Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kidney Stone Redux

Emergency Room on this beautiful summer morning in Lewes, Delaware

This morning when I woke up I had "that" feeling again.  Oh no, another kidney stone passing.  There was no denying what was happening.  I had nausea, and my right side was hurting.  Yes, I just had a kidney stone pass a few weeks ago.  That time it was on my left side.

This time I decided not to wait and make myself believe that I was imagining things.  I put my clothes on and left my bedroom to see Bill in our sunroom.  This is our usual morning routine.  He is up much earlier than I am and waits for me.

I told him "I'm passing another kidney stone. Could you take me to the emergency room?"  Of course he couldn't believe it either and I had to repeat myself.  I decided not to call 911 and take the ambulance because the last time that took just too long.  You have to wait for the ambulance and once they get here they take tests to make sure you're not dying before they put you in the ambulance.  The last time it seemed like it took forever to get to the emergency room.  This time I wanted to get to the emergency room and have the painkillers before my pain got too bad.  Of course I knew I would have to go through a possible delay if the emergency room was busy.


Didn't have to use this entrance to the Emergency Room this morning

One good thing if there is any good thing about passing a kidney stone, it was early this morning before the Route One traffic really got heavy on this Saturday morning in the height of the summer resort traffic that is the reality of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes this year.


I am becoming very familiar with this place

Bill dropped me off in front of the emergency room.  I took out my iPhone and took a quick photo (you know me), even though I was in great discomfort.  I entered the emergency room admissions.  I told the woman behind the desk "I'm passing a kidney stone."  She immediately led me back to the emergency room working area.

I don't want or have the time to go into all the detail but I know the drill now, this being my fourth time passing a kidney stone.  They asked me my pain level.  I said "Six" on a scale of one to ten.  That's one reason I left early, I wanted to get pain killers before it got unbearable.  

They told me to get undressed and I put on their hospital gown.  Bill was with me.  They asked who he was and I said "That's my spouse."  I would have said "husband" but Bill prefers I say "spouse" so I did.  



After more routine questions many of which asked me to repeat my name and date of birth several times, I was administered my pain killers.  Oh sweet Jesus, relief.  

More questions about my symptoms then I feel asleep.  Bill took some photos of me sleeping with his iPhone.  Thank you Bill.  For posterity for that day when I can laugh about this, the old man that I am falling apart here.

Next up was the CAT-SCAN.  The nurse joked with me that I probably knew the routine.  I told her I did "Breath in....hold."  Old routine now.

All the while I'm still thinking "This is only my imagination.  I can' possibly be passing ANOTHER kidney stone."  I just can't believe this was happening.  Oh, before I forget, prior to going in for my CAT-SCAN I had to give them a urine sample for them to see if I had blood in my urine.

I finish the CAT-SCAN (old hat now) and they wheel me back in to Bill who was waiting for me in the one curtained off portion of the emergency room.  I probably should put a deposit on that room, I've been spending so much time there lately.

Now the wait.  I fell asleep.  The painkillers were working.  


Me asleep after the painkillers were administered and waiting for the results of my CAT-SCAN

I don't know how long I was sleeping but I awoke when I heard the chains on the curtain being drawn aside.  It was the doctor.  He said yes, I was passing another kidney stone.  This one was .6 millimeters, the largest yet.  My last "visit" to my reserved space at the emergency room my kidney stone measured .4 millimeters.  He said "You should be able to pass this because you're still able to urinate.  However, because of the size this may be problematical."  I hate to tell you but I didn't like hearing that word.

He gave me two prescriptions; one for a pain killer and another to relax my urethra to help the kidney stone pass.  They discharged me with the instructions that if I encountered any problems to come back.

I wound my way out of the maze that is the emergency room at Beebe to the outside on this beautiful, sunny morning in Lewes to await Bill who went to get our car.

I asked Bill to take me to the Walgreens in Milton so I could fill my prescriptions.  The summertime traffic had picked up considerable on Route One.  Oh was I SO GLAD that this kidney stone attack didn't hit later.

Bill drove me to Milton and I dragged myself into Walgreens.  The painkillers were wearing off.  I still haven't passed my kidney stone and I was still feeling pain on my right side and nausea but not the intensity of level of pain I've felt with other kidney stone passings.  I went to the back of the store where the pharmacy is located.  Thank God no other customers were waiting.  I gave them my prescription, with my hospital plastic identification bracelet still on and the cotton and bandage on the crook of left arm still in place where the emergency room personnel injected me with pain killers.  I didn't care.  I'm sure I looked wipe out.  I was.  The women behind the counter asked "Want to pick this your prescription up later or do you want to wait for it?"  Without any hesitation I said "I'll wait for it."  I could feel the increasing nausea and pain one my right side.


