Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lithotripsy: A Kidney Stone's Worst Friend

Does Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian look familiar? The left tower was used as the exterior shots on the show Empty Nest. The right tower is new and wasn't there when the following story or the show took place.

Let's bring y'all up to date on my kidney stone saga.

I suspect I've been in process of passing a kidney stone for about a month now. Over the weekend I had some pain in my lower back that I chalked up to carrying bags of top soil but after peeing a fair amount of blood in my urine on Monday morning I know what's in store. If I were a religious man, I'd be praying 24/7 this passes quickly and painlessly. The blood is intermittent at this point and I've started going #1 through a strainer to catch the stone.

Yesterday, I gave you a crash course in what kidney stones are, how they work, some basic anatomy, and what might cause them. Today, dear readers, I'll share my worst kidney stone attack and a description of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (lithotripsy for short) procedures.

The year is 1990 and I had passed a couple of kidney stones in the years leading up to that point. Severe back pain. And by severe I mean rolling around on the floor writhing in pain from what feels like a knife in my back. I reserve the adjectives "excruciating" and "mind bending" for later in this story. I was scheduled to work an information booth at a pride festival in Laguna Beach, CA on a beautiful summer Saturday afternoon. When I got up that morning, I was peeing a lot of blood and had some discomfort in my back. I canceled the volunteer gig and went to the ER. After taking a urine sample and giving me a cursory examination, it was determined I likely had a urinary tract infection and was sent on my way with a script for Keflex antibiotics.

Fast forward 12 hours to 2 a.m. early Sunday morning. I literally jumped out of bed from a deep sleep with the most excrutiating pain I have ever experienced in my life. There was no questioning of what to do...I put on a shirt and pair of pants with a single-minded immediacy I didn't know I was capable of, said good-bye to my cat, and ran out the door. I drove myself to the hospital which was about 15 minutes away. I simply was in too much pain to call an ambulance let alone wait for one. I needed help, and I needed it yesterday. I went through every red light — which seemed to be all of them, probably 20 in all — down the main drag through Costa Mesa. If the police had tried to stop me I figured at least I'd get an escort with lights and sirens to the emergency room.

I arrived and I was absolutely hysterical in pain. Crying. Hyperventilating. Delusional. I was out of my mind! The chick behind the admitting desk insisted I fill out the paperwork and get signed in. She didn't care what my issues were, she had her own, and that included dealing with the sobbing maniac in front of her. I'm alone so there's no one to help. Her bedside manor included, "If you don't calm down and fill out this paperwork there's nothing I can do." Bitch. I'd have told her as much, too, if I hadn't needed her sorry lot to get me some relief.

I managed to calm down enough to throw my insurance card in her general direction and we got through check in. After I got to a bed, they started me on an IV drip of morphine. Yep, that only took the edge off. I wanted to climb the curtains. Someone knock me out. Somebody help me. Now. Please!?!

Next step in the process was for them to take X-rays which confirmed the stone. Lucky me. And then they started to pump me full of fluids ("Squad 51, administer 250mL IV D5W," for you Emergency! fans). As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the only way to move that puppy is to build up fluid behind the stone and force it out. Hint: more pain to follow.

I ended up being admitted to the hospital when it didn't pass and I spent 2 days laying in a morphine-induced stupor trying to pass it. Didn't get an ocean view room either. Drat. So when I didn't have any luck passing it, then came the first of my "procedures." They got my ass into the operating room wearing an ugly set of white compression stockings so I didn't get a blood clot in my legs, knocked me out, then put a stent in the length of my ureter. The stent was like an 11" bread twist tie. With that in place, the urine was able to sneak by the stone and relieved the pain. What to do with the stone since there's no more pee pressure, you ask? Lithotripsy!

Side note: while I'm in my hospital bed, a police officer entered my room. Hmmmm, a hospital scene and a uniform fetish rolled into one? Nope, someone tore ass into the ER parking lot (similar to me several nights before) and wailed into my car (not similar to me several nights before).

