I knew it was in there. I passed kidney stones many years ago. I discovered a particularly large one residing in my kidney in 2011 when I had an X-ray for my back problems.
There was no pain associated with that one so it wasn’t until 2014 that I did something about it. Lithotripsy is the technique where high intensity sound waves are focused on the kidney housing a stone. In theory, this breaks the stone apart, allowing it to pass naturally.
In my case, the stone was so large it did not break up. In the post-op meeting with the urologist, I was shown an X-ray of my kidney. I could see the stone sitting in there with a neat round hole through it!
I think the doctor was stunned. He had no advice other than to drink lots of water and hope it would dissolve on its own. Other than issues related to the stent he put in, there still was no pain associated with this kidney stone.
Cut to about 6 weeks ago. One day not long after our brutal heat wave, I was horrified to see my urine come out a very dark red. Naturally, I got religion quickly and drank lots of water the rest of that day. The color subsided.
About ten days later I was awakened in the early hours of the morning by a pain in my lower back that I immediately recognized as kidney stone pain. My biggest fear was founded on the fact that I had no pain medication stronger than ibuprofen. After a couple of nasty hours, my heating pad and 4 doses of ibuprofen allowed me to get back to sleep.
The next day I wrote to my doctor. She knew my history of course, so it wasn’t a problem to get a small prescription of Vicodin to have in case the pain returned.
I only used it once, but I never went anywhere without it. My security blanket!
I had one more episode about a week after that of the extremely dark urine. No pain, but I upped my water intake again and it lightened up pretty quickly.
Last week I started getting odd feelings while urinating. Not pain exactly, but discomfort. Something was moving around in there! I doubled my water intake. I figured the bastard was in my bladder by now.
Today it came out. About 1/4″ long and maybe 1/8″ in diameter, it made a satisfying clunk in the toilet. I had no problem fishing it out. Woo hoo!
I’ll call the urologist tomorrow and see what he wants me to do with it. He’ll probably want to do an analysis. I’m willing to bet it your basic calcium oxalate stone.
Back in 2013 when I was first consulting this urologist about the large stone in my kidney, I asked him why it was important to do the lithotripsy procedure. He said that it was blocking the lower half of that kidney and it would eventually kill the organ. Recently (like in the last year maybe), I’ve been wondering if I should go back to him and find out what is going on down there. Is this stone part of the big one? Or am I generating new stones now?