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.