Now that the pain was gone, I'm discharged from the hospital and I went home with the stent in place and had to go back for the lithotripsy procedure a week later "when they have the machine." Lithotripsy is a method by which doctors can use sound waves from outside the body (extracorporeal) to break up the stone. With the stone pulverized into tiny bits, it can pass with no fanfare.

It's a mobile medical unit. Hospitals don't have enough lithotripsy cases to warrant the investment in their own machine so a handful of doctors developed a freaking lithotriptor-equipped Winnebago that trundles from hospital parking lot to hospital parking lot. I got prepped in the out patient facility, they put my ass in a wheel chair, and pushed me through the parking lot, across the street at a light after it changed from red in front of what seemed like hundreds of bulging eyes of people staring at me on their way to work. I was on my way to the Winney in a paper dress!

"Is this going to hurt," I asked the doctor. "It'll feel like a rubber band snapping you in the back. We're going to give you something for the pain, too." Hmmmm, I think, that doesn't sound so bad. They put me on IV Demerol and I got loopy but I wasn't unconscious. I lied on this metal table that has the area where one's back would go removed. In its place, for lack of the correct term, is a bag full of jelly. The sound waves, directed by the surgeon on a video-game like screen, will come from many directions and travel through the jelly bag that will be against my lower back to collide at the point of the stone. Voila! No more kidney stone!

Not so fast, pardner. Okay, so the rubber band analogy. Pretty accurate, except what he didn't tell me is that I was going to be there for 90 minutes and the snapping would take place every second. Snap, snap, snap. Try snapping a rubber band in the same place, oh 5400 times. Not a walk in the park. Not even on drugs. Not even on heavy drugs.

After that and $20,000 worth of medical bills later (covered by insurance), I had a huge black and blue bruise on my back.

Kiddies, don't forget I still have that 11" stent in me that has to come out. Well, that's a procedure that takes place in a doctor's office. Joy. This is perhaps the most traumatizing thing I have ever gone through. I strip and put on a gown and the doctor gets me into stirrups. Ladies, I feel your humiliation. And what's the only way to get the stent out? The same way they put it in, only now there's no general anesthesia. He planned to go up in and get it, of course. Oh, but he'll give me some local anesthetic. Well by now I was wise to his no-pain promises. Bastard.

Up he went with a tube that dispensed something on the order of topical Anbesol, only for your pisser not your gums. He waited a fair amount of time for it to take affect, about a minute I think, and then he came at me with the big guns. Up he went again. This time with a device so terrible, so awful, it must have been invented by the Marquis de Sade himself. See, this handy little (?) thing goes in and then ratchets up in width to dialate the urethra. The urethra has to be opened wide enough so he could go up there with another tool that looked like it had an alligator clamp on the end. In he went and it felt like those teeth were chomping the entire way.

As he passed my prostate he alerted me I'll feel like urinating. Yup, he's there! Interesting, I note, the prostate isn't nearly as pleasurable being stroked from the inside as it is from the outside. But the doctor is not to be deterred. Onward he pressed to the bladder. This is where the end of the stent is...the location where he'll grab it with the roach clip and yank the damn thing gently pull it down into the bladder and then out of my body.

I had to fly to San Jose for a job interview the next day. I was so sick and in pain. I didn't dare cancel since I'd pushed the interviews out for several weeks. Who knew the doctors visit would be one of the worst experiences of my life? I end up nearly passing out by the end of the day and had to lay down after interview number six in their conference room. I didn't get the job. Shocker.

The next time I went through a lithotripsy, it was more preventative. Since I was now getting X-rayed every 6 months (I think they do CAT scans now), we found some huge stones just waiting to unleash their vengeance upon me. Again, time to ride the Winnebago's stainless steel couch, but this time the machine was stronger so I was rendered unconscious.

Update:

I get a large number of hits from Google searches on "Kidney Stone", "Lithotripsy", and other related terms. In an effort to make this subject easier to navigate on this blog, I am adding the following list of posts to every kidney stone entry to make them cross reference accessible.

If you are reading this because you have, or think you have, a kidney stone, I know your pain. Unless you've had one, and I've had some mild incidences and some really bad ones, no one can even imagine the level of pain.

Make an immediate appointment with a urologist. I am not a doctor and these are my experiences only!

