Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ouch

Hey everybody, Chris here, and have I got a story for you.  It all starts three Saturdays ago when Katie and I went to the gym for a workout.  I ran on the treadmill, lifted a few weights, and finished up with some ab exercises.  About fifteen minutes later, I started feeling a very intense pain in the lower left side of my back.  I thought that maybe I had pulled a back muscle or something working out, as I am not the finely tuned athletic machine that I once was.  But the pain kept intensifying, and would come in waves about 45 minutes apart.  Each wave of pain hurt terribly and I would feel like I was about to throw up (which, if you recall, I have never done in my life).  We started to think that it was possibly a kidney stone, since those seem to run in my family.  After a couple hours of this I was all set to go to the emergency room, but then the pain slowly subsided and eventually was gone.  And that was the end of it until about 12:30 am last Monday night/Tuesday morning.

That's when I woke up feeling an eerily similar pain to the one I described above.  It kept getting steadily worse, and at about 1:20 am I told Katie that I needed her to take me to the ER.  So she drove me to the hospital, which is thankfully only about a 5 minute drive.  By the time we got there, I couldn't stand upright anymore so I hobbled into the waiting room like an old lady while Katie checked me in.  The nurse brought me a bin for my nausea while I waited to be seen, and pretty soon a nurse came and got me.  I gave them a urine sample and the nurse took some blood from me, and then Katie and I waited in my hospital room.  While they were presumably waiting for results from those tests, the pain became pretty much the worst thing that I've ever experienced in my life, and that includes having seen the first twilight movie.

Katie went and found the nurse, who came back to give me some pain medicine.  She asked me what my pain level was on this chart (I said the second face from the right), and then she gave me an IV of Toradol.

I waited for the pain to go away, but it just kept getting worse.  The doctor came in for the first time and told me that he was ordering a CT scan because it sounded like a kidney stone.  The nurse came back a few minutes later, and I told her that the pain was still pretty terrible, so she gave me some Dilaudid through the IV.  Jackpot.  About 2 minutes later I was feeling faaaantastic.  If somebody ever offers your some Dilaudid, you do not say no.
Dilaudid. Wheeeeeeeeee

So I got the CT scan, and the doctor came back about a half an hour later, and sure enough it was a kidney stone.  It was 5 mm, which he said was borderline between whether I should pass it or whether it should be broken up, but he told me I could pass it.  I wanted to tell him what I thought of that decision, but I'm not a doctor, so I held back.  They gave me some medicine for pain, nausea, and to help me pass it, and we were out of the hospital and back in bed by about 4:30 am.

It was a pretty regular work week for me, and I didn't have much pain except for some on Friday.  Every Tuesday we have an FCA Bible Study in our building, and my prayer request today was just that the kidney stone would take care of itself.  Somebody closed us in prayer, and then I ran to the bathroom before I had a meeting.  And wouldn't you know it, not more than 3 minutes after somebody prayed for me, I finally passed it.  So there is your power of prayer story of the day.

I am super relieved that this is over with, and hopefully I won't have any repeat occurrences.  For those of you interested in what this monstrosity looks like that caused me enough pain that I would rather listen to Lady Gaga on repeat, scroll down.  If you will be grossed out, then for the love of all that is holy do not look down any further.  And that's the story of my kidney stone.




14 comments:

Erika said...

So many things to say...
1) Dilaudid. Hilarious. I give that to my patients in clinical all the time right now, and they love it too.
2) Picture of the stone - awesome. I never found either of mine. Props for passing that...
3) Told you it was a kidney stone!
4) I beat you. Mine was 6mm :)

Liz said...

i'm so sorry this happened!! 5 mm is definitely borderline, so i'm proud of you for taking it like a champ. if you ever have to go to the hospital for any prolonged period of time, ask for a dilaudid pca (pain pump). it seems to make my patients happy :)

Aunt Paula said...

Way to go, Chris! So glad you passed it. I have a picture of my kidney stone, too. (Passed one, had one zapped.) Want it for your blog? :) All I can say is Toradol rules!!!

Is this considered TMI?

Chip said...

Hi Chris, I'm glad the stone has passed. I really felt your pain man! I have walked in your shoes and felt the pain that has no name, and my own relief came from the magic elixir called Toridol. I know that one didn't work for you and I'm very glad you found something to turn off your own pain. I think only the people who have had the peculiar pain of stones and gotten relief from modern science can know what it is like to be staring into the fiery gates of hell, and then in a whisper of time be experiencing what can only be described as heavenly bliss. Was that not Awesome!!

The following is taken from Wikipedia, where everything is true. Maybe not. "For the uninitiated, the pain of kidney stones can be a wicked monster with long sharp talons digging mercilessly deep into your back, while you try to desperately squirm away from it. Only you can't! Sometimes it chooses to leave you alone as it goes out and gets tacos and beer, but that is momentary and only to recharge its batteries for later. But yes, it will return, and sometimes with even more fury!" All true!

So as the storm has passed for you Chris, let's give three cheers to those awesome scientists who discovered all of the wonder drugs that really do turn a frown upside down! May they all be Knighted and made Saints of. And of course let us never forget the power of prayers, which worked pretty awesomely for you too! ; )

jennie said...

so glad it has passed!! and man that stone is grooooss! so then did you throw up in the hospital? is the incredible streak over?

Chris said...

Jennie - I didn't throw up; the streak lives on. I was pretty nauseous, but nothing ever actually came up.

Paul said...

BEST LINE EVER: "the pain became pretty much the worst thing that I've ever experienced in my life, and that includes having seen the first twilight movie. "

Also, Dilaudid is SPECTACULAR. Only thing that relieved me when I had my diverticulitis issues. And man, is it quick! Liz, the PCA did not do it for me though. I needed the full shots. Morphine in the ER did nothing. Dilaudid saved the day.

Glad that thing passed for you, but sorry at the same time.

Michele said...

Yikes what a story... Sorry you had to go through that Chris! Hope you are feeling better and back to your old self!

Rob said...

Glad that one is over for you. Two questions though...

1) Why did you watch Twilight in the first place? and
2) How did you retrieve the stone after passing it?

Chris said...

1) I was forced by mom and katie to take ashleigh.
2) With a strainer (medical not kitchen)

Patty said...

ha ha - I think Erika used a kitchen strainer, but we did throw it out when she was done! Chris, I don't recall FORCING you to take Ashleigh; if I recall, you and Katie were going and she asked if she could go!! To your post, this was one of the funniest blog posts I've ever read. Too bad I couldn't get some of that Dilaudid when I had my first attack,30 years ago in a tiny east-bloc Hungarian hotel room!! That was scarey! Then, the next time was when i was 8 months pregnant with you - and the pain sent me into labor! Ah, what we do for good stories. Great blog post and I'm thrilled everything turned out well. ONE AND DONE!!

jennie said...

chris, i'm so glad the streak is alive

maggie said...

this is the most extensive group of comments ever! glad this all ended well for you -- and the pics make a great post :)

Stina said...

wow, that's intense! Catherine had one of those last year (no clue how big) but from her description, yea, that pain sounds pretty intense. Glad they were able to give you some happy meds for it though!