Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

User avatar
By 8squared
I'd often heard of people saying how bad kidney stones were but one never can know really know....

Well now i know, and i can assure you that you really should do all you can do to avoid them.

I had woken up at 5am 2 weeks ago with what i thought was a stitch because i had slept funny, i got up for the toilet in an effort to shrug it off then went back to bed.

Sure enough i couldn't shrug it off and it very quickly became the worst living nightmare i could imagine...... so painful infact that at 6:30am i found myself rolling around and screaming very loudly and uncontrollably on a hospital floor.

At first my heart sank as i heard the wait was 7 hours but thankfully as they could see my sheer terror and pain they got me seen to quick.

Relieved of my pain and having had a scan i was astonished to find i had two kidney stones... one in each kidney... my right kidney has a very small stone which is no problem but my right kidney has a 5mm stone stuck at the top of the tube.

I've had mishaps,accidents and body injures so have experienced many forms of pains but there is nothing that could of prepared me for what pain was to come from this small stone... the only thing i can think of as being worse has to be childbirth and i am over the moon i will never experience that.

Anyway i had the best part of a week home with medicines... although i was in some minor discomfort/small pain as one set of tablets wore off and the next kicked in.... UNTIL... last Thursday when the pain came on strong and earlier than before i thought nothing of it but soon had to take my tablets earlier but they didn't help so i took more then was sick then got myself caught in a vicious circle of screaming, taking tablets and being sick until my missus arrived home to see me in a sorry state and marched me back to the hospital for stronger pain killers.

Well things didn't turn out that easy more painkillers were given to ease my pain then i was told i was being kept in for the night.... which turned in to a 3 night stay and before i could leave they stuck 8 needles in my back before inserting a straw into my kidney to let it drain.

The drain sounded great and the needles in my back was fine to deal with but they pain after the drain and the pain i've had the last few days stuck in bed as been just as unbearable... i'm just glad that when i am called back to have the stone removed i shall be asleep.

P.s I'm 35

Feel free to share your kidney stone story or any other similar pain.
By Sideways
Had a few all at the same time a couple of years back.
First and largest was over 10mm long x something narrower.
It moved and got stuck just out of the kidney. I had a few days to wait while they lined up laser lithotripsy to blast it, so I was on antibiotics (kidney starts to infect almost immediately if it can't drain), oxycodone and morphine on demand ("but you have to ask me for it").
Surgeon was great. He got it all despite breaking 3 fibres for the laser in the process.
Every time you blast it, it pushes the remainder back up towards the kidney !
A week later, back to have the catheter removed. A little local anaesthetic and a warning that it would hurt just for a moment :-) I levitated 6" straight up off the operating table like I'd been electrocuted ! I also peed sand :-)
I recovered fine and had the remaining (dog bone shaped, about 8mm long) one opped in the UK about 18months later. Took 2 operations to get it and a third this time with general anaesthetic to take out the last catheter.
I'm grateful to some good surgeons and have seen quite enough of hospitals for a bit.

Make sure they investigate why you had the stone in the first place, and yes, I literally crawled from the taxi into the hospital after enduring a night with my first (which I also thought was just a stitch when it began). They gave me morphine and when the pain went away I just cried. I had been fighting it for 12 hours and the relief was overwhelming.

Interesting experience to do "real" pain. A night is a very long time when you're 100% focussed on just enduring the next one minute. You feel different after you've been through it. Bear a thought for everyone who has to endure chronic pain and for all of our wives and mothers !
By mbartlett99
Hilarious isn't it. My quack just said congratulations Mr Bartlett you've just suffered the 2nd worst pain you can get (apparently a heart attack is worse), stuck a needle full of anti spasmodic in my arm and gave me a bucket. I asked why? Then projectile vomited for 5 minutes.

Drink water, its good for you.
User avatar
By stuartpaul
I've been lucky enough to have several 'attacks' over the years. Having broken major bones and had other serious injuries I can safely say kidney stones are the worst pain I've ever suffered. Ever.

I had the ultra sound lithotripsy a few months ago to help break up an 18 mm stone (it's like an elastic band being gently flicked against your skin, - they said. It's like a section of tractor inner tube being whacked against your back, especially towards the end - I said!). Then you get to pee all the colours of the red spectrum, - from a full bodied rioja to a more gentle rose while sieving for various grades of gravel.