You could be experiencing a kidney stone, but it may also be a urinary tract infection, a tumor, or other medical condition. Don't take any chances with your health!

These posts involve my passing of two giant 6mm stones this summer...three days apart! Wrapped in these posts are stories that detail my lifelong battle with them.

In the interest of clarity, these links are in temporal order.

First Signs Of A Stone May 7, 2007
What I Know About Kidney Stones May 8, 2007
A Discussion Of Lithotripsy May 9, 2007
Peeing Blood, No Pain May 11, 2007
Pain Returns May 18, 2007
Pain Again In The Back May 26, 2007
Bloody Urine Is Back July 12, 2007
Passed Kidney Stone #1 July 26, 2007
Passed Kidney Stone #2 July 30, 2007
I'm The Morton's Salt Girl March 26, 2008
Stone On The Move March 28, 2008
Well At Least I'm Not Having A Baby April 4, 2008
Passing Kidney Stones Spring, 2008
I May Finally Have A Solution To My Kidney Stones! March 15, 2010
If I'm Pissy, Blame My Kidney Stones October 11, 2010
I wish you well.

42 comments:

Gay Canuck in the Capital said...

That sounds awful. so why do you get them? is it diet? genetic? I'd be doing everything possible to avoid those fuckers.

Y | O | Y said...

You need to read the next post "Kidney Stones: How They Work" (from yesterday) where I go WAY overboard on explaining them. Reader's Digest version...producing kidney stones is hereditary and I get them from diet soda.

cb said...

Ok- so by 'cool' I meant a high tech way to break up the stone so that it will pass much more easily and not be such an excruciating ordeal as the stone travels down the urethra.

I also thought you sat in a tub of water or something and the soundwaves did the job- much like an ultrasonic wash/jacuzzi.

Hmmm- evidently not.

But which was more painful- the blockage and trying to pass the stone, or the lithrotropsy?

Y | O | Y said...

The jacuzzi is old school. In fact, the Winnebago's steel table with bag o' jelly may be passe by now, too. This was all over 10 years ago for me. As I understand it, the sound waves pass through the jelly much like they did through the water in the jacuzzi.

The lithotripsy was definitely better than the stone but it's no picnic by any means!

ArichNY said...

I was wincing and in pain, and light headed, just reading this! YIKES! I think I shall swoon!

Anonymous said...

Ugh!! I'm going in for lithotripsy tomorrow morning to get rid of (as the tech put it) a "monstorous sized stone". Now I'm thanking God that they're knocking me completely out for it!

Anonymous said...

I have lithotripsy tomorrow, it's a 7mm stone blocking my tube-thing, and I'm only 18. I've had kidney stones before (3) but this one is huge.
I was sort of nervous about being knocked out completely, but you know.. now I'm glad I am. Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

I had lipotripsy 5 days ago. No pain at all . . . I was asleep! 1.5 cm stone. Minor pain that evening but not bad. Blood for two day. But to the best of my knowledge, no fragments have passed. (I've been peeing in a glass and checking the bottom). Could I have been passing small fragments and not know?

Le

chrissie said...

i had lipotripsy yesterday to remove a 13mm stone it was awful.I had to tell them to stop at one point because of the pain.When it was finally over i was so relievd but then was told i will have to goe back for another one but i really dont want to goe.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for your description of lithrotropsy because I have it scheduled in a moving van (winnebago) in a couple weeks and wanted to find out what it feels like. Your description of the initial attack made me laugh till I cried because I just did a similar thing but instead of saying goodbye to my cat as I rushed out frantically...I said goodbye to my young children who looked at me like I was crazy. I was of course crazy in pain and also ran redlights to get to my doctor's office! I read your description to my daughter and she said ..that was you mom! She wrote a miniblog for me on a piece of paper that said "I hated having kidney stones. I felt like someone punched me with a brick but I feel better now." Thanks for your report!

Jen O said...

