Thursday, March 10, 2011
Kidney Pain - Ureteral Stent - Prayer Request and Other Thoughts
The picture above shows where kidney stone pain affects the body and that is how it affects me now, but sans kidney stone since I am stented. I am also perplexed, because the stent keeps everything open. Anyway ...I've been drinking, drinking and drinking.
It's been a while since posting from a patient perspective at length, but I need to VENT!
I haven't done this in a while and ...the fact that I am asking is proportionate to my level of concern. And I hope it is just a fluke (isn't that a fish???), and that I am just overreacting.
Also, if anyone familiar with stents knows anything about this or has ever experienced it ...I'd like to hear about it.
My urologist is out of town. And, while I really like his partners and they are great ...if anything were wrong ...well ...I just want my doc ...the one who knows me best.
I believe in the power of prayer and have been praying. I will put a prayer request on our church prayer line after I write this. And the Internet provides a wonderful opportunity for people from all over to pray for another person and in this case ...I would be most grateful if anyone reading this would pray for this to pass and for my ureter to heal once and for all. Thank you. :)
So ...what is this all about?
Pain ...excruciatingly, sharp and sudden pain in my right stented kidney when I bent over to pick something up. Instant 10 pain! This sudden 10 pain in my right flank also caused me to be instantly nauseated ..so strongly, it felt like I might be ill in short order. And it was so strong - the pain in flank ...that I called out "Jesus HELP me!", a few times, when it was at it's worst. I didn't even do that when I had the big kidney stone. Calling out Jesus' name like that is not normal for me. Only ...in an extreme case of pain or fear. Maybe 5 times in my whole life. I didn't even cry out when I was in labor with our first son. I hyperventilated ...but never cried out more than a whimper. An in office stent removal caused me to do it once. Then I explained to the nurse and doctor, that I wasn't swearing, but the fastest way I knew to pray for help with the pain.
This pain today was the intensity of a major kidney stone at first, but went on to feel differently...although sore. It was a very ...extremely sharp ..weird ..uncomfortable ...nauseating feeling. For all my avoiding the reconstructive surgery ...I can tell you that if I had to deal with that kind of pain ...I'd fly into the OR so fast to have it and hand the surgeon the scalpel!
Anyway ...I have a BIG ureteral stent in me now and so I think a stone is unlikely. And it was different then stone pain. Intensity yes ...but different. It had to be the stent doing something weird. And maybe I am still aching because I aggravated it in there when I bent over. Did it migrate into a weird place? Just how big is my kidney though and how far could the stent go? It's not like it's flying back up north for spring.
So ...my mind was racing for a cause and I thought maybe I am dehydrated and the stent is irritating my kidney. Because, I was thirsty when I went to bed, but didn't drink because I didn't want to get up and tinkle all night. That being said ...I got up 3 times to tinkle and was thirsty each time, but because I wanted to sleep, I still did not drink. I forgot about keeping myself hydrated with the stent. How I could do that after all this stent experience is beyond me ...other than to say I was just that tired. I had a friend stay over late and then I stayed up after that...but didn't drink even though I was thirsty.
So, I quickly drank 2 -16 oz glasses of water. Most of the pain subsided before I drank the water, but was still not a good feeling and I don't know how to explain it. I also had not taken any pain medication, but I always wait until the comfort level is challenged. (Ohhhh ...it was CHALLENGED alright!) I know they say you are supposed to stay on top of pain ...but I just would not take that much medicine to do that. I never have with any of these stents. I don't think you can be too careful with pain medication. That being said ..of course I do take it.
This is a big stent and I will write about it later. This stent absolutely requires pain medication. day/night. And I use I usually manage it with 2 Percocet daily...although sometimes 3 if it is a bad stentTramadl once daily on most days... usually at night. I've developed a system that works for me. Not always ...because like I said ..there are exceptions if it's a bad stent day ...meaning a lot of painful spasms among other things. For the most part though ..I take 1 percocet at a time and use the two of them for when I am going to need to be up and around and busier ..or out somewhere. Or for a sudden surprise attack of pain. Pyridium numbs everything and Detral LA helps with the spasms in the bladder. It would be inhumane to not take Pyridium or Detrol La while stented. And the same goes for the pain medication too. You HAVE to get away from the pain!
So, today I only had the latter two meds in me because I wait until I really start to feel bad and then take the 1 Percocet. However, after this incident ...I raced to the medication and took TWO at the same time. I was not feeling right. It wasn't as excruciating like it initially was... but I also wasn't waiting to see if the pain exacerbated beyond what I experienced when I bent over.
Then I went to bend over to pick up the bath mat and OMGosh! It happened again! I absolutely could not pick that mat up! Because I just could not tolerate that kind of pain/nausea and I didn't know if I was hurting myself internally.
And then it happened a THIRD time!
Suffice it to know that I stopped bending over the traditional way.
By the way ...I didn't realize how many times in a day I bend over to do something, get something or pick something up. It's true - we take things for granted until we can't do them anymore. So ...if I have to bend and since I'm a righty ...I simultaneously extend my left leg straight out as I pick up with my right hand. Actually feels kind of good too.
Now ...I do realize that this obviously can't go on like this.
It was about 6 hrs ago since I last bent over that way ..the normal way. I figure why tempt fate?
And I haven't eaten. I don't know why. I just felt like I should not eat much. So, I had a Slim Fast, my big green drink (health product), healing honey and Herbal Aloe Force juice. And a lot more water. And a lot more tinkling ...whizzie winkling. ;) I am now having a nice hot cup of coffee. Mmmm ...it tastes so good.
I am hungry though. I may have something.
