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633143 tn?1262137135

Pain in kidneys for 2 weeks - urinalysis negative for infection and stones

About two weeks ago a dull pain started suddenly in my lower back on the right side.  It was just an uncomfortable pain, just enough to be noticed.  I was nervous because my father has a history of kidney stones, I'm 24, and I'm on a medication (Topomax) that makes me likely to get them. However I did not have any blood in my urine, my back was not tender to touch, there was no pain urinating, and the pain was not getting any worse.  The day after the pain started, it began spreading into my buttox and down my whole right leg.  I was walking through the grocery store and there were times it felt like I had to drag my leg.  That, thankfully only lasted that day.  My right leg and buttox still hurt and ache off and on (especially at my knee, ankle, and lower thigh), but that "dead leg" feeling has subsided substantially.  

I got an appointment with my family doctor about a week after it started and the conclusion was made that I had irritated a nerve in my back, possibly the sciatic.  There were still no tender spots, no abdominal pain, no painful urination, no blood in the urine, etc.  They had no explanation for why I had been nauseous for over a week other than my birth control or period may be due.  That night I went home and started having upper abdominal pain on the right side.  It would come and go, but the nausea would increase when it came.  I had little appetite but was forcing myself to eat.  Water seemed to be the only thing that would calm the nausea.  Also, I was getting more intense pain in my lower back on the right side and also in my lower right abdomen.  I had been perscribed naproxen sodium for my back pain, but that wasn't helping any of it.  I suffered through the weekend and went back to the doctor on Monday.  

This time they told me that it was possible that there was a problem with my gallbladder.  The area where I was getting pain in my upper abdomen was a little tender, but it didn't really hurt when they pressed on it.  I told them it hurt to press it when it was already hurting.  They found a tender spot on my right side, which they said suggested I could have a kidney stone or a kidney infection, but that it was possible that it could be both or all three problems.  They felt my leg pain was a separate issue. They scheduled me for an ultrasound at the end of the week and had me do a urinalysis.  At this point, I was still not having the frequent or painful urination, blood in the urine, bladder pain, etc that they kept asking me about.  They told me to go to the ER if my temp hit 100.5 or if I was in the worst pain of my life.  My temp was at 99.9 when I got to the office, but I woke up displaying cold symptoms (headache, coughing, stuffy nose, fatigue), so they just sent me home.  

Now, four days later, I am urinating a little more frequently, but I am also really pushing fluids.  I am having occasional pain in my bladder area.  I am now getting pain in my left side and back.  The pain in general is getting a little worse and I'm getting chills but no significant fever.  I got a call from the doctor today saying that the urinalysis came back clear.  They didn't find anything and had no explanation for me as to why I am in so much pain.  I don't know if a clear urinalysis means there could still be stones, but they didn't even ask me to come back in.  They didn't say anything.  I'm still having the ultrasound done tomorrow, but I don't know if they'll check my kidneys (it's an abdominal).   Will stones show up in an ultrasound?  I have a problem with complex ovarian cysts, but they've always been on the smaller side and only on my ovaries.  I've considered just going to the emergency room, but the pain is bearable and I'm not running high fevers (my temp is either 97 or a lowgrade fever 99.9).  I just don't know what to do.
5 Responses
875426 tn?1325532016
Did you get the ultrasound results?  Kidneys are included, as you likely found out.   Did they check you for appendicitis, with the lower right abdominal pain, nausea and low grade fever all which are listed on nih gov website as potential symptoms?  Hormonal imbalance can definitely be a source of nausea.
633143 tn?1262137135
The ultrasound came back "within normal limits."  No stones in the gallbladder or kidneys, even though the pain continues in both areas.  They don't consider me to have a fever because it was such a short time total through the whole duration of all of this.  Appendicitis has never once been mentioned, probably because nothing is overly tender to the touch and the pain is also on my left side.  There was only a little bit of pain when the PA squeezed my left flank.  