Hi - I went through lithotripsy a week after giving birth (yep, poor timing - kidney stone nt identified since "you're obviously in labor" - no, I'm not, my second child, this is 100 times worse!" no good, didn't believe me - went home with baby - still had kidney stone - 5 days later - stent and lithotripsy) MY TIP - I wanted to try doing the lithotripsy without heavy meds as I was breast feeding and that would have fed through to baby for 3 days - and since she was only 7 days old, would not ahve been good to have to stop for 3 days bottle) so I had liquid parecetemol only - BUT - they changed the spark plugs for me, and that made a HUGGEE difference to the pain level, compared with the first attempt (started and had to stop within 10 seconds). It was sore, and you kind of bounce off the table a little, but it wa tolerable - so, if they can, ask them to get a new set of spark plugs in the machine before it starts. No, I'm not kidding.

Hope you never need to go through it again though.

Anonymous said...

I have had litho 6 times. I am what they call a stoner---I make them regularly in both kidneys. I have passed so many I cannot count them any more. All I can say is that my experiences with litho are the opposite of what you have gone through. Usually I am sore for a few days and that is it. Only once did I pass a stone following litho and that is because the stone was not completely broken up by the sound waves. If your doc is not giving you something called conscious sedation (ex. Versed) then you need to ask for it--no, demand it. No one should experience the procedure and remember it or feel it EVER. I hate surgery but I hate passing a stone even more. Another bit of advice--do not let them run your IV wide open to force out the stone. If the stone is large enough it will block your ureter (urine tube) and the extra fluids just back up into the kidney causing more pain. I know it is hard to be demanding when you are writhing in pain but somehow you have to find the strength to do it. I have had two kids and never had medication for pain during labor and all I can say is that I will take labor over a kidney stone any day.

Joseph said...

It would seem that everyones experience with stones have many similar effects. I was admitted with a 15mm stone mainly because I could hardly urinate level of pain maybe 6 out of 10 and told next day I would recieve treatment for said pain. After waking up next day from anestesia I had this terrible discomfort traveling from middle left side of back traveling down into my testicles and the worst urge to urinate. I was then told I had had a stint placed inside me that was causing this pressure supposedly perfectly normal. This is where it starts to get interesting after pain med or sedation wears off im already back in my hospital room I get out of bed to urinate suddenly extreme fire below as I enter bathroom and begin urinating screaming agony in my bladder some type of spasm radiating front to back some of the worst pain I have ever felt and I have passed horribly painful stones before. Turns out most of my pain is caused by the stint. After 3 days sent home on pain meds because I cant get access to a litotripy machine until next week.
Thursday next week I finall get my lithotripsy treatment and wake up to hear from one of the staff members ( Man that was a huge stint in you) that explains all the discomfort but now I am at peace told stone was completely destroyed and actually feeling great. Sent home after treatment feeling on top of the world. At home I am going to have my first normal meal in about 10 days by now I have lost 15 lbs. 9:30 I feel terror rise as a stone drops inside I know what is coming never even got to eat. From here its a rollercoaster in hell as I drop 3 more stones over a period of more than 29 hours the last a 6mm gets trapped in my ureter I stayed home for the first 14 hours running around like a nut because the pain is relentless until I give in and get a ride to emergency. They remember me from previous week and try to get me admitted as soon as possible and here comes the Morphine. No relief and blood pressure is spiking 220 so here comes a different pain reliever dilaudid ? I am not sure still no relief. I was admitted to hospital Friday after noon with a kidney full of blood and a raging infection white blood cell count 19000 still dont really know how bad those numbers are and sometime in the early morning hours of Saturday passed the last stone. for tho of you who hav been through this I truly empathise with you.
I must admit this was the most painful experience I have ever had and if I can stop the stones from forming or at least find them befor they get too big I will endure any treatment good luck to all who read this I truly hope your experience wont be as bad and by the way in less than 2 weeks I have lost a total of 20 lbs but not a diet I would reccomend.

Y | O | Y said...

Joseph, see my latest post...

http://y-oh-y.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-im-pissy-blame-my-kidney-stones.html

muhammad said...

THE ADVANTAGES OF LITHOTRIPSY OVER SURGERY

•No incision and no scars as after surgery.
•Lot less painful than traditional surgery.
•The treatment is very safe and effective.
•Time spent in hospital is minimal.
•Almost no side effect.
•Patients unfit for traditional surgery can be treated by this modality.
•Incase of recurrent stones, treatment can be safely repeated.
•Most patients tolerate the procedure under minimal sedation and pain killers (analgesics).
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN TYPICAL LITHOTRIPSY TREATMENT?

