We had a break in the rain last night so our kids wanted to go get a snow cone. Not just any snow cone; one from THE Snow Cone Lady. She’s legendary around here and just opened this week for the season!
The first snow cone of the year is a big deal for us. It’s a tradition of sorts. Therefore, when we decided we were going, we sent a text to the others (our adult children) to see if they wanted to go too.
Of course, they did. So, we all piled into their Honda Pilot and were excited about our trip to the Snow Cone Lady.
Well, most of us were. Or, I guess I was until I got into the car.
I was the last one into the car and, as we pulled away from the house, I remember feeling like I needed to use the restroom. Only… I had just gone before we left.
I also noticed a bit of a throbbing sensation that accompanied the need to urinate. This all hit me before we even left our neighborhood; and we live in the very front!
By the time we got to the main feeder road, about a mile from our house, my back felt as though it was on fire. Not to mention, the throbbing was intensifying.
As we rode down the highway, I began shifting from side to side to find a way to stop the pain. I stretched my foot as far under the seat in front of me as I could and held onto the “oh crap” handle to help alleviate the pain.
By the time we arrived at the snow cone stand I simply wanted out of the car. I thought that perhaps standing and stretching my back would help.
Nope. Didn’t work.
As Colby and the kids went to place their orders, I stayed at the car trying to find relief from the pain. Cheyenne and the baby stayed with me as I shifted from standing to sitting to stop the hurt.
It didn’t get better. In fact, it intensified.
Colby offered to take the kids home and bring me back to the hospital.
The hospital that was literally within walking distance of where we were standing.
That wasn’t going to work either. The pain was worse in the car and I couldn’t understand driving 30 minutes round trip just to come right back where we started.
Therefore, the kids dropped us off while they went home. Our adult children came back leaving Nic (our son-in-law) home with the baby and near the others.
Upon arriving at the hospital it was a quick urine sample and blood draw. The doctor and nurse both looked at me wreathing in pain and instantly knew what was wrong: kidney stones!
(I must admit, I was a bit relieved by that news. I thought perhaps it was a ruptured ovarian cyst or something far worse).
They administered medications for both nausea and pain… and then things began to quickly get better for me.
After the urine and blood results came back, coupled with a CT Scan, it was confirmed: two kidney stones. A large one in the kidney not causing much trouble and a smaller one making it’s way down the ureter.
As it was explained to me, the pain in my back originated from the kidney (the original home of the stone). The throbbing sensation I was experiencing in my groin stemmed from the spasms as the stone was traveling down the ureter.
Once the intense burning pain slowed in my back, I could also feel a lot of pressure under my ribs and my stomach simply felt full. Later, I also realized there was an ache in my thigh. So much havoc from this tiny rock!
And here I am. Home now. I have pain medication to help as the kidney stone continues to move down and out. Nausea medications because the pain is that intense. And antibiotics to stop the infection caused by the stone.
I also know a bit more about kidney stones, including how quickly they can occur. Let me share with you what I learned, starting with these signs and symptoms:
- Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain on urination
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent need to urinate
- Urinating more often than usual
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
- Urinating small amounts
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
- Pain so severe that you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
- Pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- Pain accompanied by fever and chills
- Blood in your urine
- Difficulty passing urine
I was experiencing all of the signs directly above except for the fever and difficulty passing urine.
Now we wait. We wait and see if it passes without too much pain; as well as see if the second stone decides to leave the kidney. Based on its size and what the doctor told me, I’m hoping it stays put!
Have you ever had a kidney stone?
Find out more about kidney stones, such as signs & symptoms and diagnosis & treatment at the Mayo Clinic.