Little Stuart Rifkin likes to go shopping with his mother.

kidney stone pain location

I’m pretty sure I have another kidney stone.  This is one pain level that gets my full attention when it flares.  I’ve invented some pretty good swears while writhing in pain when the stone moves.  It feels a little bit like sudden onset pseudo-Tourette’s Syndrome, that miraculously passes the moment the pain subsides.   I’ve been getting them since I was 18.  Usually a few times a year at the least.  This will be my second for 2016.  If I disappear for a few days, don’t worry.  I’ll be back with newer, more sweary word combinations  for our mutual amusement.

My pain level has decreased for now.  Sometimes, I like to swing by WebMD, and research my symptoms.  I can *always* find a scary, often fatal ailment that has similar symptoms.  Then I can say, “Well, at least it’s not some rare, incurable genetic disorder.”  A good dose of perspective never hurts.  I’ll admit, the first time I got one, I had never heard of such thing.  I spent about three hours trying everything to lessen the pain.  I tried various positions, drinking some water, an antacid, etc.  Nothing I tried helped.  I ended up low-crawling to the adjacent apartment, and banging on the door.  Two guys who were obviously sleeping when I knocked were kind enough to call an ambulance.

I was pretty certain I was dying, because I had never experienced such pain before.  It was my first ambulance ride, first time having oxygen, and eventually my first surgery.  I have spotty memories of the ER that night.  I remember a nurse scolding me for cussing.  I remember telling her to fuck off, (I thought I was dying, so I felt entitled to abandon any semblance of proper behavior).  I’m not sure who was more shocked by it, the nurse or I.  She held an emesis basin in front of my face when I announced I was about to hurl.  I looked at it, then proceeded to hurl to the side of it, because my feeble, pain-panicked mind felt it was in the way.  I’m pretty sure that nurse hated my ass.  Eventually, they removed it surgically, as I was unable to pass it naturally.  I remember running PT the next day, and the stent they inserted made every other step feel like I was about to wet myself.  Good times.

Fortunately, I can pass them on my own now.  I don’t go to the ER, since they just give me pain meds, a pee strainer, and a huge jug of water to drink until passage.  I’m (not really) sorry, but unless my kidney stone is made up of a precious, rare material, or can somehow bring about world peace, I’m not straining anything.  The pain meds make me vomit.  When I’m in a lot of pain, the last thing I want to do is add projectile vomiting for distance to the mix.  So I stay home and work it out with water, cranberry juice, and lots of swearing.  But no hurling, dammit.  Because that’s where I draw the line.