Friday, February 17, 2017

Everything you ever wanted to know about kidney stones

One month ago I had a pain in my gut and blood in my urine.  After a trip to urgent care, I was told that I had a kidney stone and to go home and drink lots of water and wait for the stone to pass.  One month later and after a CAT scan, ureteroscopy, ureteral stent placement and removal, and a lot of pain, I am kidney stone free and as good as new.   Now I will be drinking lots of water , I will not be salting my oatmeal, I'll eat less protein, and I'll be buying more citrus for the rest of my life because I don't want to go through that pain ever again.  People say the pain is worse that labor pain.  It is true.

This post might be TMI (too much information) but i decided to write about what I learned from my experience for my posterity or anyone else who will have the bad fortune of dealing with kidney stones.  My father and two of my brothers have had kidney stones and I'm thinking it might be in our Harris genes.  All I can say to my youngest brother is:  Watch out!

I found the best website that simply explains everything that I needed to know about kidney stones.  It is found on the Intermountain Healthcare webpage.  They posted a pamphlet on the subject that you can get to it by clicking here.

Here are a copy of a few pages that I found helpful:

This page explains what a kidney stone is.
My kidney stone did not pass on it's own.  After a CAT scan I found out that it was 6mm in size.  It was lodged in my ureter.  After my stone was removed, it was tested and determined that it was a calcium oxalate crystal.  
After 3 weeks of not budging, my urologist advised me to have an ureteroscopy and have that stone taken out using a tiny snare or "basket" which is explained below:  
After the kidney stone was removed, the doctor put in a ureteral stent.  More pain:(
At my last doctor visit I was given guidelines on how to prevent future kidney stones.  
Please pass the water.  :)

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