I Hope Your Kid Doesn’t Have Our Kidney Stones

Since the Wild Boar was sixteen years old he has been plagued with kidney stones.  PLAGUED.  We have taken him to the ER so many times for pain management our hooligans could drive their Dad there themselves, check him in and answer basic questions about his medical history.

For those of you who have never had a kidney stone, or been lucky enough to be around someone who has a kidney stone, it is probably one of the worst, most horrific, crappiest, life-altering, did I mention HORRIBLE pains to be inflicted upon a person while inhabiting this planet. 

When the Wild Boar has these kidney stone attacks the pain is so extreme his blood pressure  has sky rocketed to numbers as high as 205/110; something invariably in the range of stroke-out mode.  And as hideous as this pain is for him, I must say to be a bystander during these episodes of  the extreme pain Olympics is quite horrifying.

You cannot touch a kidney stone sufferer during an attack, you cannot talk to them, make a sound, chew anything or hit any type of minuscule bump in the road while driving them to the ER; they will go ballistic; like YOU are the reason for all their suffering.  A kidney stone patient can hear your eyes blinking and your lungs breathing and they want you to stop.  I have been asked on many occasions to keep my eyes closed and to no longer let breath pass from my lungs.  Their pain is colicky in nature with crazy, spasmodic waves of hellish-horror.  It is very daunting when the most gentle person in your life is chucking cups of ice across the room because the ice chunks are too big or too small or too cold or wet or icy; needless to say nothing is right.  NOTHING.

To put things into perspective, the Wild Boar has had many of his own patient’s whose babies he has delivered and those same patient’s have also been inflicted with kidney stones.  These women all say, hands down, birthing an 8 lb infant was nothing to passing a 5 mm kidney stone.  Yikes!

So anyway, WB recently had a kidney boulder stuck in his ureter (the tiny tube connecting the kidney to the bladder).  The stone was too large to pass through this very tiny area.  So there it stayed for several weeks until a procedure called Lithotripsy could be scheduled.  This procedure is one that non-invasivly breaks up the kidney stones with soundwaves.  The stones become smaller, passable fragments.  Ouch!  And even though this procedure is non-invasive, you are still sedated during its course of action.

So a few days after the Lithotripsy was performed we were on our way to Oregon to check on our vineyard site .  We were staying at a hotel in the city and it was to be expected the WB would be passing the smaller fragments of the larger stone he just had blasted.

Nature took its course and lots of baby stones were coming out as expected.  Lovely right?  But at least at this point the pain is manageable and does not resemble crazy-circus-sideshow type of behavior. 

The broken-up, more substantial in size stones that end up in the toilet need to be retrieved (Eeewww) and sent off to the laboratory for evaluation. 

So unbeknownst to me the WB was passing these stones at every trip to the potty and in typical man-style-fashion was lining his retrieved treasures up on top of the TV in the hotel room.  Can you picture it?  Apparently he couldn’t think of anywhere else to put them.  I guess using a Ziploc baggie (that I always, always have with us when traveling) would not be secure enough for his precious man-made crystalline formations.
Now these stones are very, very small.  But when you do look at them close-up they are these cool, little, crystal aggregations.  Really they are.  Okay, basically they are dissolved minerals in urine, but I like to think of them as crystals, it makes it easier to deal with when they are occupying little cups all over your house.

Anyway, WB amassed a nice little collection of crystals on top of the television during the whole week we were at the hotel. 

When it was time to return home we drove to the airport and as soon as we sat down on the plane, WB grabbed his head and said, “Darn it.”  I asked him what was wrong and that’s when he explained what he had been doing all week.

“I’ve been lining up my stones on top of the TV in the hotel room all week, but I forgot them.”

“Oh gross,” I said.  “Why did you put them there?  And how many were there?”

“Eighteen.”  He said.

“What! Eighteen!  You only need like two or three for evaluation.  What the heck were you saving so many for?”  I said, in a really grossed out tone.

Well he had his reasons but I’m convinced he was saving them to make me a kidney stone necklace or have them set in a cocktail ring.  I know he was.  He knows how much I love a funky new piece of jewelry.  This would by far have been the FUNKIEST.
Now, I have visions of some kid amassing these kidney stones into a crystal-rock-collection.  YUCK!

“Look Mommy, I found these cool, crystals on the TV.  Can I keep them?”  The kid would say.

