Anybody Want A Kidney Stone?

The last couple weeks have been difficult, not least because I passed a kidney stone (I have history with the buggers, and I could feel the pop and pressure release) over a week ago. That one took 2 days to pass. But then my kidney kept on being very, very sore (though mostly not quite as sore as before passing the stone). When the pain crept up to the excruciating level, I ended up in the ER. The doctor was not sympathetic, and appeared to doubt what I was saying about my kidney pain. I was worried that there might be bruising or some other lingering damage. Painful infection (these can actually be life-threatening) is also a possible complication, though as my temp hadn’t spiked, I was pretty certain it wasn’t that.

For weird reasons, I was at a hospital about 50 km away from home. It was a smaller hospital, and the CT machine there doesn’t operate overnight. So I had to wait for morning, in raucous pain the whole time, in a chair in the lobby. (Beds were apparently only available for priority patients.) The CT team had a couple patients higher in priority than me for first pics, but they got to me around 9am. Low! And Behold! The pics showed numerous stones in my kidneys. Most weren’t placed low enough to block fluid flow and create the painful pressure famously associated with them. One, however, was located low enough to cause pain, but not all the way down near the exit yet. Imagine my surprise! It was “large-ish” in the words of the physician, who suddenly became much more solicitous than my overnight doctor. I received good care from that moment on.

[Read more…]