Now because while describing the pain I mentioned that sometimes it almost feels like a sharp pain, like something is pulling deep inside and that I can't sit certain ways because it hurts more, the PA decided that the next course of action is to treat this as a skeletal problem.  She's sending me for physical therapy and sent me for a whole series of x-rays, which (big shock) came back normal.  Not one sign of any injury or abnormality.  She is claiming that the upper abdominal pain I have will be fixed with some Nexium samples, and that the lower abdominal pain I feel with the flank pain is because "back pain sometimes radiates to the front."  I'm sorry, but I don't buy that all of these things are happening at once and are not inter-related somehow.  And I am certainly not convinced that it is a skeltal problem.

In the meantime I've been sent to a cardiologist for a separate problem (random bursts of accelerated heartrate).  That doctor sent me for a chest xray and VQ scan (to check for a clot).  Both came back fine.  Next he sent out for bloodwork, and one of those tests was to test kidney function.  Something about potassium levels.  My question is, is it possible for a potassium deficiency to cause some of these things?  I'm not finding anything about pain like this in my research.  It wouldn't be out of the question for them to find such a deficiency.  The topomax I'm on supposedly ***** the potassium right out of you.  They gave me supplement pills to take, but they made me very sick even with meals.
633143 tn?1262137135
Wow, I didn't realize they would censor "the word for what a vacuum does."  
875426 tn?1325532016
They do a fairly thorough job in getting out words that people can find offensive (though not perfect), but they evidently weren't looking at your context to see it was a non-offensive usage of the word (maybe it runs on auto-pilot, so to speak).

So, they were they trying to get a GFR (glomerular filtration rate) on you to see how your kidneys are functioning?  If so, and if they only come back as normal because it was over 60, may I recommend you try to get the exact figure, because there are different normals for different age groups, and just because you are not in kidney failure does not mean that your kidney function is uncompromised.  You also might see if they will run a 24 hour urine protein test to see if your protein number is high.

Saying you can't sit certain ways because it hurts more does suggest musculoskeletal as a possible problem, but x-rays won't show soft tissue abnormalities!  And low potassium can cause muscle cramps.   Is it possible for you to switch from topomax to another medication?  I know I did horribly on that drug myself, but with different side effects.  It made me extremely nervous and shakey and changed my voice to a higher pitch while I was on it.  I'm glad I discontinued it!
633143 tn?1262137135
I've been on the Topomax for about two years now, and the most notable side effects have been the tinglings in the hands and feet, the dizziness when standing up, and the fogginess (especially the word recall... that's the worst for me).  I don't know how much it's really helping me.  I still get really bad migraines, but much less frequently than I used to.  My neurologist swears by this drug though and has so far refused to even consider anything else.  I ended up in the ER on Monday, and the doctor there said that he doubted my meds had anything to do with what was going on with me.

This whole past weekend the pain in my mid/lower right abdomen was getting worse and worse (sharper), and I was getting more and more nauseous and just sicker feeling in general.  I couldn't lay on my left side at all because the pain in my right belly area would get excruciating.  It was weird.  And yet it still didn't hurt to press on it anywhere.  As nauseous as I was, I still has a little bit of an appetite (although a lot of it just went through me).  By Monday morning I was feeling a little better, just a little uncomfortable on the whole right side, from my ribs all the way down to my pubic bone.  By the time I got in my car and started driving to work, I started heaving and the pain came back. I decided it was time to go to the ER.  No one else was helping me, and I was really starting to worry about my appendix.

Within just minutes of talking with the ER doctor, he decided that there was nothing urgently wrong with me.  He based this on my family doctor's reports and the fact that nothing hurt when he pressed on me.  He said that he could run further tests, but that his gut told him they would all be normal.  I had already peed in a cup though, so they ran that, and a nurse came in and took some blood (and he didn't even want to do that, I told him I wanted him to).  Then they came back with this "cocktail" of Mayloxx, Bentyl, and lidocaine.  This was apparently for my belly pain.  It did nothing for the back/side pain I was having, or the fairly uncomfortable pelvic pain which had developed after he did all of his feeling around.  When everything came back he declared the urinalysis was again clear (and that I have exceptionally clean urine... what an odd thing to say, I thought), and that everything in the bloodwork was normal.  He thinks that the pain is probably a combonation of IBS pain and my ovarian cysts.  His final words to me: You'll probably have this until menopause.  The basic message: Get used to it.  I was sent home with a script for Pepcid and the advice to keep doing what I'm doing.  I guess that means suffer.  The only thing I can think to do next is to go to my gynecologist.
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