Recognize Early Symptoms of Kidney Stones
4.4 mm calcium oxalate kidney stone that I passed after months of pain
Kidney stone nightmare
For me, it started in May of 2009 as an ache in my back that wouldn't go away. I began looking on Google images at pictures of human back anatomy, and I noticed the pain was coming from near where the kidneys are. I called my doctor since I have a family history of kidney issues. The attending physician‘s assistant asked me to show him where my pain was coming from. I showed him and he said it was muscle pain from back strain. I told him I thought it was coming from my kidney since I have a family history. He informed me that my urine and bloodwork were normal. He gave a prescription for Lortab and sent me on my way.
Two weeks later, I developed what the doctor suspected was a UTI. I had horrible urgency and frequency but very little urine would come. I was in extreme discomfort with things getting worse by the day. After another trip to the doctor’s office, a prescription for Cipro was written for me. A week later, my urgency was still there, so the doctor called in Levaquin. After finishing that, I still felt urgency to urinate with no relief. By this time, it had been 3 more weeks, and I saw another doctor. I told him my symptoms and he told me it was due to my age (I was only 37). He literally told me to put Greek yogurt in my vagina to ease the pain and discomfort.
Frustrated at this point, I pretty much figured I was just being oversensitive and at age 37, it was the beginning of the downward slope of my youth. I was having pains in the middle of the night that felt like unescapable pressure on the right side of my abdomen. Nothing would take the pain away. I figured I must have ate some bad food and just rode out the pain until I could fall asleep again an hour later.
After going for months with not knowing the cause of my pain and discomfort, my husband took me to the emergency room at Citrus Memorial Hospital in Invernes, Florida. The ER doctor immediately questioned my motive for being there and accused me of coming for drugs. He had me in tears! My husband was very firm with him and stood up for me, personally attesting to my suffering over the previous few months. The doctor very reluctantly ordered a urine sample and a CT scan, which 45 minutes later revealed multiple kidney stones in both kidneys, including a 6mm stone in my left kidney, several small stones in the right kidney, and a stone in my bladder. My urine had both blood and white blood cells in it. I was discharged and sent home with pain pills, a cone shaped filter, a small specimen cup with a lid, a referral to see a urologist and instructions to drink a lot of water.
I followed hospital orders and gave birth the following day to a 4.4 mm calcium oxalate kidney stone. The pain in my lower abdomen was absolutely intense. It felt like a broken piece of glass cutting me from the inside. I dropped to my knees, crying out loud, begging for relief from the unbearable pain. I managed to crawl to the toilet and eventually collect the 4.4mm stone in the cone shaped filter that the ER nurse gave me the night before.
I brought the kidney stone to my urologist and lab results revealed that it was a calcium oxalate stone. The urologist sent me for an IVP xray, and then arranged for ESWL Lithotripsy to break up a 6 mm kidney stone lodged in my left kidney.
Evidence of my ESWL Lithotripsy procedure
ESWL Lithotripsy success
I had my surgery a week ago, which left a small welt on my back, and was successful as far as I can tell. I started passing stone fragments the next day, and saved them in a ziploc bag. I will go for my follow-up xray in a few days. I will have to do a 24 hour urine sample to investigate the chemistry of my urine. This will help determine what vitamins and minerals I have too much of, or a deficiency of. My brother has been getting kidney stones for 20 years, and he warned me that whenver he starts feeling back pain, he floods his system with as much water as he can possibly stand. He usually will pass a kidney stone within 24 to 48 hours after that.
I am trying to be good and stay away from my favorite foods that contain high amounts of oxylate - such as chocolate (no success there since I am a chocolate lover), tea, peanut butter, spinach, nuts, and a lot more foods that I enjoy.
If you start feeling a dull or achey pain in your mid back that won't go away, start drinking lots of water and go see your doctor. If you experience excruciating pain that radiates from your back to your abdomen with no relief, then you should go to the Emergency Room. Kidney damage can result from ignoring your symptoms.
Jagged kidney stone
Fast forward: 2018
I wrote this article in 2009 when I was 38 years old and I did not pass another kidney stone until 2018. Two days ago I passed a kidney stone in the emergency room and was told that I have more small non-obstructing stones in both of my kidneys. The stones in my kidneys are about 1 mm and the largest stone is 2 mm in my right kidney. I am drinking a lot of water to try and flush some of these stones from my body.
I called my brother last night and he currently has a stone in his right kidney that measures 10mm x 17mm! He has been passing an average of two kidney stones per year since he was 29 years old, with one year passing 8 stones. He has had numerous surgeries to remove calcium oxalate stones.
I will be visiting my primary care doctor to request some lab work and will publish the outcome.
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