Waiting for my prescription refill at Walgreens

While I was waiting I uploaded my status to my Facebook account.  Hey, that's what Facebook is for right?  Not just letting everyone know you're attending the latest concert of showing photos of a terrific recipe that I just cooked (like I did last night with my ratatouille recipe).  

My wait was only about fifteen minutes.  I had a few questions about taking my prescription.  I wanted to know if I could skip the pain medication because it makes me nauseas but the pharmacist said I have to take both prescriptions at the same time.   The one prescription is a generic called Ketorolac (10 MG).  He said this is a very strong kidney medicine and I should not take more than three a day or I could cause damage to my kidneys.  He also said that I MUST take it with a FULL glass of water, which is probably my problem in the first place with kidney stones.  I just don't drink enough water.  Now the chickens are coming home to roost.  He said this prescription expands my urethra so my kidney stone can pass.


My kidney stone passing prescriptions
My other prescription is a painkiller called Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen.  The prescription says "Take 1-2 tablets by mouth every 4 hours as needed."  I hate taking painkillers because they nauseate me and cause me constipation but they are apparently working now because I'm not in too much discomfort.  I'm a bit wifty and I certainly couldn't drive or work but they're working.

After I took my pills I went to my bedroom (this was about 11:15 am).  I had to go to the bathroom so I got my strainer out (the one to catch the kidney stone - I saved it from the last time) and went into the bathroom.  I had a strained urination but at least I could pee, for which I am thankful.  I DO NOT want a catheter.  I didn't pass the kidney stone.  

I laid down on my bed.  I was going to read but I was exhausted so I just pulled out the light coverlet that I have to shield my eyes from daylight when I take my daily nap, and placed it on my forehead.  I was dead to the world until about 3 pm when I heard my iPhone ring.  It was a friend of mine who Bill had notified that I had a medical emergency.  See how thoughtful Bill is? What a wonderful thing for Bill to do.  I talked with my friend for awhile on the iPhone.  I'm glad he called, talking to him helped me to relax and slow down that express train of me feeling sorry for myself.  

I had to get up and take a pee again.  I used the strainer, still no kidney stone.

So here is where I am now.  The time is 5:53 pm.  I haven't had a bite of food since my ratatouille dinner last night.  I'm going to try and eat something as soon as I finish this blog posting.  Believe it or not, writing about my experience today is therapeutic.  I can't explain it but this helps.  My blog writing helps me in so many ways.  My blog is my therapy.


Definitely not eye candy - but believe it or not, I am peaceful here - Bill took this picture when I was sleeping, he knows that I would want one so I could look at it in the future with humor.  Not so much now, serious business here folks - still waiting my latest kidney stone to pass
  

23 comments:

  1. Very sorry you're hurting.

    :-(

    -Andy

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    Replies
    1. Andy,

      I'm hoping this ends tomorrow when I visit my urologist. Thank you for your concern.

      Ron

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  2. cheese louise, ron! do you drink much iced tea? my BIL got kidney stones from too damn much iced tea. me, I never touch the stuff. I like crystal lite or diet pepsi meself. or wine. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Anne Marie,

      I drink LOADS of iced tea! Maybe that's contributing to the problem. If it is, iced tea will be off my diet in the future. This is hell. I still haven't passed my last kidney stone. I see my urologist tomorrow. I may have to get this one blasted.

      Ron

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  3. Ron - I tried to write something on your last blog post but for some reason ended up on replies to other bloggers. Perhaps I just wasn't thinking when I heard you were in hospital again. I hate to see this happening to you - geez you've been thru so much already. I can't quite imagine the pain - but if I could (and I know it's easy to say) I'd take the bullet for you. I haven't even read this blog yet - I will once I write this. Actually I quite like your sleeping photos. I'll be relieved to hear when you are over this. Take care.

    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Pat,

      Thank you so much for your concern. It means a lot to me. I'll call you tonight.

      Ron

      Delete
  4. The Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen is what my doctor gives me for migraines, along with a whole bunch of other pills. It's pretty good.