WHAT TEST WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE TREATMENT?
Before treatment, blood and urine tests, X-rays and ECG are done to determine the type of stone, function of the kidney as well as to ensure safety to the patient.
ULS TIME KIDNEY STONE CENTRE PESHAWAR PAKISTAN rafiqueksc@gmail.com +923339148755

Y | O | Y said...

Muhammad--

Thanks for the input.

Most recently, I opted for surgery and actually preferred that to the lithotripsy. I also discovered that lithotripsy can actually damage the kidney.

http://y-oh-y.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-im-pissy-blame-my-kidney-stones.html

I also think you are underestimating the pain involved in lithotripsy. I was told to expect it to feel like someone was snapping me in the back with a rubber band. The didn't tell me it would be once a second for an hour and a half! I was awake under IV Demerol and it was still VERY painful.

Click on the "kidney stone" tag in the post to see my long, terrible battle with these!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes its a relief to know you aren't alone in this vicious circle of kidney stone pain! I just went through lithrotripsy 2 days ago and I am experiencing the joys of passing fragments right now. It's sad when your husband and kids have the "oh mom's just in pain again" looks on their faces! I can say that it takes a long time for a control freak to except that for the rest of their lives they won't be able to control the pain and misery that episodes of kidney stones. No one wants to hear that you are in pain AGAIN! SO you just suck it up, take your pain meds, and drink lots of water. I'd do anything to not go to the emergency room and have them hook me up to IV med and fluids and send me home to deal with more pain. I wish there was something they could do but I've seen every kidney specialist etc and I was just born with a "spongy" kidney and a messed up para theroid that doesn't regulate the chemicals in my body. Thanks a lot to the grandma I inherited that from!So when you are writhing in pain and wishing that you could just get those little suckers out just remember you are not alone!

Y | O | Y said...

Check my latest:

http://y-oh-y.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-im-pissy-blame-my-kidney-stones.html

Lots of updated stuff!

Emory said...

OMG, i just dieing laughing reading this. In a disturbing way this has made me feel so much better to hear someone understand my pain. Im having my third lithotripsy tomorrow, and it annoys me how everyone think im being a baby even the doctor looks at me like im exaggeratting. Which pisses me off. The first two times i had to stay in the hospital for two days. Thank you man i needed to read this the night before the nightmare. lol

Anonymous said...

Wow, you description is frightening, but hilarious. I'm supposed to have lipthotripsy, but am reluctant since I read there is a possibility that it may do damage to the pancreas and lead to diabetes. I have been searching the web for ways to help dissolve stones to easily pass them. Keep seeing lemon juice and olive oil. Have you ever tried that? I have a 5mm stone in the kidney.

Anonymous said...

In 2009, my kidney stone nightmare began. In and out of emergency rooms, lithrotripsies, stents, etc.
I too, go every 6 months for KUB and ultrasound. 6 months ago, my report was: several small stones in both kidneys, not large enough to warrant treatment. Today, at follow up, the Dr. again said there were several stones, but now there were large ones 4-5mm. He recommended lithro on each side.
I was so discouraged tonight after going to the Dr. an finding this out. I have had no pain or symptoms. I feel like the hell is starting over. I read your "story" and never laughed so hard in all my life. It just changed my whole attitude. I was reminded of the important things in life-like health, family, friends and freedom. Thank-you for sharing. We realize kidney stones are no laughing matter, but in this case.... I never laughed so hard!

Benjamin said...

Dear Blogger,
I am only 26, male and I have experienced 2 rounds of severe colicky pain and the urologist is asking me to do a lipthotripsy. However, the internet seems abuzz with bad tales on it. The pain sounds terrible. I am wondering whether to proceed with it or not. I have multiple stones in both kidneys, witht the largest one 7-8mm big. Worried sick!

Anonymous said...

