analysis. Just one of the shots in the dark these guys seem to like to take.

            "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

            by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:09:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The confusion could have been from experiencing (0+ / 0-)

            pain in both flanks. That is very unusual for a kidneystone attack. It is usually only one side. I experienced chronic dehydration once and the pain was similar to a kidneystone attack with the exception of being in both flanks. I expressed this to the Doctors and along with a few more questions and additional test it was determined that it was not stones but chronic dehydration. Two bags later I went home, no more pain and a lesson learned. Water alone during intense workouts is not enough, you must replace the electrolytes too.

            -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

            by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:38:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hasn't helped much so far (7+ / 0-)

      I'm also benefiting enormously from the sympathy factor. I'm starting to think some of my best friends in life are Kossacks I've never interacted with until now.

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:07:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  is that not just stupid (0+ / 0-)

      most  of us are saying-
      I'm not a doctor, but this is what helped me.

      Let's just infantilize ourselves into a learned helplessness condition and "trust" a medical community that can still only say at best that they are "practicing medicine."

      There is nothing wrong with asking for information, even if it is the "share your experiences with me" type of information. Not one of us is saying act on it, trusting instead that Max Wyvvern will do what he feels is best for his body, probably in conjunction with his medical doctors.

  •  Been there (9+ / 0-)

    I had a similar experience ... not quite as bad, but almost. When you said you thought kidney stones would pass in a few hours, I almost laughed. My ordeal lasted 2-3 weeks.

    Some high points:

    Routine Dr. visit detected blood in urine, several tests (one involving the dreaded cathter) turned up nothing. I worried a lot that it was bladder cancer.

    Many weeks later I had about 6-8 hours of intense pain. Warm baths helped. Felt very dehydrated. Tried to sleep but couldn't. Late at night I ended up on my knees resting my head on the bed and eventually must have passed out. I woke up the next morning like that -- but the pain was gone.

    I went to a doctor who suggested it might be irritable bowel syndrome. That sounded like a really embarrassing thing to have. Had another attack of pain while waiting to get my IBS prescription. It didn't help.

    The pain stuck around on and off for a few days. Then the big one hit while I was at work. I managed to drive home but the pain became intense. Everyone I called to drive to me the hospital was out, so I drove myself 25 miles whimpering loudly and driving like a maniac the whole way.

    When I got to the hospital I pulled up on the curb and handed my keys to a stranger and asked her if she could park it for me and leave the keys with the attendant. I didn't care. It was that bad.

    Then ... 2 excruciating hours in a hospotal gown on a cold metal table. I found out later they don't give painkillers to people who walk in off the street until they're convinced you're not kidding.

    By the time I got painkillers and an MRI, they told me it was almost out and sent me home.

    The final passage happened about 2 weeks later and it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared. The science of fluid dynamics is your friend.

    Best advice I know is to drink water. More water than you can stand. Flush the bastard out and pray you don't get another.

    I hope this helps. Hang in there.

  •  I am so sorry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, TexDem, emeraldmaiden, cwaltz

    I managed to pass all my stones at home. However, I still had pain even though the CT showed no stones but a dilated Urether tube from what the urologist thought was from the stone passing through   I also did have a kidney  infection which caused severe pain.
    I was put on antibotics for the infection and time for the dilation with some pain meds.

    I am sorry, I am not a doctor, and I can't offer more than my experience.
    My thoughts will be with you. Feel better soon.    

  •  Stones (8+ / 0-)

    You don't say how large the stones were or how they removed them.  I'm assuming they were too large to pass in which case they may have broken them up to remove them.  If this is the case you may still have small particles passing--continue to screen your urine and drink lots and lots of water.  I had a 7mm stone 2 yrs ago and it took 3 procedures, a stent, and 10 months to finally get rid of it.  Keep in touch with your MD especially if the pain is strong and there is a problen urinating.

    "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

    by dmac on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:05:46 PM PDT

  •  After 4 solid hours of my twins having (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, shpilk, molls, TexDem, Ekaterin, Pandoras Box

    prolonged twin temper tantrums, I think I've come upon something more painful.  Thanks for putting things in perspective.  

    HOpe your doctors resolve this for you soon, it sounds miserable.

    NetrootNews coming soon!

    by ksh01 on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:08:36 PM PDT

  •  Oh, can I relate to your situation... (10+ / 0-)

    And what everyone is saying about kidney stones being more painful than childbirth??  It's true - I had my first kidney stone at 19.  When I had my two sons, at age 26 & 29, I didn't even need an epidural or anything to kill the pain.  The kidney stones had been so much worse that I was able to use breathing to get through childbirth.

