So here’s another one of my ailments to discuss.
I had my first confirmed kidney stone during my Junior year of high school when I was 16. It’s possible that I had them before that, but when I was 16 I had a MRI and Ultrasound because of the pain and was told that I had kidney stones.
It was like that episode of Friends when the doctor tells Joey that he has kidney stones and he keeps asking “…OR?” but the doctor just keeps saying “KIDNEY STONES!”
So yeah. This is another thing that’s genetic in my family. However, of the kids in my family, I’m the only one who seems to have gotten this particular ailment.
So when I was 16 I had pain off and on due to the kidney stones. I was told that they were in my kidney and, well there’s not much else to do besides give me painkillers and tell me to drink lots of fluids.
However, while I was at work one day, I basically collapsed in pain. I had to get picked up and brought to my urologist’s office (whom I have not gone back to after my surgery because of the horrible ordeal I went through with this.)
Point is, I went to his office on a Thursday and was told “Oh hey, one of your kidney stones is blocking your kidney and your kidney is getting swollen. Let’s see if it passes by itself over the weekend. You’re gonna want to lay down with an ice pack and take painkillers. We’ll schedule surgery for Tuesday just in case it doesn’t pass.”
It didn’t pass.
I spent the weekend in agony. The only peace I had was when I was knocked out from the pain or the painkillers. I didn’t keep any food down over those 5 days and lost nearly 15 pounds because I was so physically sick. I could barely keep down water, but I kept drinking it because I knew I had to.
So on Tuesday morning I went to the hospital for my surgery. I had a ureteroscopy and the two stones were removed. In addition, I found out that I had a UTI, a bladder infection, a kidney infection, and hydroneufrosis of my kidney where it had swollen to nearly three times its size because the doctor made me wait so long for the surgery.
That was my traumatizing kidney story.
Since then I’ve had a few attacks here and there, and have gone to the emergency room twice I believe when the pain became unbearable. And also because I’m paranoid that a stone will get stuck and my kidney will burst or something.
So kidney stones aren’t something that there’s any one trigger or kind of treatment for. My stones are calcium stones, so I’ve been told to avoid oxalates (I’m lactose intolerant, so it’s not like I drink milk on a regular basis). However, I get conflicting information from people. I don’t have uric acid stones, so the medication that they make to treat kidney stones won’t help me. I have had people tell me that I should avoid grapefruit and berries, but then others tell me that the acid in lemonade can help prevent stones and that acidic fruits are good for me. I’ve been told that tea is a bad idea, but others say that tea can help.
I don’t know if it’s just another situation like the migraines where each person has a different reaction, but there’s got to be SOMETHING that I can do to help prevent stones.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to find out what that something is!