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David Stewart

Almost recovered and a heads up to everyone!

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Wow, where do I start? This is a rather long and detailed story, but there is a good lesson to be learned at the end.

 

I have always been very healthy. Never been to the hospital for anything, besides some car accidents. I am 32 years old, and always considered myself to be in good health. I am pretty active since I own a Landscaping business, and am in good physical condition. I haven't been to the doctor with any illness in over 7 years.

 

Last Wednesday night I had a terrible pain that started in my abdominal area around 11 pm. It got worse as the night progressed and I finally couldn't take it anymore. My wife was working 7am-7pm at the hospital (she is an RN), so I drove myself to the emergency room at around 3 am. Of course, I had to wait around in pain for about 45 minutes before they finally took my back into the ER. The doctor asked me the usual questions, ordered a blood test, a hefty shot of demerol and blamied it on gastrententis and sent me home.

 

All was well the next day. I went to bed around 11 pm, and was awoken by severe pain at 1:30am. I was being stubborn, and didn't want to go back to the E.R. but, my wife finally talked me into going back. We got to the hospital and by this time the pain was getting almost unbearable. I was lucky this time and the doctor was attending to me within 15 minutes, since I was a repeat customer I suppose. This time he gave me another shot of demerol along with a dose of toradol, and sent me back for a CAT scan. The results of the scan revealed I was the proud owner of a 6mm X 7mm kidney stone, which is rather large considering the uretha tube that it was lodged in is normally 3mm in diameter. :eek: My uretha tube (which connects the kidney with the bladder) was stretched out about double it's normal size with complete blockage of my left kidney. Well, at least now I knew why I was hurting so bad. The doctor made me an appointment for the next morning with a urologist.

 

I met with the urologist, and he said there was no way in hell I was going to pass that stone out on my own. He said the average sized kidney stone is usually 1-4 mm and since mine was so big, surgery was my best option. I was figuring that. Of course he wanted to do surgery so he can make the money off it, duh. Then I realized that trying to pee out a jagged stone larger than a .22 bullet did not sound very appealing either. :( The doctor claimed that the procedure really wasn't too bad, he said it was alot less painfull then trying to pass it naturally. Of course he said he has never had a kidney stone, so his and my definition of pain are two totally different things. I think I'm more of an expert on the pain factor, since I have actually experienced it. Reluctantly, I agreed to do the surgery, scheduled for 7 am the next morning which was Friday.

 

Oh, the marvels of modern medicine. :) The procedure they did on me was called a Cystoscopy. Thank god i was knocked out for it. They took a camera on a wire and went in through the hole...and I'm sure you know what hole I'm talking about. Anyways, next step was to insert a pneumatic jackhammer like tool to bust the stone into smaller pieces....OUCH. After that, they use a clawlike took to grab the fragments and remove them. The next step involved installing a stint for drainage puropses. Because of all the prodding and jackhammering going on in there, the stint is used becuase the walls of the uretha will swell inward causing complete blockage again, along with more severe pain. The stint is a small 2mm piece of surgical tubing that will remain open and allow for drainage so your kidney doesn't back up. The stint is attached to a piece of braided string which comes back out of the hole and is taped off to the side of the penis,wanker, or whatever you prefer to call it. I had to go like this until Thursday, which was today. It is a very odd and uncomfortable feeling to be walking around for 5 days with a string hanging out and a constant slight burning sensation. Needless to say, I have stayed as still as possible for those 5 days.

 

I was looking forward to getting this string and tube pulled out today, but when it came time to do it I was kinda dreading it since I figured it would feel really weird and hurt on the way out, and I was right. I was curious about how long this tube was and I finally found out. The tube was around 13 inches long and the string attached to it was about 10 inches. :eek:

 

 

tube3di.jpg

 

 

 

Aside from feeling violated, I am feeling much better now, and should be 100% in 2 more days. I'm still a tad bit sore, but am glad to have the worst parts over with. Thank gooness for insurance! First E.R. bill was $780. Second E.R. bill was $1600. I haven't recieved a copy of the surgery bill, but I'm sure it will be over $5,000!

 

 

Anyways, moral to this story!

 

Guys, be sure to make apointments with a doctor to have an xray or CAT scan done every year to prevent any kidney stones from getting too big. Also it is very important to have a prostate exam, since prostate cancer is serious business with men over 30 years old. You might as well have them done at the same time. It could save you alot of pain and possibly your life.