I had lithotripsy 3 days ago. It went well and successful, until 6hours after the procedure around 1am, I felt the excruciating, radiating pain on my back again. I felt so scared but my doctor told me it is normal because i was passing the stone fragments. I was drinking liters and liters of water but I still can't see any stone fragments coming out, just some kind of tissue particles, or white cornstarch powder if you try to strain your pee.

It's been 3 days then I felt the pain again... So horrible, every time I feel it, I feel like dying every time. So I went to the ER again to have some injected pain relievers, then I came home after. The pain si coming from my kidney, I can feel it so sore, but the stone they had lithotripsy was in the mid 3rd of my ureter and they said its pulverized into pieces but I still feel pain.

Help, anyoneee!

Anonymous said...

HELLO EVERYONE ON MY WAY TO BE ZAPPED FOR THE FIRST TIME HAVE PASSES THREE STONES IN THE PAST MONTH...OF COURSE I HAD TO HAVE A BIG ONE IN MY RIGHT KIDNEY....LUCKY ME...DETAILS TO FOLLOW LATER PEACE OUT

Anonymous said...

Funny and familiar. Similar experiences.

Susan Lamson said...

Stones, Sexy Mumu's, and a Miracle Drug

Wow. I wish I had read this sooner! Real people with real pain, just like me. Its been six days and two trips to the emergency room since I had my litho last week. Discovered when searching for another issue, my near 9.9 mm stone never really seemed to be an issue for me, although I've had chronic intestinal problems,and have yet to have a positive diagnosis for these. I wasn't ablout to let a little harmless kidney stone bother me!
I told the doctor I'd wait, and had an incredibly perfect 3 week working adventure across the rainforests of Central America. On the way home from the airport, I had my blood work done for my litho. Had the procedure last Tuesday.
Lots of blood, from the urine, and cervical area, too, for some reason. Maybe localized tissue damage? (This continues on to this day) My biggest problem began with my inability to keep down the pain meds. I was vomiting every ounce of fluid that went into my mouth, and the pain kept getting worse. Needless to say, I wasn't passing any urine to speak of, and no stone fragments.
Finally found someone to take me to the ER, where I arrived in what looked like my mother's 1970's style mumu. Not looking like much of a fashion statement. The folks there gave me 4 liters of fluid with pain meds and sent me home.
The fluids helped me to gain about 10 pounds to help fill out the mumu, and I started passing gravel.
Once the IV pain meds wore off, and I was still vomiting everything else I took. Boyfriend took off work, again, and I was back at the Urology Center, on standby, where the staff did their best to hide me from the other patients as I moaned in pain. Note: I'm not typically a moaner. They gave me an x-ray and showed me that at least half of the stone had begun passing. Oh, yay.
Gave me a couple of shots in the rear for the pain, and things got much better. Here's the best part: They gave me a non-narcotic prescription for SPRIX or Keterolac dsigned for short term use of acute pain. Inhaled, through the nose, you experience a lot of icky throught and nasal stinging, and then...ahhhh so much better.
I'm still dealing with some pain, and A LOT of fog, but I'm eating and moving around. I have 3 boys, and I can't stay down for any longer. Going to the lady doctor today to find out why I'm still bleeding and passing tissue from my cervix. Will be heading back to the Urologist for another x-ray, tomorrow, and hopefully a clean report. I'm heading to an island on Saturday, with no bridges, let alone a hospital. Can't let any harmless little stone stop me this time either, right? ;)

Kidney Stone Pain Center said...

I don't know if this will help anyone but about 18 months ago I experienced my first and last episode of kidney stone pain. As you know the pain is excrutiating and I was writhing around on my bed screamin in agony and doubled up in pain. At the hospital I was given standard pain meds and told to drink plenty of water. I now know that this is the standard response from most doctors. The hospital did find a 5mm kidney stone that was on its way down to my bladder and a couple more just sitting there waiting.

After several days and very little pain relief and out of total desperation I turned to the internet to learn more. I tried everything I could find to relieve the pain, no matter how crazy it sounded. I even found a "So Called" remedy that promised an 80% success rate. Now I am no fool when it comes to the internet and at 55 years of age I have almost 17 years experience in sales and marketing, but I was desperate and ready to try anything to stop the pain, so I bought the remedy. To my absolute amazement it worked and within a few hours of taking the remedy my pain started to subside and within 12 hours it had gone completely. What amazed me even more was I passed all of my kidney stones, pain free, over the next 2 days. I went back to the hospital for a follow up and they confirmed that all of my kidney stones were gone.

