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My First Surgery

Posted by on June 16, 2016

A couple of months back, I had an incident during my mother-in-laws birthday party that had me visiting the hospital for kidney stones. I tell you, I’ve never experienced pain like that ever in my life. It was bad. Thankfully the folks at the hospital took good care of me and before you know it, I was on my way home.

But the trouble didn’t end there. Turns out the stones I had were pretty persistent and refused to pass. So almost 3 months later, both were still inside and now I had one showing on both sides. My urologist recommended I have day surgery for him to go in and get them.

So this past Friday, I spent an entire day not eating or drinking anything until I got the call from the hospital that it was time to go in.

Now, before I go any further, let me add a bit to that. I’m a Coke drinker. In fact, I’m a heavy Coke drinker. I know I drink too much of the stuff but it’s been my only vice. Ever. No alcohol, cigarettes, or anything else. Just Coke. So when I had to go an entire day without it, and without eating, the headache was killer. I was in so much pain from the headache that I could barely stand up. So finally when it was time to go to the hospital, I was more happy about getting painkillers from them than getting the stones out.

The procedure itself is a mystery to me as I was put to sleep for it. A quick Google search will tell you the somewhat disturbing reality of what they do:

Although some stones in the ureters can be treated with ESWL, ureteroscopy may be needed for mid- and lower-ureterstones. No incision is made in this procedure. Instead, thesurgeon passes a small fiberoptic instrument called a ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder into the ureter.

Ya… Never want to be awake for that. The mere thought of what they actually do freaks me out, even to type it here.

I woke up, went home, and spent the weekend trying to move past the aches and pains and popped Percocet to kill the discomfort I was having. However that in itself made things even more complicated because although it treated the pain from the post-surgery, it can (and did) cause constipation which made my stomach feel even worse.

Every time I have had to pee, the process has been difficult as standing and sitting both cause discomfort and the actual act of going to the bathroom was… well not painful, but certainly not comfortable. It’s like every time I try to pee, it feels like a giant gas bubble is building in my stomach. It does appear to be easing a bit.

Today (Thursday) I feel better. My stomach is nowhere near as sore or achy as it has been, and I’m feeling like I can move around much easier now than I have been all week. But just after I thought my insides were getting better (my urine has been discolored up until yesterday), today I’m back to a mixture of colors that are not what I would expect to be coming out of my body. I’m sure it’s normal but I just want it all done.

Another thing about all of this is that normally, for this kind of discomfort, I would have called in sick for work and taken a few extra days to recover. But we had folks from England coming to our office for training so I spent the last 3 days training them while feeling as uncomfortable as I have. I warned them that I’d be popping pain pills as needed but these guys are so fantastic that it’s been a great week. HUGE kudos to them for being such an awesome group.

On Wednesday I have a follow up appointment and I am hoping by then, everything else will be back to normal. But as an extra takeaway from this, I’ve opted to drastically reduce my Coke intake. For one, knowing it had such a negative physical impact on me bothered me considerably. I need to control my body and not have something like that control it. And secondly, I’m sure I can find other things to drink that are better for me. I’ve been almost Coke free since then. A little here and there but not the buckets of it like I have had before. I may even get weened off completely by the time July comes. We’ll see.

But for now, I’m glad to be in better shape with my kidneys, and am glad to have friends and family who help me through these bumps in the road.

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