Tummy Troubles

First a little background for those that hadn't heard about my kidneys...

About 3-4 weeks ago I started having some pain and tenderness in the kidney region and my back. (Spine is 6 o'clock, Belly Button 12 o'clock going forward) It was basically a triangle of pain running from 10 to 2 to 6. Nothing severe... kinda like I'd twisted my back or overexerted myself or something. The only reason I was worrying was that it wasn't going away. So I made an appointment to see my doctor on the 9th since I needed to do a quarterly diabetic followup anyways.

Then Thursday morning (the 1st) I woke up with "extreme" pain in my back/sides so I called and luckily they had an appointment available with my Doctor the next day. The pain went mostly away in about an hour after moving around a bit and I assumed I had slept on it wrong or something similar but I kept the appointment. When I got there I told Dr Walsh that I had a family history of kidney stones and that genetics seemed to be holding true. I also told him it wouldn't surprise me if I had stones as well but that it was weird to me because it felt more like I'd thrown out my back. He said that was a little odd but not abnormal and sent me for a CT scan and blood work.

Low and behold I had (if I remember the lingo) bilateral non-occluding kidney stones but all the rest seemed perfectly normal. No wacky chemistry in the blood and no protein or blood in the urine (a sign of kidney stone badness). He said they should pass on their own with no problems but drink lots of water, take a Motrin for the pain as needed (and the anti-inflammatory properties). They set me up with an appointment with a urologist and life, mostly, returned to normal. Still a little tenderness and pain but nothing unexpected. By analogy... if you've ever twisted your ankle it was kinda like that. You know it's injured but when not moving and in a normal position everything is fine. Move it wrong, however, and hurts like heck until you stop. I made it all the way through the holiday weekend before the real fun began.

Last night right around 5pm I was bending down to get a file out of the bottom filing cabinet drawer and BAM it HURT and I almost fell over. My back exploded in pain. If I hadn't grabbed the shelf I probably would have hit the floor. Even holding onto the shelf uprightness was no guarantee. The muscle spasms, or whatever they were, didn't subside for a good 10-15 minutes (I think). When they finally subsided (some) I got in bed and waited. As with the last "big" pain (now downgraded to medium pain) about an hour later the pain mostly faded. This time, however, I really couldn't function to move without pain and there was a rather intense pain in the front left at about 2 o'clock.

I told myself that if it got worse I would go to the ER but if it didn't I would just call the doctor in the morning (since we had purposefully never canceled the appointment on the 9th). I called in the morning (today) and talked to one of the nurses and they had me come in to see the doctor. At that point he basically said Kidney Stones don't do that. We started running down the possible things and nothing really fit. If it was the stones then why wasn't it both sides (the whole bilateral thing). If it was X then why didn't I have a fever (I did have a low grade fever of 100.2 but X would be like 104 something). If it was Y then why could I eat normally and why wasn't I nauseated. If it was Z then why didn't I have a fremdistat lodged in my wazoo... etc. So time for more tests! Yay!

This time when I got to Medical Imaging they gave me a big jug of "lemonade" to drink. To my surprise it actually wasn't that bad tasting (only slightly chalky) but it gave me the nauseated feeling I hadn't had up till then. I had to wait like 90 minutes for it to percolate through but I was able to get another vial of blood drawn for the new lab work so it wasn't completely wasted time (sort of). This time they did two CT Scans: one with just the chalky lemonade and then one after with contrast dye. I believe the first was to check for gastrointestinal blockages and the second was to check blood flow to the kidneys and beyond. The CT doctor (tech?) cleared me to go and as I was leaving I ran into my doctor in the hall.

At this point he said that the preliminary results are that the kidney stones haven't moved so it's most likely that while I DO have kidney stones that they have nothing to do with this "episode". He said everything was where it was supposed to be (kidneys weren't swollen, no blockages, no hernias, etc) but there appeared to be some thickening of the one wall of something (sigmoid, colon, intestine, gut, wazoo... don't remember what exactly) so it was probably just an infection gone bad and causing swelling and pain inside which led to the more overt "external" pain.

So far he's prescribed me a pain killer / anti-inflammatory and he's going to examine all the scans in detail to decide exactly what needs to follow up from there. Well at least the pharmacy had the pain killer but not any antibiotics yet so I think that's what he said. I was a little distracted by the pain. :) I'm supposed to follow up with him in the morning and assuming it is "just" an infection then a course of antibiotics should set me right in a few days. I'm still supposed to keep my appointment with the urologist about the stones though so that will be fun for another week.

And that is that... for now.