As for drinking plenty of water, I drink bottles of the stuff. I also eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and veg and NO fast foods, especially canned goods. Also I rely on natural sources of vitamins and minerals and NOT supplements.

Have been kidney stone pain free for 18 months now.

Kidney Stone Pain said...

I was rushed to the ER about 18 months ago with extreme lower back pain right side, doubled up and screaming. Diagnosis - A 5mm kidney stone with a couple more just waiting to cause more pain. I had never had kidney stones before, didn't even know what there were. I do now.

I was told to go home with pain meds and "Oh by the way drink plenty of water"

Needless to say I did a lot of research while I was waiting to pass my stones. Tried everything I could find, on the Internet, just to stop the pain.

From the sounds of things I have been very lucky, I managed to pass my kidney stones. With diet changes and oh yes plenty of water every day, I have not had any more stones. Touch wood.

Anonymous said...

I am only half way through this and I have to say I like your version of things. I have a 'collection' of kidney stones Ive passed in the past year. I shouldn't laugh at this stuff but you put a humorous spin on things. Thank you for that!

targaguy86 said...

Just had the litrotripsy
procedure for the second time in 20 years
This time around it was no big deal. For those of you who need this proceedure for an uncomplicated stone situation a word of advise..... Tell your doctor you do NOT want a stent - there is absolutely no need for a sent in an uncomplicated stone removal using litrotripsy
Unless you make this very clear you will wake up with the most un godly piece of painful plastic in you that will be more painful than the stone itself. Just get the proceedure and drink drink drink - you will be fine.
gl

Sharon poole said...

Omg I've got it all again 13mm this time need hugs I think so glad I'm not alone bless you all and here's to our very own peddled beach Shazzie uk

Anonymous said...

I had the lithoritpsy yesterday, and it was a piece of cake. Had the stone for 6 years and it ws really big and right at the entrence to the urether. It stuck and kidneys backed up and so did my legs. They gave me a general anethesia and I woke up fine. Some bleeding and clots , but ended that night. No pain as of yet, and really it was a good experience. Dr. said he was able to pulverize it, so even though he gave me pain pills, havent' had to take any yet. I feel great and I was swcared to death from all the nay sayers. Would have it done again in a minute after haaving to pass 9 stones before this!
Don't be scared and trust your Dr.

Anonymous said...

I went through the EXACT same procedures the same way. Horrible experience in the dr. office the first time. NEVER will let that happen without me being under. I have a stent in me right now. Just took my collection of sand out of my strainer and placed it in the collection cup. I noticed a small amount of soft tissue, or maybe infection. I hope it's not infection. We'll see how this goes. I wanted to clean the strainer out so I can monitor the situation. It really hurts to pee at the end of my stream. My guess is there is stuff like tissues and stones still trying escape. I hate it. I'm on pyridiam for the pain but it takes away the burning a little. That's about it. Good Luck to Everyone with their own stones. They hurt the most when you are passing one in your ureter. They cause spasms. I actually used a little of my muscle relaxers to help with those and they helped. Heating pad works a little, but hot showers worked better with spasms. Try a Hot shower and see what it will do. I had a 15mm stuck at the top of my ureter so that was causing the pain. Just thought I would share a little experience myself.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much to everyone who has left a comment , I myself has had deal with kidney stones for 21 years , I had kidney surgery in March with the removal of 19 huge stones while still trying to heal and left with a well over two foot scar and many trips to the doctor I am now facing lithotripsy some how 2 stones were missed during my surgery, now I know what to look forward to

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your informative and touching stories. I've recently been diagnosed with 2 kidney stones, a 5mm and 7mm. I was told to undergo lithotripsy for both, 2 wks apart. The procedure itself lasts for about an hour to an hour and a half. You are given a sedative to alleviate the pain during the procedure, as you are not put under. It is as you've read, lying on a table with a cutout where the machine is placed against your skin. The area is covered in cold lube where the machine will begin "tapping" your skin, repeatedly as if being struck with a rubber band over and over again. If you feel too much pain raise your arm to signal the doctor to increase pain meds. Once procedure ends, you'll want to go home and rest. After couple days, you'll be ready to resume daily activities. Good luck! You're "kidney stone buddy" from KS.

