I feel like a whiner. I don’t like being sick, I don’t like feeling like I shouldn’t feel as bad as I do… But I do.
I think I told you all about my kidney stone, right? Almost three weeks ago now I was in the emergency room getting diagnosed for the first time with a kidney stone. 4mm in my kidney, supposedly small enough to pass. IV pain meds calmed me down and there after Ibuprofin was enough to control the pain for the next two weeks, though they had prescribed Percocet as well. I think maybe I took it once during that time; however, the Ibuprofin worked much better.
Then, last Friday, just before I got off of work – around 9:30 PM I started getting some pain again, slowly increasing along with the disconcerting feeling of not being able to urinate much even though I had just drank three bottles worth of water in the past couple of hours.
By the time I got home shortly after 10 PM, I was in a lot of pain. I took both the Ibuprofin and Percocet – to no effect. I was crying as my husband sat with me in the bathtub full of warm water – another technique that did not touch the pain. So at 11:15 PM I took myself back down to the ER, luckily only a few short miles down my road.
There it took three attempts and a paramedic to take over to get an IV in me this time before I could get any pain relief. The wait was excruciating. I got another blown vein – just as the bruise on the opposite arm had almost faded… Twin bruises, mirror images almost.
I had a different Doctor this time, and he scoffed at what the previous Doc had told me – which was to wait until I pass the stone to contact a urologist (he said I should have made the appointment right away because he doubted that it would have passed easily), and that coming back to the ER didn’t make much sense if it simply didn’t pass as I’d still have to see a urologist, of which they don’t have one on staff. Apparently they only have a day one in the out patient clinic that visits from Green Bay on certain days. However, I was in a lot of pain and not passing urine into my bladder. They scanned my bladder which told them I only had 50cc of urine in there, which is a LOT less than what I had drank that evening. Even after they pumped me full of IV fluids and had my try to urinate I could only pass about that much.
This is why I was diagnosed with hydronephresis – or my kidney was full of fluid. Which accounted in part for the extra pain. Whatever they gave me started to decrease the swelling, however. So once I was finally pain free, I finally started being able to pee… a lot.
I got another CT scan which showed that the stone was not only in the same spot, but it had grown to 5mm and was wedged in my kidney…. So I was sent home with a prescription of Vicodin, more Flomax, and instructions to make an appointment with urology immediately on Monday morning.
On Monday I called them as soon as they opened and they had me come in later that morning. There I was told I needed to have it blasted with a laser, in which they would go in through my urethra, blast it, then scoop out the pieces… (a ureteroscopy and lithotripsy procedure) Then leave a stent in from my kidney to my bladder to ensure that I would still be able to pee for a week while I heal/the swelling goes down. They had me drive to Green Bay that day – I had the surgery early evening and did not get home until after midnight.
Images from the patient education pamphlets they gave me
These past couple days have been worse than the kidney stone itself – here comes my whining lol – I’m glad the stone is out and at least I have an end in sight… But this stent is painful. I have a hard time doing too much moving around, or even sitting completely upright without it poking or my kidney “spasming” as the Dr said to expect it to do. My most comfortable position, I had found, is laying half on my side with my body pillow under my legs, and my head raised, a heating pad under my back/side, and Vicodin having been ingested.
I think this is a first for me, painkiller wise. There’s been a fair handful of times a Doc has prescribed a narcotic to me and they largely go unused. Eventually expiring and being disposed of. Ibuprofin is nearly always more than enough or works better for me – even after recovering from child birth!
So I’ve taken off work this week, though I did get quite productive yesterday – did some work from home. It was surprisingly easy to be productive while holed up in my cocoon of a bed.
Today, though… I’m doing a whole load of nothing. The Vicodin makes me sleepy and, hey, I even had some mild auditory hallucinations earlier. I’ll just take it easy. I was supposed to have my BioChem class today, but I was a champ and went on Tuesday even as my anesthesia was still wearing off. Hubby came home early and drove me to both the class and the lab… though by lab time I got more breakthrough pain and nausea and had to leave a little early. I can’t drive on Vicodin anyway, and though I’m not drowsy at the moment, my earlier dose had me numb and sleepy and hearing things around about the time I would have had to leave… So… I’ll just have to catch up and put in a bit of study time today.
Hubs was awesome, leaving work early on Monday to take me to Green Bay and stay with me until it was over. He’s been taking care of me – making me calming Honey Lavender tea (by Yogi) …Which I will attest to – it did seem to calm me down on Tuesday when I was feeling particularly awful. (And shout out to my babysitter, Kat, who took my kids last minute on Monday and kept them overnight and got them to school on Tuesday!)
I just can’t wait for this to all be over. Luckily I don’t have much else planned the rest of the week, and I’ll get this dang thing out on Monday. I’m not looking forward to how that will feel… but at least then it will be over, and by God I will never get a kidney stone again. At least I will try really hard not to… which apparently I have to continue to avoid caffeine and pee a half gallon a day 0.O …Challenge accepted if it means I never have to deal with this again!