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Kidney stones – My journey so far

Look at how small these fuckers are. Piss crystals.

Look at how small these fuckers are. Piss crystals. Imagine pissing that out.

I have one of these stuck inside me. I’ve had one stuck in me since 17:30 October 17th, 2014. It’s ‘only’ 3.25 mm in size, but the tube it’s stuck in averages between 3.5 to 4mm in size.

Somehow my one, teeny-weeny little piss crystal, has got stuck at the end of the ureter. That, for those who didn’t know, isn’t the tube that wee comes out of the penis from, but is the tube that joins the kidney to the bladder.

Believe me when I say that I’ve broken bones, torn, ripped and “shredded” tendons, had contusions, concussions, burns and even paper cuts. As a child I zipped my foreskin into my zip more than a couple of times. None of those came anywhere near matching the pain I’ve been suffering from.

I’m very serious indeed when I say that I’ve actually changed how I view pain. My pain scale of 1-10 has changed significantly. You know you’re in serious pain when you have your trousers down and arse in the air before the nurse has even finished saying “I’ve got some suppository painkillers.”

So far, my journey has involved a lot of things. I shall list the medical stuff first.

  • 3 nights in hospital.
  • 8 days in hospital.
  • 1 Ambulance trip.
  • Gas and air.
  • An ambulance technician who thought he was funny.
  • Morphine. Lots of it.
  • Vomiting – Fair amount. See above.
  • Anti-sickness tablets
  • Codeine – 8 a day.
  • Tamsulosin – Another day in hospital due to allergic reaction.
  • Diclofenac.
  • Omeprazole.
  • Paracetomol.
  • Crying.
  • Constipation so chronic you wouldn’t believe due to the Codeine.
  • Laxatives to relieve the above.
  • Chronic diarrhoea – see above.
  • Injections in my arse.
  • Suppositories – Both from complete strangers and self-administered (rather like I imagine trying to stuff a slug up your arse would feel like, they bend everywhere).
  • Drips.
  • Sleepless nights.
  • Pissing like a man twice my age.
  • Lithotripsy to break the stones – Which also fucking hurt, despite what the brochure said, mostly because of the position of my stone.
  • 1 CT Scan.
  • 3/4 X-rays (I forget).
  • 2 ultrasounds.
  • The odd day of self-pity.
  • Complete loss of any dignity I had.
  • At least three consultants, a whole slew of nurses and assistants prodding and poking me – Who have been utterly fabulous and very patient.
  • Some friendly co-patients and one obnoxious (who was also literally gag-making noxious) patient.

I’ve been signed off ever since this started which is not as much fun as you’d think since I’m not really in much of a state to do anything apart from sleep, or veg in front of the telly. The knock-on effects of all of this are listed below.

  • Missing my daughter’s birthday trip.
  • Not being able to participate in my daughter’s birthday party.
  • Missing Halloween (I bloody love Halloween).
  • Missed fireworks show.
  • No Man Friday nights out.
  • No nights out at all.
  • Entire weeks where I’ve gone to bed before or at the same time as the kids, leaving Karen alone.
  • Missed helping Karen at many, many crafting events I’d promised to help her out. At her busiest time.
  • Missed being on a panel for authors.
  • Family Christmas plans completely changed.
  • No Christmas family late-night shop – ritual thing we do.
  • No Christmas market – another family thing.
  • No writing – I just can’t get my head into the zone, and on the drugs everything is very much an effort.
  • Up to 18 hours a day in bed. Asleep.
  • Daughter crying because she’s scared by seeing me in so much pain.
  • Daughters missing me because I can’t do anything with them.
  • I’ve gained over half a stone, which is especially disappointing because I’d managed to get into the swing of losing weight and was doing well.
  • No training for months, when I’d just started getting back into the habit.
  • Morphine dreams.
  • Insomnia (yeah, after sleeping too much, I now keep waking up).
  • One incredibly patient, but slightly frazzled wife who really could have done with help at birthday parties, on shopping trips and doing Halloweeny/Bonfirey/Christmassy things.
  • Distinct lack of family life and a lot of guilt for not being able to do things.
This was what I have in the morning. Just the morning, when the pain is bad. Cut out the packet, and I pretty much have 5/6 tablets every 4 hours. Plus morphine if I need it.

This was what I have in the morning. Just the morning, when the pain is bad. Cut out the packet, and I pretty much have 5/6 tablets every 4 hours. Plus morphine if I need it.

As a result of the lithotripsy not working, I’ve had another x-ray. I’m now waiting to see if the consultant wants to operate. This will involve things being stuck up my penis, other things then being stuck up my penis to break the crystal, other things being stuck up my penis to get the bits out and another thing called a stent stuck up there and left for a couple of weeks, before they stick something else up and pull it back down.

The first part will be done under a general anaesthetic. The removal of the stent using a local anaesthetic. HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK?

Thinking about it, this has been a literally life-changing event and considering that the bloody thing is only 3.25mm in size, I can’t believe it’s had the impact it has.

Apologies for the self-pity rather evident in this post. I know that there are a lot of others who are suffering far worse that this and I know that it will be over at some point, but I just had to write this down.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


2 thoughts on “Kidney stones – My journey so far

  1. My own stone popped out in only a few hours, but it felt like soooo much longer. I’ve never heard of one lasting for so long before and you have my complete sympathy. Some say “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!” but I certainly would (that’s how enmity works after all), but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. Hope you get well soon.


    Posted by P N Roberts | January 10, 2015, 6:18 pm

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