September 30, 2016

How to Survive Your First Kidney Stone

If you’ve never had a kidney stone before, you may be wondering why this is important for you to read. But I assure you, it’s important. I never had a kidney stone before…until Wednesday night.

I was working from home on Wednesday afternoon so I had time to get ready to go to the Carrie Underwood Storyteller Tour concert with three of my friends. My mother had gotten us tickets from her. On my drive home earlier from the office I had a little bit of back pain. So I decided to take a couple ibuprofen when I got home. Figured that would be the end of it.

Well, half way through using the flat iron on my hair, the pain started to become unbearable. Like some of the worst cramps I’ve ever had. And the pain started to radiate through my back. I decided to lay down and try to sleep it off before the concert, but the worse these cramps got, the more I knew I would not be going to the concert.

We went to a local urgent care first to check on what was going on where to my surprise they ruled that I most likely had a kidney stone. They couldn’t believe I was handling the pain as well as I was. And like that it was as if a switch flipped and the pain began getting worse. As in I couldn’t stop swearing worse. Not to mention I kept vomiting so it really was a lot of fun.  I was then transferred to the hospital in order to have them manage the pain, and morphine slowly became my life line. We were released to go home around 10pm Wednesday night with a prescription to manager pain and some gross anti-nausea tablets.

I will say this. And only because I can. Hands down, having a kidney stone is worse than child labor. Why? It’s like having un-medicated contractions non-stop. There is no break in between the next “labor pain”. It just keeps going.

What to expect:
-       You’ll most likely be out of commission for at least 24-48 hours.
-       Go to the doctor ASAP to get it checked. The longer you wait, the worse the pain will get.
-       Drink LOTS and LOTS of water, cranberry juice, Gatorade, etc.
-       A nurse friend suggested I try Crystal Light Lemonade. Apparently there is something in it that sometimes helps dissolve kidney stones.
-       Eating is going to be hard. If you’re like me, I could barely keep anything down. Lipton Noodle Soup was the best thing. Plus it’s clear liquid so it will help you pass the stone.
-       Don’t wait to take your next pain med. Do not wait until the pain comes back. If you’re scheduled to take one, take it. More time than not, my pain was coming back before my next pain med was due and waiting to take it was AWFUL.
-       Try to save the stone once it passes so it can be tested if needed.
-       Sleep. You might feel extra tired with your pain meds. Try to sleep if your body is tired. This is your body telling you that it’s time to shut down and rest. Listen to it.

I ended up either passing my stone (which was very small) or it dissolved because sometime within 24 hours of being discharged from the hospital, my pain went away and I didn’t need my pain meds anymore. Today, I just feel tired and weak since I hadn’t eaten much in the last two days.

What helped me survive this:
-       Water
-   Cranberry Juice  (I prefer Ocean Spray)
-       Ritz Crackers
-       Prescriptions from Doctor
-       Lipton Noodle Soup
-       Warm socks
-       Cozy Blankets
-       A really comfy pillow
-       Heating pad (for your back)

You’ll be okay. You get through it, but I won’t lie. It sucks. I wish you luck. if you've ever had a kidney stone before and know some tricks and tips, please share them in the comments below!!

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