Monday night I had an abrupt onset kidney stone. It starts as a pain in the lower back, a bit to the right, that feels like you just pulled a muscle the wrong way or slept wrong; however, no amount of twisting or stretching seems to help, and no position is more comfortable. Almost immediately it's accompanied by a sense of pressure in the bowels that turns into nausea and vomiting. The previous time I had one, a year and a half ago, it took hours to pass through those stages to intense pain, but this time it was less than an hour, and we were off to the hospital.
Instead of just being nauseated, I actually had to carry around a bucket. I also got chills, probably from the pain, as we arrived. Turns out visibly shivering and then urgently needing an emesis bucket is perhaps a good way to get a triage nurse to get you into a room immediately. Or maybe it was just luck of someone being available. Last time, it took more than an hour to get into a room; this time, less than three minutes.
As always the folks at CVH take excellent care. The first nurse had trouble getting an IV into the back of my hands, but the second one had no trouble hitting my arms, where I practically have spigots. The pain was going in waves by that point, cresting at an 8 or 9 on the pain scale for ten minutes, then subsiding to a 4 or 5 for ten minutes. The spikes were often accompanied by bringing up bile. Thankfully I hadn't gotten to eat dinner since it would have made that process a lot nastier.
Last time, whatever pain killer they gave me had me out like a light. Then again, that might be because it hit me in the middle of the night so I'd lost a lot of sleep. This time I only dozed off briefly at most. Then the doctor talked about the results of the CT scan, told me it was about 3mm (he had to draw a dot on my bedsheets because most people probably don't know what 3mm is!) and we talked through what would happen. Then I had scrips and was out of there. They didn't ask me to urinate through a filter to catch the stone for analysis; apparently if you had a calcium one once, it's virtually always a calcium one again, so it's not worth the cost of testing.
Some time since, the stone must have advanced to my bladder since all I have left now is a mild soreness in the area where the pain was, perhaps a remnant of everything being sore from the struggle of the day it hit. It's mild enough now that I can forget I have it until I take a deep breath. The only other lingering effect is tiredness. When the stone moves through the last stages to leaving, that might hurt, or it might happen unnoticed (I wouldn't've noticed last time if not for the filter catching the stone). Heck, I might already have done it.
Last time, after finding it was a calcium stone, I went off taking quite so much calcium as supplements, but later on they told me to go back on, and I did. Now I need to be more insistent. If my calcium levels really need that much supplementation, maybe there's another form to take it in that will be absorbed more efficiently, or less likely to result in kidney stones. Maybe last time they didn't let me go off it just because they figured it was coincidence (I am of the age when people get these), but two within two years after never having had any seems too suspicious.