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12 April 2010 @ 11:57 am
Kidney stone... arg!  
Well, much to my great distress I had to miss a long planned for craft show - the Ad Astra SF convention - this past weekend.  Spent most of the past 10 days or so in various levels of pain.  I've got a few friends here on LJ that have had them.  I tip my hat to you.  I've also spent 3 days writing this.. my concentration this week is crap.

whoo boy, I had no idea what a kidney stone felt like.  I thought it would only hurt when it was coming out when you pee.  WRONG.  It hurts when it starts to move out of your kidneys, packing a bag full of sharp edged weapons and tries to make an incredibly slow exit.  And guess what?... . it takes WEEKS to "pass".    

As you may have heard it's incredibly painful (on a 1-10 scale 0 = nothing and 10 being Transport Truck, I'd rank it as a 8.7) when it decides to move out of your kidney.  It feels like someone has a small knife inside you and is stabbing their way out through your kidney for 2 hours.  Its also one of those Wave pains - meaning it gives you a chance to breathe twice and then hits you again.  Thus the stabby-stab feeling.  

Writers take note!  It's like a waltz:   Stab -breathe 1-2-3 - Stab - breathe 1-2-3 = repeat for 2 hrs with slowly decreasing stabs.

Of course, being stubborn, stupid and with a high tolerance for pain - I didn't go to the hospital for days.  I walked into a clinic - got the expected diagnosis of "looks like a kidney stone" and booked an appt for an ultrasound, walked out with a prescrip for percoset (fyi: useless).  One thing, I did promise the clinic doc that if it got bad again I would go to Emerg.  On Thursday it got bad enough (8) I headed to Emerg. and spent the requisite 1.75 hrs sitting in the waiting room.

Now you'll hear a lot about Canadian Healthcare.. since I know a few of you all might be curious. Checking into a hospital requires a valid Health card.  If you don't have one you pay cash/credit.  There's some kind of fee structure for tests/costs, etc.  If you are carried in - you usually go straight to the ER.   If you are unconcious, bleeding a lot, shot, stabbed etc, brought in by an ambulance - passed out - whooosh... you aren't seen except in passing by those of us in the ER Waiting room. 

Personally, I think it is a good system.  Sure, while you sit there wishing you would just die - the Triage people (who see you almost immediately unless you come in an ambulance) - will figure out if you really are about to die.  I suspect if you are going to die - they won't make you wait 2 hrs to see a doc.   SUCK IT UP.  

After the hour and 40 min we (TheBigBad came with) were called into a section called RAZ = Rapid Assessment Zone.  Big chairs, a few people waiting, a small section of Emergency where they already suspect what's wrong - (I'd told them I'd seen a clinic doc) - and they do an assessment.   Saw the doc - 2 min.  Got a CAT Scan - within 10 min or less - went back to The Zone.  Got an IV and some morphine.  Actually waiting for the CAT results took the longest = a few hours - while I sat there and the other people in the room fell asleep.  (There was an old lady who'd had a few surgeries and a guy that looked like Hagrid and Mick Foley's Love Child - he was funny when he woke up).   Seriously... every one but me fell asleep.  It was strange.   Sometimes people would come and knock on the door down the hall and I'd pretend the Zombies were attacking.  There was a shit TV in the corner with a bad colour cast.  If I ever win money I'm buying them better TVs.

Eventually saw the Doc again - I've got a large stone.  5mm.  sounds small to me... but they said I'll have to see a specialist this week.  They might have to do some kind of sugery.  If so - It will be a first for me.  I've got a few more effective drugs now.  They figure its too big to pee out, so some kind of meddling is required.  

How'd i get it?  no idea. ... except i eat a LOT of things that are supposed to be good:  spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, berries, cranberries. I take Vit. C, and started taking vit D recently....  hmf.   I likely don't drink enough water.  Well now I'm up to a few liters a day.  I'm FLOATING now. 

