Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Wish - Granted

I have to say this Christmas seems more exciting than the last few because Cole is actually old enough to know what is going on...almost knows TOO much about what is going on.  We have decided to do a "Faux Christmas Morning" this year due to a very complicated schedule that doesn't allow Jake time off for Christmas.  Add to that my kidney stone issue...

Yesterday morning, bright and early, I had a Retrograde Pyelogram (with possible stent placement, but that didn't happen).  I was pleasantly surprised at my experience and have to say it was even less painful/weird than my lithotripsy experience.  The nurses we dealt with were all stars.  The residents (anesthesia & urology) were excellent.  And I have to give a big shout out to Darcy's husband, Eric, who really took care of us and made sure everyone treated me extra special in the OR ;-)

I had zero nausea waking up from anesthesia and virtually no pain from the LMA (partial entubation - the worst part about the lithotripsy last time around).  Apparently for my weight the "appropriate" size LMA is actually not appropriate at all, so this time around our anesthesiologist used the next smaller size - genius.  I did have a plastic taste all yesterday in my mouth, but it was definitely a small price to pay.

Let me get to the really good part.  When I went in I just KNEW they were going to find structural abnormalities...nothing that would explain my intense episodes of pain as well as more chronic, long term moderate bouts of pain.  After all, my scans were looked at by at least half a dozen different urologists and radiologists and everyone seemed to concur that there was no way the 10mm calcification shown was actually in my ureter and yet not becoming an obstruction (and thus making me incredibly sick 24/7) and concluded it *must* be a benign calcification in my ovary instead.  I was told this over and over throughout the past 5 months (ever since Vera was born), and although my body was telling me it was a definite kidney stone, my mind was beginning to believe the "professionals."

I have to give credit to an amazing 5th year urology resident who spoke to me on the phone for over 45 minutes one evening on his drive home, however.  He said even though they are pretty positive this calcification was NOT a stone in my ureter, they could never be absolutely sure based on the imaging they had (multiple KUB X-rays & a CT scan).  He also mentioned that he had seen kidney stones do some pretty crazy things.  This lingering doubt kept me questioning my pain and was really the primary reason I went ahead and pushed to have this procedure done.

When I woke up from anesthesia I was greeted by an incredibly friendly, young nurse who said that I woke up beautifully and you couldn't even tell I had been under.  I felt slightly dizzy, but was so shocked it was all feel like you have lost time...strange feeling.  A couple minutes later my main urology resident appeared next to me and said "Well, you were right!  It is a stone...and it is big - 10mm definitely.  I would have lost that bet."  These have to have been the best words I have heard since "It's a girl!" 5 months ago, haha.

Our next step is already underway - I am watching and waiting and taking Flomax every day to see if it will dialate my ureter enough to allow this massive thing to LEAVE.  I have my doubts as I seem to have gotten the dang thing pretty far down while PREGNANT when my ureters were hugely dialated.  Then I had Vera and everything went back down to a normal size.  Hopefully the Flomax can do what pregnancy did for me and more.  I have a follow up appointment back at the Urology clinic next month where I am guessing they will schedule an additional procedure if I have yet to pass the stone.  That would involve a ureteroscopy (a bit more invasive, but still no actual incisions) where they break up the stone by touching a laser to it and then grab the fragments with the end of the scope.  Unfortunately lithotripsy really is not an option because the stone is far too low and they could accidentally damage other organs (namely my left ovary - not good).

Right now we are praying I can pass this thing on my own with the help of the Flomax, but we'll see what happens.  For now, I got my Christmas Wish - a REAL kidney stone diagnosis!

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