Friday, February 11, 2011

The Power of a Kidney Stone

The phrase "it brought me to my knees" took on a whole new meaning for me last week.

For months, I was dealing with some major health issues...from unbearable pressure in my lower back to dealing with hypoglycemic symptoms to blood in the urine. After a few trips to the urologist and one to my OB-GYN, they found a couple small kidney stones. Of course that was after a lovely bill from a CT scan, cath test, and who knows how many other tests. Thankfully everyone was in agreement that my running had nothing to do with any of this. :) The urologist assured me that the blood was just from an infection and being that the stones were so "microscopic," I shouldn't even feel them pass. HE. WAS.WRONG.

The Saturday before last, I had the incredible honor of being invited to go wedding dress shopping with one of my closest friends! It was such a fun day (once we got there, at least). We were meeting at Kelly's at 6:45 that morning, as her appointment was at 9 and the place was about an hour and a half away. Around 6:15, I had my first attack of the day. After about 10 minutes, the pain went away, and I finished getting ready. I was a little nervous about it happening again, but went about my day anyway. About an hour into our drive to Low's Bridal Shop, another attack came on. This one was worse than the first...I started sweating profusely, and the pain became unbearable. I laid across the back seat of Kelly's Jeep, across her sister and Molly (thanks again, ladies!). Thankfully I passed out for a minute. A few minutes later, we stopped, and I was able to get out and use the restroom. I felt fine after that and didn't have another episode for the remained of the day.

Sunday was a different story. I ran 16 miles with Autumn that morning, and oddly enough, it was one of my best training runs to date. I felt great the whole time and was totally pain-free! We started super early, as we both needed enough time to get ready for church. Around 11am, just before we were about to leave, I started feeling really sick. Then came the back pressure. I tried laying down on the bed to see if stretching helped, but that only made it worse. Then it hit was the most EXCRUCIATING pain I've EVER felt! It was like someone was beating my kidney with a steel hammer, while stabbing and yanking it out with a knife...all at the same time.

At first, Brent thought I was just being a wuss and needed the heating pad. I could barely speak, but managed to get out that I needed to go to the ER right away. He said I would be fine, just needed to lay still for a few minutes, and it would pass. He left to go to Walgreens to pick up some Tylenol Extra Strength and a heat wrap. In the 5 minutes he was gone, I called him twice, called my dad, and was about to dial 911. Never had I ever been in that much pain, and it wasn't letting up even the slightest bit. Finally, I convinced Brent it wasn't your average back pain (maybe it was the ridiculous shrieking that did the trick?!), and he drove me to the ER.

We got there around 12:15pm...four hours and 45 minutes of me screaming my head off and causing more ruckus than in all my 28 years of living, I was finally admitted into a room. It was 30-45 minutes of excruciating pain followed by 20 minutes of just numbing pain followed by another 30-45 minutes of excruciating pain followed by 20 minutes of numbing pain. It went on like that the entire time in the waiting room. About three hours in, I was at least put on fluids, as they needed me to have something in my stomach for when I was finally given pain meds...which were AWESOME, by the way! If you've never taken Dilaudid, take my word for it!! Not trying in any way to promote an addiction to pain killers, but for someone in the amount of pain I was in, this stuff works!

A few hours, another CT scan (confirming a 3-4mm stone), and three more injections of Dilaudid, and I was finally able to go home. I have to throw in that my amazing parents were up there with Brent and me the entire time. :)

The doctor told me I would pass it by the next day...umm, not so much. I had three episodes on Monday, two not-so-bad ones on Tuesday (even went into work for a few hours), and had the stone removed by cystoscopy on Wednesday. I went into work for a half day Thursday and was back to myself and totally pain-free by Friday. Madness, I tell you! Madness that cost us about $5,000...not awesome.

Through it all (aside from the first few minutes of not taking me seriously on Sunday), Brent was absolutely amazing. He never left my side, made me soup for every meal, carried me from the couch to the bed, brought me TCBY (my fave!), and showed me more love than I could've ever imagined. I am so thankful for him and feel so blessed to call him my husband.

Now that that's behind me, I'm just hoping to stay injury-free until marathon day!!


  1. Oh, Beth. This is terrible. I am so glad you're feeling much better. I can't imagine the pain. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Thank you, Caroline! It was horrible, but now it's like it never happened. Thank goodness! I've been so terrible at updating my blog lately...but I've got a lot of entries to post. :) Hope you're doing well!

  3. Goodness Gracious!! I've never had one but my dad has and he says they are the most painful thing ever! So glad they are gone!