Pain Of Kidney Stones
After a month long painful experience, I am back to my laptop to write about this.
On Dec 01, I had excruciating pain at 06:30 AM. Can not forget the time and date ever. It felt like the stomach had a rupture or something. I guess what makes this pain so bad is that whatever pose I sit in, whatever muscle I try to press, the pain doesn’t subside even a bit. It remains constant or elevates.
I knew I had kidney stones 2 years back when I had a random Ultrasound. The stones never moved and with each ultrasound, their size would change, going down some times. I was leading a happy life until the pain actually hit.
Covid-19 was still going on strong at my place. But who has got options? Immediately we rushed to the nearby hospital with our masks on. While the doctor was taking details, we asked them to give me a pain killer (Dynapar to be specific). The nurse gave me the injection in their emergency room. Then I was shifted to a ward where I was given some saline and anti biotics via IV. It helped me avoid nausea during the day. Next we went to get an ultrasound done.
Ultrasound showed I had a 6mm stone stuck in my ureter. I had two more silently sitting in the kidney, but the one in the ureter was the showstopper. We booked an appointment with a nearby doctor (checked ratings online) and went on our merry way.
Doctor put me on antibiotics and some other medicines like Hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) and Urimax. They were supposed to help in pushing the stone towards the exit i.e. the ureter.
The medicines are never good, especially the antibiotics. They created a vicious cycle. Whenever I took the antibiotic, it created a nauseatic feeling for me. Due to nausea, I couldn’t eat food. Would puke if I did. With no food in my stomach, the antibiotic was no good. So the cycle was:
antibiotic -> nausea -> cant eat food -> still eat food -> puke -> still need to eat antibiotics
Anyways, this went on for about a week. I somehow kept myself busy with office work. My wife was a big support. The mood was always bad because of no food and bad taste of antibiotics. I would cry looking at my state and she somehow held the fort.
After a week, I decided this is enough. I need to cry in front of doctor instead to get something concrete done. We booked an appointment, and before I could start wailing, the doctor himself recommended to get a CT scan done so that a decision can be taken.
Next day we went to get the scan. Unfortunately for me, it was CT scan with contrast! Contrast helps in making the inner picture clear. To do that, a contrast fluid is to be added to your blood. Though advancements have been made and this can be done orally, but the place we went does it via IV :( :( Another puncture in my hands.
The process for CT was long since you have to wait for the contrast to reach most organs in your body. We left the place and that is where it happened.
I was waiting in the car for my wife as she was waiting for the report. I suddenly started feeling a chill in my body. My wife came and said it has become horribly hot with the sun blazing (it was noon). I reported a chill. We hoped it was nothing major and went home.
When home, I couldn’t control the chill. I was shivering like a vibrating phone. The temperature had gone to 103. Tried eating something so that I could take the antibiotic, but couldn’t. It was a nightmare at that time as my wife tried putting all the blankets in the home on me. Didn’t help much, since I am required to drink a lot of water, which creates urine and I can’t do that in bed. Somehow I took a piece of bread and took the antibiotic along.
The shivering subsided after some time. In the evening, the doctor saw the CT report and recommended the laser treatment. The shivering and high temperature means that the stone is causing infection in the body. And infection with such strong antibiotics means things aren’t good.
So the thing with these procedures is that, you can not do them if you have infection in body. You never know where the infection might next enter during the procedure. So the doctor kept me under observation for 24 hours before doing the procedure. I did get some fever during this time, but it was mild and skillfully handled by the nursing staff at the hospital.
Anyways, a spinal anesthesia, a cystoscope through my ureter, a laser and a stent in my ureter later, I was better. I insisted that I be sedated during the procedure as I didn’t want to see what was happening. But alas, I woke up in the middle of the procedure (damn you anesthesiologist). I heard the doctor telling someone else to work properly, they can not keep checking their work. I got scared :(.
I came back to hospital bed and kept resting. I was supposed to be under observation over night before release. My wife didn’t tell me lest I be scared, but I had a urine bag on me. No feeling inside, but I was peeing automatically. Strange times :D
Next day, the doctor visited and asked the bag be removed (my urine still had some blood), but supposedly that was ok. Oh, the worst feeling is that bag being removed from you. It is just strangely worst.
Left for home soon after with a list of prescriptions since I still had a stent in my ureter.
To be continued… Story about a procedure called ESWL for breaking the stones in my kidney and a process to remove the stent. Both bad and worse.
If you have a kidney stone and have felt the pain, do share your experience. We as humanity are stoned together. #punIntended