OK, so here I am now day 3 in the war of Kevin vs. the Kidney Stone(s). I've turned the corner to victory after a couple of days filled with so much pain I could only think for about 20 minutes at a time before I had to rest.
Admittedly, I feel beat up inside, my head is throbbing, but the pain is minimal and infrequent – more like being bruised. I'm happy to be on the road to recovery and to have avoided the lithotripsy procedure mostly because my son, Charles, graduation from Christ School is this weekend. We're leaving tomorrow and as of yesterday I knew I couldn't make the drive and might miss it. At this stage, things are a go for Judith, Anne, and me to make the trip.
From this kidney stone episode I've learned a few of things:
- There are many home remedies on the Internet to help pass stones. I tried several. Did they work? Honestly, I can't say that they did one way or the other. I will say the "drink 6 cans of Coca-Cola followed by an asparagus puree" was the most challenging. I got to 4 cans, my teeth rotted and fell out 🙂 but the fast relief I was promised was apparently 2 cans short of doing the job. Of course, this caffeinated, sugar high creates a whole set of different challenges. I tried apple cider vinegar and water. I drank fresh squeezed lemon juice and water. I tried the "jump and bump" method to shake this thing out. The pain continued.
- Pain management is the key. As long as I was in severe pain I believe my body was in some sort of shut down mode – a kind of death grip between the kidney stone and the appropriate body part waging war. In the end, pain management, I believe, provided a window of relaxation that allowed for the gradual release to begin.
- Use heat to help with the pain. Warm showers with the water on my side works wonders. A heating pad. Yesterday I used an 8 hour Icy Hot patch on my back. That was wonderfully soothing.
- Clearly, seek out medical advice so at least you can get the prescription for the drugs that can help manage pain. Typically, I'm one who avoids the doctors because so many other pressures are on them to matters other than healing. This interference on their profession causes me to pause and question the quality of care. Legal matters have them thinking in terms of the worse case scenario and protecting themselves. Demands to see more patients means they can ill-afford to invest too much time with one patient. Sadly, they've become more prescription writers than true healers. In the case of a kidney stone, however, take the prescription.
- Find a "Doc in A Box" walk in clinic to get fast care. Avoid the emergency room. Kidney stones in emergency rooms must fall way down on the triage list. When I had my first kidney stone I went to the local emergency room at 2 am. Lying on the floor in pain for three hours, I finally left realizing I was better off in my own bed in pain. Another time, after sitting for two hours in pain, I was told they were still unsure how long it would be before I was seen. I left. To add insult to infirmity, because I had been through triage they then sent me a bill for a full emergency room visit. That was a residual pain I didn't see coming.
- Most of all, AVOID kidney stones. Once ones gets a kidney stone, it is my understanding, one is more prone to produce more. How to avoid them: Drink plenty of water. Watch your food intake.
- Finally, pray. I asked people to pray for my recovery. Healing comes in many ways.
Update: January 14, 2013
I've had couple of mild kidney stones since this original post. I found this product – Stone Breaker – below that I now use when the pain comes on. It seems to accelerate the passing process for me by "melting" the stones so they pass is a thicker disolved form rather than hard and sharp. Whole Foods carries it if you need it in a hurry.