I was minding my own business on Friday and looking forward to an entire day without meetings when I felt a strange pain under my ribs on my left side and my back started hurting. I thought perhaps this was some sort of gastrointestinal upset related to my eating of all the things over Labor Day weekend, so I laid on the floor of my office for a bit hoping that the pain would subside. It didn’t and before long I was drenched in sweat and feeling like I was going to vomit.
I went home and the feeling of pain went from just being located under my ribs to the entire left side of my abdomen. A quick Google later and I felt pretty sure I had kidney stones again. I had a kidney stone back in 2013, but it was nowhere near this painful. It really hurt then, but I didn’t feel like I was going to die. In a flurry of dizziness, nausea, and sweat, I drove myself to see my doctor. By the time I arrived, the pain felt like someone was inside my abdomen slicing me up with a fire sword.
They gave me a shot of some kind of pain medication, then let me hang out there screeching in pain for a couple of hours. I also got an ultrasound where the technician found three stones. BITCHES. One was in my bladder, one had just entered the ureter (the tiny pathway from the kidney to the bladder), and the other one was in my kidney. Yay. She also asked me if I had noticed my back hurting in the days leading up to it. My back pretty much always hurts in weird spots for no known reason, so I wouldn’t have specifically realized that anything was off. I did go to acupuncture on Thursday, and she poked around a lot on the left side of my back and said it was tender. She worked on it for a bit, then stuck a bunch of needles in there. Maybe she got the stones moving? Regardless, I spent Friday night on the bathroom floor and by Saturday morning, two had passed and I was barely alive.
My doctor told me that it could take weeks or months for a stone to come out of the kidney, but the third one passed on Saturday night. A whole day spent not moving, drinking tons of water, and watching Narcos paid off. I also picked up a prescription for morphine on Saturday, so that helped a lot with the final one. The pharmacist was only doing his job, but he spent way to long lecturing me about only using the morphine for “severe pain.” I was standing there sweating, hunched over, and about to pass out. GOOD SIR, GIVE ME THE PILLS.
I don’t mean this in a joking way, but I can completely understand now how people in chronic pain get addicted to pain medications. The relief that the morphine brought was so overwhelming that the thought of it wearing off in the middle of the night made me borderline hysterical.
I thought I would feel immediate relief with the final one out of my body, but I still feel pretty crappy. My kidney is just throbbing nonstop and my back is still aching. It’s not the level of sharp pain that accompanied the actual movement of the stones, but it’s still pretty miserable.
I didn’t feel like I was going to die when I woke up on Sunday, so I drove to Tahoe to have lunch with Gretchen and her family. We have been trying to meet up for years, so it was great to finally make that happen. She has the sweetest family and I really would like to steal her little chicken nugget. She is just the cutest little thing.
That was definitely the high point of the weekend and totally worth it. I made it home just in time to get a fever and spend the rest of the afternoon in tears on the couch.
The end. DON’T GET KIDNEY STONES.