 

DS

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David..

 

Man that just gave me pains reading your story.. :(

 

I hear ya man.. I try to go to the doc and get a checkup at least once a year since my dad is a bad diabetic and I try to make sure my sugar isnt high..He's been through so many infections and all .. The last one ended up that he had to get a prostetic (sp?) leg because of it.. I dont wana go through that myself, it was worse enough having him go through it..

 

I know there are other things that I should do to keep in shape..

and im trying to get my act together now..but seems its harder to do once ya get older.. or is it we get more stubborn when older..lol

 

 

Happy your feeling better bro.. take it easy..

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I'm glad to hear you're doing okay and that your trouble was "only" a kidney stone. I got to go through a cancer scare 2 years ago, so I know a little about the pain and indignity of some medical procedures.

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i had heard maybe 10 or 15 years ago that they were using ultra-sound to grind up kidney stones into bits so small that you couldnt see them (dust basically)

 

i guess that never panned out =(

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actually, ESWL or external shock wave lithotripsy is still being used to smash stones from the outside. its only when the stones are too big or when there are suspected mutiple stones that you need to do transurethral removal of stones (tube thru the hole.. u know which one)

 

and just a note.. its really not advisable to do an xray or cat scan every year if you're not symptomatic. you are really exposing yourself to uneeded radiation by doing so. some hospitals advertise yearly screening checks with the works like mri, xray, cat scan, blood investigations but its really just a way for them to make money. ask any genuine doctor and they will say just stay away from all these package deals as they are really unnecessary. if you really need to do a checkup on kidney stones every year, just do an ultrasound since theres no radiation involved in that.

 

p/s im a final med student so just offering my 2 cents if its worth anything.

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David,

 

I feel for you man. My last kidney stone attack was in the mid 80's when I was going to school at LSU. Lithotripsy was in its infancy and they decided it was the best treatment for my stones.

 

Back then the treatment was to immerse you in a tub of water. They then aimed the "cannon" at your back and fired away. I use the term cannon because that's what it felt like. Remember the old film of the guy having a cannonball fired at his stomach?

 

If you've ever been kicked by a horse or mule you know what I'm talking about.

 

I've been clean for almost 20 years with only a few changes in my diet.

 

That stint has gotta make a catheter feel like a pin prick.

 

Glad you're doing better.

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I wish I could have done the tub of water treatment. My doctor said that that wasn't an option for me, though. Since the stone was 3/4 of the way down my tube, my pelvic bone was "protecting" it from that procedure. The doc said that if we had caught it earlier, while it was still in the kidney or higher up in the tube, then the tub of water route would have been an option. Unfortunately, it had to be done the hard way.

 

Roadie: I know exactly what you mean by feeling like being kicked by a mule, lol. I heard that that tub method that you had was painful also, but ramming a jackhammer up the hole sounded more painful in description. Hopefully, I won't have to experinece either method again, so I won't be able to make a comparison..lol

 

Shorty: Thanks for the advice on the ultrasound. I will mention that when I go in for my post-op checkup next week!

 

DS

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lols dont take my word for it.. im still just a med student. anyways, there are probably better modalities for checking the size of a kidney stone than an ultrasound, just that it doesnt give out radiation. all the best on your road to recovery.. im sure its one incident you would never want to go thru again. my friend had a kidney stone and she said it was worse than giving birth to her kid..

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Ouch I feel for you having just gone throught the same thing a couple months ago,via Lithotripsy, my stint didn't have a string I had it removed under local in the doctors office for my second stone, the third I said no way in hell do I want a stint, each time I pissed blood tissue and gravel for about 2 weeks. My stone was the size of an almond 10mm. I still have the cat scan around here somewhere

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kccustom: Too bad you know how it feels. Holy $hit, I couldn't imagine a 10mm almond! Was that thing in your kidney or lodged in your tube? If so, that is really bad news. Something that big could rupture the tube if not removed quickly. I know what you mean by peeing blood and gravel. They got about 75% of mine, but I'm still passing the "small" fragments that were left over. Glad you got through it.

 

DS

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Dayam, after reading this thread, I need a shot of Demerol.........

 

that's just plain scarey!

 

Glad you're doing better!

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