24 hours later my fears were realised and I could feel the first tell tale signs of movement. An hour or so later I was rolling around the bathroom floor vomiting with the pain. At 3 o'clock in the morning (over the phone) the out of hours GP cheerfully informed me that paracetamol and ibuprofen would be an effective pain killer. I asked if she was pineapple joking but apparently she wasn't, - lovely lady!

Next days sieving produced chunks of motorway gravel (felt like it anyway!) and a sympathetic phone call from my GP apologising for the way I'd been treated together with a prescription for something a little more effective!

Thankfully a return visit for repeat lithotripsy showed almost total pulverisation of the stone so further treatment not required.

I await the next episode!
User avatar
By Droogs
how'd you get them?
By mbartlett99
My case he said chronic dehydration - doing refit in a hot engine room in Miami all summer.
User avatar
By Droogs
who'd have thunk it. by the way are you prescient mr bartlett, did you know this big wet windy thing was coming to florida? ooh ooh, are you really Noah?
User avatar
By thetyreman
that sounds awful, hope you are feeling better, so staying hydrated helps prevent it?
By profchris
I have (or had) seven in total - all small thank goodness, and only two short-lived episodes of the excruciating pain. But it's now a constant dull ache which is very debilitating. The hope is that they will pass naturally, and I have a scan in 10 days or so to see whether there are fewer now.

Drink lots and lots (I reckon the hot summer is what led to mine). Apparently your kidneys can't tell the difference between gin and water, though your liver will notice, so tea or coffee are fine too.
By Sideways
Droogs wrote:how'd you get them?

In my case, caused by "hypercalcaemia" - abnormally high blood calcium - which in turn led to some CT scans and other tests, from which the docs figured out that one of my parathyroid glands was misbehaving.
:-) you have four, and occasionally some random extra(s) so once they figured which one was the problem they cut my throat so to speak and took it out :-)
By lurker
I had them about 15 years ago and can confirm you are not exaggerating.

Have a read of Samuel Pepys diary. God knows how he survived having his removed.
I've had really BAD back pain (enough to be lying on the floor all curled up and howling in pain a couple of times); I've had 3 ops on my back; I regularly have a morphia-based pain killer (Targin); I've had a heart attack and ended up with a stent; and ONCE only (thank Gawd) I've had a kidney stone.

It was while I was away from home in Singapore on a project and at first thought I was having extra-bad back pain (again. But having lived there for 5 years in the past I knew the local ropes and had the problem diagnosed as a kidney stone on a Friday, with an appointment made in a local hospital for an op (not sure what sort) to remove it early the following Monday morning.

My pain killers did not do much to help at all, so half way through the Sunday I called the surgeon to ask for an emergency op. That wasn't possible and the rest of that Sunday was the worst I've ever spent - no doubt at all in my mind. Suffice it to say that I arrived at the hospital all ready to go at 6.00 AM Monday!

The op itself was quite short but done under general anaesthetic, so I didn't know much, and about 2 hours later it was all over except for a dull ache and slightly discoloured pee for about a day. I was able to fly home that same day (albeit as "crew" on "my" aircraft, not as pax on a scheduled flight).

I've never had a recurrence (touch wood). The surgeon told me there are all sorts of reasons for getting them, and in my case he GUESSED it was probably due to the amount of paracetamol-based pain killers I'd taken over the years. I do NOT take any of that stuff any more.

He also advised me to drink plenty of water regularly, ideally mixed with cranberry juice. To this day I drink minimum 1 litre/s (often 2 or more) of 50/50 water/cranberry juice daily, and as said, "so far so good"! That was back in about 2004/5 I think, so about 15 years clear of that now. Touch wood.

To whoever said (above) that a kidney stone is the 2nd worst possible pain compared to a heart attack, I can only say that having had a heart attack, plus bad back aches, that's NOT my experience! The kidney stone rates as a clear No. 1 for excrutiating pain in my book - if there is a worse pain then I don't wanna know about it!

My commiserations to anyone who's had a recurrence. Suggest try the above cranberry/water mix? It seems to have worked OK for me - plus no more paracetamol stuff.