Kidney Stones Suck, but this too shall pass…

So, I have been a little MIA for the past few weeks. I have had an unpredictable physical health setback, but I have been trying not to let it get me down too much. I have shared bits and pieces of the story via social media, but would like to get it all in one spot for you. We all have setbacks now and then, and if you can learn something from mine, then I am glad to share. Fair warning, these stories include some serious TMI!!!

It all started on October 8, 2018. I woke up that morning feeling amazing. I got some time with my partner before work and was super happy to start my work week. I packed my lunchbox with breakfast, lunch and dinner for the day and went out the door to work. I had my coffee with coconut milk in hand as well.

I got on the road to work, and took a sip of my coffee and bam!! I got sick. I couldn’t pull over, so I reached for a plastic bag. I called my boss and went home for the day. I slept most of the day and the next day I went to see my PCP.

The first thing my PCP did was congratulate me on losing weight…before she even addressed why I was there, not cool. I told her that I had gotten sick on the way to work and needed to be cleared to go back to work. She checked my vitals and told me that it was probably just a 24 hour bug and that I was fine. I took her word for it and went back to work on Wednesday.

I was feeling ok, and even went to my barre class on Wednesday morning to complete a challenge, but my Thursday night, I was in rough shape. I had a sudden onset of UTI symptoms. I sent my partner to the store for some AZO to hold me over until morning when I could see a doctor. Well, by 3am there was a lot of blood in my urine, I was dizzy, I was nauseous…I had to go to the ER.

I took an Uber since I was in too much pain to drive myself, and my partner had to be up early. When I arrived at the ER they put me in a wheelchair, as I was hardly standing on my own at this point. I got brought back immediately. They got a urine sample and it came back with UTI results very quickly, so they pumped me with some antibiotics and some pain meds. They suspected a kidney stone so shipped me off to get a CT scan.

My friend Josh was running the CT scan machine, so at least I got to see him and catch up haha. The results of the scan showed a 4mm kidney stone stuck in the ureter just before the bladder and a lot of fluid retention into the kidney, hence the infection. They sent me home with a bunch of prescriptions and told me to see the urologist ASAP as a stone of that size and an infection at the same time can be dangerous.

Sad to be feeling like crap and in the ER

The next morning I went to work (because I’m crazy like that) but was only there for 45 minutes before the doctor called me and told me to get my butt in his office right away. He drew me a diagram and said that if I spiked a fever or if the stone didn’t move within a week, that I would have to have surgery to put in a stent and to laser the stone. He gave me some meds to help pass the stone faster and we made an appointment for the next week.

That whole week I upped my water, I took all the medicine and prayed that the stone would vacate…well, if didn’t. In fact it didn’t even budge. So I had to schedule surgery for October 24, but I was trying not to let the stone slow me down too much. I enjoyed a dinner with friends and even auditioned for a show, but told them that I wouldn’t be able to attend callbacks due to surgery.

The night before surgery I have a vague recollection of using the bathroom around 3am and feeling like I might have passed the stone, but also thought it was wishful thinking. I went into surgery a few hours later…and when I woke up they said that they didn’t see the stone, but still had to put the stent in, as the kidney was very inflamed and needed to be drained. I had to have the stent for at least a week, but could return to my normal activities.

Pre-op selfie

The first 2 days were spent on the couch, but I went back to work on Friday. On Saturday my partner and I went out for Halloween, but didn’t stay out very long, as I wasn’t feeling the greatest, but we looked so cute!

Ariel and Eric has to miss out on their cruise around NYC, but had fun locally

The next day was rough! I felt like my insides were being shredded, so I took another field trip to the ER, as that’s what my post op papers said to do. They gave me another round of IV antibiotics and did another CT scan to make sure that the stent was still in the right place. They were able to confirm that the stone was actually gone. I tried bargaining with every nurse to take the stent out, but it didn’t work. Whatever they gave me did help the pain to subside and I got sent on my way, with directions to call my urologist in the morning.

Not thrilled to be back in the ER
My view

My urologist office told me to keep taking the antibiotics that the ER gave me until my follow up appointment on that Friday…I wasn’t lucky enough for them to pull the stent early. Bummer!

Over the next few days I was feeling better. Halloween itself was pretty low key. I just went to work and then went home and watched scary TV shows with my partner. The day after Halloween I had a fundraiser gala to attend. I was thankful to be feeling well enough to go, it was nice to dress up after a few weeks of being on the couch.

25th anniversary gala for NCS

The morning after the gala I had my follow up ultrasound. My kidney was still a little ticked off, but the doctor was willing to remove the stent. It only took 5 minutes to remove it, and the terrible side effects were gone within the next few hours. I was free at last!!

I have to have a full workup done in December to make sure that my kidney is ok, but for now I have been returning to my normal activities. I am not back into my workout routine full swing, and am still coming back from having a limited appetite, but I am SO much more thankful for the things my body is capable of when I’m healthy.

First road race as an adult, 2 days after the stent removal..did the mile instead of the 5K
Oh, and I got the part that I auditioned for!!

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