Kidney stones. They really are no fun at all.
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Kidney stones. They really are no fun at all.

    Hi all.
    Thought Id post about this, since I cant go out and enjoy my tractor, or much of anything else right now.

    Ive been dealing with kidney stones for quite a while now. Had my first one about 13-14 years ago, and seem to be on the every few years recurring stone theme.
    Anyone else have this kind of fun?

    The latest made an appearance about 6 months ago, and got bad enough that I went to the doctor in May. Didnt want to go on vacation with this mess after all. Well, turns out they wanted to do the shockwave lithotripsy, which Ive not had before. The machine is owned by a private company that transports it to local hospitals once a week. They called 15 hours before my scheduled surgery and wanted a pre-payment. Nope. I dont pre-pay much of anything, and certainly nothing thats going to involve insurance.
    Anyway, I cancelled the surgery appointment, and went about my business until last Saturday. About 2pm, they (I actually had two on the right side) made their appearance known again, in a BIG way. I had the laser surgery yesterday, and they are gone, but I now have a stent in place until Wednesday or Thursday.
    Ill say that each time Ive had one has been a bit different, but they all are at the least very uncomfortable. At times its almost like having a stone again, but its not constant, and I know it will end when the stent comes out so that helps.

    What Ive figured out in my case is that its stress related, and may be food/drink related too, but that I can fix. My stones are Oxilate stones, so I need to avoid foods with oxilate, or at the least cut back and make sure Im drinking a LOT of water. Lemon juice helps too.
    The stress part I cant do much about, as it seems to coincide with the kids toddler stages, lol. Sounds funny, but kids will be kids, and they can be very stressful at times. In my case, when my first was between 6mos and 2 years I had stones. None until my second was about 1-2, and I had them for about a year or so. None until the latest child. He will be 3 at the end of the month, and I assume that things will die down a bit soon. By 4, I assume everything will be fine.
    Diet changes are fun, Ive tried in the past, but nothing much helped.

    What Ive learned from all of this:
    People with good intentions will tell you all about how to avoid stones while having no clue what they are talking about.
    Trust me when I tell you that people who havent had them know what causes them, and they all say its coke or some such thing. They are wrong. You need to know what kind of stones you have and plan accordingly. Even then it doesnt always work. If you are prone to getting stones, you are just going to have to do your best at keeping over hydrated.

    I was told something the other day that made sense, that avoiding brown drinks is best for those prone to stones. Thats coffee, tea and coke (pop).
    For me, the coffee isnt a problem, as Ive never been a coffee drinker. Coke on the other hand, not so easy. I did give it up once before and had no change in stone production, but shortly after began drinking tea. This time around, none of the above. Or at least my plan is none at home. We dont eat out often, but I figure when we do, a coke on those rare occasions wont hurt. In discussing this with my doctor, the tea has oxilate, so thats a big no no, and the caffeine in the others acts as a diuretic and dehydrates you, and that doesnt help with stones.
    Not drinking those things certainly wont hurt my waistline.

    Lots of foods have oxilate or cause it in your body. This will be a hard one for me too, unless I just go with pizza for every meal.
    Ive decided that since I am not getting any younger, that I need to be on somewhat of a diet anyway and this will help.

    I also plan to start exercising more too, outdoor work is good, but its not always the same thing. Most of my work outdoors is back and arm work, no legs, etc. Im considerable older than most people with a 3 year old running around, and Id rather be in pretty good shape as he gets older and wants to work with me. Regular exercise reduces stress too, and in my case, Ill take all of that I can get!

    By the way, this is surgery #6 over that time span for stone removal. Ive passes several others. Best guess is 15 or so stones passes or removed.
    I can say too that for those who dont know, and have heard the pain is bad, its worse than you think.
    My sister had her kids naturally, and said stones are worse than childbirth.
    In my case, Ive broken my back and my shoulder blade in a motorcycle accident, and this is WAY worse. Some are worse than others, and Ive had a few that were nothing more than a mild annoyance. But then I have a high pain tolerance, so theres that too. When I broke my back/shoulder, I went back to work 3 days later. One of the stones I had to have removed was 10mm, and I had that one for about 7 months before I finally gave in and went to the doctor.
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    Jim B.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    I can not image what it feels like.