    Their denial of painkillers can border on masochistic.  They wouldn't give me anything close to an aspirin with my first one, while they did endless tests.  After 16 hours of being injected with dye, x-rayed and analyzed, they finally gave me a shot of demerol in the backside.  Only then did I stop crying and screaming.  Like you, I had to have this one surgically removed.

    I've had them off and on for the last 20 years.  Also like you, they tell me it's a bladder infection and prescribe Cipro, which does nothing.

    If you don't have any Percocet or Vicodin at home, try to convince your doc to at least give you 2 or 3 to keep with you.  If you get hit again, you can at least start the painkillers and get them into your system as you head to the hospital.

    Your situation is eerily familiar, and I can understand your panic.  Like the others said, drink as much water as you can tolerate.  You've probably still got one or two stones in there, and maybe you can get them through without having to subject yourself to the frustration of dealing with the health system.

    Take care of yourself!!!!

    YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

    by molls on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:14:39 PM PDT

    •  I've got Vicodin now... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, molls, TexDem

      ...and I aint afraid to use it.

      However, one complication that I left out is that I have a very stressful work situation at present. They're counting on me to deliver some clean code and drugs won't help me with that.

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:02:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  here come the aphorisms (0+ / 0-)
        You can only do what you can do.  
        One step at a time, never looking too far ahead.  There aren't many deadlines that can't be bent.
        People want to help, so ask for help.  
        This too shall pass.  
        It'll make a great story when it's over.

        They're just words, but I hope they're of some minor comfort.  

  •  Change the pH, avoid protein too... (5+ / 0-)

    Most kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. A few have urea/uric acid metabolic byproducts as well.

    #1. raise your pH - disfavor stone precipitation

    If it were my husband or dad, I'd tell him to raise (not lower!) the pH in his urine by drinking more water and taking potassium citrate (<99 mg) to raise the pH.</p>

    I'd be very careful and avoid drinking cranberry, orange juice, etc; they will lower the pH and increase calcium oxalate precipitation into 'stones'.

    Go to WebMD, or Wikipedia; they have a lot of information on this.

    #2. Avoid high levels of protein

    Protein is broken down into amino acids, which lower the pH and favor kidney stone formation. I'd cut way down on protein for a while, drink a lot of water.

    #3. Avoid oxalate-containing foods

    Chocolate, tea, cocoa, beets, rhubarb - all have oxalate which will combine with calcium to form CaOx - the building blocks for kidney stones

    Again, Google "oxalate-containing foods" and look at the list.

    Hope this helps! GET WELL!

    •  one more... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, cwaltz

      i just read this recently. sorry i can't find the link again. but if you take calcium supplements, more than 750mg a day, be sure to always take them with meals. the food helps with calcium absorption and lowers the risk of forming kidney stones.

      also, cut out or at least cut way back on soft drinks. it's a factor in forming kidney stones.

      I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish. --Henri Matisse

      by isis2 on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:41:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No more daily Doc Pepper then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexDem, isis2

        I'm going to have to do some kind of a spreadsheet on all this advice and try to figure out the gestalt of the collective wisdom. Thanks for contributing.

        "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

        by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:59:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good idea (0+ / 0-)

          it won't hurt you now and then but with a history of kidney stones, i think you'd be wise to stop the daily dose.

          also, exercise is a very good thing. and good for more than kidney stone prevention. regular exercise helps put calcium back into your bones... a nice safe place for it. when we are inactive, we tend to accumulate calcium in the bloodstream, which of course is constantly flowing through your kidneys.

          good luck! i hope this is your very last experience with kidney stones.

          I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish. --Henri Matisse

          by isis2 on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 10:05:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ARe you sure about soda's forming stones? (0+ / 0-)

        I am under the impression that your body actually pulls calcium out of your blood, or bones, to metabolize carbonic acid.

        •  Uric acid in some of the soft drinks (0+ / 0-)

          tea and coffee are also on the forbidden list.

          -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

          by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:52:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  it's the phosphoric acid in soft drinks (0+ / 0-)

          increased phosphates in the urine raises the risk of kidney stones. that's my understanding of it.

          you are right about calcium being pulled out of your bones. that's reason enough to give up soft drinks. phosphorous pulls calcium out of your blood. i believe the increased risk comes from having that extra calcium circulating in your blood. it can collect as stones in the kidneys.

