The #Kidney that Keeps on Giving #kidneystone

I’m sorry I’m so boring, y’all. Lately it’s all kidney/moving/mom has breast cancer/repeat. It goes like this:

I have blockage of unknown origin in my right kidney.

We’re moving to the country.

My mom is doing well, healing from breast cancer.

Subtitle: In which I detail my entire ordeal like an old lady trawling for attention. Feel free to skip this section.


1. (11mm stone) Stent without string, to allow urine to pass and hopefully move stone down through ureters to bladder.

2. Electroshock wave lithotripsy. On a mobile electroshock wave lithotripsy truck (only in the South, y’all).

3. Laser lithotripsy and ureteroscope, plus stent with string.

4. Ureteroscope plus stent with string.

And in between I’ve had several MRI, X-rays and ultrasound. And the stents removed — before they inevitably get placed again.

My mom (did I mention she’s healing well from breast cancer? She is!) thinks the kidney doctor sucks. My friend Stitches, who is a RN, agrees — he’s being very surgery-oriented and only treating the symptoms, rather than determining why I have a (recurring? Idiopathic?) kidney blockage.

I agree that he treats only the symptoms — but every time he goes inside my ureters and bladder and kidney, he scopes it to look around. He gets X-rays and ultrasound. And the symptoms are the most pressing issue — until I’m pain-free and can pee freely, I can’t be tested for any of the (myriad) causes.

Here’s what I’ve learned

1. Stents are an amazing tool. You can’t pee, and you get a stent and VOILA, YOU CAN PEE (which helps because they pump you full of fluids while you’re getting the stent).

2. If you can choose, get the stent with the string. Yes, I’m kind of a walking disaster (which is why my first stent was string-free; kidney doc was concerned I’d inadvertently pull it out while on vacation. Miss Manners said, “If anyone could have a stent-related accident while traveling to visit their breast cancer-stricken mother, it would be you,” to which I replied, Touché!) Removal is easier that way.

3. Drink water. Lots and lots of water!

She still nurses, by the way. Honey Badger Don’t Care that mom’s kidney hurts.


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