Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slow onset kidney stone, maybe

I woke up about 4am this morning with a combination of the back pain I've been feeling for a couple of days, only more acute and localized, and the sense of pressure that makes me feel like I need to go to the bathroom, which has also been haunting me for a day or so. It was enough pain and discomfort to keep me awake, so I started running through my symptoms to figure out how I'd describe them to Siobhan. We do this occasionally under the rubric of "In case you should have to describe things to Doctor House..."

In the process of analyzing them more closely so I could describe them, and as the back pain tightened, it occurred to me that they were familiar. Nagging back pain that feels like I strained something or slept wrong, but which doesn't seem helped by twisting, stretching, or heat. A vague sense of pressure that feels like I need to go to the bathroom more than I actually do. And briefly, a faint hint of nausea, though that tends to go with the sense of pressure.

These are similar to what happened with my two previous kidney stones, but while those came on in a few hours and less than an hour, respectively, this has been going on for a few days, and has come on so gradually that I didn't even associate the different symptoms together until this morning. One possible explanation is that a 5mm stone tends to have a much more gradual onset than smaller ones (my first stone was 2mm, and we never found the second one, but it was probably the same or smaller). Another is that I'm just looking too hard for symptoms.

As I write this, I'm feeling almost perfectly normal. Which in a way is a shame, because if this is going to happen, I'd rather get it over with, ideally in time to still get to enjoy some of Thanksgiving. Either that or for it to stop entirely until at least Friday. At this point, I'm not even sure what I'm hoping for.

I'm regretting letting my urologist push back talking about getting it dealt with preemptively -- we had decided on that months ago, but he wanted to wait for my urine test, then for another urine test after my calcium intake had been bumped up, then again while we wait for my long-delayed nephrologist appointment (which happens in a couple of weeks). Most of the point of it was to make it so it happened on my schedule, not at a time inconvenient either to me or to the doctors, nurses, and other staff. Thankgiving is an ideal example of a time that's not convenient to be passing a 5mm kidney stone.

Still, given that right now I feel mostly normal, maybe I won't have to worry about this for a few days, long enough to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving. Then again it could always come on fast. I'm waiting to hear back from the urologist's office.

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