Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welcome to the world Evil Bastard Kinney!

Ah, the saga of the kidney stone. On the upside, it caused me to lose nearly 5 lbs in 4 days. On the downside, nothing and I do mean nothing, is worth that agony. But you know me, I always try to find the humor in situations and so during this whole ordeal (in between bouts of puking and writhing in pain), I tried to think how it would make a somewhat funny story.

I got my first kidney stone a couple of years ago. And then in a somewhat quick succession, my second and third kidney stones. I chalked it up to a combination of not drinking enough water, obesity, and a very poor diet. I hoped that genetics did not play a role since my grandfather had kidney stones too. And for the past couple of years, it appeared I may have been right. No stones. Just another inspirational victory here...girl loses half her body weight AND cures her kidney stones! I mean, they just don't write better stories than that. Haha, just kidding. And then came last week. I had a couple of twinges of pain that weekend, but chalked it up to muscles aches since I pretty much always have that anyway. But then came the big pain. Pain that literally brought me to my knees. I have not personally been in labor myself, but I have heard that many women would prefer labor pain over kidney stone pain. There's just no describing it. This probably isn't news to anyone, but I'm really stubborn. I knew there was nothing the doctor could really do besides pain meds and nausea meds (which didn't really work that great anyway in the past), so I decided to tough it out at home. And that's when it became apparent that trying to "birth" a kidney stone was not only similar in pain level to birthing an actual baby, but the pain relief measures were also very similar. I sat in a tub, which is what helped the pain the most. Then I walked. Then tub. Then walked. When the pain got really bad, I even kind of unconsciously did Lamaze breathing. The problem was that this whole time, I could not keep anything down. I was so thirsty that it was kind of disturbing the way I would fantasize about liquids. At first I tried to keep drinking, but then it just took too much energy when I inevitably had to throw up. My tongue was also a very disturbing white color that was pretty gross. I got weaker and weaker. I got to where walking outside was probably not the best idea because it was a very real possibility I would pass out. Yet, I did it anyway because anything to help with the pain!!

Wednesday came and with it came surrender. I went to the doctor. Sure enough, I was freakishly dehydrated (and obviously had a kidney stone too, duh). I had been throwing up so much that my body was in ketosis. This is actually a state that many people strive to attain by not eating any carbohydrates, because when there are no carbohydrates to be had, your body starts using up its fat stores. I had read about this in the past and promptly dismissed it due to my all-consuming love of bread. I do not recommend either way of achieving ketosis. Also, I had lost nearly 5 lbs since that weekend. I tried not to put too much store by that number (even though I can't say it wasn't a bit thrilling to see 158 lbs on the scale, a number I haven't seen since about 7th grade) because I knew it was mainly from dehydration and would promptly come back as soon as I could eat or drink again. The doctor decided I needed a couple bags of IV fluid. They tried to start an IV in his office, but I have the world's worst veins and that was a no-go. He gave me a shot of anti-nausea and pain medicine and told me to go the hospital. And because I am stubborn, I decided to see if (since I had had some anti-nausea meds) I could skip the hospital and try to keep down fluids at home. This was a waste of time. I went to the hospital, endured 4 brutally boring hours of watching fluid trickle in my arm very slowly, and then went home. And when I went home, because I was curious and apparently a masochist, I weighed myself. I had gained 7 lbs from that morning! Why, why, why do I do these things to myself?!?

The next day was no better. I was well on my way to getting dehydrated again, and the pain was about to drive me insane. I called the doctor and they told me to come back. While I was there, I had a really bad pain episode. For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of a kidney stone (lucky!), let me explain about kidney stone pain. Again like labor, it comes in waves. It always hurts, but most of the time I can tolerate it. But when that damn stone moves, I literally feel like I want to claw my eyes out. When I'm in pain, I am an evil bitch. There's just no other way to describe it. My friends and family will also attest to this fact. That is why it is much better if I am alone when in pain. Maybe this means when I do have a baby, I should birth it alone like out in field or somewhere. The day before, my poor sister had tried to comfort me by patting me on the shoulder, and I think I probably resembled that girl in The Exorcist when I growled at her, "Don't touch me!" Anyway, the nurse happened to come in the room when I was all twisted up in my chair in pain, and she decides that first she should 1) get the doctor despite my telling her it would pass and 2) stay with me in the room regaling me with stories of how when she had a kidney stone, she jumped from a moving car. There was some small part of me that was not rendered incoherent from the pain that realized that she was just trying to help, but most of me just wanted her and the doctor out of that room. I do not need an audience when I am twisted up like a pretzel trying to find a comfortable position. Also I don't need an audience to watch me throw up, well actually just go through the motions of throwing up without anything coming up because there is literally no fluid left in me at all. There also tends to be a lot of profanity, which may not do much physically, but helps psychologically at least. Anyway, I got more meds and left for home. I also got a handy dandy strainer to strain all my pee in order to try to catch the stone. This is exactly as gross as it sounds.

On Friday I had a nutritionist appointment that I had already had to reschedule twice, so I decided to go to keep my mind off the pain (yeah, right). Also, I thought it might be entertaining if I showed the nutritionist my food diary from the last week with no explanation. I could be like, "Oh yeah, I decided I could lose more weight if I completely cut food and liquid out of my diet." When I was there, I had to use the bathroom and of course did not have my strainer with me because it's not really the kind of item you typically carry in a purse (and also I may have just forgotten it). And of course, this is when my stone decided to pass. Seriously? I cannot even describe the instant relief I felt, despite the disappointment I felt that I didn't catch it. Yes, I gave birth to a tiny, bouncing bundle of jagged rock. I named it Evil Bastard Kinney. It seemed appropriate. Good riddance to it!

Anyway, things are mostly back to normal now. I was pretty weak for a couple days, and my workouts are still not 100%, which is frustrating. I try to tell myself it's okay not to push myself so hard while my body is still recovering from a tiny satanic stone invasion and no food or drink for 5 days, but I can't help feeling like a slacker. When my weight had settled out, I gained 2.2 lbs from my lowest of 158 lbs, but that's okay. I don't really want to say I lost the last part of my weight because of vomiting and not eating or drinking anyway (because frankly that sounds like a Lifetime movie about eating disorders). I'm glad this is all behind me though, because next week (Thursday June 26 to be exact) is my 2 year anniversary! Two years since I started this incredible journey...I'm super excited! And of course, there will be pictures (duh)!

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