Anyway, I've spent the last few days in a stupor.  Drugs / exhaustion / low level of pain / lack of appetite.  I've made NO Jewelry.  Watched TV!  Didn't even want to drink coffee.....   
Gala: badtzmarudali_muse on April 12th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Ouch, I figure that with all the coffee that I drink, I've got a few stones bumming around. (That and the sharp pains in my lower back near the kidney region.) One passed while I was at an X concert! There was no way in hell I was going to leave the show so I sucked it up, even though I was in agony!
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 12th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
gee, that puts a different slant to "got stoned at the concert last night..."
:D You are pretty tough. heh.

I never considered the occasional "back ache" that I've had might be anything but a bad back... until now. On occasion I thought it might be kidney related but I had no idea. Now I'm wondering.

I'm drinking a lot of water. Hear it might help at least for the future.
Livia Llewellyn: Holy Shit!livia_llewellyn on April 12th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Dear god! I suppose I should avoid saying "this, too, shall pass"? :D Good luck with the meddling.
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
actually i've been making passing jokes - though the nurse at the ER just looked at me as if I was growing a second head.
Heather: aaaaaahkadenza on April 12th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Well it sounds like you got some pretty good care-- I clicked the cut with some trepidation thinking it might be some kind of OHIP horror story. Anyway, I hope they can fix you soon... sounds awful!! If Percocet did nothing... yikes. This icon has never felt more appropriate.
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
great shell shocked icon! its making me laugh. sorry - I've not really had a bad OHIP story: mostly boring.
S. Rain: Lupussrain on April 12th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
I did what you did. I am no stranger to back pain so I just toughed it out for a couple weeks. It wasn't until I had to start checking to make sure there wasn't REALLY a knife being stabbed into my lower back that I decided to call a clinic. They were going to do the laser surgery with me where they blast it into smaller pieces with a laser so you can pass it but it was slowly moving on its own. Good times. 5mm is pretty big especially if you consider the size of the tubes it's in! They never figured out why I had the stone. It's usually calcium I heard and I'm lactose intolerant so I don't ingest much extra calcium! They just said, "probably stress." Whatever. I've never had one since and it's been over 10 years now.

Hope you're through this soon! Lots of people I talked to said their kidney stone was as or more painful than childbirth. Ha!
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
stress eh? Well, 10 years is great! knocks wood
I think it must be sitting in my far more spacious bladder now. I'd not really considered the size of the tubes in relation to the size of the stone. Guess they must be fairly tiny and not accustomed to solids. lol. Thinking about it - it makes sense. :)

I don't know if they can do the master-blaster thingy when its in the bladder... guess i'll find out soon enough.

Also - I guess now I'm starting to think back on my "back pain" issues over the last few months...and wondering. I always put it down to a bad back. hmm.
All the letters I can write: we prefer the word wendelah1 on April 12th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Kidney stones are awful. I hope you feel better soon.
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
thank you!
I feel quite upright today - which given the past weeks - is rather exciting!
ellen datlowellen_datlow on April 13th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about this. Thank you for describing what it's like--sounds awwwwful....going to drink some water now.
Feel better soon--and I hope it doesn't take surgery.
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
More water!
well, I've got enough writer friends who probably could use the description ;) I actually suspect that stabbing might hurt a bit less.

yes.. go drink more water! I'm floating right now, but they say dehydration is the number one cause. I'm trying for 2+ liters a day but that probably still wouldn't satify a doctor.
mmarquesmmarques on April 13th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
oh man, that sounds really awful. I heard that there's a new technique that uses ultrasound to blast the stones. Might be better than surgery if it's available here.

Hope you get some relief soon!
clockwork_zeroclockwork_zero on April 14th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
thanks MM! I'll see if they can do the blasting. Still waiting to hear from the specialist. sigh. I'm going to call them today = if i can figure out who to call. silly ER - they never tell you all the info.
mmarquesmmarques on April 15th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Good luck!
Deejmonkeyman on April 14th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
*sends lots of hugs* I had a kidney stone many years ago. Worst pain I've ever felt, and I had to wait ten hours before I could go to the ER (long story).