My wife and I used to have this friendly competition over who had experienced more pain, me in the course of my various sports, farming and home repair injuries, or her during child birth. She was absolutely convinced she had that contest won hands down until she watched the sadistic doctor set my broken leg (tib-fib injury in a motorcycle accident) without giving me any pain medication. As she watched me turn white as a sheet and nearly pass out, she patted my hand and said, ?You win honey.? And I thought that was the worst possible pain one could experience. That was, until my mountain bike accident.
I was the last one coming down a pretty steep hill and a couple of other riders were waiting for me to make sure I made it alright. I saw a berm of earth about three feet in height so I thought I?d give them a show. And what a show it was! I flew about 10 feet in the air and 25 feet in distance before I landed on my front wheel. The momentum slammed my body into the ground breaking my pinky finger, my clavical (for the second time) and fracturing the cartilage around my ribs (which I found out from the doctors at the hospital was a very rare injury?usually the ribs will fracture before the cartilage does). Add a cold two weeks later and a bout of severe sneezing to go with, and I was absolutely certain that I had reached the pinnacle of pain. But I was wrong.
Last month I felt a pain in my lower left abdomen and kidney simultaneously that was so intense, no change in position even came close to reducing that pain. Then the severe wave of nausea hit and about the third time when I started throwing up blood (I had apparently ruptured something during the heaves), I decided that as much as I detest doctors and hospitals, I could not procrastinate a visit to my local hospital any longer. After forcing my wife to break traffic laws and her talking her way out of a ticket (my writhing in pain in the passenger seat was enough to convince the officer), we finally arrived at the emergency room.
The medical staff recognized the symptoms immediately. The nurse said they get three or four kidney stones each shift. That was all it took to reduce a strong man to a quivering mass of jelly? A measly, little kidney stone causing all that pain?pain that in spite of my lack of suicidal tendencies, I would have gladly pulled a trigger to end. The nurse hooked me up to an IV and started dumping the drugs into me. Whoever invented morphine, God bless him!
Two thousand dollars later, all they did was give me pain and anti-nausea meds and sent me home to wait it out. So after the most painful experience in my life, here?s my non-medical advice to you.
Know and recognize the symptoms of a kidney stone. The most intense pain you have ever felt radiating in your lower abdomen and kidney (on whichever side is passing the stone), feeling like you?ve got to go to the bathroom but nothing comes, severe nausea (keep a bucket handy, you?ll need it), and no possible position will you assume will lesson the pain, not even the fetal position!
Save your pain meds from all your previous bouts with pain. You never know when you will need them; the heavier duty the pain meds, the better. Drink tons of water, even though it hurts you to do so?it will speed up the process of passing the stone and thereby lessen the pain duration. Unless you have insurance to pay for it, do not go to the hospital?there?s nothing they can do for you other than offer you pain killer?but when you get the 2,000 bill the pain starts all over again so what the hell. Drink 60 ounces of Coke in 2 hours as soon as possible?I know that sounds like a lot, and it is, but believe it or not, this dissolved my stone so that I never passed it through the urethra. The most painful part for me was when it was passing from the kidney to the bladder, but I was pretty certain I didn?t want to find out what it felt like to squeeze a stone through that small canal!
As I mentioned before, drink lots of water, but it is imperative that you change your diet. Eat more foods rich in Vitamin A, use only distilled water for drinking and cooking, eat a lot less animal protein, reduce potassium and phosphates, drink a warm glass of water each morning with a lemon squeezed in it, avoid refined sugar and all products that contain it, and most importantly EXERCISE!!!
If you?ve never experienced a kidney stone then maybe now is the time to make the changes you need to avoid one in the future. If you have already had a stone and you haven?t changed your ways, then seriously, if the pain of a kidney stone is not enough to get you to change your eating and drinking patterns, then the only conclusion I can draw is that you have masochistic tendencies and you need more help than I can provide through my experience.
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