Passing a Kidney Stone

Cartoon by Graham MacLennan

Let me just say this up front. Passing a kidney stone will probably be the most painful experience of your entire life! If you are in the middle of this horror right now, visit kidney stone pain. If you are not sure you are passing a kidney stone, you may think you are dying or that someone has poisoned you and you are to be left for dead writhing on the floor moaning, "mama".

During my first kidney stone episode I thought that I had contracted some dread disease and would be dead before nightfall. I crawled to the bathroom and removed all of my clothes and proceeded to wretch the remainder of what I had eaten prior that day.

"What would my wife and kids do after I had passed into the next world?" These are the sort of thoughts that went through my head as the drama ensued. It was not fun. Passing a kidney stone would be the death of me!

My wife got on the phone to my sister who had experienced passing a kidney stone and my condition sounded hauntingly familiar. She recommended that I start to force liquids to help with the passing of the kidney stone.

The Pain

The most obvious indicator was the excruciating lower back pain. As I rolled around the bathroom floor alternately puking and guzzling water from a Gatorade bottle, the pain slowly moved around my side as the passing kidney stone was making its way down the ureter. The pain was unbearable! I almost passed out.

I also did not want anyone in the room with me or even talking to me through the bathroom door. This was taking my full concentration. I tell people it's like the universe has shrunk to the size of a pin-head. The pain is on the pin-head and it has your full attention.

Our properly functioning ureters do not get the recognition they deserve. Day after day they perform their function without our notice. They could have asked for anything and I would have complied.

After a few hours of this pitiful drama, the passing kidney stone moved into the bladder and the hysterics were over, juts like that. As quickly as the pain had ensued, it was gone. Only perspiration and a worn psyche were all that remained.

The mysteries that were kidney stones would soon command my full attention. What were they? How did I get them? What do I need to do to NEVER get them again? Obviously, the massive amounts of water I consumed were helpful in flushing the kidney stone out of my urinary tract. What else could I have done to expedite the process? I've read much about the subject and have come across some interesting kidney stone removal procedures or techniques.

Short of going to the hospital and having some sort of surgery, the options were anecdotal at best. Such things as drinking some concoction of asparagus and olive oil and the "kidney stone bump technique" were widely available on the internet. What was I to believe? How much money was I willing to fork over for a solution? Believe me, after this ordeal I was willing to try anything!

I will say, after having suffered from multiple kidney stone episodes and having talked with my urologist that maintaining a healthy daily intake of water and fluids is essential in keeping the stones from forming again. I've also had some interesting experiences with passing kidney stones and cranberry juice.

Once the kidney stone has passed into the bladder and the pain has subsided, I highly recommend that you try to catch that bugger! Get a strainer, stick your hand in the toilet, or do whatever it takes to get that sucker back.

For one thing, it is very satisfying to hold the object of your wrath between your fingers and curse it. Secondly, it will be helpful in determining the cause of your problem. Take the stone to your urologist or a lab where it can be tested. They will determine what type of kidney stone it is. The vast majority of kidney stones are of the calcium oxalate variety.

If you are having trouble passing a kidney stone on your own, go to the hospital or emergency room. It's not ideal, but you may have a more serious problem and it is worth having the experts working on you.

They will assist you in developing a proper regime for dealing with your new found condition, possibly including a new diet.

Additional Resources:
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What Other KS911 Visitors Have Said

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Stones are a living hell! 
I have had kidney stones for the past two and a half years. They pass through and a month later they are back. It happens over and over again! It's pure …

Run it, NOW!! 
It started with vague discomfort on my left side. When the CT showed a huge boulder in my left ureter, the call back from my Dr. included, "Are you sure …

The Birth of a Rock 
It’s hard to imagine that acid indigestion can lead, indirectly, to the development of kidney stones, but if you fight acid indigestion with TUMS (Registered …

The most painful experience of my life!!! 
I woke up March 2nd at 3am with a pinching pain in my lower left side. I have had cysts on my ovaries plenty of times prior and I wrote it off as that. …

I curse a Kidney Stone!! 
Ok .... Let me first tell you that the pain that radiates in the lower back (mine was the right side) is something to not wish on your worst enemy! I have …

Did you say hours or days? How about 2 months and still going.... Not rated yet
This is my 6th stone in about 10 years. Each one seems to be a little different, although the ureter pain is always unmistakable! This one is the slowest …

Don't want to suffer on pain???you just need to trust this.. :D Not rated yet
I have my kidney stone...and I am suffering a deep pain. I went in a hospital and have some test...as the doctor said there is a a stone in my kidney the …

Attack of the Kidney Stones! Not rated yet
I've a long history with uric acid stones, starting about nine years ago with the first one that startled me awake in the middle of the night. I apparently …

THE KID NAMED STONE Not rated yet
Today, I woke up with excruciating lower back pain, mostly on the left side. I started saying to myself "this is some pretty intense back pain for the …

Sorry the ultra-sound machine broke Not rated yet
I went into the ER on Wednesday. Waiting patiently in pain for the Friday to come with hydrocondone pills at hand. Waiting in the pre-op for the next …

About the size of a grain of rice,dark brownish colour Not rated yet
Actually wondered what it was-- lol,a bit of surfing and found this site. Caused no pain at all so i got off lightly by the sounds of it. Glad to find …

1st=8mm, 2nd=7mm, 3rd=12mm, 4th=4mm, 8mm, 10mm, 15mm & 25mm!!!!!! Not rated yet
First stone: I was 25yrs old. I started to have pain and very visible blood in my urine. I went to the doctor who then tested me for clamidia, results …

I've passed over 20 stones they were all the size of a bb like air rifle bb. Black center they looked like it was black pepper stuck together with crystallized spikes looked like glass shards Not rated yet
Definitely not something to brag about but. Only one in particular had me in so much paint that I was seeing light flashes and about to faint from the …

This will be the death of me Not rated yet
Jan, 2012. I just passed my 4th stone in my 2nd episode of stones. Unfortunately I have the habit of forming several at once. This time was bad. I …

Ongoing Saga... Not rated yet
I am still in the phase of determining whether it is a Kidney Stone or not, my doctor thinks I did pass one when I ended up in hospital. Morphine in …

My Kidney Stone of August 14, 2009! Not rated yet
I woke up at 11:30 PM on Friday August 14, 2009 with a wrenching pain in my right testicle that made it feel like it was going to pop. My wife was in the …

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