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19 September 2005

Let's hear it for the Stones! Kidney stones, that is.[More:] I've had severe back pain and abdominal cramps for over a year. In typical male fashion, I avoided seeing a doctor. I'll spare you the gory details, but last night I passed something that could be a stone. Or it could be a ceramic chip from the toilet bowl, in which case I'm going to feel very foolish, but better safe than sorry, right? The urine test they did in the office today did indicate hematuria . I have an ultrasound scheduled for next tuesday, but I'm having a minor disco freak-out.
Perhaps you will be cut of the stone at Mrs. Turner's in Salisbury Court?
posted by Hugh Janus 19 September | 13:08
Have you had the been since the passing? It certainly sounds like one.
posted by danostuporstar 19 September | 13:11
"had the been?"
posted by jonmc 19 September | 13:13
I totally don't understand this guy thing about not taking care of their bodies.

That said, jon, don't freak out. There's dietary changes you can make to avoid kidney stones, but if you've passed the stone, there's not much more you can do.

I will suggest one thing, though, start drinking more water. A lot more water. And cut down on coffee. And keep your sodium intake between 2300 to 3500 mg a day. I won't bother telling you to eat less meat and more fiber.
posted by Specklet 19 September | 13:15
Oy! Poor jonmc! I hope not.

But if so, be really happy that you didn't live in Isaac's Newton's time. Readers of the Baroque Cycle will recall the misery described there. Hopefully, if you do have this problem, and you have remaining stone(s) it/they can be mostly pulverized with shock wave treatment.

But now, of course, the awful waiting. :(
posted by taz 19 September | 13:17
Like I said, it could be a chip from the bowl for all I know. I wasn't expecting one, so I didn't strain it. But I was in pain late last night, took a leak, felt something unusual come out, and the pain ceased. But, IANAD, as they say.

If it is a peice of toilet bowl or grout or something, I'm going to feel like an idiot. My dad had kidney stones twice (and gallstones once) in his thirties & forties, so there's another factor. My back pain was bad, real bad, but people who've had kidney stones have described it as worse than gunshots or childbirth, and my pain was never that bad, or maybe I just have a high pain threshold.
posted by jonmc 19 September | 13:22
Ouchy. Poor jon.
posted by gaspode 19 September | 13:27
When I had a kidney stone, it was the only time in my life I was actually moaning with pain and pounding the wall next to the bed. Oh, and vomiting like crazy. That's always nice.

That said, you might have had a small one. That could cause some nice pain without bringing you to your knees.

But like others have said, there's really nothing to freak out about. Maybe kick yourself for not going to the doctor a year ago, sure, that's reasonable.
posted by agropyron 19 September | 13:30
I think alcohol consumption might have been masking some of the pain. After my third or fourth beer of the evening, the pain would fade, not that I advocate Anheuser-Busch as a prescription painkiller.
posted by jonmc 19 September | 13:33
My sister has had 20-something kidney stones (nope, that is not an exaggeration). You'll live. Hopefully you won't get one big enough to block your kidney, or that requires a stent, or lithotripsy.

Learn to drink a lot of water if it was a stone.
posted by teece 19 September | 13:36
Ow. Jesus Kidney Stone Christ. This hurts just reading and thinking about it. I'm going to go have another glass of water.
posted by papercake 19 September | 13:45
"had the been"? "had the pain"
posted by danostuporstar 19 September | 13:46
Wow, pissing pebbles can't be fun. Good luck jon.
posted by dodgygeezer 19 September | 13:47
And I see it did cease.
posted by danostuporstar 19 September | 13:48
disco is unlikely to help. Rock freak out is more in order.

At least the u/sound is no drama. And drink heaps (err...water) is the best thing. Good luck jon. ouch!
posted by peacay 19 September | 13:55
Hopefully you won't get one big enough to block your kidney, or that requires a stent, or lithotripsy.

I've had that! A big honkin' hurty one that required a stent and lithotripsy. YOU DO NOT WANT THAT! I would rather give birth to a sumo wrestler with hypercephalus than go through that again.

Water is good. Coke and iced tea are bad. (And if you have to go, go. Don't hold it in.)

Hope it all works out ok, jonmc
posted by jrossi4r 19 September | 13:59
what specklet said, mostly. get well soon, giovanni
posted by matteo 19 September | 14:06
I admire you, bigmc. It takes stones to admit you've got stones. And it the suspect piece turns out to be porcelain, then you'll know you've been cured (right before getting glazed)...

/got nuthin'

Get good soon.
posted by wendell 19 September | 14:13
Please pardon my insensitivity in making the literary allusion before wishing you well.