          I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish. --Henri Matisse

          by isis2 on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 09:55:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I have the benefit of having compound stones (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      molls

      uric acid cores and  calcium oxalate outer. Lots of water.

      -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read" Mark Twain

      by TexDem on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 08:00:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow! You have exotic stones! :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexDem

        Mine are uric acid only.

        Which is a major pain (PUN INTENDED!), because they don't show up when they inject me with the dye and do the x-rays.  Apparently uric acid stones are more rare (about 10% of all stones, I believe).

        Every time I have an episode, they insist on doing the dye injection, even when I tell them they won't FIND ANYTHING!  They say they have to do it anyway, and sure enough, tell me afterwards that they couldn't see anything!  

        I think my system, for some reason can't break down uric acid.  My brother and father suffered quite a bit from gout, which is also related to excess uric acid, so I'm wondering if some of this is hereditary...

        Probably TMI, but this is an interesting diary with good feedback!  

        YEE-HAW is not a foreign policy.

        by molls on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 09:05:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          molls, TexDem

          I almost never clicked Post. I was afraid people would just see me as a whiner worried about my own health when there are so many people in need in this world and so many critical issues to discuss. I'm glad you found it worthwhile.

          "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

          by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 09:58:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  stop (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TexDem

            you deserve to be healthy, happy, and safe too.

            Our common link is political progressive issues, but we are nothing but a metaphorical community if we do not stop and "help" each other out when we need it.

            And, uh, how much good are you doing the world, the democrats, progressive issues, etc while you are in pain?

            Kind of hard to fire off righteous spot on LTE when you are on the floor writhing in agony.

            Feel better soon!

  •  Is your regular doc a water works specialist? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    molls, A Mad Mad World

    If he or she is not, you might want to hook up with someone who is a specialist.

    That being said, if that fails [or even if you find a specialist] you might want to check and see if your local hospital has an advocate program. It's obvious that the diagnosis was missed a number of times, and it's sadly typical of modern health care.

    I trust my own doc, but even there I will challenge if I find the need to do so [thank God never had the need to yet, I am relatively healthy].

     

    socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

    by shpilk on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

    •  The doc I'm referring to is a urologist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, TexDem

      But he's a wiseass and I can't say I've got a high level of confidence in him. For one thing, when we went to his office the first thing he said on looking at my chart was "you should have had a metabolic workup years ago!"

      My wife then politely pointed out that he;d seen me two years previously and hadn't bothered to order one. His excuse was something lame about how the stone had already passed on that occasion. No shit sherlock. That's exactly the time to be thinking about keeping it from happening again.

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:24:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, shpilk

    You may need to change urologists, even more than once, until you get one who gets you.

    Remember, medicine is still an art as much as a science.

    You can't reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift

    by A Mad Mad World on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:26:02 PM PDT

  •  Have they done anymore CT scans? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Kingsmeg, A Mad Mad World

    I'm not an MD but I have had repeat episodes of stones. I know that it isn't uncommon for the stones to cause damage. I also know that after they did lithotripsy to remove a 10mm stone from my right kidney(they placed a stent in for a month to treat me for infection) I felt like I'd been run over by a mack truck. I know the last time that I passed one spontaneously(Who knows how big that one was. It was 2mm 3 years prior and nobody let me know I had it) it caused hydronephrosis of the right kidney and I had pain even after its passing. I feel for you. I have my own rock garden going on. I have 2 in my left kidney right now and 1 in my right. As of last year they figured they would be small enough to pass on own. The MD I just saw at the VA is scheduling an ultrasound to take a look see at them since I haven't noticed them exiting and I have recurrent right flank pain.

    I have to wonder if maybe right now your body is still adjusting but again I'd caution that I'm not an MD. Can you call the Dr who did the surgery? Do you have a follow up to check on the surgery? You really haven't mentioned although I gather they removed the stones through your backside and I haven't had to go through that particular experience yet(and crossing fingers I don't since they said that the surgery would increase the risk of complications when they decided to go with lithotripsy).

    I do wish you the best.

    •  I left a few things out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cwaltz

      It already seemed like it was way too much detailed whining. The urologist who did the surgery implied everything went well in a follow-up chat when I was still groggy. Today he's out of town but I'll be talking to him first thing in the morning.

