Friday, October 23, 2009

I Did Something Really Dumb!

There are different types and sizes of ureteral stents and I'm not sure what type mine is ...although I think he said a size 8.

I had a ureteral stent placed in me yesterday.

I am not a newbie with this stuff. I know what it's like to be stented but I have to say... every stent feels different. I know they are different sizes too. I had one for 4 days that was so easy, others were moderate to tolerate and 3 difficult ..including the one in me now.

This one causes added pressure in my kidney and pain with not much build up of urine and upon urination a sharp renal colic feeling. It reminds me of a stent I had placed by the first urologist I had back in 04.

I am actually a bit vague on the facts because I discussed this in post-op and so not 100% certain ... and my husband seemed to think things were good, but never remembers exactly what the doctors say. (This is when I should have my girlfriends with me because they'd remember every detail like we women usually do. ;) Well ... wait in all fairness to my husband ... I also want to know things like .."Well ..was the Dr Urodoc lighthearted or serious when he told you? Why exactly did he do this, that, etc.?" :)

I was better yesterday than how I woke up this morning, but am guessing I still had hospital drugs in my system then. I woke up with more pain, but med takes it down to a 5. I'm assuming it may also be because of the work he did and will get better with time. That being said has been and is my experience that ureteral stents are not easy to tolerate and can hinder greatly ..or not. I don't know if that is because of size alone ..or position.. or nature of condition being treated for and work involved... or all of the above or something else.

I want this to be my practice stent in that if I am ever stented while working ...that I can still function with minimum pain control and carry on as usual. I see and am reading that people do this and I am wondering what is wrong with me that I find them so painful and/or uncomfortable. ??? And they are in you 24/7 ...for weeks and months sometimes. Fortunately..this one won't be in as long as they usually are.

Also ... When stented ... you want to be on Pyridium ...the med that turns your urine orange ... because it helps numb you to better help you tolerate the stent. I take one pill 3 times a day for the entire time I am stented. I let it lapse by a good 4 hours last night so I could get myself on a 7a/3p/11pm schedule and let me tell you ... you feel things you just don't want to feel without it.

Also Detrol LA helps with bladder spasms ..which can be caused by the stent aggravating the bladder. Then there are sometimes kidney spasms which a pain med will help. Some people can take an anti-inflammatory, but they also aren't good for the kidneys. You have to find what works for you. And aside from all that ...there is pressure in your flank, ruq, ureter and low back as well as the bladder...intermittently independent of each other or simultaneously. Some days are good and some are not. I feel the usual flank/ureter discomfort with this one but more ruq pressure or ..I have just forgotten what it feels like. There is no rhyme or reason to the ureteral stent experience and truly... there are both similarities and differences in each stent I have had. They aren't a day at the beach ... that is for sure.

*** I sincerely wish there was a community of other ureterally stented people I could to comisserate with ...share info and learn from... or maybe help. I find it difficult finding information on stented patients/results and experiences. And I don't understand some of what I have found.. or it concerns me, but may not pertain to me. I just wish I had more comprehensive information to read.

I had been volunteering with phones/time for the Ch*ri*s Chr*istie campaign and so let some things slide a bit around here and thought if I just get some things out of the way... I can really relax.

Pyridium in a woman's system is proof that she too can spray the underside of the toilet seat as evidenced by the orange contrasting the white seat. (We women always think only the guys do this) So of course I wiped that with a Clorox wipe but then thought well just clean the whole toilet..scrub the inside too, okay and the sink, and cabinet and organize a couple of drawers, give myself a facial (walk around with a beauty mask... specifically Jafra's Malibu Miracle Mask (feels so good!). Then folded a whole bunch of clothes, towels and sheets (still sitting on our bed), run the dishwasher, wash bath towels, wash out a couple of things in the sink, wipe down stove, a little of the fridge, counters and table, change table cloth and wipe down place mats. (btw... I was increasingly not feeling so hot while doing this stuff... but kept saying..just one more thing ..just one more thing, etc., organized books and sorted through mail.

As if that wasn't dumb enough ... and I did hesitate... but picked up a whole water melon (from the table). I thought if I just bend down with my knees and come up with my knees it would be okay. The thing is as soon as I had it in my arms ...I felt it in my kidney. ..and so walked a couple of steps (duh!) and placed it up on the counter. How could I be so stupid?!!!

I don't know exactly what can happen but I do know the doc says no heavy lifting. The water melon was more dense/heavier than I realized for a stented person.

So ... I SCARED myself! Thought about calling Dr urodoc ... but then thought better of it because I really don't want to call him for something so stupid! I figure if I have excessive.. beyond the norm pain and/or have blood in my urine ..then call ...although would have to be a lot to show up with Pyridium.

But... admittedly was bothering me and is what prompted me to write this post vent.

But as fate would have it .. someone from the Surgery center just called me for a follow-up and I told her what I was doing. I said that I kept doing one more thing so I could get it all done and she said I had it backwards. Then I told her about the watermelon but wasn't calling my doc, but would only do so if I had the excessive pain and/or blood in the urine and I asked her if that is what I'd look for and she agreed. So.. I feel better that I did talk with someone.

