Monday, July 7, 2014

The attack of the kidney stone

On Wednesday, July 1, 
Six days before my big move across the country
I was attacked by my kidney.

If you've never had kidney stones,
you should thank your lucky stars and also pray that it never happens to you.
It is horrendous.

Some people say that it is as bad as child birth.
But, as a woman who has experienced natural childbirth,
I just want to say...
It's worse.

horrible pain
and the only thing you get at the end
if you are lucky
is a little rock.

And you do all kinds of embarrassing things when you are in unrelenting pain.
Take my word for it.

I have had this stone since December.
It attacked me the day after Christmas.
Then again in April
Then again in July.

I never passed it...
it just kept moving around and blocking important bodily pathways.
then it would move a little bit and unblock
so that I could go on living with this little time bomb inside of me.

I realize the timing of this last attack could have been worse.
It could have happened while I was driving across the country.
So, even though the timing isn't very good
I see how it wasn't the worst scenario.

The doctor decided that I wasn't going to be able to pass it
and they scheduled surgery.

So I had the little sucker removed on Thursday.
5 days before my move.

As I waited for surgery,
I felt a bit of a negative vibe between my surgeon and the nurses.

I don't know about you but I want my surgeon to be the kind of guy that everyone loves.
Animosity with co-workers seems like a bad thing. 
I guess it doesn't mean anything in terms of surgical skill but it still put me on edge.

I got the impression that the doctor was trying to get this done in a hurry
and the nurses and other staff were annoyed
and feeling like "I'll get my stuff done when I get my stuff done.  Back off!"

So at one point,
the nurse asks if the doctor has been in to see me.
He had.
She says, "Did he mark you?"
Another nurse pipes up with "If he didn't mark her, I'll go get him and make him come back"
I respond, "yes, he marked me"
"Where?  Your arm?" (said with a snarky tone of voice)
"Um. No.  My leg"

Which was apparently the right place for him to have marked me.
And the poor annoyed nurses just had to let the surgeon go.

Days later...
I still have a permanent market "yes" on my right leg
even after multiple showers and lots of scrubbing.

The surgery was a success and they removed a 5mm stone.
It's now being evaluated
So that they can tell me to cut even more things out of my diet, I assume.

The unfortunate thing is that they had to insert a stent.
Which is a big tube running from the kidney to the bladder
to keep the tube open in case of swelling.
this tube does not feel good

So I have spent the last several days
doing a lot of nothing

I was thankful we had packed gradually and in advance
so I didn't have all that much to do.

The movers come today
July 7
and I will probably be trying to find ways to lay down in the midst of the chaos.
Dangit, my kidney hurts!


  1. Sorry you are in such pain Deb! Feel better soon! Good luck with your move!

  2. So no, I have never had kidney stones, but do you know my kidney story? I was born with a blockage in my right kidney and all my life growing up I would have those "attacks"...moments, days, even weeks of intense pain. I would get "she just wants attention" or "it's growing pains" until my mom went to a new doctor when I was 13 and they did an ultrasound and discovered it was 3 times its normal size. After major surgery to remove the blockage, I had a stent put in. It was removed in November (initial surgery in August) and I was in so much pain I literally couldn't stop throwing up. My mom drove me to the ER and they did X-rays and finally decided to put the stent back in. It helped take the pain away, but they didn't know what to do after that. They were afraid to remove it for good because of my severe reaction. So it was then replaced every 3-4 months for the next 4 years, under general anesthesia. It was awful, but having the stent removed the first time while i was awake was probably worse (and super humiliating for a 13-year-old). So if I can give you some advice, it's to be asleep when that sucker gets removed. :) Also, I'm really sorry. Kidney pain is just....the worst thing ever. I was supposed to have my kidney removed after my first year at BYU because it was still so painful but the urologist said that 10% function is better than nothing, so I just deal with it. Luckily it's only really bad when I'm pregnant. :) Anyway, take advil! It helps!

    1. Wow! I think I knew you had a kidney that didn't work right but I didn't know any details. That sounds awful awful awful. I get my stent removed today and I am going to be wide awake, I'm afraid...just doing it at an office visit. I will take advil in advance. Not sure how much it'll help. I swear this has been one of the worst weeks of my life! Kidney stone, stent pain, my most horrendous migraine EVER yesterday, and now today I am dizzy and nauseated (leftover recovery from the migraine) and in an hour I get the stent out. I pray the whole kidney thing feels better once its out. I'm feeling stressed that I have to start my drive across the country on Monday!