I also got this little travel bag out that I've used to pack things for when I am in the hospital. I didn't pack it, but made a mental note of what I would put inside. I also did some girly things that help me to feel better when being seen as a patient. I set my hair, tweezed my eyebrows. I would've shaved my legs ...but I didn't want to bend over. I shaved them yesterday, but I can grow trees pretty easily. I know ...too much info.
There was a time ...back when this all started, in which I was a frequent flier to the hospital and urology office. Now, Thankfully ...I am not. But ...anyone who's ever dealt with a chronic medical condition or had the misfortune of having to be seen as a frequent flier ...just because things happen to you ...well ..I know you understand. Perhaps more of a female thing because men ...well what do they have to do? If they don't shave ..they're sexy or manly or rugged. No woman wants to be manly or rugged. Am I right girls? I'm just saying. Manly or rugged definitely won't do.
Some of you might be thinking ..well if she can do all that, then it can't be that bad. Oh yes it can. Pain medication enabled me to do it. And I would still try anyway. When I was 17, I was ill and had to go to the doctor. My aunt was annoyed because I wanted to take a bath first and she said that if I felt good enough to take a bath ...then I must not be that sick. But she was wrong. I was and I did go in to see him. I just wanted to feel clean. Don't most people? And yes ...I have had a few times where I could not do a thing and by the grace of God ..I made it to the Emergency department. When I had strep ...all I could do was drool into a tissue. The big kidney stone that caused all this uro stuff in the first place ...that stone prevented me from brushing my teeth, washing my face, combing my hair and certainly couldn't shower or shave ...never mind makeup. But ..it did bother me ...I just couldn't. And medical staff doesn't care. They just want to help you. It's a personal thing. And ...if I don't care ...be very concerned.
Anyway, hours later now... I feel my kidney. It's aching or full feeling. You know how when you get an upset stomach, with some viruses you can kind of feel your whole stomach? It feels like that. And I feel my ureter going down the side. I should not be. And for some of you that have had ureteral stents, you know that when you have to void ...you get a painful back up feeling if you wait. Well, now it feels a little like that too.
This is after taking more Percocet and another Pyridium.
Okay ...I did just bend over to pick up wash and also empty the dryer and I did not get that excruciating pain. So ...THAT is a GOOD thing! But ...I don't feel right on that side. And it is masked by the pain med ...although the excruciating pain would come through that ...I am certain.
I am trying to figure out if I lifted something or twisted weirdly ..or maybe even slept wrong ..or flipped wrong in bed and aggravated something. ??? I have never experienced that with any stent before when bending over.
It has to be a good sign that I did not get that excruciating stabbing 10 pain and accompanying instant nausea ..right? And ...I wonder if the stent was not hydrated enough in there and so that was the pain ..scraped on something and now it is irritated? Obviously, I am clueless about my kidney's interior.
I don't want to call anyone because I want to see if this passes. I don't want to be the patient that cries wolf. I am scheduled to have this stent removed next week and I really want to make it to that date. It will be 10 weeks next Thursday. This is the last stent and so I am glad I had another chance with a big stent. I'll discuss this in another post. I'm ready to talk about ureteral stents and surgery ...or I should say ..avoiding surgery.
I just don't understand why this happened and why I continue aching. ? I hope it passes. At least I'm not getting that hideous pain when I bend over now. That was so bad and I think the nausea was proof of that. It's weird how seriously strong pain can make you feel like vomiting. I wonder why that is?
Well ... let's see what the morning brings.
Update Friday Night - 6:44 PM:
Thank you to those of you who are praying for me. thank you very much.
I wrote this post in stages yesterday/last night. By later last night, I could bend again and I have been today as well ...although ..I am being guarded.
I have never experienced anything like this with any stent I have ever had. Not only was it as painful and nauseating as I described ...but it scared me.
This particular stent has been a tough one. I had the same one in Summer 2008, and that summer this loves water so much she'd do everything in it if she could SeaSpray ...opted not to even go in her pool ...just because going up the deck steps and down the pool steps and gently move around in the water was too much. Just the thought of it usually caused me to not want to do it. This stent has grounded me. Much to the frustration of one of my friends because I will never give her a firm commitment about doing things because it all depends how I feel and there is no predicting that with this stent and I do not want to get caught away from home if a bad kidney or bladder spasm occurs or something like what happened yesterday. ESPECIALLY that!
Anyway ...I stayed in bed today until around 2pm ...taking it was ...reading and sleeping. I was sore in my flank not long after I got up and then sure enough the pain traveled down.
So, I don't understand why I feel my flank like I do now ...but thankfully it's not like it was yesterday. But, I am more sore than I have been this entire time since January 6th. I just do not know what happened ..what did I do or not do? Did I get too dehydrated and then when I bent over, it kept gouging me? But then it did it 2 more times after I drank 32 oz of water. Unless ...it takes longer than I think to get into the kidneys. ?? Did I twist or lift something heavy? And I did twist and lean on a chair briefly just before while turning to watch something on the TV.
Aside from some kidney spasms early on, this stent has been all about very strong bladder spasms. Really hinders me and at times wakes me up at night.
I will most definitely tell my doc about this.
And now it is 9:03 pm, and my kidney feels like it is cramping and aching. Getting concerned again. i was okay for resting. But ..you know ...the better you begin to feel ..you forget and do things. Maybe after yesterday ...I should not have. I did light cleaning, laundry and dinner.
I just want to make it to next week. So, not kidding ...I am taking it easier than I have. Maybe I will just catch up on blogging. :)
Maybe my body is telling me it is done with the stent. ??
I pray to God that all is well and I make it to my stent removal date next week.