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Bill Roper's Journal
This Too Shall Pass 
5th-Apr-2017 10:49 pm
It was an exercise in hubris, I think.

I've picked up a touch of sciatica, probably from sitting in my chair which is currently missing one armrest while I wait for replacement armrests that actually fit to arrive. And I was congratulating myself on the fact that it wasn't bothering me that much, so I figured that I had a moderately high pain threshold.

Then I got to breakfast with Gretchen. I sat down in the chair there and realized that I was in pain. Rapidly increasing pain, all down the lower part of my left side. I got up, walked around, moved to a bench, and spent a lot of time grimacing. Eventually the pain receded enough that I was able to go back to my seat and eat my sandwich.

When we got home, I headed to the toilet in the hope that this was a nasty gas bubble and that a bowel movement might help. It didn't. Shortly thereafter, I called the nurse line for my health insurance and confirmed that this would be a good time to go to the ER.

Gretchen drove me over there and I checked in. Then I spent some time in the waiting room after they ran me through triage where the pain ramped back up to really miserable. On the infamous 0 to 10 scale, where 10 is "I have just destroyed two knee ligaments", I was in the seven to eight range and not at all happy about it. Finally, right around noon, they led me back to a room to take blood and a urine sample.

And right about then, the pain stopped.

That was a wonderful thing. Not hurting was one of the best things that had happened to me in a long time.

A bit later, I spoke to a doctor who said, "Probably a kidney stone. Let's get a scan to check." One CT scan later, it turns out that I have a pair of lovely matched kidney stones, one for each kidney, although only the one on the left is currently on the march. Apparently, it's fine as long as they aren't moving. Moving, however, hurts a lot.

I now have some fine prescriptions to help me pass the current stone and manage any pain. I was hoping to get by without the pain med, but about 10 PM when we came upstairs to put the girls to bed, my side flared again, so pain med it is!

My pain threshold may or may not be moderately high, but not taking the pain med before trying to go to bed is just stupid. The pain actually eased up fairly quickly and I think I can feel the pain med actually kicking in now.

Yes, yes. This too shall pass.

6th-Apr-2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
I was lucky. I went in for a physical, and my blood tests showed elevated numbers related to my liver. So the doctor sent me for an ultrasound to make sure there were no growths on my liver.

My liver was fine, but the ultrasound indicated fluid retention in my left kidney. So the nurse recommended a CT scan, since the ultrasound wasn't clear enough.

An hour after the CT scan, my doctor's office called me with the result, and told me to make an appointment with a urologist. I have an 8mm kidney stone that's traveled out of my left kidney. That's too large to pass, so I'm going in on Monday to have it removed. I'm constantly uncomfortable, but not in serious pain. Which is really good, because the procedure's already been delayed a week because of an equipment problem at the hospital. And I'm not allowed NSAIDs for two weeks before the procedure, so the only thing I have to manage the discomfort is acetaminophen.

When I told Dr. Bob about it at Dorsai Thing, he commented that he didn't know why I wasn't rolling on the floor in pain. I'm hoping that status quo can hold until Monday.
6th-Apr-2017 04:30 pm (UTC)
I wish you good luck!

The ER doc said that the pain only shows up when the stone moves. So maybe it's sitting still for the moment for you.
6th-Apr-2017 07:19 pm (UTC)
Good luck to you both.
7th-Apr-2017 02:37 am (UTC)
If a kidney stone is only a 7 or 8, you have an amazing pain tolerance.
7th-Apr-2017 03:20 am (UTC)
No, I just have "Destroy two knee ligaments" to compare it to. :)
7th-Apr-2017 06:38 pm (UTC)
Most people seem to say that passing a kidney stone is the absolute worst pain they've every had. Spinal Tap "this pain meter goes to 11" bad. Having had one pass, and, well, some other painful things in my life, I'd say 8ish.
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