Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kidney Stones are Bad

My advice to all that read this: Don't get a kidney stone! I have recently recovered from one and will freely admit that it was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

It started on a Monday with what I thought was some pretty intense back pain that lasted a couple of hours and then stopped. Well, I've got an office chair that doesn't offer much back support so I thought that was the problem. I tried switching chairs the next day and thought I was doing well until about noon when it hit me again.

This time it wasn't going away so I went to my wife's chiropracter to see if he could fix it. The pain was so bad that as I was driving to the chiropracter's office, I almost had to pull over on the freeway to throw up. However, I was able to make it to there and, after sitting in a massage chair for about 20 minutes and then having my back adjusted, I felt pretty good. So I figured I was all fixed up.

Wednesday was the day I probably won't ever be able to forget. The pain started up again about noon and, once again, was just too much for me to bear. I called my wife to come pick me up (I had car-pooled that day) and take me to the chiropracter. I spent most of the time waiting for my wife (about half an hour) lying on the floor in my office as that was the position that caused the least amount of pain. Of course by "least amount", I mean pure agony as opposed to blinding agony.

When my wife picked me up, I simply curled up on the seat with my head on the dashboard (still seeking to avoid the blinding agony) and counted the seconds until we got to the chiropracter. This time, however, the adjustments didn't help at all and the best the chiropracter could do was to have me go home and put ice on it. Well I tried that couple with some tylenol (which brought the pain down from pure agony to merely intense pain) which lasted for about an hour. Since it was too early to take more, I tried some ibuprofin. That didn't seem to affect it at all. At that point and on the advice of my wife and my brother, I went to the ER.

The city I live in had just finished a new hospital and ER and I had read an article a couple of days earlier that said the wait times there were less than half an hour. Well, that was a lot better than any other ER or urgent care in the Phoenix area so we (my wife and I) went there. It was great. We were seeing a doctor within 5 or 10 minutes of arriving there. He asked a few questions like how bad the pain was (10!! most definitely a 10!) and a few other things and told me I had a kidney stone.

So they got me into a room and gave me some percocet. While I was waiting for that to kick in, they also took some blood. Now I have an aversion to needles. For whatever reason, the creep me out. However, this time I didn't even care. It hurt so bad that I don't think an epidural would have bothered me. Finally (about 8 hours after the pain started) the percocet started kicking in and the pain was reduced to a sharp kind of ache. At that point they did a CT scan which confirmed it was a kidney stone and said it was pretty small (4 mm) and that I should pass it in a few days. In the mean time, they gave me more percocet (which I asked for) and by the time I left I was pain free, feeling great, and had a perscription for more percocet.

I figured that my worries were over and that I'd be back to normal in a few days. Little did I know that when they said that kidney stones usually pass in a few day, they didn't mean me.

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