    Just to lighten the mood a bit - if you think your toddlers give you stress, be prepared for the teenage years....

    And the medical know-it-allís - if I could count the times on my hands....oh, I know how you feel, my xxxxxxx has arthritis too.
    While I do have Osteo Arthritis , what I really have is Rheumatoid Arthritis. You think you know how it feels? How about trading with me for 24 hours......

    I know at least one of our regular members here had a terrible time lately with kidney stones. He doesnít have medical insurance and tried to tough it out for a long time. I just canít imagine the agony.

    Stress - the root of so many problems. I know for a fact that stress will kick my RA into overdrive. I work very hard each and everyday to stay calm and try my best to avoid any and all stressful situations. But with all that Mrs. C is going through right now with the local incompetent medical community itís hard - very hard.

    Easy for me to say - I have no kids at home.
    ~Stan~
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    Back in the mid 1980's, a co-worker had stone(s) ,, it looked like he needed surgery.
    his doc recommended trying the "new" ultrasonic shattering of the stones,,
    They put him in a tank of water, some vibration occurred,,
    It worked, the pain was gone in a day or so, but, it turns out the insurance refused to cover this "experimental" treatment,,,

    The guy had to fight with the insurance for 6 months, trying to explain the procedure was only a fraction of the cost of surgery,,

    Finally, the insurance covered the procedure,,,

    Just a little side note to try to amuse you until the pain is gone,,,

    In the mean time,, I am going to get another bottle of water!!
    Some of the tractors include JD 4105, JD 855, JD 650,,,, and,,, the IH 584 4WD
    My favorite attachment is the homemade landplane,,, EVERYONE needs one of those!!

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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Just to lighten the mood a bit - if you think your toddlers give you stress, be prepared for the teenage years....
    Yeah, but by then I can lay down the law, and it gets mostly followed. The older two (14 and 10) are good kids and I expect the youngest to turn out the same, so really I dont have to do much law laying down, except for their room. They clean it, then a day later it looks like a tornado went through there.
    Sure, they might end up like me in my youth, but thats still not too awful, lol.
    Im honestly more concerned about the whole dating thing. My little girls will always be that to me...but they arent so little anymore.
    I do own a backhoe now though...

    Most of the toddler stress is trying to get anything done, while they want to help, ask questions, not do what you want, or dont understand why they cant do something, or whatever.
    Heck, half the time I spend 5 minutes trying to figure out what hes saying to me...lol.
    Diapers, day care, etc...good grief, Im going to get another stone just thinking about all that!

    I certainly feel for anyone who has had these, especially those who cant afford insurance or the doctor.
    Insurance stinks these days. I waited quite a while to go to the doctor because with ours, the first part is all out of pocket. We dont visit the doctor too much, so that means this is likely all out of pocket. Not fun either, when before about 2010, when I had the same surgery, at the same hospital, by the same doctor, we were only out about $800. Interestingly enough, the bills between then and now arent all that much different in total cost...its just that insurance doesnt work like it used to.

    Years ago I tried all sorts of crazy remedies. Coke and asparagus was one, man that was awful, and didnt work. Olive oil and lemon juice was another, worse than the other one, and it also didnt work. Ive tried a few different pills that claim to work wonders, none do.
    Ive just come to grips with the fact that Im just going to have to avoid certain foods and drink myself silly with water.
    Jim B.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    I know what you mean with insurance. For the longest time I had a $6k deductible. Nothing kicked in until then even for prescriptions. At that time we were lucky - no docs and only 1 med for Mrs. C. I considered it nothing more than catastrophic insurance.

    Youíve reminded me about the toddler stage - funny how one forgets about the details like that. Been almost 30 years for me. My daughter went from having colic, to teething, then straight into the terrible twos. But after that she was always my best bud.