May all your problems dissolve and pass.
posted by Hugh Janus 19 September | 14:46
Heh... Hugh, I didn't even notice your reference earlier. Cheers!
posted by taz 19 September | 14:51
In an age before anaesthesia and antiseptics, lithotomies were often fatal. Samuel Pepys was so glad to survive his that he placed his stone in a reliquary and threw a party for it every year. Others set their stones into jewellery and printed cards commemorating their surgery. Those less determined to defy death resorted to quack medicine or even scraping their insides with wire. Benjamin Franklin, as usual, outdid everyone. When stones blocked his urethral opening, he dislodged them by standing on his head and urinating upside down.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN had plenty of company in his medical miseries Isaac Newton also suffered from bladder stones, as did Peter the Great of Russia and Napoleon Bonaparte. Bladder and kidney stones were once a far more common affliction than they are today. Indeed, Franklin's brother also had stones, and when Ben designed a draining catheter for his blocked bladder, his relief was so immense that he had another made and sent it to his brother with his compliments. And while some sufferers passed their stones relatively painlessly, others were less fortunate, suffering excruciating pain, vomiting, fever, bloody urine and permanent kidney damage.
From here (doc.), the Paul Collins "Hens' eggs and snail shells" essay.
posted by taz 19 September | 14:59
Owie. Hope you get better soon, jonmc.
posted by deborah 19 September | 15:02
Benjamin Franklin FTW! God, that's an... awe-inspiring mental image.

Good luck, jonmc.
posted by selfnoise 19 September | 15:13
As a chick who's had them and also been through childbirth, I can tell you it's like comparing apples and oranges. Besides, if you're in pain, you're in pain -- no point in trying to qualify it.

What you describe sounds a *lot* like what I've experienced, passing-wise. So go ahead and take in the grout -- if you're right, you get the benefit of the analysis. If not, well, I'm sure it's happened before. I've never caught mine, and I wish I had.

The ultrasound is no big deal -- hold breath, click, move. If you've got more in the pipeline, they'll tell you and also what your options are for treatment.

Hope that's the last one for you, glad to hear you're feeling better. (It's always strange wishing good will on a fellow kidney stone sufferer, since they've likely been through the worst before you hear about it...)
posted by gnomeloaf 19 September | 15:21
Last summer I had a very slight heart attack and while I was being triaged in the ER, a fellow was in the next curtain area passing a kidney stone. While I sat up, feeling bored, with a headache from some nitroglycerin but otherwise pain free, this poor fellow was begging for mercy, pleading for drugs, and moaned almost constantly for the couple of hours I spent next to him. He sounded like he wanted to die.

As a doctor once told me, "Drink water like you middle name is 'Poland Spring'."
posted by briank 19 September | 15:27
Been there. Like a mini child-birth episode, I am told. The blood will cease. Everything will return to normal.

Now, become friends with the water fountain. Get a drink whenever you think about it. Begin to ask, "Is my pee too dark?"

I went from one stone every two years to none in the last 12 years, by drinking water regularly. Also, the Dr. I saw told me to drink more beer. My Man!
posted by sarah connor 19 September | 15:27
Seconded: Drink more beer. That goes for all of you.

I am not a doctor, nor do I know what I'm talking about most of the time. But this much I can tell you:

Drink more beer!
posted by Hugh Janus 19 September | 15:32
I am doing my part...

I was up till 6 drinking of the dog this AM for sure.
posted by Schyler523 19 September | 16:11
I have also been prescribed beer by my doctor to help withe hematuria (not so much the stones though).
posted by danostuporstar 19 September | 16:17
my brother gets them, and they usually give him something that helps dissolve them so you can pee em away--ask your doctor, jon.
posted by amberglow 19 September | 19:24
I had quite a small stone pass about 3 years ago, and it sounds very much like the level of pain you're describing, jon (I also have a high pain threshold). Like almost everyone here, my doc advised getting into the habit of drinking lots of water all the time (and enjoying my beer even more!) -- so always keep a bottle handy if you're going out for awhile or a glass by the computer (water, that is, not necessarily beer!). My dad told me a very high calcium intake can aggravate stones in some people, but I don't think that that's a general cause for everyone.

I hope you feel better soon! (And certainly better this weekend to meet up while I'm in NY, yes?)
posted by scody 20 September | 00:48
*sympathetic wince* Feel better!
posted by brujita 20 September | 01:45
Goodness, feel better jonmc and don't let the fuckers keep you down.
posted by omiewise 20 September | 09:32
I've got the hots for the smarts || everyone nominate fleshlight