Anonymous said...

I woke up at 4 am in the worst pain, with a temperature, drenched vomiting, vomiting non stop. Couldn't get to the E.R. til 6 a.m. thought it was a UTI but turned out to be a huge kidney stone (a little bigger than a big marble) stuck in my ureter. Right side had blocked urine & had an infection. Was admitted & transferred to another hospital. Where I was dosed up on morphine. The next morning I had surgery to put in a stent. To release the blocked urine. Still in a lot of pain. :( was sent home. Had to wait 2 weeks for the lipsotripsy truck to arrive in my area. Similar to the above stories, but luckily was knocked out. Came home afterwards and had huge bruise along my back. Was real sore days later. I passed a tiny bit of gravel for 2 days & urinated all blood for about 4 days after. Then felt better and no more gravel or blood. Was supposed to go get a KGB X-ray & schedule surgery to remove stent. Haven't yet, due to working again after missing a week and a half of work. And its been about 2 weeks since lipsotripsy, was ok til yesterday. Started having more severe pain on both sides now and urinating blood again. Been nauseas, light headed & hurts really bad to urinate.
Going to get X-ray as soon as I can. Hopefully in the next couple of days. And I can say is, that giving birth natural to both my kids isn't nothing compared to kidney stones!!
31 yr old female, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Just had my 5th ureteroscopy with lithotripsy. 5 weeks after giving birth to my fourth (a girl after three boys). I had a cystoscopy in office (no fun but not bad). I compare a kidney stone to labor pain. Only you get an epidural with labor! My best advice: ASK FOR A STENT WITH A PULL-STRING!!! They were so much easier and less painful. The non stringed stent scraped my bladder causing horrible bladder spasms as extreme as early labor pains. I had 36+ stones over both kidneys and I'm not passing nearly as much gravel as I'd like. Good luck to all my fellow kidney stoners!!!

Rachel said...

That's really worst and nightmare situation. Good to hear that you stay strong despite of all.

Regards,
Rachel
seattle chiropractors

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post on Lithotripsy. I am having my first one done in two days, and wasn't quite sure what type of pain to expect, as the doctors info never tells you "that" part of the story.

I have one 6mm on one side, and a 4mm on on the other. The rest are too small to account for, they said. My question is, can the do a lithotripsy on both sides at the same time, or would I need to do them seperately. She said she's going to do the larger one, and that they other may just pass on its own.

Crystal Gill said...

You are definitely not going over board at all! Reading this and falling out laughing. I have the same problems but I am a female. My first experience was in 2010 the urologist gave me something to shrink mine and I passed 7 stones at one time. I just had. Lipotripsy Friday for a 7mm stone in my left kidney and I also have a 5mm and a 3mm stone in my right kidney and you explained that shit to a tee. Kidney stones will make you suicidal. That is the worst pain I ever experienced and I have a 3 kids.

Crystal Gill said...

I just had my first experience with Lipotripsy Friday. In 2010 my urologist gave me something to shrink mine. I passed 7 stones at one time.I have 3 kids and this is the worst pain in the world. You described that pain to the Tee. Friday the were breaking up a 7mm stone in my left kidney. I still have a 5mm and a 3mm stone in my right kidney. The thing that passed me off the most was seeing how small they were causing all that Damn pain. That pain will make you suicidal. I will be so glad when they are gone. I was laughing reading you post because it was like reading what I was thinking just hearing the word stone.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the entertaining and informative post. After my litho and stent procedure, the return visit for stent removal was promised to be "no big deal" "only a few minutes" "painless" "drive yourself". OMG I was traumatized by the removal of that stent. I told my doctor that if I ever have to have one again I expect a Valium prior to removal. As if the kidney stone wasn't torture enough!!!! Your posts on this topic are spot on!!!!