At 11 PM Wednesday night I was fine. By 1 AM I was in serious pain, and by 3 AM I was in the emergency room at Overlake Hospital. A CT scan confirmed what I already knew — that I had a 6 mm stone in my right kidney.
I don’t have the adjectives to describe the pain of a kidney stone. The pain is simply beyond belief, beyond anything I have to compare it to. It’s not an “ouch, that hurts” kind of pain. It is more of an “I hope I die soon to get some relief” type of thing.
Fortunately, the hotel was well-stocked with pain killers, and an intravenous dose of Toradol put me right. I have learned that it is worthwhile to know what they are giving you, so that you can know what works (and what doesn’t) and also because doctors and nurses seem to treat you differently when you express an interest in the details of what is going on. They are almost always happy to answer questions and to share their knowledge. In this case I talked to the doctor about the alternative pain killers before they shot me up, and I decided against Percoset due to the bad side effects I had experienced during a previous bout with stones.
Oh yeah, did I mention that this is my third kidney stone? Not that I am proud of this record or anything, but I do seem to be susceptible to them for some reason.
Ok, so next week I will go in to the hospital for an ESWL treatment. Basically, they focus a sound wave on the stone using a parabolic mirror, and then adjust the frequency until the stone resonates and ultimately explodes. Once it has been reduced to dust, it will pass without further pain or complications.