Kidney Stones Suck, Yet I'm Grateful

In honor of The Biggest Loser: Season 16 starting this past Thursday, I'm kicking my butt into gear. BIG TIME. I mentioned on Friday's Post that I was having some trouble with kidney stones last week.  Here's a little history: I've had kidney stones a few times now. I remember having them when I was little.  Six years ago I had a bad battle as well. I was in so much pain that I had to go to the emergency room at 3am. After a CT Scan it turned out that I had three kidney stones; one in each kidney and one in a tube on the way out. The doctor gave me some pain medication and sent me home. The stones weren't too big and I was able to pass them on my own.

This time was a wee bit different! (a little TMI ahead)  It all started on September 1st.  I woke up with extreme pain in my lower right back. My mom is actually the one who realized what was going on before I did. Once she suggested that it might be a stone I immediately started drinking water and the pain subsided a little.  See, the doctor from six years ago explained it like this - imagine that your kidney is a swimming pool and the kidney stone is a razor. As long as you keep the pool full of water the razor will float. If the pool is empty, that's when the razor hits the sides and that causes the pain. Well, I was definitely going to keep my pools full of water! I went to the doctor on Tuesday and he confirmed from a urine test that I did in fact, most likely, have kidney stones. He ordered me a CT Scan to really confirm and then sent me home with pain medication.

I was home from work for four day, because the pain was so bad. It was the worst when the stone moved, of course, and then after waking up from sleeping, because of lack of water. I felt well enough to go back to work on Friday. The pain had pretty much subsided, but I still hadn't passed any stones yet. I still hadn't gotten the CT Scan, but was calling and calling to get it scheduled. Finally, on Friday, I got an appointment. I got the scan, went home, and I thought that was that. Not so much.  My doctor called me and it turned out that I had four kidney stones; two in each kidney. Each kidney had a really big stone. I had one obstructed kidney, because the stone was stuck in my tube. My other kidney was partially obstructed, because the stone was really close to blocking off the tube.  My doctor told me to get the the ER right away!  So, there I went.

My brother (awesomest brother ever) met me at the ER to hang out with me.  They took some blood and a urine test and everything looked good. Then the Urologist showed up he went over the CT Scan film and explained what needed to happen. Two surgeries! The first one on Saturday - He needed to go in and remove the stone on my right side and put a stint into my tube to help drain out my kidney. See, because the stone was stuck in my tube the kidney was swollen and all backed up with fluid.  The stint had to stay in for five days. That was a miserable five days! It was awful. Even though I had medication to help with the discomfort I was so uncomfortable. There was no way to sit or lay down that helped. Sometimes standing was the only time I felt comfortable.  The second surgery happened on Wednesday - removal of the stint and blasting the large stone on the left side. After Wednesday's surgery I was a whole new woman! What a difference getting that thing out of me made. My mom will even tell you that my personality was a complete 180 degree change.

My mom and dad drove up from Roanoke on Saturday morning arriving around 8am to be there for the first surgery. My mom stayed with me all week and I am so thankful for her being here. I'm doing so much better now. My body is still healing from being tugged and blasted and passing itty bitty tiny pieces of rock through me, but I'm on my way!

There is a point to this really long blog post, I swear! Oh, and there's that whole grateful thing in the post title.  With everything that happened over the past two weeks I've really hit a place where it's time to make some serious dietary changes. You guys know how much I love my diet coke and pizza (ooooh the cheese!). Well, that stuff has got to go. The doctor said that it will be about another week until we know for sure what kind of stones I'm producing, but he said that they look like calcium stones. Bye-Bye Cheese!  My body produces enough calcium that I don't need to be putting any extra in it. So, good-bye cheese, it's been lovely. Going to the grocery store this weekend was so sad. Even buying Cheez-Its and Gold Fish are a bad idea, because they're all made with "100% Cheddar Cheese." I can't take any chances. I never want to go through this again! It was the worst. I haven't had diet coke, pizza, pretty much any dairy (except greek yogurt) for the past two weeks and I'm going to keep it that way! I've also lost four pounds. Even though the two weeks totally sucked (except for all the awesome mom time) I'm grateful for the wake up call, before it was too late. You never know what could have happened and it could have been a lot worse.

Get ready for the new Erica, because she's on her way!