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Dealing with a kidney stone is never fun, but it's even worse when it's during your vacation. See my tips and tricks to dealing with these pesky stones while traveling.
Perhaps you noticed last week that there was a bit of silence on the blog. We packed up the boys and were headed out on a vacation early Monday morning. I had planned on finishing up some blog posts while we were traveling, to have them go live this week. I even posted a happy picture of the boys reading books in the airplane terminal. About 10 minutes before boarding, I experienced excruciating pain on my right side. We asked the gentlemen to release our bags and to give us the location of the nearest ER. Instead of fun pictures of the Pacific Northwest, our family vacation picture looks like this:
Aren't my boys adorable in this lasting family vacation photo???? I mean, can't you tell they counted down the days for this experience? They actually do still talk about this vacation 4 years later. They mostly liked the person in the ER that was using foul language and the fact they got candy from the vending machine. Remember, sometimes it really is the "little things".
It was a kidney stone. Have you ever had one? This fantastic poster sums it up quite nicely. You can order one for your Dr’s office here:
My angry weasel turned out to be an enraged ninja. I guess I should mention that I had been graced by the presence of 2 angry weasels earlier in the month, on my left side. They were both small (insert sarcastic laugh here): 5mm and 7mm. This little ninja was a mere 3.5mm. But he was a well trained ninja, and nice and round, with talent that included causing a blockage. Which was the need for the ER visit and the cancellation of our vacation.
I’ve had Kidney stones since I was 14. I actually have a rare kidney disease that causes me to make frequent stones. The amount of stones I’ve passed is in the hundreds now. So I feel somewhat qualified to give advice. Here is what I will say:
Advice on kidney stones:
1. No stone is created equal. I’ve had tiny buggers that hurt, and big ones that were a breeze to pass. I’ve had kidney stones that were worse than labor, and some labors that were worse than some stones I’ve had.
2. Telling a kidney stone maker to “drink more water” or “try a miracle cleanse you saw on the internet” is akin to telling a pregnant woman with morning sickness to eat Saltines. Just don’t do it.
3. For most of my stones, I pop an over the counter pain reliever. If it’s really uncomfortable I pull out my trusty oversized heating pad (It wraps around your body!). But if something doesn’t feel right—go to the Dr. Don’t wait. There are times when I have had to call out the big guns and take the heavy pills. Don’t ever ignore the symptoms of an infection, or large amounts of blood. Always trust your gut, and seek help when you need it. I’ve found most ER’s and Dr’s are so kind and thoughtful and quick at giving you pain relief. Just don’t yell at them and make demands. Which is easier said than done when you are in pain.
4. To contradict #2's advice, water is your best friend. On the ground, or on a flight, push your liquids. If you are not a fan of water, or can't seem to increase your intake, you can see my tips to train yourself to drink more water. Always travel with a water bottle, and fill it up every chance you get.
5. Find a good urologist. Go in for regular visits, find out what is cause of your stone(s). Then modify your diet according to their advice, not some random person on the internet.
Which reminds me, figuring out how to get to the nearest ER via iPhone maps was an adventure in it’s own right. And I may have cussed at Siri and her directions.
So that’s my story! Hopefully I’ll be able to post this week. Thanks for hanging in there and for listening to my moans and groans via social media straight from my comfy couch. And special thanks to Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth for taking care of me and being so compassionate. My nurse Shelly was a gem, as was everyone on staff.
Have a great Monday everyone!