      The stones were "only" 4 and 5 mm judging from the CT scan. No idea about the one that's still in there. Im presuming it's a fragment of one of the two that got jammed up in the ureter and he just guessed that he got it all out.

      I have much sympathy for your own ordeal. Be well.

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:56:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My worst experience (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, busternjake, molls, TexDem, Halcyon

    Had a kidney stone attack while at my internist's for something else.

    They told me to go into another room and wait, and then they forgot about me. Meanwhile my pain and nausea continued to mount to almost unbearable levels.

    Finally someone checked in to see who was moaning in the examination room, and then they wheeled me over to the ER, which was right next door.

    There they gave me demerol or something, and put in a stent which brought down the symptoms tenfold.  Seemed like a great idea, but see below.

    I had that damned stone for several weeks.  The stent kept it from causing me agony, but there was still quite a bit of pain, and that stone just would not die.  They blasted it with ultrasound 3 times, and the blasted thing (pun intended) hung in there.

    Finally, the urologist decided that the stent should be removed.  Well, that old stent had really made itself at home during all that time, and taking it out squeezed as much pain into a short period (they said it took just 10 seconds, but it seemed like at least 30) as some of my stones might have given me in an hour.

    But wouldn't you know, the stone passed the next night after the stent was removed. It seemed that the stent had kept the stone from passing. BTW, when the stone came out it had been cratered from the ultrasound but not broken up.

    At the end of all this, my urologist said that the best way to avoid future stones is to drink a ton.  I try to do that, and I've been lucky since then.

    Best of luck to you.

    You can't reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift

    by A Mad Mad World on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 06:39:24 PM PDT

  •  when you get better (0+ / 0-)

    Real lemon juice and  kidney stones, Google it. I drink it every day. Some compound in it inhibits nucleation and growth of crystals. Works for me...I get stuck in the wilds a lot with no water and every hour of dehydration seems like it adds another growth ring to the stone that eventually passes. I had to do emergency surgery on myself once, no meds. It was either that or...bloody but effective.

    •  Great tip (0+ / 0-)

      It just so happens we have a lemon tree in the front yard absolutely loaded with ripe lemons. My 10 yr-old son just made fresh squeezed lemonade today and was thinking of setting up a stand. He has dollar signs in his eyes. Maybe instead of getting rich he can cure his Dad?

      "People should not vote for any Republican, because they're dangerous, dishonest and self-serving." - a lifelong Republican

      by Max Wyvern on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 09:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My father had kidney stones (0+ / 0-)

    He was a big bearish woodsman.  The only time I ever saw his tears was during one of his kidney stone bouts.

    Best to you.

     

  •  Get well soon! (0+ / 0-)

    You've made it this far ;)

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:32:35 PM PDT

  •  Analyze the stone (0+ / 0-)

    Go see a kidney stones specialist; that would be a urologist or nephrologist who specializes in this field. Operating to extract kidney stones (done by a urologist) does not necessarily make somebody a specialist in understanding the root of the problem.

    The specialist will analyze the stone itself to find out what material it is made of.

    Then you will get blood and urine tests looking at levels of various minerals and substances as well as urine pH to find out why you are forming so many stones  (usually referred to as a kidney stones profile).

    Based on that information the specialist should be able to give you an informed recommendation of what you can do next to minimize or avoid further production of stones.

    Hope this helps

  •  ahhh max. kidney stones are teh suck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    molls

    i've no medical advice for you even though i've got such a history with stones that all the folks in urology know me as i totter in to the department and it's ON MY CHART to give me the pain killers i want when i show up in emergency. (this is good as early-days they treated me poorly.)

    so, general advice: please consider having an advocate with you until you establish good rapport with the whole office --(nurses rule yunno) -- someone who has done solid research on the whole funky kidney syndrome.

    please, express your discomfort to yr doc about what might be happening inside you; ask about all the possible tests and request them, including another ct-scan & the 24-hour urine test; ask about diet, water consumption, herbs, accupuncture, exercise, weight control -- anything and everything you could think of! do yr research before the visit. and make sure the doc goes over all the tests with you and ask: what's that? what's that there? what might that indicate?

    don't let the doc leave the room until you're comfortable with the next-steps-to-be-taken, you've got a script for your chosen pain killers, important information about your kidney problems are highlighted in yr chart -- and again, anything else you can think of.

    many blessings on your spirit and yr kidneys. remember that this IS something that can be gracefully and successfully handled.

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