Last Wednesday I underwent a painful experience: a kidney stone. It hurt as much as my attack of appendicitis in 1982, the most physically painful thing I’ve been through. I managed to drive myself to the ER, where I was diagnosed, sedated, CATscanned, prescribed to and released.

Hours later, everything came out okay. (Whew.) You wouldn’t think a little fleck like that could cause so much discomfort.

Anyone want to share their own kidney stone experience? How would you describe the pain, and to what would you compare it?

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  • Ms. Lois

    Oh, David. I’ve had 14 kidney stones over the years. The first one was when I was 19 years old. I’ve had four surgeries. The pain is like nothing I have ever experienced. It feels like something huge is inside you poking at your back and stomach. I’m sorry you know the pain. I was told that it is hereditary and that it skips a generation. My grandfather had them. Did anyone pass them on to you?

    [Not that I know of. Four surgeries?! Oh, Ms. Lois. — DA]

  • Ramona

    No personal experience but my daughter went through this several years ago. Her comparison was that the pain was much, much worse than labor.

    She was hospitalized for two days just as with birthin’ the babies. But came home with nothing to show for her agonies this time.

    Do the docs still recommend drinking lots of water to prevent future attacks?

    [The ER doctor said water doesn’t help and that science doesn’t really know what causes kidney stones. Although that may not be a definitive comment. — DA]

  • Marlene

    My husband has had 2 “episodes” in the last 2 years. The first happened at 2 a.m. while we were in San Diego for a romantic weekend. Trying to find a hotel worker at the Hilton at 2 in the morning on a Sunday was much harder than it should have been. Lesson learned…know where the nearest hospital is when you are in an unfamiliar area!

    His second time around he knew what it was and we headed straight to SACH. They ended up admitting him as the stone was deemed too large to pass. He had to have a procedure done at the Kidney Stone Center at Pomona Valley Hospital. As far as medical procedures go, the staff at the Stone Center was top notch and made my husband and myself feel at ease. No one in my husband’s family has been known to have them.

    [Marlene, I feel your hubby’s pain! — DA]

  • Desdave

    Earlier this year the wife got one, and passed it… while she was 8 months pregnant!

    We had just got home from a week at the beach, and even though she was a month early, it seemed to her like labor or something. We already had a kid, so she knew something was different and assumed soemthing was wrong, so off to ER we went. Nope, baby’s not coming. Nope, nothing’s “wrong” (don’t you love that when you/a loved one are in obvious pain?) and no, we really don’t know what’s wrong with you or your aching side/back.

    Two days later, she passed it… about a month after that, right on time, she passed something much bigger, our son Charlie.

    [Congratulations on both! — DA]

  • Linda Frost

    David, I have not had kidney stones; my mother had them. I have had appendicitis, however, and it was not at all fun. Hope you are fine now. Be sure to listen to your doctor and your mother, too.

  • Bob House

    Sorry to hear — hope you are fully recovered. My sources say to avoid stones you should drink enough water to produce 2 quarts of urine each 24 hours. They don’t say how you’re supposed to measure.

    [Howard Hughes would know. — DA]

  • James Rodriguez/Fontana

    Years ago when I went to Queen of the Valley’s ER for a bleeding ulcer, one of the rooms was a shambles, the nurses were picking up knocked over equipment and rehanging pulled down curtains. They told me that the last paitient had a kidney stone and went berserk! Hope I never have one.

    [Ha ha! Personally, I barely had the strength to stand up, much less yank down curtains, but to each his own. — DA]

  • Lyn Williams

    Hi David-

    I have to be different and say, although I didn’t have kidney stones, will gallbadder stones suffice?

    Didn’t cause me much pain, but when I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror, I thought, well I didn’t go to bed with a tan, what happened during the night as I slept! Jaundice had taken over, and I was taken to the emergency room. As I was in the bed, my dear friend Lisa looked at me, and said you know, this color actually looks good on you, compared to your usual pale complexion. I still laugh to this day, that she took what could have been a life-threatening situation and made light of my “yellow condition.”

    Nonetheless, I hope you are back in tip top shape, and that the kidney stones will be a thing of the past for you.

    As always, thank you for a great read.

    Lyn Williams

    [Sometimes it takes friends to see the silver lining. Or, in your case, the yellow lining. Thanks for the different perspective, Lyn. — DA]