Friday, March 17, 2017

What a Difference a Week Makes

Me with my Mother during my first kidney stone passing - 2001
They didn't know what was the matter, I was kept in the hospital for observation for two days - got about a total of two hours sleep in that semi-private room with all the hospital activity

This time a week ago I was undergoing another one of my painful kidney stone episodes. I didn't know it at the time.  I think in retrospect I was in denial because I thought I was rid of all my kidney stones.  I have lost count of how many kidney stones I've passed in the past fifteen years.

My first kidney stone passing was back in 2001.  I thought my appendix was bursting.  I took myself to the VA Medical facility (this was before I had Medicare) nearby our home in Pennsylvania. They shipped me to the nearby civilian hospital where I stayed for two days. Eventually, after a heavy dose of painkillers, I was released.  Looking back now, I realize that was what had happened.  I passed a kidney stone.  No CRT was taken at that time, I was only kept in the hospital for observation.  The same hospital where my father died the year before. I never did like that hospital. They have always had a bad reputation.  My stay didn't do anything to disprove my attitude.

I didn't have another kidney stone episode until August of 2013.  At that time I was at an auto repair place when all of a sudden I became overcome with nausea and had to go outside behind the building and throw up.  I don't know how I made it home but I did.  

This time I'm living near Lewes.  Bill took me to the emergency room. I literally thought I was dying.  I did not know what was happening to me but I did wish I was dying just to end the pain. This hospital was a better.  They did an CRT and discovered I was passing two kidney stones. 

Me in the emergency room after a heavy duty pain killer was administered - 2013
No hospital stay other than about eight hours in the emergency room. I was sent home with a strainer to capture the kidney stone.  


Different kidney stones captured in strainer

I've lost track of how many visits I've made to the emergency room since I've lived here in Delaware.  I know the one visit required a two night hospital stay for a kidney stone that was stuck and I had to have an operation (the details of which I won't go into here since I've grossed you out with the the "strainer" pictures). That operation resulted in a stent in my penis which had to stay there three weeks to keep three other kidney stone from falling until I could have another operation to blast those kidney stones out.  

That was the last time I had kidney stones.  I thought I was over with kidney stones. Apparently not. 

Me in the emergency room this time last Friday

This latest visit to the emergency room I was told by the emergency room doctor that I had "more kidney stones up there."  Thus I have a visit scheduled with my urologist next month.  

In the meantime, I will continue living each day as if it is a gift.  Today I was about to transplant a tray of daffodils that I had purchased before this latest episode. 

One day at a time folks.

Back to my regular posts tomorrow.  I still have a lot to share of my California holiday. God, wasn't I lucky that this didn't happen when I was in California? Or Canada, where I'll be at the end of the summer. 

Could be a lot worse. But for now, what a difference a week makes. Today I almost feel normal.


  1. Replies
    1. Dr. Spo,
      Something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Well, maybe.

  2. When I was a kid, an old lady use to say, "Go and do when you are young.When you get old, you have to take the doctor with you."
    I keep travel insurance through Am Ex. Peace of mind.

    1. Jimmy,
      I have travel insurance just in case but I don't want to test it. It's too easy to get medical care now with my Medicare and Medicare supplemental insurance. No paperwork, no charges. I just don't want to get involved in all that paperwork if I have to go through another insurance carrier but I have insurance just in case something tragic happens and I can't wait two hours (how long it would take to get to Buffalo) to get medical attention in the United States.

  3. Anonymous10:31 AM

    Wow. I find this fascinating, not gross at all! It's not like it's a stool sample, eww. I can see how that can be excruciating, passing something that size out of such a little, non-dilating opening (hole sounds too icky). You are a real trooper, Ron! Have a good weekend.


    1. Deedles,
      And the interesting thing is that each kidney stone passing is different. The only thing they have in common is the degree of pain and panicky feeling. It is an awful thing to go through and I don't think I'm finished yet.

  4. It's definitely been a helluva week for you but I'm glad things are getting back to normal. I'm wondering if anything in your diet is contributing to the kidney stones (it sounds like you have a healthy diet). When I had my kidney stones I was taking an enormous amount of antacids for my ulcer and I'm sure that's what caused my problem. Antacids ultimately do more harm than good.

    Spring will arrive next week (at least that's what I keep telling myself - it's so damn cold here). Hopefully you'll soon be transplanting those daffodils!

    1. Jon,
      I think the main reason for my kidney stones is that I just don't drink enough water. Been that way all my life. I just can't drink a lot of water, I feel bloated. I'm paying the price now.
      Finally the temperatures are warming up here, if you can consider 49 degrees warm. So nice to have warmer weather.

  5. Ron - sounds like you are back up to snuff. Wow - what a history you've had with kidney stones. I'm like you, i don't take in much liquids. I figure we're passing the things all the time and drinking water is a good thing to keep flushing them out. Sooo glad you didn't have this happen in California altho I'm sure you would've been well taken care of. But what a weird holiday that would have been.
    At least in Canada I can quickly get you across the border if you don't prefer us to look after you. We like Americans you know.

    1. Pat,
      I wouldn't mind getting taken care of in Canada but I'm afraid I would be charged an arm and a leg and a kidney too for medical care. Rush me over the border to Buffalo if I have a kidney stone attack during my visit this year.


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