    And pain doesnít help with ones patience or tolerance. I could never do it now!
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    My wife had a round with oxalate stones a few years ago. Lithotripsy didn't work so they had to go in and get them. She was miserable for months. I feel for you.

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    I have a 12+mm Stone in my Left and a 5mm in my Right Kidney. I have had Lithotripsy done 3 times now, one worked and two did not. They got the stones out the first time but they came back fast? Now they want to cut them out and I said no because I would be the first at the Spokane VA Hospital getting it done! They were going to show how it was done on me and train a doctor to do it??? Not on me that was close to 4 years ago but when those crushed/blown up ones start moving I am ready for it. I got rid of a 12mm one before the first time and strained it for them using a screen. They were the same as yours were. I was told if they don't mess with your kidney best leave it alone then cut out the 12mm one I have. They will just wait till it get's bigger? I do watch in it all xrays taken.

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    In my academic days I did research on pain control. Like most folks in that research area, among the evaluation tools we used was a visual analog scale - basically like a old time mercury thermometer. Zero was no pain. The high end, or 100, was "the worst pain possible." Then you could assign a number to pain intensity so you could use statistics.

    When I gave lectures on the subject, it never failed that someone in the audience would raise his hand to ask me if I'd ever had a kidney stone. I'd say no, and the next comment would always be "well, pain from a kidney stone is way higher than 100." And usually about a half-dozen other people in the room would chime in with their "my stone was bigger and hurt more than yours" personal stories.
    .
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    In my academic days I did research on pain control. Like most folks in that research area, among the evaluation tools we used was a visual analog scale - basically like a old time mercury thermometer. Zero was no pain. The high end, or 100, was "the worst pain possible." Then you could assign a number to pain intensity so you could use statistics.

    When I gave lectures on the subject, it never failed that someone in the audience would raise his hand to ask me if I'd ever had a kidney stone. I'd say no, and the next comment would always be "well, pain from a kidney stone is way higher than 100." And usually about a half-dozen other people in the room would chime in with their "my stone was bigger and hurt more than yours" personal stories.
    .
    On the doctors office scale, the 1-10, I always just say mine has been adjusted by kidney stones. I mean really, if the worst youve ever done is stub your toe, to you, thats a 10. Once you have a stone, thats more like a 2.

    Ive had some nasty pains in my somewhat short time on earth.
    Id honestly say that pain without regard for time, its not the worst. The worst is a Taser. Not those little handheld shocky things people get at flea markets or whatever that they like to call a taser, but the real deal. The X26 Taser. 5 seconds on that thing is an eternity. Hurts like hell then gets worse. And worse. And worse. Right before you are 100% positive you are going to burst into flames, it stops. Those little handheld stun guns, and please, lets call them that because thats what they actually are, dont hold a candle to a real Taser. They dont work the same, and dont do the same thing. Oh, and Ive got a nice video of me getting tasered too...for posterity I guess, The things I do for work.

    Pain over time? Nothing beats a kidney stone. I cant say one is worse than another, but I do understand why people would say that "mine is worse than yours" stuff, because its hard to fathom that someone else could experience a worse pain than that.
    The worst I had was the first, and Id bet thats most peoples experience. That one had to be cut out. They had to cut the ureter to get it out. Recovery wasnt too bad, but thats why I hate stents now. Id go into detail, but nobody really wants to know what its like, lol.
    Last edited by IndianaJim; 07-22-2018 at 10:53 AM.
    Jim B.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Pain is relative. Every time I go to either of my docs they ask me to rate my current pain from 0 to 10. I use a chart like this for myself -

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    But for everyone it is different. What feels like a 7 to me might feel like a 9 or a 5 to someone else just like you said. My wife who has been a chronic pain suffered for over 10 years told me a few years back that she always told them 11. You canít do that....

    I always wondered how the docs really assess pain.

    From my personal experience I know what works to relieve some of the pain. I read somewhere a while ago that the docs will not prescribe you something that takes all the pain away - only enough to take the edge off. Thatís all well and good I guess but when you have chronic pain that goes on for years you will eventually go out of your mind.
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