I’m back home, hurting a lot and feeling like death warmed up.

It was a difficult procedure to endure.  According to post-op information, the upper ‘cap’ of the kidney stone I encountered a couple of months ago had survived the lithotripsy intact, despite everything beneath it being turned to powder.  It sort of ‘hid’ itself in the inner bits of the kidney until I ripped it loose ten days ago, while moving furniture.  That meant the body tried to pass it in the normal manner, but instead it settled cap-like on top of the ureter and blocked it almost entirely.  In so many words, it shut down that kidney, leaving the other to carry the load for the whole of the body.

The urologist infiltrated his way up the ureter to the source of the problem, then used a laser to ‘pulverize’ the remains of the kidney stone.  He inserted a stent to ensure that the resulting mess could drain.  What’s coming out is more blood than anything else right now – the sharp edges of the stone cut up the interior of the kidney pretty badly – but he assures me that will change over the course of the next week or so.  I’m on four more pills (!) to add to those I already take following my heart surgery and damaged spinal cord.  Hopefully they’ll prevent any more infection.

The worst thing I’ve found is an almost complete lack of control over urination.  When it wants to leak, it’s going to leak, and there’s not a darn thing I can do to stop it!  I’ve taken to wearing adult diapers to keep things as sanitary as possible.  After a week or so, when the stent is out and the kidney and bladder have had time to recover, things should get back to normal.

I’m going into so much detail purely as a warning to you, dear readers.  Take your kidneys seriously, and every other aspect of your body’s waste disposal system!  Problems there can lay you low in a heartbeat, and there won’t be much you can do unless and until they’re resolved.  Thank heavens for First World medicine!  I’ve seen people in the Third World afflicted with kidney stones.  Many survived . . . but many didn’t, and died in excruciating agony from the stone and its associated complications.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

I probably won’t blog too much tonight or tomorrow morning.  By tomorrow afternoon, I hope things will get back to normal.  Thanks for your good wishes and prayers.



  1. If they've told you to drink water, don't skim it. Unless you're going into gallons territory, keep drinking. Know a person who FUBAR'd his bladder control after surgery because he simply wouldn't.

    Best wishes. Take care.

  2. Best wishes and good thoughts. I've done the stent and lithotripsy twice. Expect better bladder control tomorrow, but since there is no longer a one-way valve between the bladder and kidney, when you have to go you have to go NOW… and it starts to hurt in a hurry if you don't.

    The bleeding will improve over a day or two, and then they take the stent out and you will spend another day peeing blood and cringing as the little bits of sand that settled in the basin of the kidney outside the ureter pass.

    Good news is, that passes quickly and far less painfully, although I can't say the stent removal was a whole lot of fun. (Doc: "We're going to insert this *holds up a scope that appears to be the size of a garden hose* through your…" … Me: "You're going to put what where?")

  3. Does not sound like a pretty picture at all. I hope this has been resolved once and for all. Get as much rest as you can and you will be back good as new.

  4. Been there. Had one pushed back into the kidney and surgically removed through the kidney in the late '80's. Since it was in Munich, the doc told me to drink a Weizen (wheat) beer a day to avoid a repeat performance. I can attest that his advice works.

  5. I had one get away from lithotripsy like that which caused me more problems later.

    Interesting that stones are specifically spoken to in the original Hippocratic Oath; "I will not cut for the stone, but will commit that affair entirely to the surgeons".

    They used to have to basically slaughter people to remove stones. My Father had one cut out with the full flank incision at the base hospital when he was a UASF Squadron Commander at Clark AFB in the Philippines and recovery took a long painful time.

    The people who have developed these modern stone removal techniques have removed a vast amount of suffering from the world. I've had 4 lithotripsies which in the past would have been 4 major surgeries.

    Good luck and stay hydrated, stay hydrated, stay hydrated.

  6. This may make ya feel better, maybe not…
    I had a benign tumor removed from my bladder without cutting me open (think about it). It was office surgery and I drove me and the wife home afterwards. We were hungry as we hadn't eaten since the night before so we went through the Mickey-D's drive-through. As I was talking to the guy in the window, my bladder woke up and spasmed right severely causing me to grimace, stiffen from head to toe and simultaneously piss myself! The guy in the window goes "you OK?" It passes and I relax a little and shakely say "Sure! No problem." The wife was both amused and horrified…

  7. Could've been worse – they've been doing kidney stone surgeries for a long, long time and it wasn't until very recently that they managed to come up with anesthetic that A: worked and B: didn't kill the patient all of the time.

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