Jul 29, 2010
On Monday night, Swampy had dinner with his friends. He had an order of crab cakes, 2 glasses of iced tea, and some cranberry juice. Swampy was scheduled to work that night so he walked home to do that. Upon arriving home, he found a note saying that he didn't need to work.
So after a few more minutes, Swampy decided it was time for bed. He lay down to sleep on his back. 1 minute later it felt as if every one if his back muscles were pulled, ultra sore, and bruised. Shifting from side to side did not help. Swampy got less than an hour of sleep Monday night.
Decision: give the pain 24 hours to subside, and contact doctor if the pain is still as bad or if any new symptoms develop.
Tuesday Swampy felt a lot better. There was still plenty of pain, though. After finding a position to sleep on that night, Wednesday morning Swampy decided that a doctor visit would be really useful.
Swampy likes his doc. She has a very fast and witty response to all of Swampy's lousy jokes. Anyway, after thumping him, she said "maybe you pulled something, maybe you've a kidney stone..." She offered Swampy various meds, none of which seemed very interesting at the time. She told him to report to the hospital for tests the next day (that is the usual procedure, she just uses their lab).
Now its Wednesday night. Swampy is trying to get to sleep but the pain is now so bad that the only position he can be on his bed is on his hands and knees. (Or whatever swampcritters have there). Anyhow, Swampy tried various pillow arrangements to no avail.
Finally he figured out the if he lay on his chest in a very straight line, and tightly folded his arms above his head, the back pain went away. Instead, there was a sharp point pain on two locations just at the base of the rib cage.
The pain wasn't static either...it felt as if someone was irregularly tapping a pain nerve.
Then Swampy realized what was going on. The sharp pain points were the exit from the kidneys. The entrance to the ureter was the bottleneck. Every time the stones bounced against the opening, it caused pain. Since the kidneys were producing urine and it was flowing into the bladder, the flow caused it to bounce, bounce, bounce.
Swampy found that he could temporarily relieve the pain by moving so there was a brief back pressure. Also, by chaining sides the stone would move and it would take it time to find the ureter opening again.
Imagine you have a bathtub that is draining with a floating object in it. The object will migrate towards the drain but won't always be directly above the drain. That is what was going on.
Finally all of a sudden, Swampy felt the sharp end of the stone lodge and stick in the ureter. The pain dramatically increased. Swampy jumped out of bed. The pain was so great, breathing was impossible. He just stood there, unable to breath, unable to cry out, the pain ever increasing. Then, Swampy got a little air into his lungs and screamed.
It wasn't really much a of a scream, there wasn't enough air in the lungs to completely scream, but the cry out caused a little bump and the stone slid down the tube. Swampy could feel it slide.
Then, as if by magic, almost all the pain just vanished. Swampy checked the clock, 2:02am.
This morning, Swampy went to give a urine and blood sample at the hospital. His urine had a significant brown component, probably clotted blood.
Are all these stones gone? Will Swampy sleep tonight?