So if by any chance you have recently stayed at an Oregon hotel and your kid has the coolest collection of tiny crystal-like formations……ummmm….their ours….and we want them back.

Post a Comment


  1. OH boy. What is it with men, they’re so proud of every little accomplishment their body makes?

    And thanks for the warning about the hotel – I also stay in hotels in that town – I’ll check the top of the t.v. next time I’m there!

  2. Someday I’ll blog about my kidney thing. But in the meantime, I totally get your hubs’ pain even if I don’t quite get the tv as a trophy case. Is there long term treatment they can offer that would prevent formation of his crystals?

  3. Maggie 3

    HA! This entry wins best story of the week. I can only imagine that necklace (kids playing with crystals is much easier to picture.) Your poor husband. He must be so glad you have this blog…

  4. Here are a few links that may be helpful for preventing kidney stones from forming:

    link to mercola.com

    link to mercola.com

    I hope they help.

  5. Tammy 5

    I’ve had recurring kidney stones for years. During one bout I didn’t have health insurance and was in such severe pain – they didn’t pass and I couldn’t afford lithotripsy without insurance. I went to a holistic herbalist and I kid you not, after drinking about 2 liters of water and handfuls of a variety of herbs (I don’t even remember what they were) – they were gone. I didn’t pass them, they just dissolved. X-rays later confirmed they were gone and my urologist insisted that I had to have passed them. Well, I tell you – you KNOW when you’ve passed them and I didn’t. The herbalist charged $60. I haven’t had another bout of them, but if I do, yeah, I’ll go back to her. Crazy, but it worked.

    I laughed at the description of them lined up on the TV and some unsuspecting maid or kid coming upon them. Soooo gross. Too funny.

  6. shelly 6

    I so feel his pain. I had a very large stone at 20weeks of pregnancy with my son. My blood pressure skyrocketed and I was admitted to the hospital once they saw that both kidneys were distended. I had a horrible kidney infection as well. THe pain came out of no where. One minute i was fine and the next I was experiencing pain that was worse than labor. The stone had completely blocked urine from leaving my kidney and entering my bladder so once my fever shot up they put me into emergency surgery to insert a temp stent. Ugh. That is almost as bad as the stone. Then a month later and lots of morphine, demoral, and vicodin they finally blasted that puppy apart. What a relief. I believe they told me it was like 6 or 7 mm which is very large. I am knocking on wood because I have only had that one. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

  7. liv 7

    oof. that is awful. my mom went through horrible kidney stones. and was always major grumpy…

    if i run across any interesting crystalline formations, i’ll keep you posted!

  8. Oh my- I so relate to this entire thing. My husband gets them. We all suffer. He turns into the meanest man alive.

    One day, I came home and there was a pill bottle on top of our tv. Yep, you guessed it. His kidney stone was in it. WTH? He even made me look at it. “Look- it looks just like a chocolate nerd.” So, of course I looked. And it did kinda look like that. Bunch of freaks, I guess.

  9. I feel terrible for your husband.

    The line about setting them in a cocktail ring will make me laugh for the rest of the day.

  10. Stephanie 10

    I had my first kidney stone when I was 12 (I’m 31 now) and when I was a day or two from giving birth to my oldest son, I asked my mom (who had stones in the past) about L&D. She laughed and told me that if I could survive kidney stones, then I would have no problem with labor. Since I’m a toughy, I went through natural childbirth. I wasn’t ready to run marathons, but it was so much better than kidney stones. And people sent us stuff too!

  11. Hi,
    Over the next four years I was in and out of the ER and hospital for a total of 7 lithotripsies and thousands and thousands of dollars. I changed my diet drastically and began consuming buckets of water, but because of an abnormal type of kidney (medullary sponge kidney) my body continued to make stones. This was getting old fast, and very expensive. There had to be a better way, so I began educating myself about urology and nephrology. I read everything I could find about kidney stones, their prevention and cure, including home remedies.

  12. floating gypsy 12

    I had my first stone in 1968 and they dug it out after shooting iodine into my veins to find it. A week ago after a CT scan, the doc went up and zapped a 13mm stone that was blocking my ureter. Times change, but not the pain. (Oh, in between the stones, I had an 11 lb. baby and I still only weigh 120 lbs.) I had pain for week before and am still in pain from the stent he put in after. Hopefully this time, the doc and his chemists will be able to anaylze the remnants and tell me how to STOP making these “gifts”.


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