Home > Personal > Passed a kidney stone - UPDATE

Passed a kidney stone - UPDATE

February 25, 2007

Light posting this weekend as Saturday morning began with a kidney stone attack.  If you haven’t had them, there’s no point in trying to describe and if you have, well, you already know.  In any case after about 20 hours I finally passed the stone, and now I feel as if I have been beaten up, by experts.

I did snag the stone though, an interesting one about 3mm and ripping jagged on one side.  All of the stones I passed 14 and 15 years ago were controllable by morphine.  This is the first one where morphine did not work.  We had to use something called dilaudid, which did work but they couldn’t give me enough of it to relieve the pain – something about how it would make me stop breathing.  At the time, I didn’t really care.

Anyway, back to carrying a water bottle around.  Kidney stones are a symptom of chronic dehydration and apparently I’m not drinking enough water.

UPDATE: never could resist taking a challenging picture, so there is one of the stone, below the fold…

This stone is half the size of the largest one I’ve had, but it was more painful (judging by morphine not working this time) and my urine was a lot bloodier.  My current half-assed theory is that my ureter was damaged and scarred by the previous stones, especially the last one, which was on the same side and had to be removed surgically.

Clearly there are two minerals in this stone.  The tan-colored spikey portion is familiar to any kidney-stone sufferer as calcium oxalate – better known as the abrasive mineral in Bar Keeper’s Friend scouring powder.  But I do not know what the smooth rounded dark section is made of – that is new.  Analysis will tell.

Categories: Personal
  1. Dale Austin
    February 25, 2007 at 18:20 | #1

    Ah, the memories. My sympathies.

  2. February 25, 2007 at 18:49 | #2

    Yow! I have a good imagination, and I’ve been in other kinds of extreme pain. I still remember when that happened to my father 40+ years ago. They used to give people a chunk of wood to bite on when they didn’t have anesthesia, and had to dig out a bullet or something. I think my dad could’ve eaten a whole sheet of plywood.

  3. February 25, 2007 at 18:49 | #3

    Sorry to hear about your stone…I can certainly empathise
      I had a kidney stone the size of a small grape (most are the size of a grape seed) back in 1996.  I had 2 surgeries to get it out (there was no way I was passing it).  When the pain of that hit, I had never experienced anything like it and I have given birth 100% naturally three times.  I think I could have three kids at the same time and it wouldn’t hurt as bad. 

    Thanks for the reminder.  I need to start drinking more water again.

  4. February 25, 2007 at 20:24 | #4

    I knew there was a reason I drank so much water.  Glad to hear your ok DOF!

  5. February 25, 2007 at 22:25 | #5

    Yes, my water-consumption habits have gotten careless in the 14 years since this last happened.

    Thank you for the good wishes everyone.  Recovery is just rest, because it leaves you completely exhausted.  After sleeping for several hours I just drove 1 mile to my office to pick up a box, then drove back.  After doing that i had to sit in the car and rest a bit before going inside.  I am beat.  And, I am using the backspace key a lot as I type.  (probably shouldn’t have driven to the office.  I doubt my reaction time is a good fit for driving.)

    Lisa, the size of a grape?  Yeoowch!  In past episodes I’ve done a fair amount of reading about stones.  Every organ of the body has its own little play-book of nasty things it can do if it is so inclined.  Reading about various kidney ailments is not for the faint of heart.

  6. Jonathan
    February 25, 2007 at 23:55 | #6

    As the only male in my family not to have had a kidney stone attack, I sincerely hope you NEVER have another one. I’ve watched my father suffer from kidney stones more times than I can count. I enjoy reading your postings and hope you back up and about soon!!!

  7. February 26, 2007 at 08:50 | #7

    I’m glad to see you are on the mend!

  8. February 26, 2007 at 15:40 | #8

    I’ve seen kidney stones bring a 250-lb construction worker to his knees in tears.  I’m sorry you had to go through that, but glad that you came through it relatively unscathed.  Cranberry juice is the home remedy I’ve heard most about.


  9. OB
    February 26, 2007 at 16:24 | #9

    Man, if even Dilaudid wouldn’t take the edge off, that must’ve been one painful stone!  I had one a few years ago, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. OK, so maybe I’d wish it on a few people I can think of… ;-)

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend though!

  10. Jay
    February 26, 2007 at 17:10 | #10

    (250-lb construction worker to his knees in tears)They gave me Darvon,it still hurt , but I didn’t care. Heres to a speedy recovery.

  11. February 26, 2007 at 19:31 | #11

    My first one wasn’t nearly as photogenic, but I cannot begin to describe the pain either.  Nothing **I** did had any relief.  The local hospital, IV narcotics, that helped.

    I don’t like kidney stones at all…


  12. Cindi
    February 27, 2007 at 12:40 | #12

    So sorry DoF.  Due to a really strange and rare disease I had some years ago (hyperparathyroidism), I am a regular kidney stone passer.  Only one has required surgery.  The first one had me sucking tile in the bathroom and thinking my appendix had burst.  The ambulance folks assured me it was probably “just” a kidney stone.

    They’re bad enough for a woman, but frankly, we’re a bit more used to passing weird objects (children) and having weird objects inserted into us, than a man is.

    Truly, I can feel your pain and hope they gave you really good drugs (vicodin and percodan just do not cut it).

  13. Abhilasha
    February 28, 2007 at 22:09 | #13

    Sorry to hear about that….

    Hope you are feeling better now !!!

    May be they need more powerful kinds of morphine now !!!

  14. Mrs SEB
    February 28, 2007 at 22:21 | #14

    So very glad to read you are feeling better and are in recovery!

  15. March 1, 2007 at 11:47 | #15

    Whoa, I hope you don’t get any more of those, and that I never get any! Best wishes.

  16. Joe
    March 1, 2007 at 23:41 | #16

    I’ve had then twice and have suffered no greater pain in my life, including football and motorcycle accidents. I drink a lot of liquid to ward them off. Good Luck.

  17. HS
    March 11, 2007 at 05:44 | #17


    my doc is stalling treatment!

  18. James
    March 14, 2007 at 12:58 | #18

    I feel your pain. After a few days of discomfort that passed I eagerly ventured on a wilderness trip. Fly in and dropped off and picked up 2 days later. On the first night I experianced what I now know was a kidney stone attack with nothing stronger than asprin. Now sitting home after a series of CAT scans / dye. Hopped up on Demoral and gravol. Consuming large amounts of water, pissing through a filter and trying to pass several camels through the eye of a needle.

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