Kidney Disease – My Journey

As a kidney disease patient and stone former, I have scoured the internet for stories, posts, and information. Unfortunately, there is little information in regards to this. I figured I would begin writing about this for others about my disease, how I came to find out what it was, and maybe offer some insight to others. There are groups and things like that, but sometimes, you just want to read about something and not interact.

 

There are few things in life that will make you drop to your knees and make you beg for mercy more than a kidney stone. I never heard the term until I was twenty-one years old. I was in shape, in my prime, and ready to conquer the world. Well, not entirely I guess. I was ready to embark on being a mom to my second child. Same thing right? Anyhow, there I was, minding my own business as much as a six month old pregnant lady could and I felt as if someone karate kicked me on the right side of my back. I chalked it up as just being one of those weird pregnant things that you just can’t explain. Went along with the rest of my day, only for the pain to continue. What was this? Was this my son’s idea of starting to cause trouble?

 

By 3 a.m. I was rushed into the hospital, not sure what was going on, but I was in so much pain and after having a child before naturally,  I assumed maybe this was early labor. Well it wasn’t labor, but it was something to definitely worry about. After many tests and losing the ability to urinate, It was found I was the winner of the kidney stone lottery. Apparently I had quite a few located in my ureter as well as in the kidney itself. Seeing as though I was pregnant, different measures needed to be taken for me. I was at the point where pain medication was a huge no! He needed to stay put for a while longer, and under the circumstances, if I did not make some decisions, he would be in danger.

 

They wanted to try the stent, but it was just not something that could be done, so I was soon about to learn a new term. What was that term exactly? Nephrostomy Tube! Yes, as if the pain and everything wasn’t enough, I was soon going to have a new sidekick. The plan was to put the tube into the kidney, so that the urine could drain. I would have this until a little after the delivery of my baby. I was told, this is what needed to be done to protect him, but I was not going to like the process that would come along with it. I would not be able to be put under, I would not be able to have pain medication, and they could only numb the skin where they would go in and nothing more. I was scared to death! I knew what  I needed to do for my son, so I proceeded.

 

They rushed me in, at 7 pm that night, and I can honestly say, the pain was horrific at that point from the stones, but it was soon to be escalated. I had an amazing medical team helping me from one of the best trauma centers in the state of Minnesota. I went in and they had a nurse sit up front with me to hold my hand. I will never forget, the urologist asked if I wanted music to help keep me calm, and I said classical. He obliged to my request. He was an older urologist and I had trust that this wasn’t his first rodeo.

 

I didn’t feel the initial cut into my skin. He spoke to me as he was going through the process to tell me and would tell me to rest. They had a monitor for the baby and they had the NICU in there as well in case. When he started to put the tube in, I felt the tears rolling down my face. It hurt even more. As I sat there taking deep breaths as instructed, I heard lots of fluid hitting the floor. He proceeded to tell me it was the urine that was backed up. The process felt like it took hours, but in reality, he moved fast and it took about fifteen to twenty minutes.

 

The pressure on my kidney was no longer there and it was a little less painful. I was in for a long road of recovery, but I was stable and my baby would be fine. I soon was about to learn how to care for the site and much more. This was overwhelming for someone my age, but I was re-assured this was merely a pregnancy thing and once I had the baby, the issue wouldn’t present itself again more than likely. They were wrong.

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