Kidney Stone Update

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

Oh yeah, that emergency room visit I mentioned…

So it went like this: my abdomen started aching, and then eventually so did my *ahem* balls. Elina was on me to make a doctor’s appointment, but I got a little dude about it and decided to wait it out. After a week (*ahem* or so) of duding, it wasn’t going away. In fact, it was getting worse. So, to get Elina off my back I said I’d make a doctor’s appointment on Monday.

We needed some stuff for the new house, (OMG, did I mention we bought a house??!?) so I drove out to Ikea for a cliche Ikea-New-House pilgrimage.

I was only there for a bit before I realized my abdomen (and balls) really hurt.

Still floating in a haze of dudeliness, I promised myself that I’d go to an Urgent Care, but I had this cart full of house crap, and I couldn’t just abandon it, right? In the checkout line I started looking up the closest Urgent Care.

But, you know, I realized I was hungry, so I thought I’d grab some food while I looked. One lovely veggie-burger later, I realized that I had possibly made a misstep by waiting this long. By the time I finished eating, things REALLY hurt.

I texted Elina and drove to an Urgent Care. While talking to to nurse at the desk, I nearly passed out from the pain and had to go into the bathroom to throw up. They sent me to the real Emergency Room.

Sometime later, with an IV in my arm, a variety of drugs in my system, and with an ultrasound of my belly, they informed me that all the pain was me passing a stone in my right kidney. Fortunately it seemed to be gone now.

Less fortunately, they discovered another stone in my left kidney.

An ultrasound, X-ray, and CT scan later, they confirmed a 1cm by 1cm by 2cm kidney stone (shaped like a bullet!) and two smaller fragments in my left kidney.

The stone is too large to do Shockwave lithotripsy (sitting in a pool and breaking that shit up with ultrasonic sound!), which unfortunately leaves Ureteroscopy and Laser Lithotripsy (going through the urinary tract ( ! D: ! ) with a tube and exploding the stone,) or Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (making an incision through my back into my kidney and inserting a small tube/vacuum to break up the stones and suck up most of the pieces.) Whew.

After speaking with a surgeon, we’ve decided to go with the through-the-back option, (the stone is so large that the urinary tract option has the added danger of leaving tons stone debris along my tract, which would need a second and possibly third procedure.)

I’ll be having surgery February 9th. They’ll put me under. I’ll have to spend at least one, possibly two nights in the hospital and will have a week of painful bed recovery at home. There’ll be a stent from my bladder to my kidney. Three weeks after the surgery I’ll have to go back in and have it removed (by way of a method so horrifying that I can’t get myself to write it down.)

If everything goes to plan, I should be in pretty good shape about 4 weeks after the surgery. Whew.

I’m kind of freaking out, but generally trying to get on with my life.

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