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 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
and fluids is essential in keeping the stones from forming again. I've
also had some interesting experiences with passing kidney stones and
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
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
Have a kidney stone horror story?
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What is your favorite kidney stone herbal remedy?
How big was the stone?
What changes have you made in your lifestyle and/or diet?
What advice would you give to other kidney stone sufferers?
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