I am still a little concerned because I am sore ... but it is only the day after and I did all this stuff.

Again's not because I feel good ..because I don't. The pain med made it possible and I think I had a rush of adrenaline initially and I kept working through it.

I have been stented multiple times and n-e-v-e-r did this... and I won't do it again.

The lifting was the dumbest thing. I think you run the risk of perforating your kidney with the stent and I don't know what else.

So ... I am in comfy pajamas, blogging and am going to take it easy for the entire weekend. I hear it is supposed to be very rainy around here tomorrow and so I will just enjoy being cozy inside... of course blog .. but also TV, catch up on reading, etc. I have so many good books around here that I haven't read as yet. And sleep. I am going to catch up on some much needed sleep.

And DRINK ... lots and lots of water!

All of this and all the previous procedures and stenting is well worth it if I will ultimately be able to avoid the high risk reconstructive surgery and while I don't recall the specifics of what my doctor told me ... my understanding is that my ureter was more open then it has been when left on it's own. As I have previously stated elsewhere ... I am ever hopeful that my ureter will heal completely once and for all.

And I am forever grateful to my urologist for the work he has done to facilitate healing in me... and his compassion and patience with this patient.

And most of all ... I thank God for all healing and for the good that will ultimately come out of all of this.


Chrysalis Angel said...

Awe, Sea...what did I tell you? Be good to yourself and take it easy for a bit. I hope you feel better. I'm so sorry you have to go through this at all. Now, behave!

SeaSpray said...

Yes Angel. ;) Thank you, I will. It's hard to all of a sudden go from active to having to think about what you're doing.

Chrysalis Angel said...

How are you doing today, Spray? I know you weren't feeling too well last night.

Dr. Deb said...

My dad gets that stent placed every three months as he has only one kidney operating. He says takes Uristat over the counter and follows up with plenty of fluid too.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Angel -not so hot (slept all day)..getting a cold and just drained... otherwise ok and clots I am certain are just from the work that was done.

Thank you for asking.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Dr Deb-I am sorry your father has to live with an indwelling stent. I guess another way to look at it is thankfully they are tools to facilitate healing or maintain health. But they are difficult in varying degrees.

Thank you for sharing that.

It helps to have different perspectives. I hope this will work. I think I am better than I was.

I don't know if you will be back to see this but if you are..I am curious to know how he lives with it... 24/7 non stop. ?

rlbates said...

Sea Spray, sure hope you are recovering well.

SeaSpray said...

Thank you Ramona.. I'm good except for the pesky cold. Clots stopped too. And I'm gonna stay away from heavy, whole watermelons. :))

Anonymous said...

I have been stented a few times and wow can I relate to how you are feeling. Some stents hurt horribly and others not so much.

Its been a while since you posted that so I hope you are feeling better.

I am just reading your blogs after a long time so I haven't quite gotten to why you were stented. Is it because of a stone? All my stents have been due to stones and infections from stones.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Anonymous 2:04 - Welcome back. Are you the anonymous who was stented during pregnancy? know we chatted a bit if so. :)

No I didn't have a stone ..thankfully.. cause then I'd be worried about making stones. The big one that started all this..I had been working on a long time according to the 1st urologist. I think the subsequent smaller stones were a result of that big one that was broken up. Maybe he missed a few pieces and they got embedded in scar tissue.

This was planned. The distal end of my ureter wants to close off with scarring and reconstructive surgery is a way to correct it.

But the surgery is high risk for me and I have a whole bunch of reasons for not wanting to do it. people (fam,friends and coworkers say just do it..but it's not like just having an appendix out, etc.) I would do THAT!

So..I really, really have not wanted to do this..because of the risks during and post-op I also believe in miracles and the skill of my current urodoc and am ever hopeful doing this..will facilitate healing. I believe God heals directly and he works through physicians.

I am grateful for the time this has given me. Maybe everything will be 100% okay..but I haven't been willing to take the risks as yet. My doctor has listened and worked with me on this. I can never thank him enough.

This stent will be in 12 weeks. I am giving this to God and believing that this stent ..this one.. is going to be *the one* to do it. I am going to be healed and I am not allowing for any other option.

So..bottom line, we stay on top with testing and stent to aid in facilitating healing/prevent closing. I am happy to say that my ureter was open this time and he did minimal lasering and this is to further enhance the facilitation of ultimate healing of the ureter.

I would love to heal via stenting.. and I'd love to be the patient that demonstrates that there are alternatives to rushing in to do the surgery..particularly since the surgery is a big deal.

Ha! Tenacity and patience required .. but oh my gosh very worth it if surgery is avoided!

No one ..has given this as much thought as I have. I live in my body, I live with the stents when necessary ..and I will be the one on the table going through the surgery and post-op and recovery at home. I am the one who has to live with the consequences ..if something were to go wrong.

I am the one.

And I don't believe I was meant to do the surgery..I really do not.

I never felt the green light in my spirit. i can't really explain it..I just know it wasn't right for me.

And now..i am believing I am healed. I am giving everything to God. If it doesn't work out then I just have to believe..I am meant to go down that path... but like I said.. I believe I am healing.. and everyday several times a day ..i now say I am healed. :)

I hope all is well with you. :)