    So sorry you're going through this again. :( I agree with what anne marie said, my mom and my SIL both had to cut tea out of their diet when kidney stones became a thing.

    Feel better soon. :)

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    Replies
    1. Grace,

      Tomorrow I see my urologist. Hopefully I get this resolved. My kidney stone still hasn't passed. I am having pain, not unbearable, but a dull pain in my right side.

      Ron

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  5. A couple of comments, Ron, about kidney stones. First they are in either your left or right ureter, not urethra which is the tube from your bladder to the outside. The ureters are much smaller in diameter than the urethra. That is why you have so much pain as the stone passes. There is only pain when the stone is on the move. It could stop and get lodged in the ureter and the pain goes away. But you are not out of the woods because the lodged stone could block urine and you not know it because the other side is working OK. That is what happened to me and I was damaging my blocked kidney for 3 weeks. Then they had to blast my stone with lithotrypsy to break it up so that I could pass it. I hope you pass this one soon! I agree with Anne Marie about the iced tea. My urologist said I should drink enough water so that my urine was as clear (not yellow) as the water going in. Give me a call if you need someone to talk with. And find out with a KUB if you have any more stones up the pipeline.

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    Replies
    1. David,

      Excellent advice! I think the situation you stated is my problem now. Right now I continue to have pain in my right side. My kidney stone hasn't passed. I will call my urologist tomorrow and get this taken care of. My urine has a very yellow color which is causing me a lot of concern plus I don't have a good flow. Something is wrong. Hopefully I can get this resolved tomorrow. Thank you very much for your very helpful information.

      Ron

      Delete
  6. Poor Ron! I sure hope this is the last bout of health problems for you. It does make for interesting posts and we are learning a lot about kidney stones but a
    bit of good news would be wonderful. It is 7 pm here on the west coast and I hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nadege,

      For over thirty years I didn't even visit a doctor. Now it seems as if it's one thing after another. My kidney stone still hasn't passed and I still have pain on my right side. Tomorrow I see my urologist. I have to get this resolved.

      Ron

      Delete
  7. What a horrible surprise! I'm so sorry that you have to go through the painful and miserable kidney stone routine again. The only good thing is that it didn't happen while Pat was visiting you. Take care, and make it a habit of drinking lots of water and other liquids.

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    Replies
    1. Yes Jon! Thank God this didn't happen when Pat was visiting. I did catch a break there. Tomorrow I am seeing my urologist. This kidney stone still hasn't passed and is causing me concern. I still have pain on my right side. Not unbearable but something is going on there. This has to be resolved.

      Ron

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  8. Sorry you are going through this again.
    I usually need to take about 4 of those Percocet (your pain killers) to get any pain relief.
    When I was hospitalized with open heart surgery they had the nerve to switch me from morphine to just one of those. Get well soon!

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    Replies
    1. Stan,

      I see my urologist tomorrow. My kidney stone still hasn't passed which is causing me concern. I can still feel pain on my right side. This kidney stone may have to be blasted. I want so to get back to my normal routine.

      Ron

      Delete
  9. Randy in NEB11:56 PM

    Ron, Ive never had a kidney stone, doesn't sound pleasent. You have to stop scaring Bill like that! Maybe this is the last one for awhile, we all need you around for next April. I hope you're feeling better soon. Randy.

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    Replies
    1. Randy,

      I see my urologist tomorrow. My kidney stone hasn't passed yet and is still giving me pain but not unbearable (yet) pain. This has to end.

      Ron

      Delete
  10. Yikes!
    I tried calling you today (as is my wont) but when I didn't hear from you I wondered 'what was happening". Now I see: you were having an adventure. Get well soon.

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    1. Dr. Spo,

      Yes, I was "otherwise occupied" yesterday morning, our usual FaceTime. I do hope this is over soon. Tomorrow I call my urologist. I may have to get this one blasted because it's not moving and still causing me pain. I am so looking forward to getting back to my normal life.

      Ron

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  11. 'Scuse me if I skip reading this one, Ron. All sympathy and very best wishes to you but just knowing what the subject is puts me on the edge of passing out.
    Hope you'll shortly be blogging the more uplifting news that all is well again. Meanwhile, my thoughts are with you with the hope that it may go at least just a little way to helping alleviate the pain you're going through. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. You and me both Ray! I want so much to get back to my normal routine.
      Ron

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  12. I came across this website and read kidney stone treatment without surgery via homeopathy treatment.

    ReplyDelete